If you haven’t seen the demo of Microsoft Research’s Street Slide, it’s a pretty cool addition to Bing Streetside that is not available yet, but will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2010. While Google Streetview and Bing Streetside allow you to see photo representations of an area as you navigate through it, you’re basically limited to the perspective from your position on the centerline of the roadway as you look left or right. What Street Silde allows you to do is zoom out and take a side scrolling type of look at the whole side of the street moving side to side and panning over the streetscape. It looks like you can also get a panoramic view as well. If you want to see Street Slide in action, check out this video:
Apparently Hexagon has been happy with their geospatial acquisitions over the last few years since the have announced their acquisition of Intergraph. You may recall that it hasn’t been too long since Intergraph went private (2006). Since then there has been a quiet but consistent movement in the company’s divisions and, of course, Intergraph has a strong set of patents.
On the other side Hexagon has been acquiring geospatial hardware and software companies for a few years including Leica Geosystems, ERDAS, GeoMax…basically anything you need to survey, map, or capture rasters. I am hopeful for what this acquisition means for Intergraph. About a decade ago I was a fan of GeoMedia Professional and many of their other GIS and CAD software offerings, but they didn’t really keep up with their competitors in terms of software evolution. With any luck, under the new structure the companies can invigorate the Intergraph brand.
ERDAS has entered the cloud service race with the announcement of Apollo on the Cloud. It is a hosted solution that provides access to Apollo Professional on SkyGone’s servers. We have talked to Mladen Stojic about Apollo on the podcast in the past which is one of ERDAS’s newer products that provides that layer of abstraction that many enterprises are looking for between the geotechnologies and the casual user…aka the guy at the desk. With a browser-based viewer, integration with Titan, and standards compatible there are plenty of ways for the user to connect to the service. On the backend you get all of the power that Apollo offers in serving data, running geoprocessing services, and creating user experiences. If you are looking for a way to centralize the processing of your remote sensing data and do not want to host a solution locally or don’t have the dedicated IT staff to do so, this is worth a look.
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.
With the probable release date of ArcGIS 10 announced (June 21 to Partners, June 28 to everyone on maintenance and, I assume, new purchases) you may be wondering if your computer has what it takes to handle the latest and greatest. Well, ESRI (or should it be esri now…I should check on that) has provided us with a list of supported operating systems and hardware recommendations to help us plan our end of year budget spend downs and first of the budget year hardware refreshes. The upshot is if you have a computer running Windows XP or above with the latest service pack, and that was built in the last 10 years, you should be golden. Minimum CPU is a 2.2 Ghz and minimum memory is 2 GB.
As with previous versions you can run ArcGIS 10 on a multicore/multiprocessor machine but most of the application and extensions are not written to be multithreaded. This does not mean that your use or ArcGIS will not take advantage of multiple cores since each geoprocess service runs as a new thread, if you have multiple ArcMap windows open each will be a separate thread, if you are running ArcMap and ArcScene you will have two threads…in other words you should have at least a fast dual-core machine especially if you have ArcMap open, a browser (with 73 tabs open), a twitter app, music player, and email. With quadcore i7 processors you get multiple cores that also offers a boost mode which can take unused cycles from other cores to boost speed for a thread that needs extra oomph. If you are looking at an everyday GIS use machine I would definitely look at an i7 if you are buying Intel.
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.
Recently we featured the Grassroots Mapping project, a community participatory mapping initiative from the MIT Media Lab, on the podcast, and now the Grassroots team has headed down to Louisiana to try to utilize their balloon-based camera system to acquire imagery and map the Gulf oil spill along the Louisiana coast. Their goals are not to replace official imagery and mapping of the disaster, but rather to supplement the information by allowing citizens to provide their own documentation of the event using low-cost balloons to get aerial images for mapping.
If any of you are in the area, and would like to help out with the efforts, you can find more information at the Grassroots Mapping wiki for the Gulf Oil Spill project. There is also an article posted on CNN.com.
While I continue my research in the area of immersive virtual worlds and serious gaming, I have also been doing a lot of work recently in the area of digital cities, and trying to implement the idea of a “smart” 3D city or town landscape that can be used as a visualization and collaboration tool for municipal management and planning. Once again, an IBM project has grabbed my attention by combining serious gaming and digital cities into one cool project: CityOne. Today I saw a press release announcing the CityOne project, a SimCity-like game using real world data that will be designed to bring together players of the game to help work through and solve real problems facing cities around the world. IBM will be introducing CityOne at Agility@Work Zone at Impact2010 in Las Vegas this week (this is the IBM software conference for business and IT, not to be confused with another conference called IMPACT 2010, which some blogs and sites have linked to by mistake)
Check out the CityOne preview: