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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Knighted Tim Berners-Lee speaking at Oxford University last week stated that putting “basic, raw data from Ordnance Survey” on the Web would be part of building the “semantic web”, a smarter interation of the one we have now. Full details are in a Gaurdian article.

He goes on to note a moral obligation for the country to make data available, and not just available, but manipulatable. He even mentioned Google Maps type mashups. Berners-Lee has been speaking with OS regarding the issue and there has been discussion of an API for non-commercial use. OS’ CTO Ed Parsons says it could happen within six months, but makes clear, it’s not a free ride. As the author puts it, “those using APIs would be barred from competing with OS’s paying customers, even on a non-commercial basis.”

Berners-Lee feels strongly about making low resolution data free. “There will, if necessary, be a grass-roots remapping,” he semi-threatens. (Several are already underway across the globe.)

The OS has other challenges: it has to respond to complaints from commercial mapping firms that it has been “obstructive and slow” in licensing its data.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

My colleague Joe Francica and I take our best guesses at how Google and Microsoft will use their recent acquisitions (SketchUp and Vexcel) and the disruption we expect down the road in an editorial at Directions Magazine.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“But the challenge is to do more than combine a lot of functions. Otherwise the site is just a wiki. Platial needs to find a community and cater to it—if bands want to plot their tour routes on Platial maps, they should be able to attach MP3s to their place markers.”

Blogger Adam Green, on Platial, quoted in a Wired article on the two month old company.  By the way the Google-based mashup is playing around with Virtual Earth these days.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/23 at 07:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In an article (Times Union) highlighting how Troy, New York received federal funding for crime prevention (“weed and seed”) comes this strange statement:

One of the priorities could be creating a mapping system to enable police to ID crime statistics in Troy with a few taps on a computer keyboard. An effort to work with MapInfo to create such a system did not come to fruition, she [Officer Colleen Goldston, who leads the Weed and Seed committee] said.

That just sounds hard to believe. MapInfo is based in Troy. It does crime mapping in its sleep. Don’t you think it’d bend over backward to be successful in its hometown? I do. So “not coming to fruition” must be code for something that I don’t understand.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/22 at 12:06 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Carbon Project, a group offering tools built on Open Geospatial Consortium’s (Full disclosure - I consult to that organization.)  OpenGIS standards just put out a press release. The release is about data available for the area in Australia struck by a cyclone on March 20.

It’s available in “free Geospatial Session Files (GSFs).” GSFs seem to be a type of “project file” (in the old ArcView sense, in that it points to servers) used by free Gaia, the company’s viewer. Says the website: “Please note that you’ll need version 2.0.5 of the free Gaia geospatial web browser to view these files.” The data was collected from “online OpenGIS® map servers accessing data from a variety of Australian and U.S. sources.” 

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 03:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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