Perspective mapping using Google and Yahoo!

Google3DSliced bread may be nearing its end as the measuring stick for greatness, as new ideas are leaping onto the web for ways to use all of the AJAX and Flash goodness of Google and Yahoo!. Matt over at PlaceMap references a Japanese site that allows you to interact with Google Local in 3 dimensions. You start with a 45 degree perspective view, but as you pull out you move to the more traditional orthogonal view. You can spin the scene as opposed to panning, but I am sure they will add panning functionality as a Ctrl-click or something eventually (of course they may have already, but I can’t read kanji).

Matt offers up another perspective view using Yahoo’s flash maps, which, while it doesn’t offer the same navigation options, is very clear and just plain cool. The PlaceMap Project » 3D YMaps

NPR on web-based directions

“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.  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).  Overall, good information for folks not familiar with the way it works…humorous (or sad) if you are a professional.

Via Glenn’s GISUser Blog

Google Earth for Mac OS

According to OgleEarth it should run on any G3 or higher with at least 600 Mhz.  I will be loading it on my Mini tonight to see how it does.  Also of note in the Mac world is the announcement of the first round of Intel-based machines.  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.  Of course if they are still planning to port it to Linux, I may just switch that way too…

Either way you can download Google Earth here and find out mpre about today’s Mac announcements here.

Google and the establishment of GIS As Media

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.

New version of Yahoo Widgets

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


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.