Technology columnist Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Microsoft will be spending $2 Billion next year on "strategic initiatives" mostly to combat the competition it faces from Google and others. The announcement sent Microsoft’s stock price down 10%. If you have been amused by the steady stream of announcements of each company trying to out duel each other in the mapping portal chess match, it appears that the games may have just begun.
by Joe Francica on 05/05 at 07:28 AM |
Yesterday Microsoft held a press conference from ASPRS in Reno to talk about the plans for the now finalized acquisition of Vexcel. They didn’t say too much (imagine that!) but they did say they’d keep all parts of the company and offered a few tidbits. My colleague Hal Reid and I offer coverage and our thoughts at Directions Magazine.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/05 at 07:28 AM |
Ok, that’s a bit premature, but a team from SUNY Buffalo did get funding to pursue 3D in the city:
3-D Buffalo: Constructing a GIS-enabled Spatial-temporal Virtual Reality Model of an Urban Environment”: Narushige Shiode and Jean-Claude Thill, Geography, and Li Yin, Urban and Regional Planning, investigators. This project will identify critical elements of 3-D GIS (geographic information systems) modeling of an urban environment, an emerging technology that needs refinement prior to wider implementation in projects aimed at developing a 3-D city model for planning and monitoring a city.
What’s ineresting here is that the funding, from UB 2020 Scholars Fund, is described as being for things that are not otherwise funded by the University and to help garner additional funding, aka “seed funding”:
The grants are intended to “provide funding, where such resources are not available from the department, school or college, to allow the development of ideas to enhance the chance of external funding,” according to a program description.
I hope these folks have looked at Mr. Jepson’s work at UCLA; he wasn’t too keen on GIS in his model.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/05 at 07:17 AM |
ZoomIn is the “Google Map/Local” (I’m aware that the “Local” name is no longer in use) for Australia that apparently beat Google to the punch downunder. New Zealand is on the docket. Apparently, ProjectX, the company behind the sites licensed local data and jumped ahead. Cool. The site allows users to input their places of interest. Also cool.
Here’s the interesting part for me, if I understand it correctly: per the technical director at ProjectX the apps are built on ka-Map. Never heard of it? It’s a DM Solutions begun open source project built on MapServer that puts a spiffy “Google Maps-like” client on the browser.
via O’Reilly Radar
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/05 at 06:51 AM |
While several sources describe the company’s efforts to create a 10-gigpixel image Microsoft will hold a press conference today about its acquisition of Vexcel a few months back.
An 4-gigapixel image was created of Seattle, and unlike satellite images, is oblique, a “more natural” angle than orthos. The image was built from 800 individual images, taken over an hour and a half. The big leap here, apparently, is the software to elegantly knit the images together. Once you have several images of that size, they “could be woven together to form a 3D-like photograph consisting of tens of billions of pixels” says one article, citing Microsoft Researcher Cohen.
Technology Review also looks at this work and notes its goal is to enhance existing Birds Eye View imagery in Live Local. That imagery is from Pictometry, and the big limitation is that you can’t seamlessly fly through it; you must load one image after another. With high resolution, large area obliques such as those Microsoft is testing, Pictometry licensing could be lessened or dropped down the road.
How this project dubbed Big Panorama and Microsoft’s acquisition of GeoTango late last year fit together is still unclear.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/04 at 08:05 AM |