Comments and pingbacks

Update: NOW comments work without a login. I apparently forgot to uncheck a box on another page in the options. Happy commenting.

I am going to give it a try. I am opening up comments and pingbacks/trackbacks. It is still possible you will get kicked over to moderation before your comment appears, but the spam filters finally seem to be working well. Fingers crossed people 🙂

Mark Up Your Google Maps

Quickmaps is a beta site that allows you to draw on your googlemaps. You can drag and drop a bunch of different markers, add a text label, or even draw straight or curved lines. You can add a title and some textual information for your map. Then, you can add it to your website. Apparently the site is having some issues since it got Dug, but here’s a link to the developer’s blog. The blog has a nice tutorial of how to use the site, as well as a link to the newer application. There’s also some pretty nice examples of what you can do with the tools.

Urban Planning – Sim City style

BBC News has a nice article about MetroQuest, a software application that uses a Sim City-like visual interface to allow users to model how urban planning decisions might affect the city over the next 40 years. MetroQuest has been used by planners in several places, including Manchester, England and Bali in Indonesia. By allowing users to visualize geographic information in ways that more closely represent real-world features, tools like MetroQuest can help increase participation in planning decisions by reducing the level of cartographic expertise required to understand what it is being represented. There’s a whole subdiscipline known as PGIS, or participatory GIS, that looks at ways to include the public in decision-making processes that are supported by GIS, and visualization tools like MetroQuest would fit right into those types of projects.

Watch Boats In Real Time

This site, although still in beta, shows boat traffic in the San Francisco bay in real time. You can see different boats and ships move around the bay over the course of a half an hour. There’s a handy speed adjustment to make them move faster or slower. If you move your pointer over one of the arrows, you can get information about the boats movement speed, size, and destination. If you click on the table below the map, you can watch individual ships move about.

I’m of three or four minds about this site. On the one hand, I think it’s a pretty cool implementation of real-time data. On the other hand, it’s kinda scary what you can find out in real-time. And on the third hand its just cool to watch!