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Monday, February 27, 2006

Evan Yares, lead guru at the Open Design Alliance, the guys who make libraries that read and write CAD formats like DWG, posts on his blog that the new version of AutoCAD due soon may be an Autodesk only deal.

He notes that “locks” in the file format and restrictions on reverse engineer may make it impossible for his, or perhaps any organization, to read or write the format, forcing users to use Autodesk products with that data.

Via Tenlinks

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 01:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A patent issued on Valentine’s Day of this year may undermine many of the now ubiquitious rich media apps using Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML. The patent, with 83 claims was awarded to Neil Balthaser, a former VP of strategy for Macromedia, who runs a small developent company in San Francisco.

While many developers suggest the patent is invalid, other onlookers expect Balthaser to perhaps sell his intellectual property off to the highest bidder - Microsoft, Yahoo or Google, those deep into the rich media game.

A quick look at the Patent Office came up with the patent for Methods, systems, and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the internet

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 08:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ask Jeeves, now just relaunched today and updated its mapping tools to Ask Maps & Directions 2.0. It’s worth a look to explore:

- driving and walking directions
- ability to add destinations along the route by pointing (it geocodes for you,  then it adds it onto existing route; it doesn’t reroute to them, so far as I can tell)
- imagery from GlobeXplorer
- mixed maps (known as Hybrid in Google Local)
- AJAX app
- play movie of the directions
- no advertising and no “local” features

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 08:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An FCW article brings together a host of only somewhat related topics relating to mapping challenges and Katrina.

First off, the article intoduces Talbot Brooks, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, who headed up GISCorps efforts. He feels that we need to implement the National Grid, as a standard, from local through federal government, to insure all responders can easily share and use data. Richard Hogan, chief of geography operations at USGS “doesn’t require GPS devices or additional money.” Ok, sure.

Next up, USGS touting GOS as the answer.

USGS officials say the best solution lies in Geospatial One-Stop, a Web portal that combines thousands of geographic resources from federal, state, local and private entities.

And, of course ESRI needs a word, as the vendor operating GOS. See if this follows:

Geospatial One-Stop will just be an empty data bank unless the government makes it easy for users to submit information in multiple formats, said Pat Cummens, ESRI’s senior adviser for government projects who is involved in the project.

Formats? I thought this story was about a single grid system? (Perhaps this was a misquote? ESRI folks know the difference between formats and coordinate systems.) Is it me or is this a discussion of apples and oranges? And, why is there no mention of NSDI or The National Map?

Sean at import cartography noted the National Grid was covered on NPR recently.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 07:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The downloadable app works with a number of camera-enabled phones, which need not have GPS. The photo is tagged based on cell tower ids and a database being buit by Yahoo that links those ids to known locations. It seems that this is being built by those who upload images and confirm a geographic name or ZIP Code.

Via O’Reilly Radar

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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