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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Autodesk has shared that it’s decided on a name for its open source code once known as Tux. It will be called MapGuide Open Source and Autodesk MapGuide for the open and productized versions, respectively.

Recall that Tux was initially rolled out as MapServer Enterprise at Autodesk University. The existing MapServer community was concerned, and so apparently was the existing MapGuide community for whom this was sort of “the next release.” I give Autodesk credit for agreeing early on to change the name.

If the MapServer name implied a relationship with the existing MapServer code and perhaps diminished the original MapServer, which would have taken on the name MapServer Cheetah, this name implies a relationship with MapGuide. And, there is one, it’s been developed to this point by the same company and does many of the same things that earlier version did. That’s about it, however, since the code bases are fundamentally different. The “new” MapGuide was written from scratch purely as open source code. The “old” version was acquired from Argus back in the 1990s and is still proprietary.

That said, I like this choice. First off, MapGuide is a great name for mapping software, despite its somewhat redundant nature. Second, it puts much of the challenge of explaining the relationship of “old” MapGuide to “new” MapGuide on Autodesk. With the MapServer name much of that burden would have fallen to the MapServer community. I’m sure the community could have hanlded that challenge, but why should it hold that burden? Third, the choice makes it clear that MapServer and MapGuide are two different projects from the start. They may share code down the line, but now its clear they come from different parents.

Finally, I am somewhat perplexed by the odd blog comment I read that seems less than positive about the upcoming meeting in Chicago of the yet to be named foundation that will house MapGuide Open Source and MapServer. I’m quite optimistic about it. Why? I think the people going are doing so to get something done. Many of folks are experts in compromise, harmonization and patience. That’s why they are going.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/19 at 09:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Consider this: Pulaski County (Missouri) 911 has the best, most up-to-date street maps of the rural county. It shares them with local fire fighters and other county workers for free (as it should). It just this week agreed to sell maps (not the data mind you) to local real estate agents, workers and construction workers. The cost is $25, just $5 over production cost. But of course, they need to come in every few weeks and buy an update.

But, there is good news:

[Michelle] Graves [director of the 911 board] also told her board that she’s in the process of getting price quotes for a major GPS study of the county — a mapping system that would link the county’s geography to satellite imagery and use it to precisely locate positions in the county.

I suspect that’s GIS, and hope it means that the accurate 911 maps can be shared more easily in time.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/19 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

c|net offers this game using imagery from Google Earth: they’ve geocoded addresses of 10 prominent companies and you have to indentify them from the air.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/19 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gary at Search Engine Watch Blog says that he’s seeing the blue pins again on Google Local. He offers a screen shot and explains that the way Google does things, it’s entirely possible for something to work one way one minute and a different way the next.

I reported earlier this week based on a blog post and personal experience that the blue ad pins were gone. I see no pins on the NYC Hotel query today.

Gary also reports on seeing ads in Google (he offers another screen shot) and is checking with Google on that.

Thanks as always for sharing, Gary!

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/18 at 12:33 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An oddly time press release on using Microsoft Live Meeting Web confernecing software, cause me to return to the NGA Hurricane Crisis Imagery website.

First off, I like that the site offers two tabs - one titled “general public” and one titled “GIS Analyst.” The former offers viewing and the latter downloading and more technical help and support.

But then, things get a bit murky. As a member of the general public do I use?

The online imagery viewer with the big Microsoft logo nearby? It’s actually built on technology from Microsoft partern IDV in Michigan.

The Google Earth one, with the Google logo nearby?

The Streaming Imagery Viewer, with the NGA logo nearby? That seems to use the ITT RAIV streaming viewer with technology from Idelix, but you will not find their logos anywhere.

Need help choosing which is right for you? I could not find any. But all other links push you to a SharePoint (a Microsoft collaboration tool) site for help, what’s new, etc. When I choose the “what’s new” link on the main page I learned that there did not seem to be a what’s new page and that the last posted announcement is from November 7. I wonder what will happen to this website?

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/18 at 08:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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