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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Rolla Daily News reports that U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson plans ask the Government Accountability Office to investigate the choice of Denver over Rolla as the location for the national mapping center. While the work is in progress, she hopes to put the current plan on hold. Rolla employees are already leaving USGS; the Rolla branch is scheduled to close in September.

It was my sense that after two investigations hope was gone. Part of my logic? The closure of the TopoEmployees blog. But Emerson is still not comfortable with the results and is exploring other ways to slow or stop the process. I guess she’s in the right line of work!

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 11:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Marc Hackman at PC Magazine does a nice job summarizing a note sent to editors last night about a tech preview of Microsoft’s latest mapping data offering. It’s part of Live Local and offers “street side” views of core parts of just two cities: San Fran and Seattle.

Facet Technology Corp., which I think I heard about in relation to homeland security at one point, captures the data with slow driving vans. It has many cities in the can already, but for now Microsoft is looking for feedback from users.

The preview site goes live at 12 pm PST (3 pm EST) today.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 07:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 27, 2006

Evan Yares, lead guru at the Open Design Alliance, the guys who make libraries that read and write CAD formats like DWG, posts on his blog that the new version of AutoCAD due soon may be an Autodesk only deal.

He notes that “locks” in the file format and restrictions on reverse engineer may make it impossible for his, or perhaps any organization, to read or write the format, forcing users to use Autodesk products with that data.

Via Tenlinks

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 01:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A patent issued on Valentine’s Day of this year may undermine many of the now ubiquitious rich media apps using Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML. The patent, with 83 claims was awarded to Neil Balthaser, a former VP of strategy for Macromedia, who runs a small developent company in San Francisco.

While many developers suggest the patent is invalid, other onlookers expect Balthaser to perhaps sell his intellectual property off to the highest bidder - Microsoft, Yahoo or Google, those deep into the rich media game.

A quick look at the Patent Office came up with the patent for Methods, systems, and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the internet

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 08:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ask Jeeves, now just relaunched today and updated its mapping tools to Ask Maps & Directions 2.0. It’s worth a look to explore:

- driving and walking directions
- ability to add destinations along the route by pointing (it geocodes for you,  then it adds it onto existing route; it doesn’t reroute to them, so far as I can tell)
- imagery from GlobeXplorer
- mixed maps (known as Hybrid in Google Local)
- AJAX app
- play movie of the directions
- no advertising and no “local” features

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 08:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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