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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

With so many serious Google mashups out there, and so many blogs doing a great job of tracking them, I rarely note them. But, this rather silly one caught my eye. geoGreetings will use images from Google Maps of buildings shaped like the letters of the alphabet to build a custom greeting card for you. The recipient must have Google Earth to view it, says the blog post I read. It sure looks like Google Maps to me, so I think not.


by Adena Schutzberg on 11/22 at 06:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The University of Wisconsin has a new interactive campus map built by, among other, a recent computer science grad (campus news service). It’s really nice - flash-based - and includes aerial and map layers, mouse over ids of buildings and bus stops among other things, and the ability to send a URL for “customized” version of the map. It even has a measuring tool.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/22 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Doug Caverly (WebProNews) gloms onto Greg Sterling’s (Search Engine Journal) article about Ian White and his company Urban Mapping. We at Directions know Ian well since he’s presented at our conference in past years (plug: Call for Papers is open!). Ian attacks the problem of mapping with an eye to the practical: how can we make the system smarter so it can better get us humans better information?

Sterling highlights Ian’s pet problem: the centroid problem.

Among the issues we discussed, White and I spoke for some time about what he called “the centroid problem.” This is a term I’d never heard but apparently refers to search results and listings being arrayed according to proximity from some hypothetical center of town. White argued that this is how an engineer might think about local but it’s not the way that users think. I agree that this approach renders “distance” a virtually meaningless filter.

Caverly sees Urban Mapping bumping into Google and other local search players.

And so, even if it’s not a competitor [to Google], it seems possible that Urban Mapping could bump into Google - or any number of other companies - at some point. A statement on its site makes this even more likely: Urban Mapping claims to “value intellectual creativity and agility over any particular body of knowledge,” and “our passion lies between disciplines and across domains.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 11/22 at 05:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Northwest Innovation reports [update 11/22]: a year late per Platial CEO, see comments) that Platial has received a round of funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Omidyar Network, and Sherpalo Ventures. No word on the amount, but the deal closed at the end of October.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/22 at 05:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An event titled Cartography-Expanding Horizons, organized by Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA) in collaboration with Survey of India allowed the Indian president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to expain that the “Cartographic community has a key role to play in national development and expressed hope that the community will provide value added services to all national missions.” He also outlined a six point plan to be achieved by 2020 that cartographers should address.

Indian Press Information Bureau Press Release

He also suggested a law ” to govern the use of outer space and regulate the use of data acquired from remote sensing satellites, particularly of sensitive installations.” Recall that India is not too pleased with Google Earth’s coverage of the country. The president suggested that those who break such a law would be subject to prosecution. The press release, interestingly, didn’t really cover this topic.

The Hindu

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/22 at 05:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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