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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Information Week reports that Scientists are tracking 45 fish using sonic waves, GPS and RFID in the Hudson River. I wonder if they are going to scale up this operation out into the ocean or they have hooked up with some other technology. Will they be able to track them when caught? Hmmm….RFID in an upscale restaurant. What’s next? A little loan sharking to fund the project?

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/12 at 12:51 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Nat at O’Reilly notes a subtle change in data sources at Google Maps vs. the Google Maps API. Whereas both used to cite both Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ, as of about October 4 Google Maps online cites NAVTEQ and the API cites Tele Atlas. Nat argues there was some discussion regarding licensing that led to this change, though he notes it’s all speculation as neither Google nor NAVTEQ will speak about negotiations.

The data providers do hold all the cards just now. And, each time the technology providers find a new way to try to “take advantage” of that data, the data folks must respond. Recall when clever people used desktop MapPoint for routing/tracking and Microsoft came back in the 2003 license and put a cap on the number of vehicles that could be tracked in real time? In fact, it was NAVTEQ, then Navigation Technologies, that forced the change. Remember how many folks tried to “get at” the data (and tools, though I think data was the #1 draw) in MapPoint to take advantage of its several hundred dollar price point? One solution is Map-in-a-Box.

Nat’s point is well taken in the sense that it’s up to Google (and Yahoo! and Microsoft…) to figure out how much they want to pay to make such apps and APIs and the key data behind it available to the public. I feel confident that if they offered the right number both NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas would provide whatever was requested. The trick is making back the return on that investment.

To date only Microsoft has detailed its plans for “cashing in” on its mapping API investments. Google’s seems to have something to do with advertising and I’ve not heard much about Yahoo’s plans.

While we try to understand the implications of the new offerings, let’s not forget that geospatial apps run on data as fuel. And, just like gasoline, the price of premium data is still high.


by Adena Schutzberg on 10/12 at 08:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s here. It’s free to use on a one-off way or via an XML API.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/12 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bruce Joffe of the Open Data Consortium shared the latest input form the California Attorney General regarding charging “for furnishing a copy of parcel boundary map data maintained in an electronic format by a county assessor.” The bottom line:  it’s “generally limited to the amount that covers the direct cost of producing the copy but may include certain other costs depending upon the particular circumstances as specified in the California Public Records Act.” Joffe notes that the opinion is advisory and would need to be taken to court to be made law and thus be enforced. He notes, thought, that “this opinion does strongly indicate what such a legal interpretation would likely be.”

The opinion is online in PDF here.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/12 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In the UK a website will allow citizens to “pin point” the location of minor crime on a map to report it. The national Police Portal will add that functionality soon. As of now, a description and post code are used to identify locations. The technology is from QinetiQ and the new portal is expected to be online in spring 2006.
(Via Gary at Resource Shelf)

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/12 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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