This is an interesting concept to keep an eye on. MapMe blends Skype and maps for a spatial address book and what they call a geographical caller ID.
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
So if you want to get the scoop on recent UFO sightings, check out ufomaps.comwhich offers summaries of UFO sightings reported to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC). Turns out there was a UFO sighting right here in Morgantown on Nov. 4th, and I missed it! The sightings are mapped in both Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth, and cover the continental US.
A recent editorial by Joe Francica at Directions Magazine discusses the impact of the “Google Phenomenon” on the geospatial software industry, and offers some interesting perspectives on how Google Maps and its competitors are already changing the business landscape and how traditional GIS and geospatial vendors must find a way to win the “struggle for relevance.”