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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"A bare knuckles brawl," is how Joe Astroth, vice president of Autodesk Location Services described the competition for location-based services (LBS) platform tools and services. But his division at Autodesk is winning business as it did just recently in securing Disney Mobile as a customer for its LocationLogic platform. Disney Mobile will begin to offer services in June 2006 and will operate as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) by licensing frequency spectrum from Sprint.

When asked why cellular operators have more recently started to launch LBS applications, Astroth said, "Carriers run in a herd." But he offered other reasons why the LBS marketplace is heating up. "In LBS, handsets had to be there, and it took a long time; graphics had to be appealing; keyboards and text entry had to get better…bigger than that is ubiquitous broadband," said Astroth. He mention that just as growth in the internet was the result of getting beyond the 56K download speeds, the same inflection point is occuring with LBS in that broadband availability can now support many LBS applications. In addition, Astroth feels there is a deeper understanding about location-smart devices that is creating consumer demand.

And Astroth confirmed that there is no truth to the rumor that Autodesk Location Services is going away anytime soon.

by Joe Francica on 05/17 at 03:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An Information Week blog notes that after Apple cut the price of iBooks for Maine public schools, Google jumped in to give goodies, too:

So Google, ever committed to organizing the world’s information, has decided to donate Google Earth and SketchUp Pro for installation on every public-school computer in the state.

The article notes how this would annoy Microsoft. Anyone else?


by Adena Schutzberg on 05/17 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A few month ago I detailed some law suits based on REAL’s patent on using the Web to seek out real estate using basic GIS ideas. Today, word from Lending Tree a mortgage company with a real estate site (LendingTree’s it’s paid REAL to license the “patented map search technology.” No details on how much money was paid; I hope prior art is found. My gut feeling is that this patent won’t stand (though I am not a lawyer, nor have I researched REAL’s claims).

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/17 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, May 15, 2006

“As long as what we come up with doesn’t help save lives, they’re not going to use it in the real world.”
Assistant Geography Professor Dr. Sven Fuhrmann of Texas State, on a 3D model of San Marcos, a graduate student team built for use by first responders.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/15 at 06:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This tidbit rounds out a discussion of DropTeam, a “multiplayer capable, real-time, tactical simulation of armored ground combat in the far future” introduced at

Game engine reads data from professional GIS (Geographic Information Systems) packages such as ArcGIS and Terragen. This is the same industry standard data formats that are used by the Department of Defense for simulations and by engineers for land work, surveying, etc…

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/15 at 06:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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