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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, a Dresden-based mapping company, announced a free interactive web atlas, EarthAtlas, that is built on a vector-based mapping solutions, MapChart WebPort technology. It was announced at CeBit recently. The java applet is fairly crude but what caught my eye is that the web application actually displayed lat/long graticules. Imagine that! A web application that actually looks like a cartographically-correct map. Their application is worth a brief look.

by Joe Francica on 04/12 at 10:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Lots of coverage of the new additions - but no talk about the sources. If you have time Silicon Beat has the best coverage inlcuding the question: “What took so long” and the good natured competition between the big wigs at SDForum. The “official statement” offers this description - my questions in parens:

Comprehensive Nationwide Satellite Imagery Coverage
Wall-to-wall coverage within the lower 48 states in the US. We are going for the best coverage nationwide, from the streets of New York to every inch of Redding, CA. (Details of cvoerage are where? What’s the resolution? Who took it?)

Global Satellite Imagery
The product features global images at 15 meters per pixel (zoom level 5, medium resolution), which basically lets you find and see every city, town, and major land feature in the world at medium resolution.

Global Maps
We’re releasing maps and overlays at medium resolution for the whole world as well. This should help you view not only the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, but also help see the context of the imagery in hybrid mode. (Sources?)

Update 4/13: One source claims imagery is from GeoEye. I’ve not confirmed that. I’ve found imagery from i-cubed and Aerials Express in my travels on Yahoo Maps.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/12 at 09:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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
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