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Thursday, April 13, 2006

The trend of mapping site traffic going up continues, according to comScore Media Metrix. An article at iMedia details the trends including a full 19% increase in traffic to mapping sites this year over the same time last year. The order of the top players remains the same: MapQuest, Yahoo, Google, though the article notes some up and coming sites including Traffic.com with 400% increase of last year.

The only site in the top ten of which I’d never heard: HOMETOWNLOCATOR.COM. It offers: “HTL profiles include census, demographic and income data, parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, hotels, environmental conditions, local newspapers, media outlets, employment, maps, coordinates and aerial photos.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 08:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

c|net reports that Zillow has added Pictometry’s oblique imagery to its popular real estate website via a deal with Microsoft. The report claims that via the deal which allows use of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform the Zillow is the first real estate site to offer obliques. For now, they are available for select cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston and Las Vegas. More are expected later in the year. Zillow is currently the fourth most popular real estate site in the U.S. per Hitwise.

What’s interesting here is that Pictometry is using Microsoft to license its imagery. Who better?

More on Microsoft Virtual Earth real estate deals at Seattle Post Intelligencer.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 08:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

LinuxDevices.com reports on the speaker list for Where 2.0. What’s interesting is the description of the event:

O’Reilly has published a list of speakers for its second annual conference on global information service (GIS) and location-aware technology. The “Where 2.0” conference is set for June 13-14, 2006, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., and will include several presentations on location-aware devices.

Now of course whoever wrote this doesn’t seem too familiar with GIS, but more interestingly, O’Reilly simply doesn’t use the term GIS to describe the conference. GIS is mentioned in describing sessions, speakers and companies, but not to describe the event. Somehow, LinuxDevices thinks its about GIS…

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Recently, I noted the launch of the print Inside GNSS. Not too long ago I received an e-mail noting that Geospatial Solutions is now avialable electronically. In the past that print publication offered selected articles online. Now Questex, the publisher, offers the entire magaine in NXTbook form. That’s a format that mimics the page turns of a real publication, allows zooming and panning over the text and the like.

The reason NXTbook is popular is that it exactly represents the print magazine. (Bentley uses it for its BE Magazine and several other CAD publications use it as well.) Another reason, so far as I know, the solution is popular with publishers, is that you go through the same production as you would for a print publication to create it. So, in a sense there’s no more “work” for the reader and no more “work” for the publisher. Of course the publisher saves money by dropping printing and distribution costs, a large cost these days. It seems Questex will publish both a print and electronic version, at least for now.

Having been involved with the conversion of a print publication to an online one, I’ve thought about this quite a bit. While the NXTbook technology is very cool, I found it frustrating exactly because it mimicked a print publication. I wanted a Web publication to be formatted for the Web. I’ve tried PDF magazines and them tough to manage while reading 40-90 pages.

I kept going back to the format of one of my favorite online publications, Wired. (I’ve had an interesting relationship with Wired: I was an early print subscriber, but dropped it when the magazine became hard to read. I began reading the online version daily some five years ago. And, in the last few months actually re-upped for the print version.) Wired online does not pretend to be a magazine; it is a website and is formatted for easy navigation and reading. Images are offered in galleries with thumbnails that expand.

The big challenge, I learned, in moving from print to the Web is advertising. Free industry publications, Directions Magazine included, depend on advertisers to pay the bills. NXTbook allows those same full page, full color ads, another draw for publishers and perhaps advertisers.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The two senators and representative from Missouri (U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) and Missouri U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent ) sent a letter to the federal Office of Personnel Management back in March to request its help in the elimination (they do not use the word consolidation) of the USGS employees at the MidContinent Mapping Center. The letter suggests that the USGS is simply shutting down a competitive alternative to outsourcing work and that office involvement can help those who are losing jobs get access to positions at nearby Fort Leonard Wood, which recently changed its policy with regard to former government employees.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/12 at 01:39 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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