It has been a while since I did a general GIS search over on YouTube. This time around I found an interesting piece of marketing for a product named Digital Egypt that will apparently be coming out in the future. It seems to be primarily focused toward the real estate sector, but it grabbed my attention as I was scrolling through with its interface. While not a standout interface, it is clean and looks much better than some of geo-based realtor tools I have seen out there.
Ever since we got the first preview of ArcGIS.com and ArcGIS Explorer Online back at the Dev Summit, we’ve been waiting for the chance to try it out ourselves, Well, ESRI’s Bern Szukalski tweeted earlier today that the ArcGIS.com public beta is now live, so you can head over to ArcGIS.com and start making and sharing maps and checking out its other features. In this week’s podcast, Episode 253, which will be going live tomorrow morning, you’ll be able to listen to Bern tell us a little bit more about ArcGIS.com and how it fits into the overall ESRI platform.
In case you haven’t listened to this week’s episode, you are missing out on our conversation with a couple of the guys (David and Mark) of IndieMapper. Part of that conversation included them rolling out a coupon code for our listeners and readers. If you use the code “veryspatial” you will get 50% off the price of the first month (I assume after the 30 day free trial). Watch the video to learn a little more.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently highlighted an interactive map of state spending on higher education institutions and how federal stimulus monies are being used in each state. The focus is on three themes: Percent of higher ed budget from stimulus monies (FY 2009-10), change in general fund spending (FY 2008-2010), and budget gaps as a percent of the general fund budget (FY 2010). It is interesting to see which states are in the best position to support state schools and which ones will have significant issues when federal stimulus monies begin to disappear in 2011. The image below is the % budget from stimulus map, click through to play around with the interactive map.
Apparently lots of people have been asking Google for biking directions and now they get their wish! The directions get added right along with the driving and walking directions we’ve all come to know and love. They’ve even added the ability to avoid hills (good luck with that in West Virginia)! Like the walking and driving directions, the biking directions report total miles and estimated time. I’m not a biker, although I’ve considered trying to bike part-way to work this summer. It’s nice to know how many miles it will take and how long I should budget in the morning to do so. It also seems to do a pretty good job of planning the route to avoid major roads with no real bike support. I did my house to work and a large section of it is basically a county highway with little to no shoulder. It routed me through a residential area for part of it so I avoid the traffic.
While editing the podcast today I realized I did a horrible job of describing Microsoft’s new features. In my defense, I was talking about it as I received an error in 2 different browsers as I tried to get to Bing Maps and then trying to decide whether or not to bail on that news item. The upshot, I should have bailed, but here is a bit of what I probably would have said
I am happy with the updates that have made their way into both Bing Maps and Google Maps over the last few days, but the thing I am truly excited about is Microsoft’s integration of Photosynthish 3D surfaces that show up when a Streetside scene moves. Pick a place like the corner of Wabash and Monroe in Chicago where there is a portion of the El and an urban canyon effect. As you move along east to west along Monroe under the El and toward State you see the impact of texturing the images to the 3D models. It takes what is a great tool for getting to know an area from informational to immersive. This will not hold true in rural areas, but the difference it makes in downtown Charlotte and Chicago (the only two areas I have looked at in Streetside) is significant. It is good to see some of the news we talked about back in 2007 making such an impact today.
The difference between the Google and Bing maps continues to grow. The underlying features aren’t radically different, but the difference in feel between the two is notable. Bing continues to push toward a professional set of tools from my perspective, not something that you use to place a map on you personal webpage, but a set of tools to encourage companies to embed and advertise through Microsoft’s tools.
I can’t pass up a chance to post a cool interactive 3D visualization, like the NY Times map of the Vancouver Olympic venues. They’re using Intermap’s elevation data, and imagery by Digital Globe, Province of British Columbia and TerraMetrics via Google Earth. The 3D visualization starts with an overview of the Olympic venues, including Vancouver and the surrounding area, and then lets you zoom in for a look at specific venues and features embedded photos from each location. Winter Olympic competitions start on February 13th, and it would be nice if they could add to the photo collections with shots from the actual events and medal ceremonies.
We mentioned OpenGeo Suite a while back on the podcast when they offered up an installer that loaded GeoServer, OpenLayers and GeoServer Data Importer.
Today, taking a step forward, they announced version 1.0 of OpenGeo Suite. It adds GeoExplorer, Styler, Recipe Book and Dashboard applications to the installer. If you are looking for an enterprise solution that takes advantage of open source software but still gives you support to fall back on then you may want to give it a look…maybe even take a look at the 90 day trial version.
On my twitter feed this morning, @geoparadigm tweeted this great link on tree hugger about Twenty-Two Maps That Will Change How You See The World. The maps are pretty impressive, although I’m not sure it will change how many of us in the geospatial community sees the world. Being tree hugger and all, most of them are environmental in nature. However the thing that most interested me was that the vast majority of the entries are actually interactive maps, not static maps. If you ask me, the fact that these world view changing maps are primarily interactive shows a whole new world in and of itself. Perhaps the greatest change is the need to move from the static to the dynamic in our maps themselves.
That right – if you’re in the UK and you’re a GIS developer utilizing ESRI products, ESRI UK is sponsoring the http://www.esriuk.com/micro_sites/mashup_challenge/. All you have to do is build a GIS-based mashup utilizing Bing Maps and ESRI’s web mapping technology, and you could win an Xbox and a free seat at an ESRI UK web API training course.
The deadline to submit your entry is Friday September 18th, 5pm(UK time). The winner will be announced at the AGI2009 Conference, which will be held on September 23rd and 24th in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
So get coding, and good luck!