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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Forbes documents how MySpace, like eBay and Google, has spawned a whole set of businesses to support it. They range from specialists who will spruce up one’s page to those who offer free utilities and make money from Google Ads.

No one seems to be guessing at how big that economy is, but it does exist. So, is there a Google Maps economy? What services have sprung up around it?

Off the top of my head I’ll offer:

folks who will build custom mashups
folks who offer books to train folks on GMaps
folks who offer training on Gmaps
folks who make money from ads on mashup sites
folks who make money from ads on blog sites on GMaps
folks (like me) who write about Gmaps (et. al.)

Any others you know of?

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 01:40 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MapStraction is a wiki placeholder for code that will ideally abstract away all the difference in the various free commercial and open source mapping APIs.

The idea is that if you can stick to to lowest common denominator features offered by all mapping APIs, and you use the API defined here to access them, then you can swap and change between different mapping providers with one line of code.

This is the answer to the question I noted was raised at our conference last week.

Via O’Reilly Radar

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 01:12 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Chris Fisk, vice president of JIMAPCO, a small mapping company, a partner to Rand McNally offers this comment on the impact of Internet mapping on paper maps sales.

We are concluding that the products you get on the Internet, such as MapQuest, are helping to educate people about maps. So people who have never used a map before are inclined to check out something on MapQuest and it appears they are becoming acclimated to maps and going out and buying them.

The article touting the business is from the Charlotte Business Journal.
Interestingly, the deal with McNally has meant a Web service from the company has been pushed in the market, but is available.

Dubbed JIMS, for JIMAPCO Internet Mapping Service, the Internet product allows a company or government agency to overlay its data on JIMAPCO’s basic map products on a server maintained by JIMAPCO.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 07:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Marketing Shift offers an interview with the CEO of a new travel website that offers “a human level walking experience” that incorporates the opportunity to book hotel rooms. It’s built on a proprietary technology called

Panamorph and it allows users to rapidly create and edit photorealistic 3D scenes from 2D images in a fraction of the time and effort normally required to create 3D graphics. Panamorph’s visual linking technology then generates a digital walkthrough of hotel properties and their surroundings, delivering the next generation online travel buying experience to the savvy consumer. This technology has been in development for over three years.

There are but three locations available to explore: Miami Beach and Peurto Rico, with Vegas in preview mode. San Francisco, Boston and others are slated for later this year.

The app includes a photorealistic screen in the middle (Shockwave), a movable map (no idea whose technology, but it’s Flash-powered.) You can navigate via the photo or the map. The app seems to link together static images because the movement in between views if fuzzy and disorienting to me. The company distinguishes itself from local search tools with this ground level view. They will not be able to do so for long…

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 06:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Two weeks ago we asked for your take on the term Spatial Information Management (SIM). Of the 51 respondents, 35% identified it as a marketing term and didn’t much care, a quarter replied with “Huh, what?”, 22% ranked it above “geospatial” for explaining what we do, and 18% felt it was too “IT.”

Next up: How should free mapping APIs be funded? Vote on the lower right hand site of our main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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