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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Allen Stern at InformationWeek’s blog suggests that BrightKite would be a good fit for Nokia.

Oh, and BrightKite is now in open beta, so everyone can use the location-sharing social networking app.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 08:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tele Atlas announced a new dataset with historic traffic data a few weeks ago to little fanfare. The reason? No one was really using it yet (save TomTom, TA’s owner, internally).

Now TomTom is using the database in a beta version of an online routing program. You can sign up to be in the program here. (There’s also a rather long video introducing the site.) The big differentiator is that the algorithms will tap into current and past data about traffic (say, how busy it typically is on a Sunday afternoon between 6-7 pm) to produce a better route.

It will be a big score if users note a significant difference in the accuracy of routes over those not using this database. We’ll see how it plays out.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In what I consider a clever promotion, LightningGPS is offering towns, schools, churches and synagogues free GPS tracking and hidden cameras to help prevent and catch those who try to make off with or destroy holiday objects such as Baby Jesus, Santa,  or a menorah. I for one hope the fear of being caught will make potential thieves think twice before making trouble.


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Neighborhood Watch sounds like just another real estate site, but it’s not. It’s only about Pinellas and Pasco counties single family home sales and it was developed by the News Technologist at the St. Petersburg Times for the paper. It automatically spits out reports about trend stories based on the data so real estate reporters can track bigger stories. The plan for the Google Maps/GeoDjango app is to add counties in the coming months, and there’s a plan to add condo information, too.

The fellow behind the app is Matt Waite, the St. Petersburg Times News Technologist. He’s also the person behind PolitiFact, the fact check site, built it using GeoDjango, PostGres, PostGIS and Google Maps. He abandoned MySQL due to its lack of spatial support. (Updating using a desktop GIS was too demanding.)

The app taps into an appraiser database and Waite explains how the paper had to draw some neighborhood boundaries in the suburbs.

This article about Neighborhood Watch is from MediaShift and is the first in the new series “The MediaShift Innovation Spotlight.” It “will look in-depth at one great mash-up, database, mapping project or multimedia story that combines technology and journalism in useful ways.” Readers of this blog may have some stories to submit for future coverage.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GIS was piloted in a handful of schools over the last few years and the results were positive, leading to the option of using it in the classroom and for fieldwork. Grades would count to student’s end of year evaluations. The Ordnance Survey provides schools with a broad license for data.

A link in the article from Computing highlights the Royal Geographical Society’s GIS Resources page. There are curriculum resources here including software evaluations by teachers/one GIS professional of 23 GIS packages (some professional, some aimed at education) for the classroom. This summary table is interesting, but is from 2005, so while Multimap is on there, Google Maps/Earth is not.


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 06:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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