GIS, CAD, and Cruiseships

When looking for more information on the world’s biggest cruise ship, I found a great blog on GIS CAD Interoperability aptly called “GIS CAD Interoperability” GIS and CAD are some of the tools used to design cruise ships which are essentially floating cities. When you watch a video of the world’s biggest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, being built for Royal Caribbean you can practically see GIS at work. Some sections of the ship even have their own microclimate. You can book your trip at the Royal Carribbean site. Another cool, albeit less luxurious, cruise ship site is POGO-Ocean Cruises which is the International Research Cruise Information tool and website to locate the next ship for your big or small research expidition. It is a little disconcerting to go from the image of the Oasis of the Seas to POGO’s charateristics of research vessels but both of them look like fun.

MapTube – sharing maps online

The guys from CASA at UCL emailed us a few weeks ago about MapTube, another one of their great projects. I’ve wanted to post about it since then, but let some other things push it out of my mind temporarily. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, MapTube is a site where you can go “to share, mix and mash maps with a nod towards professional map makers.” MapTube has a nice interface for viewing maps, and the cool thing is that you can actually overlay different maps and create new composite maps using the Search page. The maps aren’t actually stored on the site, just links, so that map owners can share their maps without having to upload them to the site. While there aren’t a ton of maps on MapTube yet, it’s a great idea and definitely worth checking out.

For more info on MapTube, check out this post at the Digital Urban blog

Cool Mars pictures and animations

Boston.com has posted a collection of images and animations of Mars, both from orbiting reconnaissance imagers and from landers. They include true color mosaics taken from high-altitude and from the surface, a really neat image of sunset on Mars in color, and my favorite, a time-lapse animation of dust devils passing by the NASA Rover Spirit back in 2005.

ABC News Asks: “Will GPS Make Us Dumb?”

It’s an aged old arguement, that the reliance on newer technologies makes us less capable than we were before. I’ve never completely bought that arguement myself. Yes, it is true that new technologies means, in part, that we no longer are reliant upon knowing certain things. But it also means it is no longer necessary to know certain things are are better capable of using our new tools to create new ways of doing things. Sure, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of stories of people following their navigation systems right into a building or a river. The stories we don’t hear are the number of people who get to their destination more efficently or with less stops. I don’t think technology makes us dumb. People who think critically about the world around them are neither more or less likely to think critically with newer tools, and the converse is true as well. The degree of efficency is all that changes.

Of course, that’s just my opinion. As always, feel free to discuss amonst yourselves in the comments 🙂

Using notes in AGExplorer: Video

Bern from the ArcGIS Explorer team is at it again, this time showing off the notes functionality in a video on the ArcGIS Explorer Blog. It is in WMV format and I am too lazy to go find a Windows box so I won’t be watching it until tomorrow, but Bern is always fun to watch whether he is the one on-stage or just in the background driving the computer for Jack D. If you are using ArcGIS Explorer head over and take a look. I am also a little excited about seeing the demos at the ESRI UC in August since I missed the demos given in DC and Palm Springs earlier in the year.

ArcGIS Explorer Blog : New Streaming Video: Creating and Using Notes

ITSRG and social maps

The The Information Technology and Society Research Group at Temple University ITSRG has a map theme for their ITSpace blog for the month of June. As you might imagine based on their name, they are focusing on the social applications of mapping technologies. They have looked at a range of applications so far and even invite folks to submit maps that might be of interest to their readers.

ITSRG will showcase examples of maps created that pertain to community interests and information needs…. We will feature your posts throughout the month of June.

Head over to ITSRG’s ITSpace blog to find out more.

WWDC Video

So Loopt got a little stage time today at Apple’s WWDC 2008 during the keynote, way to go. The little “small world” video during the announcement of countries the iPhone will be distributed is was pretty funny. Hopefully we will see more screen grabs and announcements of location based iPhone apps now that the date has been set for July 11 and the rumored GPS has been confirmed. Now go forth and make wicked cool apps.

Geotwitter, location based tweets

I have been on Twitter since February. I was definitely a hold out because at first I just didn’t get microblogging, then because I didn’t want to get sucked in, but it was inevitable. As a person who wants to have a location tag on certain information the only thing that I think twitter is really missing [other than uptime :-)] is a way to geotag my tweets. The L: tag is passable, but since it is not a supported tag there really isn’t consistency on how folks use it. GeoTwitter is a new site that allows you to tag location in twitter consistently and gives you access to your message archives based on location in a handy map interface. Beyond the GeoTwitter page you can use the tools on the site to generate GeoRSS of your Twitter feed to push to your favorite GeoRSS capable site or app or you can use the map generator that is available from GeoTwitter to embed a map on your own site. The downsides are that GeoTwitter is of course limited by Twitter’s current service interruptions. My biggest issue is that using a third party app like GeoTwitter or the previously mentioned BrightKite takes me out of my preferred twitter client (currently Twhirl on computer and hahlo on iPod Touch) and means I give up some of my precious 140 characters for the map link. I hope that someone will eventually make an Air app that incorporates location since I hop between Mac and Windows so often, but for web and mobile devices (where location is more important) GeoTwitter offers a great solution to the twitter+location quandary.

A VerySpatial Podcast – Special Episode 31

We had a chance to sit down with Dave and Chris of DTS to talk about their recent project with the Wildlife Conservation Society for the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance project. The map page offers deep location oriented information in a Virtual Earth environment. Dave has a post on the project over at this blog that has more detailed information and will have more posts on how the site was put together. We also had a chance to talk a bit about AGILE and how they have implemented AGILE practices throughout their projects.

Click to download mp3 version

Click to download aac version

discussion of Location-Aware technologies

On the same day that we received an email about the updates to Platial and their upcoming iPhone app, the folks over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has a nice article about the importance of mobile devices in location based services and why new products in the cell phone camp and similar portable devices will encourage development in the LBS arena. Head over and check it out at: Location-Aware Computing with iPhone – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)