Month: August 2008
In this week’s podcast we mention Mozilla Labs Ubiquity project and we basically say we aren’t sure what to make of it…that has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t get a chance to look at it before we recorded. If I had, I would have been raving about it! Ubiquity isn’t actually a location technology, the demo in the intro just takes advantage of the web mapping APIs as examples.
In fact Ubiquity is just a way to access APIs directly using typed commands. If you are familiar with Quicksilver on the Mac (which I can’t live without even though I don’t use it to its full extent) then you have a pretty good idea of how to use Ubiquity. In the simplest description, you can call up the Ubiquity interface with a hot key, then type in what you want to do (formatted in a way that can recognized by Ubiquity of course). The truth is that there is no way to truly describe it sufficiently, you have to try it to truly understand it. To get a better sense of what is possible with Ubiquity you really need to at least watch the video. This is a really exciting project which moves us ever closer to a human language interface to computers.
We’ve had the chance in a previous podcast interview to talk to Ian White of Urban Mapping about some of their digital products, but I really like the company’s new folding city maps that use an overlay technique to combine street, neighborhood and subway routes layers that are visible depending on what angle you look at it from. Urban Mapping actually tried to market these maps under a previous business model, but had no luck, and turned to digital data products. I love the hologram-y look (or lenticular printing if you want to get more technical), and would definitely buy one for a city I was visiting (right now they only have Chicago and part of NYC). Hopefully they’ll get more interest this time around and will be able to add more cities.
Check out the video from TechCrunch showing one of the maps in action:
Sprint is rolling out its WiMAX XOHM 4G network next month, starting in Baltimore. Why would our readers care? Because a prime function they’re heralding is what they call “geobrowsing” (which is a HECK of a lot easier to say than ‘WiMAX XOHM 4G’). The basic concepts are nothing new to anyone familiar with LBS in the general. A GPS signal will feedback constantly to back end applications and the network can return traffic, news, local business information, weather… you know, the standards. The really interesting part is that Sprint is rolling in a sort of revenue sharing model for third party developers for this new network. That means that not only do you have an API you can tap into, you have a mechanism to get a rolling revenue stream. That’s gotta be pretty exciting to anyone looking to do a LBS app. The down side to end users is that, like everything else on Sprint, it means more money 🙁 However, they do plan on having day/week passes in case you’re going on vacation and want to use the service. Next time I’m in Baltimore, I might have to look it up!
I am trying (belatedly) to put together a panel that looks at the current movements in geospatial technologies during the Southeast Division of the AAG meeting in Greensboro, November 22-25. If you plan to be at SEDAAG and you have experience with, or a strong opinion about, the current trends in geospatial technology contact me by Saturday, August 30. The panel description must be submitted by Monday Sept 1. I would really like to include a couple of students with hands-on experience on the panel if possible as well as professionals and professors.
A list of topics that I would like to touch on in the panel include social networking, webmaps, virtual globes, data interoperability, crowd sourced data, geoprocessing web services, sensor webs, really the gamut of what is considered part of ‘web 2.0’ or ‘geoweb’. My hope is to continue to bring attention to the changes in the way Geographer’s and folks that we wouldn’t have traditionally considered Geographers are approaching spatial technologies.
UPDATE: Yeah, I waited too late to get a good sample for the panel. I will probably try to put something together at a later conference. Maybe the AAG in Las Vegas.
Based on Google Maps, the Metropolitan Police’s new Crime Mapping Test Site is now up and running in beta and, while the functionality is just pretty basic display of crime stats for neighborhood levels, the interface is nice and easy to use. Each neighborhood polygon has an info window with summary stats on crime levels and tabs for comparison with the whole metropolitan area, and even yearly trends. There’s no functionality right now for locating individual crimes, but the plans seems to be to add functionality over time, and there are links to other related websites.
Via Gear Live