What has MapQuest Been Up To?

Although MapQuest has been largely left out of a lot of the discussion on the recent explosion of web mapping, they are still out there and are retaining a significant market share for now. An article posted today at the San Jose, CA MercuryNews.com has an interesting discussion of how MapQuest was a pioneer in online mapping, but has not really changed its business model yet to compete with the new entries from Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

NASA’s World Wind now has Moon images

A nice article at NYTimes.com (free registration required) highlights NASA’s World Wind viewer and the ten-terabyte satellite imagery archive that is available and now includes imagery of the lunar surface at a resolution of about 66 feet. Be aware, though, that World Wind requires a high-speed, broadband Internet connection and a computer with pretty decent performance.

You can download the free application from NASA’s World Wind website

NASA’s ISS EarthKAM program

I just read an article about a teacher in Maine who has had her students participating in projects based on NASA’s ISS EarthKam project. EartKAM is Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students, an education program that is centered around a camera currently mounted on the International Space Station. EarthKAM has actually been around since 1996 and has also flown on shuttle missions, so there is a pretty nice archive of images on the website. The images are taken by students themselves, who request specific areas via the Web. It’s a pretty cool program, and is a way to get students interested in geography and the applications of remote sensing.

Check out NASA’s EarthKAM website

GAW Day 5: Applied Geography

During our posts this week, we have talked about some of the main branches of geography, including physical and human geography, and the closely related discipline of cartography. For our final discussion, it seemed that Applied Geography would be an ideal topic, since its focus is using geographic research in an area of specialty and applying it to solve real-world problems. Applied Geography, then, can be part of any of the many fields and subfields of geography, from GIS to development geography to hazards research. Continue reading “GAW Day 5: Applied Geography”

“The Codification of Humanity” – from the Trends blog

I was catching up on some of the entries from the Trends blog and I found an entry about a video by Chris Oakley called The Catalogue. Just as Jesse’s post from Wednesday likened the rapidly developing technologies in location-based services to a real-life “Marauder’s Map”, this video uses footage from a shopping mall and department store to visualize how technology like RFID, real-time tracking, and value-added databases could be used to bring up real-time, personal information on a remote display in a security office or other location without a person’s knowledge. The video is speculative, but all the parts of the technology already exist, as Jesse pointed out previously. The Trends blog entry argues that “The Catalogue places the viewer into the position of a remote agency, observing humanity as a series of trackable units whose value is defined by their spending capacity and future needs.”

Internet domain addressing control to stay with ICANN for now

An agreement was reached last night, ahead of the UN World Summit on the Information Society, to keep the Internet domain addressing control under ICANN, which is under the nominal control of the US Dept of Commerce. A new group, the Internet Governance Forum, has been created to look at Internet issues. It has no binding authority, but gives other nations a place to discuss issues that have international significance

I think that while shared governance of the Internet is a goal to look forward to, there is no mechanism available right now to actually implement, so the agreement to me is the best thing for now.

Here are a few links to articles about the agreement that was reached




GAW Day 2: Human Geography

Although definitions vary, most agree that human geography focuses on the interactions between humans and their environment, and the spatial relationships that define and are defined by those interactions. Human geography has many sub-disciplines, from cultural geography to urban geography to historical geography and many others (Wikipedia lists 18 fields of Human Geography, and that’s not even all of them).
Continue reading “GAW Day 2: Human Geography”


programmableweb is a pretty good website all about Web 2.0 and mashups, which of course are a big part of the success of the web mapping phenomenon of Google Maps, Virtual Earth and Yahoo Maps. The associated blog has a lot of good information, so I will be checking that out. There are also other resources including directories of mashups and a reference page for other resources on mashups and Web 2.0.