Month: July 2008


Location sharing apps for your iToy

So as has been suggested on quite a few sites, the number of location apps on the iTunes app store continues to increase. Today I am focusing on location sharing apps. These are apps that allow you to acquire your location (via GPS, wifi, or cell location) and email your location. The app the I am currently using is I Am Here by Aboretum Software which is a free app that does not provide a map interface but offers a text display of your current lat/long in a nice clean interface and then email your location in a Google Maps URL. Two other recent additions with similar functionality are the $.99 Breadcrumbs and SpotMe! which provide the same functionality, but add viewing your current location on a map. There is another app named I Am Here with similar functionality but it isn’t rated very highly so I skipped it. I will keep an eye on the new offerings in the app store for something with a bit more umpphh though I recommend checking out Nearby, Platial’s location app while we wait for the mobile GIS iApp that is sure to come along some day.

New Poll, Old Poll

We have a great new poll question suggested by Nadir from the Boston area. The question is

Of the 5 elements of GIS (People, Data, Hardware, Software, and Processes) which do you think is the most important in successfully delivering GIS.

If you would like to elaborate on your response, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. The old poll was the question of which OS do you prefer. The response started out pretty even, but in the end Windows XP had about 1/2 of the votes with MacOS X and Linux tied for second. Vista, unsurprisingly, came in as an “also ran” or a blip on the radar.

Get over to the front page of VerySpatial to share your thoughts on the new poll.

State of the Map ’08 presentations

A recent post on the Mapperz blog has links to several of the presentations on SlideShare that were given at this years State of the Map held in Limerick, Ireland. It is a pretty interesting group of talks and, as usual, we wish we could have gone to see them in person but it is great to have access to the content for those of us who couldn’t make it. You may want to keep an eye on the State of the Map or OSM sites for more information on the presentations and other content that will surely be rolling out of the conference.

Follow our ESRI UC coverage

The VerySpatial Road Crew (aka Sue, Frank, Barb, and Jesse) will be at the ESRI Education User Conference and International User Conference next week (Aug 2-8) and we will be providing commentary throughout the week via the blog, daily podcasts, and lots of tweets. The podcasts will be on the Roadshow/Conference feed, the blog entries will be tagged in the ESRIUC category, and Sue, Frank, and I will be twittering at,, and respectively.

Of course if you have a few minutes to spare on Tuesday afternoon, August 5, around 5:30 then we would like to invite you to our AVSP Live show (aka Episode 160). We will be in Room 13 of the San Diego Convention Center.

Digital Cities Interview

We spoke to Doug Eberhard of Autodesk on episode 158 this week about the Digital Cities Initiative. While we had a few minutes to speak with Doug, Matt over at Vector1Media recently had a chance to talk to Doug for a more in depth take on the initiative. We here at VerySpatial think this is a great idea since it ties together many of the technologies that we are excited by. It is one three directions in geospatial that I want to see more of and play with more (the other two being LBS and neogeography). Be sure to head over to Vector1Media to get more information on this interesting and exciting direction in the geospatial world.

V1 Magazine – Interview: Autodesk Embarks on a Digital Cities Initiative

A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 158

A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 158
July 27, 2008

Main Topic: Interview with Doug Eberhard of Autodesk

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    Remote Sensing Teaches Us the Cause of The Northern Lights

    Thanks to NASA, the age old question of what causes the Northern Lights has been solved! NASA satellites from the THEMIS project were able to watch the whole sequence between the buildup and the appearance of the lights. Apparently giant magnetic fields are pulled then snapped back into place. The force creates the lights. Watch the video on Gizmodo’s site and you can see it happening as the satellites captured it. What did we do before remote sensing?

    Microsoft Surface Sphere

    Remember back in april we reported about Sensisphere’s new touchable display that’s in the form of a hemisphere? Well apparently the good people at Microsoft do (they got the idea from reading our blog, I’m sure of it ;)! Gizmodo is reporting that Microsoft is going to unveil a new spherical multi-touch Surface product next week at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2008. It should be immediately recognizable to pretty much anyone reading this blog how ultra cool one of these will be. Imagine one of these in every classroom!

    Hopefully they’ll bring some of this stuff to the ESRI UC this year so we can check it out. You can bet I’ll be asking around the Microsoft booth this year to see what they can tell us about this product.

    Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day!

    Anyone who’s worked in GIS with more than two people can tell you that one person is critical to keeping all this stuff working…. the system administrator. Today happens to be the 9th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day! The sys admin is normally the person you call when things go all kablewie, so you’re normally too freaked out to give him or her a pat on the shoulder in thanks. Take some time out today to find that person and give this a hearty thanks for their work. Remember, it takes all of a few minutes for an unhappy sys admin to make your life much less productive, as the good people of San Francisco recently found out.

    iPhone 2.1 Firmware may offer More GPS Features

    A few sites are talking about the beta of the updated iPhone 2.x software, of course what is most interesting to our readers is the suggestion of extended GPS functionality. So far it has been suggested that the iPhone will offer speed and direction capabilities, ala navigation. It is a bit odd that folks seem to be more interested in the GPS functionality instead of making the OS a bit more stable/responsive.

    App Store wise, this week has seen Platial add their “Nearby” app and the first geocaching app, “Geopher lite“. I like the look of “TapeMeasure” which measures the distance between locations providing lat/long, altitude, and relative accuracy, but I haven’t had a chance to play with it.

    IPhone 3G: iPhone 2.1 Firmware Currently In Beta, More GPS Features On The Way

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