Video games continue to build on spatial data

As I have said before, fan of geo and fan of games, so when they come together it is better than the sum of the parts. The (long awaited) next installment in the SSX series will bring together one of my favorite franchises with real world elevation models. This preview video released by the creators talks a little bit about how they are doing this. We will let you know more after we get our hands on the game when it comes out on February 28th.

A Truly Mobile App Market

Web Map Solutions, a mobile application development company, recently posted their “Hot Topics in Mobile GIS” in which they reflect on the development trends they see in the applications they have developed or are developing for clients. Their list includes applications such as cultural resource management, genealogy, political campaigning, and mining. This list would be an accurate reflection of overall trends in mobile web applications. One of the hottest is related to true mobile applications – one’s developed for the automobile industry.

The Wall Street Journal has a recent article on the mobile app market, “Mobile Hot Spots: Web Radio, Apps Move to the Dashboard“. They say that mobile apps such a huge growth market that car manufacturers are setting up mobile and spatial app shops in Silicon Valley to be more integrated into the development process.

According to ReadWriteMobile, a web channel devoted to the mobile application industry, the projected growth of the mobile web app market is over $100 Billion by 2015. Of course, they have an interest in seeing that market increase but the spatial application market seems to be growing as more and more people expect it as a matter of course during their every day routines.



A geospatial lab kit…

I am sitting at my desk feeling slightly befuddled by my own question…”what would you put in a geospatial lab kit”. I want to move my fall class out of the class/lab regime to have them put feet to grass and get a better sense of the use of maps and data collection. My first instinct is to toss them a GPS and say ‘see you in an hour’ but we are at the stage where there are too many people in a class to break up into groups with our Trimbles and not yet at the point where I am ready to get a dozen consumer devices. Plus, this doesn’t give the students something that they can use after the class.

A quick Google search with variations gave me no ‘go to’ list that others offer up for use in their classes. Some things seem obvious like a compass and a copy of the local USGS quad, but what is the best balance between cool tools/toys (200 foot tape) and good expectation of costs ($10? $200?). Do you focus on mapping, how far into surveying do you go?

Like I said, befuddled. To begin to resolve my befuddlement I have decided to look at and list materials then go through and figure out what fits into my current structure or would require only minimal tweaks to fit into class or labs. At the same time I want hear what others are using in class or at work that would help someone just getting into Geography and geospatial technologies. Please email or leave suggestions in the comments. In a few days I will share my original list (with suggestions), the items I am probably going to require for class/lab in the fall, and then in the fall I will share how well the items are working out in my class.

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas!

Warrantless GPS tracking unconstitutional

Based on a syllabus from the Supreme Court released on January 23, the use of GPS tracking outside of a warrant is a breach of the Fourth Amendment. As stated in the syllabus:

the Government’s physical intrusion on an “effect” for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a “search.”

There seem to be quite a few implications that come out of the decision that attaching the device is tantamount to trespassing due to the fact that the action was taken outside of the warrant period (11th of 10 days) and location (Maryland vs DC). There seems to be quite a bit of import being placed on the judgement in the couple of articles I have seen so far, however the wording of the syllabus suggests that the key is the actions and information from outside of the warrant’s parameters as opposed to the collection of location information. I think there will quite a bit of debate this week as to the role of the decision on GPS tracking that we will talk about this weekend on the podcast…check back Sunday for our response to others’ responses.

via Gizmodo