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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Larry Larsen, writing at, a site for journalists that I frequent, notes a new piece of software, Grazer, that tags digital images with GPS coordinates in the IPTC field.

The what? The “Telecommunications Council (IPTC) was established to safeguard the telecommunications interests of the World’s Press. Now its activities are primarily focussed on developing and publishing Industry Standards for the interchange of news data.” As I understand it, the newspaper folks have developed their own standard for how to store geographic metadata in images.

Since this is journalism site, he notes its implications: “Sadly, this is probably going to be another example of consumers blowing the doors off media companies followed by years of catch-up, and that’s too bad because some killer new-media applications could be developed with our existing content.”

Maybe I’m out of line here, but what about ISO standard JPEG2000 and the current work to include georeferencing information in it? Is that not good enough? I for one have never heard of the IPTC fields (or whatever they are) and wonder if the news folks spoke to the geo folks before creating this “standard”?

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/31 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Web map had plan to attack embassy”
Apparently a map of a plan to attack the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta was posted on the Internet, prompted closure of the campus. I got a different image from the headline…

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/31 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

If you want to be sure you are up to date on Google Map hacks, check out this list from

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/31 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, May 30, 2005

I was recently asked by a colleague of a respected GIS publication in Europe about what all the fuss was about with Google Maps and adding remotely sensed imagery. Well, the big deal, of course, these days on the Internet is "search". Search is a hot topic because people are looking for the next big thing on the net. That’s great, OK, now we have "search with maps." Well wait a minute, that’s the territory of all of us mapping and GIS people. These big guys like MSN and Google can’t just invade our "mapping space" without checking with us first, right?

The big deal here is that there is much more to it. The idea that people are hacking Google Maps and coming up with some very cool applications is causing a stir. So why haven’t MapInfo, or ESRI, or Intergraph capitalized on this? It’s because they are down in the weeds trying to come up with the next big environmental model or workflow or spatial interaction function.

Meanwhile Microsoft and Google have got their sights set on millions of dollars in advertising revenue. "Oh, that’s not our market," I can just hear the execs at those companies saying. I think they said the same thing when AOL bought MapQuest for $800 Million. Too bad.

Quite frankly, the GIS players have missed it. They don’t get it. The big dollars are going elsewhere and they are left holding the next big buffer zone enhancement. Fanatastic, let’s see how much that will fetch.

My point is very simple: We are seeing only the tip of the iceberg with the advent of geographical search and data display. Google Maps is a mere a drop in the ocean of an expanding network that will rely on location-based data and not just for searching. The reliance on in-vehicle navigation systems, wireless LBS applications, RFID, city-wide Wi-Fi enablement, real-time weather and traffic feeds, is going to have an enormous economic impact on society. On-demand geospatial data will be in such high demand that those investing now in the infrastructure to handle these data will be the big winners.  Take a guess who that will be.


by Joe Francica on 05/30 at 07:47 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This just struck me as an example of how “upfront” mapping is in the mind of those on the Internet. YumgoRightClick, a new free download from Yumgo, allows users to highlight terms in word processing or other apps and search them in a favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.). Ok, that’s cool. Here’s how the press release positions the tool: “The most useful resource [sic] is the look up. For example, you can highlight an address in MS Word, right click on it, and in an instant display a map of the address.” The release goes on to challenge Microsoft to add this functionality to its new version of Internet Explorer.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/30 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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