BT Trackit

British Telecomm wants to make sure your car doesn’t drive away without you…if you live in the UK. To this end they offer the BT Trackit system which, once installed, checks for a signal from an emitter you carry on you. If you and your signal are present, off you go. If your signal is absent then the location of your car is sent to the authorities and you are contacted with the lovely news that your car has wandered off without you.

BT Trackit

Via Engadget

Community Mapping Project in San Jose, Ca

A project will be getting underway this winter to map 19 poor and underserved communities in San Jose. This is the continuation of a community mapping project begun in 2003. Residents themselves, working with other groups, will be using GPS, handhelds, and digital cameras to survey their neighborhoods.

The hope is that results from these survey will continue to help city officials understand the conditions and needs in these communities.

You can read the full article at the Christian Science Monitor website

Via Geoplace.com

ViewRanger : 3D landscapes on your mobile phone

Once again, something cool for people in the UK. ViewRanger 1.0 is a mapping application for mobile phones that gives you a 3D landscape display as an interface for accessing local information, using downloadable Ordnance Survey maps. Right now, it only works with certain phones, but if I lived in Britain, I would definitely be checking this out.

Even if you don’t live there, take a look at the ViewRanger website here

via Press Release at SpatialNews.com

Pioneer’s Raku-Navi car navigation and A/V systems with 30GB HDD – Engadget

It is true that Japan gets all of the great toys first, but sometimes I think it would be better not to know about them. Engadget provides a brief description of Pioneer’s Raku-Navi which combines an in car gps with a touch panel, a 30GB hard drive for holding your tunes, and can have a tv tuner and other add ons attached. This takes the new genre of multimedia GPS units to an extreme!

Pioneer’s Raku-Navi car navigation and A/V systems with 30GB HDD – Engadget – www.engadget.com

Pay-As-You-Go GPS

A British company is rolling out (no pun intended) a Pay-as-you-go GPS/Navigation system for cell phones. The vision is for it to be used by motorists in an ad hoc fashion to avoid traffic. What I think is interesting is all the computation is done back at the server end with the result pushed to the phone. They call it “off-board” navigation. I wonder if it could compete well with on all the time products like Onstar?

Via Piston Heads

Real-time Ship Tracking

IBM and Maersk (Danish shipping company) announced they are teaming up on a project to provide real-time wireless tracking for cargo ships, via a device attached to individual cargo containers. They’re actually going to start testing this fall.

Read the article here

(via abcnews.com)

Paying your highway tolls via satellite?

I just saw this article on Geocommunity. Apparently , a private company called Mapflow is teaming up with the Dublin Transportation Office (Ireland) to do a feasibility study on the use of satellite technology to track cars in real-time, and then charge drivers for the distance they travelled on the toll road. The study is also being funded by the European Space Agency. Yeah……. I think I will leave it at that, and let you read the article

http://spatialnews.geocomm.com/dailynews/2005/sep/19/news2.html