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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I watched Steve Job’s introduction of the new Apple iPhone. It truly looks revolutionary, but I could not find within any of the tech specs about a location sensor: No GPS chip. Yes, you can view maps…there’s an icon to link to Google Maps via a Wi-Fi connector; sure you can see imagery as well which is nicely displayed on the very wide screen interface. But unless you can load something like Skyhook’s location finder device that uses Wi-Fi, accurate positioning seems to have been left off the list of important features. Am I wrong; has anyone seen differently. So, there is no inherent LBS function that automatically identifies your location then routes you from your position to wherever.

by Joe Francica on 01/10 at 11:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Gary Smith from Green Mountain GeoGraphics, Ltd., our 3D guru, shares his take on the new version of SketchUp and what he knows about its integration in the GIS world. He writes:

There are two big additions to the software. The first is called “Photo Match” ... this should make you think of GeoTango…

Photo Match enables you to create a 3D model by tracing a photo or matching an existing model to a background photo. Photo Match allows you to designate lines in a photograph that correspond to the axes in Google SketchUp. Then SketchUp calculates the camera position and field of view to equate the modeling environment to the photograph. You can also apply photos to one or more model surfaces or link photos taken from different viewpoints to re-create multiple sides of a building.

The other big addition is called “Layout.”  It is still going through some refinements, so it is listed as “beta” software.

Here is the official text description for “Layout.”

LayOut (beta) is a collection of new tools for Google SketchUp Pro that makes it easy to build professional design presentations from your SketchUp models. LayOut lets you place, arrange, title and annotate SketchUp models, photos and other design elements to assemble presentation graphics and design documentation for print and screen.  If you’re an architect, a builder, a filmmaker or if you just have a complex spatial idea that you need to present, LayOut can help you weave a compelling story around your design.
. Powerful: Communicate your design story from inspiration to finished
. Compelling: Create memorable presentations
. Flexible: Place both 3D and 2D elements on the same page
. Innovative: Actively manipulate 3D content on 2D pages
. Collaborative: Take meeting notes directly on the presentation pages
. Useful: Print high-resolution, large format hard copies

Google appears to be very serious about enabling and encouraging people to continue to build and add 3D content.  With all of the improvements and additions in SketchUp Pro 6, Google wants to make sure everyone upgrades to version 6.  To encourage this to happen…it is free!  Here is the text we got:

Upgrade Message - Upgrade to SketchUp Pro 6 for free by June 30, 2007.
Free upgrades are available to users who have purchased any version of SketchUp Pro from either Google or @Last Software. To upgrade, please visit and follow the instructions in the upgrade wizard.
If you don’t already own SketchUp Pro and would like to give it a try, download a free 8-hour trial at

For ArcGIS users, I have been told by SketchUp staff that a new plug-in
(free) will be released very soon that will allow ArcGIS 9.2 and SketchUp Pro 6 to work together to create multipatch feature classes.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Two parties are in court ove the right to use government data on an online mapping site, Virtual Maps. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is suing it for copyright infringement arguing the company did not destroy data once the original agreement was ended in 2004. Virtual Maps contends it added value, and is not required to destroy that data. Coverage also suggests SLA is going after Virtual Maps because it has recently launched its on Web mapping solution for Singapore.

It’s worth pointing out that Virtual Maps has itself sent out “hundreds” of letters demanding $10,000 or more from others whom it claims have reproduced its maps online.

- The Electric New Paper

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The interactive online map features award-winning functionality and allows layers of event, venue and destination information to be turned on or off for activities taking place during Super Bowl week in South Florida. In just a couple clicks, fans may navigate the NFL Experience Built by The Home Depot interactive theme park next to Dolphin Stadium to all the happening parties in South Beach.

The map is from the Map Nework, recently acquired by NAVTEQ.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This has been coming for a while, though I was unclear on how it would be done. This somewhat cryptic press release from NAVTEQ last November was the first I saw of it:  “New Service Allows Merchants to Directly Access the Widely Used NAVTEQ® Map.”  It announced

a new service called NAVTEQ Direct AccessTM that allows retailers to accurately and comprehensively include all their locations in the NAVTEQ® digital map used by millions of location-enabled consumers around the world every day.

Now, these deals are making the business pages:

Bank of America Corp., metro Orlando’s second-largest financial institution, hired Tele Atlas to make branch locations available via automobile navigation systems and mobile and wireless global positioning devices.

Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

[Disclosure: I am a contractor for Tele Atlas.]

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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