At about 38:00 minutes into episode 83 of This Week in Tech (TWIT) there is a little discussion by non-geospatial folks about the utility of location based services, specifically the Nuvi 680 and Garmin.
David Pogue, NY Times tech funny man, talks about location based tracking of kids using cellphones. He talks about the phones, the pricing and the mapping backends that are used by the different services. Head over to Mr Pogue’s site to watch the video.
Yeah, I am taking advantage of being out of Morgantown, and my Dad’s cable modem, to catch up with everything (uploading VSTV05 and AVSP75, reading RSS feeds). First, Samsung has announced their SPH-B5800 model that will include TPEG support for phone based traffic information, and everything you would expect from a phone, including a built in Tamagotchi like digital pet. CrunchGear also points out that Tomtom has new mapmaps available for registered customers.
Engadget passes along an article about using cellphone locations and movement to determine traffic patterns in metropolitan areas. Sam from OGC was talking about these types of services in his presentation on campus, though I don’t think we captured it in the podcast interview. In the end, it is just a variation of a sensor web but still pretty cool.
On the Oct 19 episode of Digital Life TV (www.dl.tv), Patrick Norton does a review of a dashmount Garmin GPS and the new Microsoft Streets and Trips and everyone uses many of the correct terms and phrases The overall take on the Garmin model they reviewed was pretty good, and at a $250 (US) price tag it seems promising. Head over to dl.tv to view the episode online or to download the video podcast. For the MS Streets and Trips they mention the Live Search integration. The review is around 35:00 minutes.
Engadget has a post on some research that suggests that there will be an almost 90 percent loss of GPS signals for a number of hours at the height of the next solar flare cycle in 2011-2012. While surveyors may be looking forward to a long lunch or afternoon off, you may want to avoid traveling by sea or plane that day just in case :-).
While I await the royalties from the Chumby LBS based on Loki’s WiFi location capabilities I wanted to point out, belated as it may be, that there is a new version of Loki available that has some interesting new features, my favorite of which may be the automatic time zone changer for when you travel. I don’t expect to leave EST until next spring (probably about the same time the first Chumbies ship). Anyway, check out the new version of Loki and be sure to add Platial as a channel…well, just cause.
The folks over at Engadget had a post on BMW’s announcement that they will include real time traffic information on select 2007 models. Apparently they will be using Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network which is currently available in 44 major cities. GPS, real time traffic…yup, I still can’t afford a BMW.
At least that’s what researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are claiming. Their idea is to use some combination of GPS or RFID to track then cars enter into a congestion area. If vehicles enter during peak times, they would have to pay more in tolls than if they go through off-peak times. So drive into work at 8:00am? Pay $.25 per mile. Drive into work at 2:00am? It’s only $.10 per mile.
It’s an interesting idea, but I personally worry about a couple of things. Ultimately, what happens to all the data people collect about where I’m going when? What would keep outside parties from having access to that data? Finally, I’m not sure driving times are really responsive to market forces. I can’t easily choose an entry time more economical to my budget because, well, my employer says I have to be into work by 9:00am or get fired. If you triple the toll during that natural travel time, I’ll just have to pay triple. Unless my employer allows for complete hours flexibility, I’m not sure this is going to have much of a real impact (other than better roads from increased toll incomes).
Engadget points to an article on the elusive topic of the Chinese GPS-like system, which has been referred to as Compass. I haven’t heard much about Compass so this article (linked below) provided some interesting information.