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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Update 5/7/08: This from Matthew Gain, Citizenship and PR Manager, Online Services Group, UK
[Business Consultant to Microsoft Limited]

We recently announced the integration of Multimap into Live Search in the UK and will start to route users directly to the Multimap service from MSN UK and Live.com from 9th May.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/07 at 01:42 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yes, I too saw John King of CNN doing the "stretch and shrink" act on the touch screen last night and Paul Well’s comments notwithstanding, I have a different take. What’s going simply illustrates the problem that many users of web services, like Google Earth, are and will face when it comes down to wanting more than what it was designed to do.

First, King does a fantastic job and to the extent that CNN has the right statistics at his fingertips is quite good…for what it was intended to do. What is was NOT intended to do was get down into finer demographic detail and display additional political boundaries nor could it query the political districts for certain data that King so desperately wanted at his fingertips.

The CNN political geography map web service that they constructed becomes inadequate when situations like the one that occured last night for Lake County Indiana. Lake County had votes outstanding and was late in reporting results. Everyone is focused on this single county to give them the Clinton/Obama vote given the closeness of the primary election. And here’s Mr. King manually drawing in the congressional districts with his finger to try to assess where he "expected" each candidate to have a better chance of pulling votes. It didn’t work. The level of voting detail was not there for him to truly predict the results. What he was trying to do was to mark the congressional district boundaries and then overlay the satellite image to those boundaries to look as rural versus urban areas. Obama was pulling better statewide from the urban areas; Clinton from the rural, white communities.

It served as an example of what happens to the expectations of users who believe that a static, web service will do just fine until there is a need to drill into the details. We saw this happen to products like MapPoint 2000 when just simple thematic mapping quickly becomes inadequate when you try to do more advanced analysis and ask questions that it was never designed to accept. The same is true for the CNN Touch Screen. It doesn’t have all the boundary data like congressional district maps or precinct maps (which I am sure will be needed eventually). And while the satellite maps are nice it, seemed like Mr. King was a little ill-prepared to describe the geography other than being able to point to rural vs. urban areas and found himself not knowing some of the geography (like the I90 toll road for which he was grasping). He really needed another overlay of the road network and additional POI data.

So, I continue to revel in the CNN coverage just because the maps are now a highlight of the evening..and yet there is so much more that could be done. Linking to live vote counts by precinct? You know it’s coming.

by Joe Francica on 05/07 at 08:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

That’s it’s latest offering. Mashable explores it and it’s a bit more than that - more like Yahoo! Pipes to me. If you want a map on your app you add a single tag to create it an pop it onto the dashboard.

Most interesting is Adam Ostrow’s take on Salesforce.com, an actual company that makes actual money, in contrast to the many, well free toys.

Is it just me, or do the announcements we hear from Salesforce seem to just make a lot more sense than a lot of the tie-ups we hear about on the consumer side of the Web? Last month, the company announced a deal with Google to launch Salesforce for Google Apps, and from what I’ve seen in my brief tour of Visualforce, we’re about to see a lot of really useful applications being cranked out by developers in the Salesforce community. It certainly adds more credence to the theory that Facebook apps are just for fun.

 

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/07 at 07:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Blogger Paul Wells (writing in a blog at Macleans) thinks CNN has overused its touch screen mapping driven by John King, the geospatial person of the year (Brian Timoney gets credit for that determination and he’s quite correct).

CNN is giving one-quarter of its screen to the actual primary-night coverage and three-quarters to John King randomly doodling on the touch-screen. For, like, the last half-hour. Anderson Cooper and some talking head are doing the talking-head thing, tucked over on the left side of the screen, and King is randomly doing his Tom-Cruise-in-Minority-Report shtick, scrunching the map down with his thumb and forefinger, shifting county maps back and forth, scribbling with the Glowing Green Finger. On most of the screen. A month after CNN put the touch-screen on the map (and vice versa), they have now fetishized it past irrelevance and into annoyance.

Now they’ve taken the actual people whose actual voices are doing the actual analysis offscreen altogether, so we can watch nothing but John King doodling distracetedly on his gigabyte Etch-A-Sketch. He doesn’t even seem to realize he’s on camera.

 

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/07 at 07:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bloomberg actually cited “wo people with direct knowledge of the case” on the matter:

The European Commission will clear the 2.9 billion-euro ($4.5 billion) purchase on May 14, a week before the regulator’s May 21 deadline to rule on the transaction, said the people, who requested anonymity because the decision isn’t public.

That’d be next Wednesday. TomTom of course said nothing.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/07 at 07:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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