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.
There was a press release back in late February that I just came across from the folks at Leica Geosystems which caught my attention, partially due to the product, partially for the picture. The product is their new Zeno handheld GPS/GLONASS device. It is a Windows CE device, as has become the norm, and they have rolled out their new Zeno Office that includes an OEM version of ArcPad 8 for the device and a desktop client extension for ArcGIS to get your data in and out of the device.
The hardware has most of the features you expect now-a-days: 2 MP camera, 640×480 3.5 inch screen, and SD and CF card slots for expansion. The Zeno 10 includes a numeric pad while the Zeno 15 adds a QWERTY keypad, which brings us to the picture of a GPS unit that immediately made me think ‘green fish’. My mental image aside, the new Zeno line looks like a great option for those in the market for a professional grade handheld GPS unit. If you get a chance to play with one, let us know what you think.
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.
Since Elvin and various ArcPad team members (I’m looking at you Marika) have spent our last couple of anniversaries hanging out at our live show, we wanted to take the opportunity to recognize their recent blog post. Ten years is a big milestone and I have to admit that I have been using ArcPad through its various incarnations for most of those years. Right now on my desk on campus sits a Trimble Nomad with ArcPad 8 installed and waiting for me to take my GIS class out around campus to capture POI’s for their class project.
In light of this anniversary, I just wanted to say keep the great software coming (including today’s release of ArcPad 8.0 SP3) and we better see you at our 5th anniversary show this summer at the UC. Here is a few of our ArcPad run-ins
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.
Before there was Avatar and even before Fisher-Price Viewmaster, there was stereoscopy or stereo photographs that presented scenes in life-like three dimensions similar to a Viewmaster. A recent book on one set of Stereoscopic photos of 1850′s village life titled “A Village Lost and Found”. It is a picture book that evokes the Victorian times of a specific village through a series of 3-D images meticously gathered over a lifetime of research. But one of the most fascinating aspects of the work is its relevance to geospatial and social networking technologies today. The authors, Brian May and spent years searching to determine if the village was a composite of multiple villages or a specific location, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they asked for help through the Interent community and someone responded with a, “Well, I live there” that it was solved. How many other geographical mysteries big and small have been solved or are waiting to be solved by the world’s increased connectivity?
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.
You remember that not too long ago Magellan split itself up between Magellan and Magellan Professional selling off its consumer name and division to GPS powerhouse MiTAC (makers of the Mio GPS line and others). With the recent explosion of in-car nav and LBS it may have seemed like a questionable move, but Magellan’s pro products have always stood out to me.
Today Magellan Professional moves forward again with a rebranding and name change to Ashtech. The rebranding press release comes with the promise of new products and initiatives in 2010. On the heals of the December release of updates to the well reviewed (and personally liked) Mobile Mapper device, it is interesting to see what Ashtech will do with their new branding. In a professional market that may have pro-sumer potential there is a lot of room to grow.