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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clickz notes another map-based marketing effort, this time from General Mills Nature Valley (think granola) brand. Visitors are encouraged to locate their favorite places in nature and describe them on the “Where’s Yours?” website. Clickz describes users tagging “their favorite outdoor spots and submit reviews on a Google Map-like interface.”

Yes, it’s Google Maps-like. What is it? ESRI ArcWeb Explorer, so far as I can tell. It’s got Flash and an ESRI copyright on the data, which to me says ArcWeb services. If I’m right, ESRI needs to think about better branding so it’s not just lumped in as “Google Maps-like.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 08:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Interactive Ware AG is showing off its “wearable electronics” at CeBIT this week. Says the CEO:

In this way – together with our technology partners – we optimize, for instance, sensors, keypads, MP3 players, video cameras, GPS systems, speakers, microphones, power supplies and many other components to meet the special requirements of textile integration. ...The overall system that has been integrated into the garment has been miniaturized and is up to 30% lighter than standalone solutions. It can be worn comfortably and unpretentiously, and it is easy to operate, protected, and safe (which makes it less susceptible to problems) – and it is practically “impossible to lose.”

Of most interest to our community is the Know Where jacket (get it?). The jacket includes “a cellular phone, an mp3 player, headphones, a microphone and a water-tight and impact-resistant sleeve keypad as well as an emergency call button, all the electronics have been integrated for a terminal that is referred to as a “GPS eye,” which is used for determining and transmitting positional data.” The company touts that it can use “GPSoverIP” (new one on me!) to locate individuals indoors. The company sees the jacket used in sports, safety and medical apps.

The other two products described include embedded video cameras (capture that downhill ski run) and video projectors (show the airline mechanic how to replace that bolt). These are indeed interesting times.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 08:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Dowagiac is a small town in Indiana. Recently it hired MapInfo (Thompson) to do a market study on the area. The report said, among other things, that the town could expect to see a big box retailer, like Wal-Mart, want to locate there in the near term. That, the report went on, could be seen as opportunity or threat. In fact, on Monday, for the first time, officials acknowledged that Wal-Mart had in fact optioned a 25 arce parcel in 2005, before the deal was terminated (South Bend Tribune). What brought out the revelation? Apparently, the report.

I’d say the $20,000 report was worth the money!

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

MapQuest announced the availibility of a free API for use in non-commercial applications at the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference beginning today in San Diego. The company also announced a contest for the “best mashup” using the API; the winner gets $1000 and a free pass to another conference.

Realistically one must ask:

Why’d it take so long? MapQuest is far, far behind Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in opening its API.

Why’s it better? The press release says very little about what’s available but does note it includes “a core set of mapping, geocoding and routing tools.”

Why announce at the Emerging Tech Conference? My immediate response is that this is NOT emerging technology; rather its “old hat.” My second thought is that announcing that at Emerging Tech and not a geo-focussed conference suggests how “mainstream” it is. And, of course, you can’t give a free pass to a geo conference as a contest prize if you announce the technology to be used in the contest at the geo event…

via Spatially Adjusted

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/07 at 09:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Directions Media is collaborating with Autodesk in launching The MapGuide Open, a web mapping contest that utilizes Autodesk’s MapGuide Open Source software. The announcement of the contest was made today and the contest officially opens on March 16th. Using MapGuide Studio, contestants will enter in three categories: Government, Business, and Miscellaneous. Contestants can use their own data or download sample datasets provided by NAVTEQ. The contest ends on May 31st and three winners will be decided in each category by votes cast by vistors to the web map contest gallery of entries between June 1 and June 15, 2006. See the contest home page for the rules and other guidelines.

Those developers wishing to get a head start on the contest can take a workshop given by Autodesk (MapGuide Application Development Made Easy) at the Location Intelligence Conference, April 3-5 in San Francisco. Attendees will receive a $200 discount to the conference if they register using the code: e22196db—AND anyone who attends is entered in a random drawing for a Garmin StreetPilot c340 GPS Navigation Device!

by Joe Francica on 03/07 at 07:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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