National Agricultural Statistics Service Updates Site, Includes Mapping

The National Agricultural Statistics Service updated their site to include a whole host of new ways to get their data, including a fancy new mapping service. The latest data I could find on their map was 2002, but you can really get at what you want pretty easily, either map or table form. One note is that their maps are in SVG format, which is an extenstion put out by Adobe. It allows for some pretty cool dynamic quering of data but it does require a plugin. If you’re into US agricultural statistics, the site is definately worth a look. Here’s the direct link to the site.

GPS Visualizer

Here’s a pretty cool free application for anyone heavily into using your GPS unit. You can upload your GPS data to via typing in coordinates, street addresses, or uploading a file, and this tool will output a map showing your route. The really cool thing is that you can output to a pretty decent set of file types, including jpeg, PMG, and even KML files for use in Google Earth! It looks like the development team is adding features hand over fist, so it would definately be worthwhile to keep an eye on this program’s development.

Well it isn’t in the shape of a whooping crane!

Apparently Microsoft has released the semi-final/latest word on their super-secret Origami project. It’s pretty much what all the rumors had said previously – it’s a “ultra portable” computer. The device is suppose to have around a 7″ touch screen and run full versions of Windows XP, abet optimized for Origami. Later versions are suppose to be under $500 and feature – get this – an all day battery life! The prototypes only run for 15 mins before their battery is drained. I guess Microsoft has a couple of hurdles between 15 mins and all day. However the devices are pretty exciting, especially for field work as I’m certain they’ll include some sort of expansion slot.

UPDATE: CNET has pictures!

All Hail Data!

An interesting blog post at ZDNet talks about an issue we’ve discussed both in the blog and in the podcast. As the blog suggests, data has the upper hand in this Mashup marriage between tools and data. Without data, these wonderful Mashups wouldn’t be able to function. It’s a pretty interesting and short read. I do wish they’d make the counter point that while applications are reliant or data, data is also reliant on rich applications to make the data worthwhile. Data on a shelf is better known as expensive paperweights.

Tele Atlas and Intermap join forces for the greater driving good!

I don’t know about you, but when I’m sent away on assignment to some exotic and interesting city to which I’ve never been before, the thing that really gets my goat is when my in car navigation system from my deluxe car rental has terrible data and gets me lost. Oh, wait… that’s never happened to me…

Well for people who do have this problem (like Jesse and Sue), I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that Tele Atlas and Intermap have entered into a co-operative agreement to make vehicle navigation data better. What’s really cool is that the will be making both 2D and 3D data available for these systems. Look for this in California in the near future as a pilot study.

Wonder if they’ll have this in place for the ESRI Users Conference in August? I hope so, because I really look forward to hearing about how well it works from people who actually get to go!
Via Geocarta!

JGrass Version 2.0 Released!

JGrass is a java framework based version of the free GIS package Grass. The idea behind JGrass is to make the Grass system more up to date and portable across different desktop environments. Grass is nice but it’s tied strongly to various versions of Linux (although there IS a Windows and a Mac version available!) JGrass creates a strongly portable development base that could theoretically be ported across OSes with relative ease.

We’ll definitely have to give JGrass a lookie see when we do our rundown of desktop applications in the near future!

Mapquest Has New API

All the buzz in the spatial blogs is the new API by Mapquest. From the site, “The MapQuest OpenAPI is a free service that allows you to use JavaScript to easily integrate routing, geocoding and mapping into your website. With this feature-rich API you can create dynamic routing and mapping applications for personal or community use.”

Routing is a pretty nice addition to the toolset. Maybe if Jesse and Sue push me hard enough, I’ll get around to doing a comparison of Google, Virtual Earth, and now Mapquests’ APIs to see what they can all do!

Nominally from Spatially Adjusted, but the news is in pretty much everyone’s blog!

MASHUP Camp 2 Already Planned!

Apparently the MASHUP camp was so successful that they’re already planning a second camp! There’s over 300 people already signed up to the camp. So if you’re interested, I’d at least put my name on the lists ASAP since space appears to be semi-limited. They don’t see to know exactly where the camp will be held as of yet, however.

MS Street-Side Preview Live

Microsoft has just released thier Street-Side product in preview mode. It’s a pretty nifty implementation of AJAX technology and mapping. You can type in an address and get a split screen view of the map of the area, and the view you’d see if you were in a race car, sports car, or walking (I like the sports car best :). You can then use the arrow keys to “drive” around the city with the view updating as you go! Right now the system only features Seattle and San Francisco. Having driven around San Fran at time or two, I can say it’s fun to come up on a some serious gridlock and just plow right through it!

Desktop Earth

At the risk of getting known for fluff pieces, I thought this was pretty cool.  Desktop Earth allows you to generate a desktop wallpaper image up to 1920×1200 in lossless PNG format of NASA’s Blue Marble Next and Earth’s City Lights data.  There’s an online version to generate a single PNG and a desktop version (Windows only) which constantly creates images and changes your desktop to reflect the current time!