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Friday, April 07, 2006

The open and commercial API offerings have some parallels to APIs in desktop and other products. Some companies offer APIs for use and commercialization to third parties in addition to building on the APIs themselves. For example, ESRI offers many extensions built on its API and engages many partners to do so. GlobeXplorer offers its imagery as a Web service and uses it as the basis of its Property Analyst (a paid service).

It will be interesting to see if the API providing organizations continue to build on their APIs or look for more partners. Microsoft seems to be actively looking for partners for its API. Other players, so far as I can tell, as standing by to see what happens.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/07 at 07:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I think I saw no fewer than three versions of tools to measure distance for runners/walkers/cyclists illustrated during the conference. I found an early one (Google Maps Pedometer) and use that exclusively. I consider the rest “also rans.” (heh heh) It will be interesting to see how many of these sites (free or otherwise) will be around in a year.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/07 at 07:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I spoke with more than one vendor at Location Intelligence who after showing off an app using one API was quick to say, “Yeah and we might offer it on a different one, too.” That suggests a few things to me: at least some of the platforms are “interchangeable enough” for that to occur, there’s some reason (licensing restrictions, customer preference, other) that would drive developers to change, and developers are taking the time to keep up with lengthening list of open mapping API offerings.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/07 at 07:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tina Hay is the editor of the Penn State alumni magazine. I’ve never met her, but always read her editorials which sometimes relate to Penn State, but most often do not. Her last dispatch compared her grandmother’s amazement with the radio (the new technology of the grandmother’s time) with her amazement at Google Earth (the new technology of her time). The difference, reports Hay, is that her grandmother didn’t seem concerned about what sort of music came out of the radio, simply that it music came out. Hay finds herself immediately critical of Google Earth’s imagery since it’s not of high enough resolution in the areas in which she is interested. A colleague suggested the radio leap was far larger than the Google Earth leap which may be a factor. Still the generational expectations revealed are interesting to note.

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

Conversations over dinner one night echoed those of a representative from STI: PopStats in the closing session: free websites generate value for the company behind them. In the case of those providing APIs this is information about what sorts of maps are requested for what areas/topics. In the case of PopStats, its free website (I apologize for not writing down the name) offers but a subset of its demographic data, and gives the company a clue about its use and helps it determine in what sort of data to invest in for its “for fee” data.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/07 at 07:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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