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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

ESRI offers a 30-odd list of questions on the upcoming (in closed beta) viewer.

Some quick facts:

free, 20 Mb download, Windows 2000 and XP on initial release, can run standalone or in IE or Firefox, ESRI will offer some services…

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/21 at 09:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

C|net’s Daniel Terdiman describes in great detail how a blank white board at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View turned into two days of valuable conference time. First off, 30 seconds to show off mashups, then a call for session leaders to fill the board. Then, and I like this very much, if you attended a session and were not contributing nor learning you were obligated to go to another session. (Peter Gould at Penn State used to tell us that. I once walked out of his class and he didn’t say a word. But I only did it once - I think we were heading down some leftist path that didn’t illuminate the topic at hand.)

You do need the right type of people (and a small enough crowd, perhaps) to have this all work. As I read the description I pictured the two Open Source GIS Conferences I’ve attended. I bet it’d also work for NSGIC, another of my favorite events.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/21 at 08:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I confess I’m more excited about the software, data and Web services behind such offerings as Google Earth and World Wind, but of course the other half of the coin is the monitor on which one views these things. Enter Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut.

A story at highlights its new monitor which uses camera to determine the angle at which viewers are looking to create a very 3D view. (Check out the illustration.) It also notes the researchers are planning to build their own Google Earth, though its unclear why.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/21 at 08:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Certainly by now keen observers of Google have found out that it’s not just a very good search engine. It’s a dictionary, calculator, travel advisor, etc. I had to find out through Time Magazine that it actually did all these things. The February 20th issue has an interesting sidebar on how the company will improve search possibilities and other features. Have you tried these before? Type ‘Weather’ and your zip code and it will show you the forecast. Type "Define: [word]" and you will be returned the definition.

Now type, "Show me the traffic counts at 4th and Market Street San Francisco, CA". Oh? Nothing? How about, "Show me the zip code with the highest population of income earners having a median income greater than $75,000 within a radius of 25 miles of downtown Peoria"? Uuh? No, not yet? But why not?

Today, these queries will show you Google ads where you can find a company that will sell you traffic counts. But maybe Google is the next "information company" that will supply these to you…and maybe for free. Why not? They put an entire satellite image database online didn’t they?

These types of queries (aka The Semantic Web) are nirvana for a real estate agent looking to flip commercial property. I have to believe somebody is thinking about this at Google or Microsoft as the next wave of information to become free over the web…and with a map interface. Typically the purview of business geographic software like BusinessMap or Maptitude, Google Maps and friends could offer these data as another data type. And then look for companies who used to sell this data set for mega bucks to start wringing their hands.

by Joe Francica on 02/21 at 05:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 20, 2006

Slashdot discusses a possible alternative to PDF, Uniipage, that cruches a document into HTML, along with CSS, Flash, JavaScript. The recipeint then views the HTML in a browser. While I understand the need for PDF, I do get annoyed now and again when I have to crank up the old plug-in, or worse, clip text of out a PDF to publish as HTML.

With all this sort of support, I wonder if Unipage might be a good solution for sharing map documents? ArcReader hasn’t really caught on, now, has it?

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/20 at 12:26 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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