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Friday, August 15, 2008

MSNBC has a look at the state of turn by turn directions on the iPhone (there are none yet) and highlights that their may soon be some from the usual suspects - Garmin, TomTom, Magellan and perhaps Apple. How soon?

Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies market analysts, said “in talking to some of the guys in the software community, they believe we’ll see voice turn-by-turn directions within the next three months” for the iPhone, and certainly “before the end of the year.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 09:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Undeterred by some of the feedback from the MyNeighbourhood application for West Midlands, London has launched a Google-maps based crime map (see graphic at right). According to the Public Servant Daily, the application, developed by the Metropolitan Police, uses data provided by the Home Office. I think the one interesting item about this application is the emphasis on noting the increase or decrease of a particular crime. I wonder if that was done to allay some of the fears of reporting crimes in the first place as per the comments about West Midlands.

by Joe Francica on 08/15 at 09:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I saw this yesterday, but needed to find an explanation I understood before writing about. Thankfully, my favorite lawyer on IP issues, Andy Updegrove (I met him when I consulted to OGC and he spoke at Directions Media’s Location Intelligence Conference in past years), is interviewed by Computerworld, so now I can explain it!

Here’s the case:

Kam Industries used some open source code that allows train folks to program chips in model trains. The code was released un an Artistic License. That’s not one I know much about - but it’s OSI approved and has a copyright from the PERL Foundation. That license requires users to “give credit to the author, identify the original source of the files and describe how the new code has been changed, among other conditions.”

The author of the code, Robert Jacobsen felt Kam Industries violated the terms and violated the software’s copyright. A requested injunction to stop Kam from using the software was denied in US District Court. The news this week: the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the ruling.

The big deal: when infringement happens, the infringee (the holder of the license) can argue copyright copyright infringement not just breach of contract. Why’s that significant? Now to Mr. Updegrove:

That distinction is important, says Andy Updegrove, an attorney with Gesmer Updegrove LLP in Boston who studies licensing issues. Under contract law, the remedy is monetary damages, which aren’t likely to amount to anything involving open-source software that is given away, Updegrove says.

However, statutory damages - money awarded for a violation of law - can be awarded for copyright infringement without requiring proof of monetary damages, Updegrove says. Also, people can recover attorney fees for copyright infringement cases, he says.

“And, most importantly for licences such as the GPL, it means that your rights to use the copyrighted work at all disappear,” Updegrove says, referring to the General Public License, widely used for open source software.


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 08:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

One of the projects I assign my students is a report on a Web mapping format. They detail its structure, how it’s used and demo an app that uses it. The Flash implementations they’ve found have always been in newspapers or other publicly facing sites and the apps were rather “simple.”

So, I was pleased to see the local paper touting an update to the Morris County, NJ mapping site. While the article doesn’t mention any technology, the client side is Flash; I can’t be sure of the back end. It’s a quite complex app, the kind I’ve not seen implemented in Flash. It must be pretty slick; it was named site of the day by Adobe earlier this year. Do be warned: you may need to read the help to use the site!

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 07:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thanks to all of you who submitted entries for our contest asking your help in covering the ESRI User Conference. We received a number of interesting submissions on topics including Landsat, the GeoWeb, 3D, crashes, the geodatabase and how to make the conference more appealing, Thanks to Dana, Sik, Greg, Andrew, and many others for their efforts.

The winner penned a well-written piece on a corner of the conference that wasn’t covered elsewhere. Here’s what Lynn Rosentrater, a research fellow in Geography at the University of Oslo, saw that interested her. We’ll be sending her iPod touch and she’s accepted an invitation to write for us in the future.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 07:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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