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Thursday, June 15, 2006

First, back in 2004, Iran banned the National Geographic Atlas because it labelled what Iran prefers to call the “Persian Gulf” with an additional name in parentheses: “Arabian Gulf.” On Wednesday the country banned The Economist because the publication included a map which called the water body merely “The Gulf.”

via AP

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/15 at 09:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“At Google we like making products free, and most of our users seem to enjoy that too. So we were a little surprised that some companies asked if they could pay us for the Maps API (which, after geocoding, has been our most requested feature). “

- Noah Doyle, Product Manager, Google, in the Official Google Maps API Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/15 at 06:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“...the future I don’t think is increasingly high resolution imagery as suggested by Microsoft, once you get to 10-15cm resolution imagery do you really need to go much higher.. what Where 3.0 applications will need is intelligent semantically rich datasets.”

Ed Parsons of Ordnance Survey, in his review of Where 2.0. day 2

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/15 at 05:54 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It seems a bunch of blogs got an e-mail from, the standards organization behind COLLADA, noting how KML 2.1 supports it. COLLADA is an interchange format for 3D geometry and textures. In paticular:

COLLADA is an open standard for that defines an XML-based schema for 3D authoring applications to freely exchange digital assets without loss of information.

I’ve never heard of Khronos nor COLLADA. So, I asked a “3D GIS guy” if we should care. Gary Smith of Green Mountain Geographics noted he’d not heard of COLLADA until Tuesday. He offered this:

A few more minutes on the web and I began to think this might be a big deal.  The simulator industry has been using OpenFlight as a standard format for years.  Does Collada bring the same standards benefit to the web 3D presentation?  Not only does it recognize instancing [reading in a texture just once, even though it might be used many times], it also recognizes LOD’s (Level of Detail).  I think this might be a big step for 3D on the web.

Just to put this in perspective, the e-mail was parallel to OGC sending out an e-mail to bloggers saying, “Hey, press! Vendor X now supports WMS!”

Khronos was kind to note in the e-mail sent to APB that we’d missed the boat:

I thought you might be interested adding more details to All Points Blog coverage of Google Earth and KML 2.1 - something that was pretty significant but seems to have been missed by most of the press.


by Adena Schutzberg on 06/15 at 05:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I met with Paul Levine, General Manager of Yahoo! Local at the Where Conference this week. Yahoo! seems to put more emphasis on the infotainmap model than most. But that makes sense. If you ever read anything about Terry Semel’s business model for Yahoo! it is that he believes they are an "entertainment" company. By contrast, Google believes they are an "information" company" (I assume Microsoft still believes they are a software company).

So, for Yahoo! they are interested in attracting more local content about restaurants, movies, and tourist events, but also on making it easy for small local businesses to add information about their company and have it appear on a map. Levine emphasized the statistic that only about 30% of all businesses have a website and so Yahoo!‘s Yellow Page listings makes sense for the small business that just wants a minimum presence without the expense of building a website. Levine describes it as "low friction"  for merchants to enhance their presence on the web.

As for their mapping application, the Yahoo! Maps beta is worth a look if for nothing else than for the way they have incorporated multi-point routing and traffic info. And Yahoo! is another company courting developers.

by Joe Francica on 06/14 at 11:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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