“Ask anyone for directions and you will see the strengths and weaknesses of the human species…” (NPR Morning Edition, Jan 10, 2006) Sometimes I am a little frightened that I will start a story off that way, big intro…small return.Ã‚Â While the story brought out good points for the general public to be mindful of, they didn’t spend much time on the data which all of the direction finding services mentioned rely on third party data and instead focused on the network analysis (never called that though).Ã‚Â Overall, good information for folks not familiar with the way it works…humorous (or sad) if you are a professional.
According to OgleEarth it should run on any G3 or higher with at least 600 Mhz.Ã‚Â I will be loading it on my Mini tonight to see how it does.Ã‚Â Also of note in the Mac world is the announcement of the first round of Intel-based machines.Ã‚Â I am still holding out for a Mac Mini DVR, or for ESRI to port their Unix build to run on Mac’s FreeBSD innards, in which case I might just switch back to Macs completely.Ã‚Â Of course if they are still planning to port it to Linux, I may just switch that way too…
For GeoWorld’s December 2005 issue, Matt Ball has written a short position article on the notion that the release of Google’s mapping-related applications in 2005, and their huge surge in popularity has demonstrated that GIS is, in fact, a form of media, as suggested by geographers Daniel Sui and Michael Goodchild in 2001.
The new version of Yahoo! Widgets (formerly Konfabulator) now includes quite a few Yahoo! centric tools including a Yahoo! Maps widget. After I heard about the new version on SpatiallyAdjusted I checked to make sure that the WebMap Widget we posted a couple of months ago still works, and all is well.
For those of you who weren’t reading back then, the WebMap Widget allows you to view OGC compliant WebMapServices and search by address. We included a couple of default sites but the real utility of the widget is for you to use your own WMS site (ie raid Mapdex).
To learn more and download the WebMap Widget
To download Yahoo! Widget Engine
Howard Butler has provided his thoughts on the whirlwind that has been the MapServer Foundation to date. Give it a read at Unopened Letters Ã¢â‚¬â€ Hobu, Inc.
The alphabet soup in the title is a boon for the open standards movement. The OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC) announced yesterday that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has accepted the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) Implementation Specification. Now available as IS0 19128:2005, the WMS specification is currently a widely supported standard in modern geospatial products for serving and accessing information.
Read the full press release at OGC Press Room.
So, I guess the other web mapping news would be the release of Windows Live Local in beta, which incorporates Virtual Earth. I played around with it a little in both IE and Firefox, and the navigation definitely has issues right now. The main new feature is the Bird’s Eye imagery for selected US cities. The images are actually quite nice. There have been a lot of comments in various blogs and tech news sites, so you’ve probably already seen a few.
Here’s is the latest beta in Google’s stable of mapping apps: Google Transit. It’s the same interface as Google Local, except it plots your trip directions using public transportation, and takes into account the time when you want to leave and arrive. Right now, the only available city on the beta is Portland, Oregon, but they are planning of course on expanding it to other cities.
Although a lot of the attention has been focused on Google Maps, MSN Virtual Earth, and Google Earth, Amazon’s A9.com subsidiary is continuing to map US cities in a different way – from ground level by driving and photographing every block in a GPS-equipped SUV to create a virtual tour of each city. So far, A9.com has 35 cities mapped and I have used the service a couple of times to get a feel for the area I’ll be staying in for a conference.
Check out the A9.com BlockView images, and see what you think