Like many other bloggers I seek out interesting geospatial tidbits for this blog. I try hard to keep my skeptic hat on because I think that’s what’s needed in these times (and perhaps that’s part of why the nice people at Directions pay me…)
Tuesday I ran into this article at Telematics Update about MapPoint Web Service 4.1. I read the text, dated 2/7/06, searched news sites for other mentions and tried to remember if I’d covered that announcement here or at Directions Magazine. I found a lack of other coverage in the U.S. (example, MP2K Magazine), but a bit from the international press (example, European news site). After checking (Google searching!) this blog I found that I did note it, on January 24.
So I dug further. One blog posted 4.1 going live on January 23. Our GIS world’s James Fee noted it on the 24th citing the Virtual Earth Blog, which I too cited. The MapPoint Development Center on MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) has two posts 1/18 and 1/19. I didn’t find anything on the Press Pass section of Microsoft’s site. That’s the part for journalists.
So, what’s going on? Nothing, really. No one did anything wrong. We just forgot about geography!
There was no press release on MapPoint 4.1 in the U.S. Instead, it was announced on MSDN and via a blog. That’s not a problem; I applaud companies that don’t do a press release when one is not necessary. (Google’s a pro at this.)
But, there was a press release for Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) launched yesterday. And, Telematics Update, being a worldwide publication picked it up. Telematics Update’s website doesn’t scream “this is a worldwide publication” and you might not even notice unless you note that it hosts “World News” “Africa News” and “America News” on its main page. So, no shame on MP2K on picking up the news and linking to the article.
Even though the Web can flatten geography/time/space/news, we do need to respect that worldwide companies may still wish to do different things in different geographies. Moreover, press releases are simply not the only way “news” gets out.
Special thanks to Rob Carter (UK) and Ashley Johnson (US) at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (Worldwide - get it?) for their help on this matter.