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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A flock of pigeons will get their own blog, on which they’ll map out pollution in the skies above San Jose. Each bird will carry air pollution sensors, a homemade cell phone, GPS reciever and a camera, reports New Scientist in the upcoming issue. Data will be collected and posted on their blog in regular updates. Alas, we have to wait until August 5, the launch date.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/01 at 09:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The card game is called Perplex City (new to me!) and is apparently new to North America. It has an online map built on the Google Maps interface.

How long will Google allow this sort of use? These uses are not tied to the real world, so how will they support location-based advertising? I suppose they can support game-based ads, and perhaps those can be geospatially enabled?

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/01 at 08:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A Japanese press release announced a mapping application for the PSP platform. I4U news reports that it’s like MapPoint and since the device does not have a built in GPS, works like a regular desktop app. The innovation? Added places and comments can be shared wtih other PSP users via Wi-Fi. It’s set for release on April 20, but only in Japan with Japanese data. There’s a bit on a Points of Interest service for it at IGN.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/01 at 07:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The meeting of the MapServer Foundation scheduled for Saturday in Chicago is coming together. Here are some details for those watching from the sidelines:

The attendee list is posted and includes a sort of “who’s who” of open source GIS people from the U.S., Canada and Europe. And, then there are some other folks with interesting affiliations like a representative from LizardTech and one from, a location-based services provider. If you are counting, I found one woman attending, and she works for Autodesk.

An IRC channel has been set aside for those who want to participate: #geofoundation at

If you want to be up on the latest discussions before the meeting, review the latest discussions on the Foundation website.

There’s a new informal poll regarding naming going on, too.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 10:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s not news that companies include the names of other big names in the same space to give themselves “clout by association.” But it can sure cause confusion. Two situations now in the news are cases in point.

First consider ESRI’s recent release of a beta version of ArcWeb Explorer. (Forget for a moment that the world is poised to hear about ArcGIS Explorer, the 3-D visualization tool billed as the Google Earth killer by some, that’s not expected for a few more weeks/months.) ArcWeb Explorer is designed and named, I must say, to work with ArcWeb Services. That’s right, it’s a tool to sell developers (and their clients) on an ArcWeb Services based solution. It’s not in the same space as the new Yahoo Maps browser, or even the Google Local AJAX browser to which it is being compared. (I compared it to that, too, I admit.) But ArcWeb Services and Google Local and Yahoo Maps are not in the same business space! The former is about selling Web Services, the other two are about making money through advertising. Not only are the technologies different in some spots, the business propositions are completely different. At least that’s the case today.

Second, check out this “for sale” sign for LandVoyage. The release states that the “turnkey online mapping enterprise that competes in the same markets as Google Earth, Yahoo Maps, Microsoft Live Local, and Stewart Title’s GlobeXplorer.” I might buy that LandVoyage competes with GlobeXplorer, but again, those first three are about using mapping to sell advertising. LandVoyage makes money by selling access to maps and tools to manipuate maps to professionals from “engineering, real estate, agriculture, natural resource, oil and gas, recreation, government and GIS industries.”

So, as usual, let the buyer/reader beware!

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 09:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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