As many of you probably already know, a number of projects have been underway to digitize books and make them available online. Google’s effort has probably generated the most recent publicity, due to copyright issues. Google has now released the beta version of Google Print, with only works in the public domain available in their entirety. However, many new works are listed in the search results, with cover images, table of contents, and even short excerpts available. The scans are so-so in quality, but no worse than your home scanner or a standard photocopier.
Microsoft is countering with a deal with the British Library to digitize about 25 million pages of content, with an initial scanning of 10,000 books.
Amazon.com will be launching their “Amazon Pages” program next year, which will let people buy individual pages as well as entire books.
It will be interesting to see how book publishers react. According to an article at marketingvox.com, Random House is already looking to negotiate deals to offer its book content for paid online viewing.
Researchers at MIT are utilizing the university’s newly upgraded wireless network to track wireless use on campus. They have developed electronic maps that track use across the campus, not only where people are logging in, but also what types of devices they are using. Using 3D mapping functionality, they can also distinguish connectivity in multistoried buildings.
Some of the maps generated by the research are being displayed in the school’s Museum. While their primary stated goal is understand use patterns to improve services, some of the other implications of the system are a little scary.
MIT iSPOTS website
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:
After our podcast episode on cartography, John Krygier emailed us, and mentioned that CartoTalk might be a good resource for people interested in cartography and map design. It is a forum with over 250 members and topics include news, general discussions, a map gallery, and advice and tutorials.
Registrations is free, so if you’re interested in cartography, check it out.
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
As mentioned over at the Map Room, the movie pages for the upcoming The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe feature a map based on the great land of Narnia. Very similar to the maps of Middle Earth and other fictional worlds. A nice flash interface guides you to some of the locations of interest.
Moviefone: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ Movie Map
Official Movie Site
Via The Map Room
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
But don’t let the title fool you. Those of us using geospatial technologies in conjunction with enterprise databases use SQL more often than we would probably like and could use someone to point out solutions before we trip over similar issues.
Check it out at SQL for Geographers