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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Loki is the name of Skyhook Wireless’ free software that takes advantage of the company’s Wi-Fi maps to provide navigation in 100 cities in the U.S. The company is Boston-based, so local favorite tech writer Hiawatha Bray, covered the give away in the Boston Globe.

Chief exective Ted Morgan is right on target: ‘‘As a user, you don’t care whether it’s coming from satellite or WiFi. You just want the best possible location.” Skyhook does have a sense of humor; on its “how does it work page” it notes: “Gosh, we really ARE making the web all about you, aren’t we? Makes our Moms pretty darned proud.”

BTW, it was my Mom (and Dad) who passed on this tip! Also, BTW, Loki is the Norse God of deception, trickery, also the name of a cat I once knew.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 12:06 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The General Services Administration (GSA) will put out requests for information (RFIs) and hold industry days a new line of business (LOB) geospatial come April. There will also be opportunities in IT infrastructure and budget formulation. The RFIs will appear early in the month, with industry days, hosted in the DC area, to follow on April 18 and 19.

via GCN

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Knighted Tim Berners-Lee speaking at Oxford University last week stated that putting “basic, raw data from Ordnance Survey” on the Web would be part of building the “semantic web”, a smarter interation of the one we have now. Full details are in a Gaurdian article.

He goes on to note a moral obligation for the country to make data available, and not just available, but manipulatable. He even mentioned Google Maps type mashups. Berners-Lee has been speaking with OS regarding the issue and there has been discussion of an API for non-commercial use. OS’ CTO Ed Parsons says it could happen within six months, but makes clear, it’s not a free ride. As the author puts it, “those using APIs would be barred from competing with OS’s paying customers, even on a non-commercial basis.”

Berners-Lee feels strongly about making low resolution data free. “There will, if necessary, be a grass-roots remapping,” he semi-threatens. (Several are already underway across the globe.)

The OS has other challenges: it has to respond to complaints from commercial mapping firms that it has been “obstructive and slow” in licensing its data.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

My colleague Joe Francica and I take our best guesses at how Google and Microsoft will use their recent acquisitions (SketchUp and Vexcel) and the disruption we expect down the road in an editorial at Directions Magazine.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“But the challenge is to do more than combine a lot of functions. Otherwise the site is just a wiki. Platial needs to find a community and cater to it—if bands want to plot their tour routes on Platial maps, they should be able to attach MP3s to their place markers.”

Blogger Adam Green, on Platial, quoted in a Wired article on the two month old company.  By the way the Google-based mashup is playing around with Virtual Earth these days.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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