Rand McNally has announced the release of MapEngine, their new web service that will feature the company’s proprietary mapping database. MapEngine is aimed at businesses, and Rand McNally will offer a hosted service or a MapEngine Server API that will integrate the web service into customized applications. This marks the entry of one of the biggest traditional print map-making companies into the world of web mapping, so it will be interesting to see if it is successful.
Rand McNally MapEngine website
That’s right, a Google Maps mash-up of that classic of strategy games, RISK. Check it out here
I just finished an article on CNET.com by Elinor Mills that poses the all-important question – why are the route directions and locations often inaccurate. She posed this question to a TeleAtlas (a major data provider) executive, Michael Mitsock, and received this response – “It could be that the map is out of synch with reality.” I think I will have to try that the next time someone notes an error on one of my maps.
But seriously, it’s an interesting perspective from the viewpoint of one of the leading players in the market of providing geographic data for online mapping applications.
Check out the article here
For a while now we have been taking advantage of gVisit to get an idea of where folks are visiting from (around the world) though I seem to have lost the link at some point, which I will have to remedy. Now we want you to step into the fray and help us follow through with this weeks podcast topic and map our community of readers and listeners. To this end we availed ourselves of Frappr to set up a map that you can add yourself to at http://www.frappr.com/veryspatial. Please take a moment to add yourself to the map and add a picture if you happen to have one (of yourself, of something you have created, of most anything that is in good taste really).
As Jesse noted in a post yesterday, Yahoo has redesigned its online mapping interface and added functionality to try to compete with Google Maps. It is currently in beta, and is available at http://maps.yahoo.com/beta
An article posted on MSNBC.comdiscusses the changes and upgrades.
Check out these pictures of NVIDIA’s Immersive Dome Experience at SIGGRAPH2005. Now that’s 3D visualization!
Scott Hessels and Gabriel Dunne did some cool visualization experiments using FAA flight pattern data for a project called Celestial Mechanics and one of the final visualizations was on display in the Immersive Dome Experience. You can check out some of their images here:
I have to admit that I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to Yahoo! Maps lately but I don’t know when it went to Flash. Either way it looks nice. I have never been a great proponent for Flash maps, just because I wasn’t happy with the early interfaces, but the newer ones, such as Yahoo’s which gives an interface similar to those of Google Local and MSN VE, are making me rethink the flash interfaces.
Yahoo! Maps, Driving Directions, and Traffic
I stumbled across the Trends blog (by R. Banks) while I doing some searches on 3D visualization, and found a nice roundup titled “3D. What is it Good for?”, which includes a number of technologies that we have also blogged. I explored some other categories, and found that while Trends seems to be a general tech blog, there are a number of other entries that are relevant to geospatial technologies, so I will try to keep up with this one.
Intergraph announced that they will be integrating Skyline Software System’s 3D visualization technology into their GeoMedia product line. It seems that Skyline’s visualization functionality will be embedded directly into the GeoMedia interface.
Skyline Software Systems website
Here’s a short article on online map resources available in China, from the English language online edition of the Shanghai Daily.
The 3D mapping features on Shanghai’s E-city government website were mentioned in the article, but I had a lot of trouble getting the English version page to load, so I will have to try again later I guess.
Still, it is interesting to see how online mapping is being incorporated into daily lives in different parts of the world.