Katharine over at ChannelFlip games does a great job of giving a run down of Location-based Gaming for the general gaming public. She talks about the history of LBG’s (apologies if I just made that up) and location technologies, as well as a few examples of LBG’s. I have to say this was a great treat from one of the non-Geo podcasts I follow.
In honor of the upcoming start-up of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on Wednesday (whether or not you believe it will be the end of the world), I had to post the global YouTube hit – the Large Hadron Collider Rap. Science never sounded so hip!
After you watch the rap you can take a look at a video of what some think is the worst case scenario for when the LHC starts up.
In this week’s podcast we mention Mozilla Labs Ubiquity project and we basically say we aren’t sure what to make of it…that has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t get a chance to look at it before we recorded. If I had, I would have been raving about it! Ubiquity isn’t actually a location technology, the demo in the intro just takes advantage of the web mapping APIs as examples.
In fact Ubiquity is just a way to access APIs directly using typed commands. If you are familiar with Quicksilver on the Mac (which I can’t live without even though I don’t use it to its full extent) then you have a pretty good idea of how to use Ubiquity. In the simplest description, you can call up the Ubiquity interface with a hot key, then type in what you want to do (formatted in a way that can recognized by Ubiquity of course). The truth is that there is no way to truly describe it sufficiently, you have to try it to truly understand it. To get a better sense of what is possible with Ubiquity you really need to at least watch the video. This is a really exciting project which moves us ever closer to a human language interface to computers.
We’ve had the chance in a previous podcast interview to talk to Ian White of Urban Mapping about some of their digital products, but I really like the company’s new folding city maps that use an overlay technique to combine street, neighborhood and subway routes layers that are visible depending on what angle you look at it from. Urban Mapping actually tried to market these maps under a previous business model, but had no luck, and turned to digital data products. I love the hologram-y look (or lenticular printing if you want to get more technical), and would definitely buy one for a city I was visiting (right now they only have Chicago and part of NYC). Hopefully they’ll get more interest this time around and will be able to add more cities.
Check out the video from TechCrunch showing one of the maps in action:
With all the attention focusing on virtual worlds and digital modeling, it’s still cool to see large-scale physical models. One of the most awesome ones I’ve heard about has got to be Shanghai 2020, which is a complete scale model of what Shanghai will look like in 2020 if all planned development projects are completed. The model is 1000 square feet and is housed in the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, so if you find yourself visiting Shanghai, this should be at the top of your must-see list.
Now that my ESRI presentation is over, and the demo went really well, with lots of great feedback, my next job is to work on bumping up the design quality. While looking at a few game trailers for inspiration, I ran across this video of a game from Sony called The Last Guy. It’s basically a 2D shooter as far as gameplay, but the cool thing is that it uses aerial imagery as the game screens, so you are moving through city streets just like you are panning views in Google Maps, all the while killing monsters and saving the world. There are a bunch of mashup-type games out there that use web mapping platforms, but this is the first one I’ve seen from one of the mainstream game industry players.
If you are outside of the US, try the YouTube version
The Chemical Brothers are creating a cool global video project based on the theme “Midnight Madness”, using Google Earth and their fans worldwide to promote the release of their new album “Brotherhood”. Fans simply make a short video or a photo that relates to their favorite Chemical Brothers’ song and the theme, then head over to the group’s website and upload the video or photo and tag its location. You can submit your work up until Monday August 25th at 1pm GMT. Selected videos will be featured on Google Earth starting September 1st and on the Chemical Brothers’ YouTube channel, and will be used to create a music video.
So, if you’re a Chemical Brothers’ fan, get crackin’ and get those videos and photos submitted!
To brighten your Monday, here’s a great comic from xkcd on the perils of trusting Google Maps implicitly……
Remember back in april we reported about Sensisphere’s new touchable display that’s in the form of a hemisphere? Well apparently the good people at Microsoft do (they got the idea from reading our blog, I’m sure of it ;)! Gizmodo is reporting that Microsoft is going to unveil a new spherical multi-touch Surface product next week at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2008. It should be immediately recognizable to pretty much anyone reading this blog how ultra cool one of these will be. Imagine one of these in every classroom!
Hopefully they’ll bring some of this stuff to the ESRI UC this year so we can check it out. You can bet I’ll be asking around the Microsoft booth this year to see what they can tell us about this product.
While I was waiting for my XNA project to rebuild, I was surfing around the Web and found a great little gift idea over at Uncommon Goods. For those of you who still have a soft spot in your hearts for the analog world we’ve left behind, this nifty map postcard comes complete with a needle and red thread so that you can sew your way from destination to destination. Each card is $5, and you currently have a choice of the USA, Europe, or the World.