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!
The crew over on the Google Earth Enterprise have a new version to announce – 3.2. The fellows over at Google have had a pretty busy week, what with the big OS announcement, not to mention the offical launch of much of their product line, so it’d be easy to miss this in the diluge of information. However, this new version adds a lot of functionality to their product and it’s well worth checking out the blog for more information. Look for a good interview with Dylan, the project lead on GEE, in a near future episode!
Google labs has launched a neat new feature called City Tours. The idea is similar to other sites (like Microsoft’s BING!) in that you can enter in a destination and the site will give you a bunch of things to do there. What’s nice is you get it all laid out on Google Maps, with travel times by foot and the estimated visit time. The site tries to give you a couple of days worth of stuff, but it only has so much material in its databases. That’s why the feature includes some crowd sourcing so the public can add more attractions. I punched in San Diego for our upcoming UC trip and found a couple of places that might be worth checking out!
As many long-time listeners will know, I exceptionally intersted in broadband adoption world-wide. The US has long been behind the ball on broadband adoption and this latest report does nothing to reverse that trend. The US is ranked 20th, behind even places like Singapore, Denmark, and even Estonia, all places I’m sure most Americans wouldn’t peg as being so technologically advanced relative to the US. What is exceptionally intersting about this study is that they claim past reports have been using the wrong metric; that in fact the household is the better study unit rather than per capita.
I saw this cool interactive flash map from NPR yesterday, and it brought back memories of the time our lab spent working on the mapping portion of planning for one of those transmission lines that actually got built.
In addition to the standard transmission lines, there are also maps related to wind and solar power and proposed transmission line that would carry electricity from those sources, and interactive graphics for each US state and what energy sources its electricity comes from. Some of the figures might surprise you, although our continued reliance on coal in many states to fuel electricity generation comes out pretty strongly.
Mike from MapCruzin sent us this comment based on our December 2007 post on the MapEcos project, in order to let us know about a project he’s working on called ToxicRisk. Our comment system apparently didn’t want to play nice, so I thought I’d post Mike’s comment in full below, so that you can read more about the ToxicRisk mapping project and the US Toxic Release Inventory:
“Two weeks ago we launched ToxicRisk. It is based on Google Maps, as is
MapEcos, but uses the most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) 2007 data
released March 19, 2009 by EPA rather than older 2005 data. We wanted to
make the maps as easy to use and fast as possible so my son Aran did all of
the program in house. He has released some of this programming to the
public domain and you can access it at CPAN.
Continue reading “ToxicRisk – mapping Toxic Release Inventory data”