Wikisky.org is a fascinating site that displays thousands and thousands of astronomical data in a Google Map-esque interface. The data is based upon the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which seeks to catalog around a million galaxies and quasars. The Wikisky application is almost overwhelming with data and information. It’s worth a bit of time to look around. Like most map interfaces, zooming in will get you some pretty decently detailed images that are very beautiful. Check it out.
I ran across a press release today for TDC Group’s Freeance Mobile, a suite of web mapping and database applications that promises to bring GIS to your BlackBerry.
Freeance Mobile consists of 3 BlackBerry applications: MapViewer, GPS Collector, and Search, that combine with database capabilities to allow users to perform GIS tasks in the field. However, it carries a heft price tag of nearly $15,000 US. If you’re a large organization that already has BlackBerry’s deployed to your staff, that might not seem like a lot, but is definitely out of reach of many people.
That led me to wonder if any other applications were out their for mobile mapping or GIS on the BlackBerry, and I did find SkyLab Mobilesystems’ Spot for BlackBerry, which has basic mapping and GPS capabilities for only $49 US, but not any kind of database application support.
I am not a BlackBerry user, so I am curious if anyone out there knows of other BlackBerry web mapping applications out there.
The EPA is making a bold and rather inspiring move in making an effort to post their data online for use in Mashups and online Mapping applications. As of Wednesday, they have posted a few hundred of the Superfund sites they have maintained for the last 25 years or so. The article indicates they plan on publishing additional data fairly soon. This is a great move by the EPA that I hope is closely mimicked by other Federal and International agencies.
Here’s a pretty cool mashup for those gamers out there. For those unaware of the joys of running around a massive virtual world and smacking it’s denizens with a sharp pointy thing, Oblivion is a truly jaw dropping virtual (non-online) fantasy gaming world of massive proportions. You can easily loose days in that world, if you’re of the type to have such diversions. This Google Mashup certainly helps for tracking quests and the like.
Now if I could just access this thing from the map built into the game….
The Telegraph is reporting a story that they have evidence British troops are being attacked in the Middle East based upon aerial imagery found in Google Earth/Maps. One can logically assume this is being done against US troops as well. It’s no secret to anyone with any sort of sense of history that technologies can be used for both beneficial and nefarious purposes. Even though the consequences are great, I hope this doesn’t lead to wider scale banning or retardation of these technologies.
I am sure that I am finding this late, but it is always good for sites to get a second ripple through the blogs. I just stumbled across groovr (I am beginning to miss ‘e’s) which is a social networking site that is SMS based. Once you register you send a text message to groovr which, depending on what you send, allows to tell your friends where you are, create new places in the groovr database, make comments on where you are. This is not an location based project, instead it relies on groovr’s database of locations (you can search those on the website) and there are definitely more in the US than elsewhere, this is only limited by the number of people using the service. This is a great idea if you are trying to find someone on a Saturday night or, when I am more likely to use it, to catch up with friends at a conference when everyone has different schedules. Do keep in mind that your cell service provider charges for text messages
This handy, dandy little application will allow you to find other Wii owners in your area. It’s a pretty nifty Google mashup that tracks where Wii’s are around the world. You can click on the “Request” button once you’ve found someone in your area. I’m not sure exactly what happens after that, as you have to be registered from that point forward (and I don’t own a Wii).
So, in the event you’ve just been majorly powned in Call of Duty 3 or online bowling, you can now find the the town where “L3371-3873821″ lives and Jay and Silent Bob’em! (assuming, of course, you haven’t gone Jay and Silent Bob on yourself playing the Wii)
Here’s a nifty idea from a startup in Chicago. Their software/interface allows you to search for a parking spot before you get there. They also have plans to act as a clearinghouse for parking spaces for those looking to rent/lease/buy/sell a more permanent place.
Of course, I have no idea what happens if the space you’ve found is taken by some random person who chose to spend their time looking for an actual available space in real time instead…. but presumably that’s outside the purview of the ParkWhiz people.
One of the webcomics that I was most behind on was ScaryGo Round and back in March the comic included the frame below. Head over the to site to get the context (includes a minotaur).
One of our faithful listeners, Ed, emailed us about Outside.In, a project that is seeking to bring together the myriad of local information that can be available on the Web, using location as a unifying theme: “The problem is: there’s no single place that unites all those different voices, that grounds them all in specific locations. With help from you — suggesting and tagging neighborhood data, and suggesting ways that we can better organize the web geographically — we think outside.in can help unify the divided space of hyperlocal content.”
Outside.In is currently U.S. only, but there are 56 cities and over 3000 neighborhoods represented. The key difference, I think, between Outside.In and a project like Platial is that Outside.In is focusing on offering a central location-based platform for gathering, organizing and presenting information like local news, events, and issues, while Platial focuses on users identifying and sharing places.
Outside.In has some real heavyweights behind it, including founder Steven Johnson, who is the author of The Ghost Map, and John Seely Brown, a former Chief Scientist for Xerox and director of PARC. They’ve got a good idea and I especially like the local neighborhood blog roll for some of the cities. Outside.In has a lot of potential and they’ve already made a good start, so it will be interesting to see how they do in the long term in the increasingly crowded social networking space. The really cool thing would be to take Outside.In mobile, and provide the local information to people who are actually visiting or moving about in the neighborhood.