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Thursday, March 23, 2006

“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

Brian C. Norton notes in a comment at SlashGeo that not only both were acquired by Google, but also that they were funded by CIA via In-Q-Tel. He notes a few more Google might want: metacarta (natural language/document geocoding), spotfire (visual data mining), pixlogic (automated image exploitation, tagging, searching).

I’ll add a few more from the In-Q-Tel portfolio: IDELIX (in context zooming, I’m suprised they’ve not yet been acquired) and Rosum (location determination by TV signals).

It sure was nice for the CIA to fund these companies for Google to buy, isn’t it?

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 01:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The New Mexican has a somewhat rare article not about NAVTEQ capturing data, but rather about Tele Atlas capturing data. That process, at least for highways, involves vans with four cameras, automated image recognition, and direct updates to the database. The driver just drives and makes sure the cameras are not covered with bugs! The company is looking for summer interns to do some of that driving…

One issue that still puzzles me involves not how quickly the updates get from field to Tele Atlas, which is fast:

Comi said he used to make note of inaccuracies and someone would fix them later, but now the company’s system allows him to make changes immediately.

Rather, how are data providers doing in getting quicker updates to clients, say online mapping sites? Has that gotten faster, too?

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 07:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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