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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

MetaCarta, the company known for capturing the geographical references in unstructured data, like text, interpreting the context and mapping each of the references has opened its technology to anyone. Using its toolkit you can use its geographic search tools into any page of text. See

And for something entirely wild, check out - create map-o-grams of your favorite book. If you want to want to see or map the geographic refernences of your favorite book…check it out.

by Joe Francica on 06/13 at 05:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I had a brief conversation with Brad Schell, co-founder of @Last Software which was purchased by Google. I asked him about any pushback he might have received from traditional CAD companies when he launched SketchUp. "Not at first," he said. But what people found as that SketchUp allowed many people the ease of use not found in CAD. Schell believed that people we so focused on driving the CAD product. He explained the differences between SketchUp and traditional CAD very simply: where people (like engineers) know what they want to build…they start with CAD. SketchUp is a way to take a conceptual design and turn it into a picture first…it if works out…perhaps you go back to a CAD package. "I’ve seen it go both ways," said Schell. So his vision for SketchUp is to allow people to experiment with 3D and create their vision on paper quicker than focusing on learning the product. Google provides a "great substrate" says John Hanke, general manager of Google Earth in speaking about the 3D data available in the product. So, in combination, the base data and context from Google Earth with the power to render an idea with SketchUp provides a means to have a creative framework that opens up many possiblities to both engineers as well as non-engineers.

by Joe Francica on 06/13 at 04:18 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Mikel Maron of Mapufacture describes GeoRSS as "an agreement on a representation of space that we can all share." Speaking at Where 2.0, Maron was trying to give some perspective on the potential of GeoRSS. He believes that just as RSS was far from the perfect format, "it produces just enough structure that we can all agree on it." So how do you include GeoRSS? Maron sees GeoRSS supporting more geometries as well as altitude that satisfy enough geographic features while maintaining simplicity. See his GeoRSS aggregator at

by Joe Francica on 06/13 at 03:30 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Among the hidden news this week is the fact that Skyline, the company suing Google about Google Earth lost its bid for an injunction. The dispute is over a terrain-mapping patent and a trial is expected later this year.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 06:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I visited my alma mater the past two days and learned of two interesting staff changes. James MacGill (GeoTools) left the university to join Google. Open source GIS guy at Google…interesting.

To balance the PSU universe, Ian Turton (GeoTools) now joins the GeoVista Center. His blog is here.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 05:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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