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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The GeoTech Center and San Diego State University sponsored "The Bizarre Map Contest." According to the info on the contest, "The Bizarre Map Challenge is a map design competition open to high school, college, and university students in the United States. The goals of this challenge are: to promote spatial thinking; increase awareness of geospatial technology; and inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and map representation in students and the broader public."

Here are the top winners (full list of winners):

First Place ($5,000 first place prize): Christopher Brown

School: University of Alabama

Teacher: Joe Weber

Although Middlebury College swept the largest number of awards,  several two year college students were winners, including several from GeoTech Center partners:
Student: Gail Aloisio
School: White Mountains Comm. College
Teacher: Margaret Heaney

Student: Daniel Schweer
School: San Diego State University
Teacher: Trent Biggs

Student: Joel Miller
School: Gainesville State College
Teacher: Chris Semerjian

by Joe Francica on 04/29 at 10:33 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At the Oracle Spatial User Group meeting in Phoenix, Xavier Lopez, director of Oracle Spatial and Semantic Technologies, addressed the Oracle Spatial users in an opening keynote presentation about new developments for the product.

Oracle 11G Release 2 is the current version but Oracle is heavily working on 12G…if that’s what it will be called, according to Lopez.

"Location enabling business applications has been a big effort for us, especially in utilities," said Lopez. In addition, Oracle continues to support the open source community by working diligently on specifications such as GDAL in addition to supporting the traditional GIS markets for public sector solutions in state and local government.

New themes discussed at this meeting were an indication that Oracle is moving beyond current opportunities and moving to increasingly larger enterprise applications such as enterprise clouds. Oracle is leveraging massive clustering environments and a new generation of storage technologies for faster access and better analytics. Much of this effort is being driving by increasingly larger amounts of data from sensors.

Future Direction
Lopez discussed where Oracle will emphasize product development in the near term.

  • Geo-reference data types
    • 3D virtual reality models
    • Sensors (e.g. LiDAR imagery)
    • Geo-reference video - Here, Oracle views video data as nothing but another sensor.
  • Real-time geo-processing such as ingesting real-time sensor data and processing the data at millisecond level speed. Because of the immediacy of getting data to decision-makers, the user often does not have time to move it down to database but must use in-memory processing. Oracle is looking at sensor fusion applications which Lopez believes is another area that will become mainstream.
    • Complex event processing (CEP)
    • Sensor fusion
  • Spatial Reasoning
    • Semantic Web integration will enable a whole new level of analytics, reasoning and inferencing. This is still in the early R&D phase but Lopez believes it will have an impact on the geospatial industry.
  • Support for open source, commercial tools and support for OGC specifications. "Standards in general are very important to us," said Lopez.
by Joe Francica on 04/29 at 12:47 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

First up, a new OS for TomTom devices:

If successful, the new webkit based operating system as well as the introduction of new technologies in all its new devices over the coming months will “create a platform for great innovation for both the consumer and automotive market”, says the CEO [Goddijn] confident of the new plans.

Webkit is an open source browser engine and core technology for Safari and Chrome.

Next up? An app store for that new OS:

Expected sometime in 2010, although wouldn’t officially be drawn on a date, the new app store will play on the move to the webkit platform and allow a greater emphasis on providing the TomTom experience elsewhere, other than just dedicated devices like the newly launched TomTom Go Live 1000.

And Augmented Reality?

Although Goddjin confirmed that the company was looking at the possibility of adding augmented reality in to the mix, the niche technology isn’t a major objective for them. That doesn’t, says the CEO, mean that a third party developer couldn’t create something in the future for an app store for customers to download.

- PocketLint

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/29 at 08:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It seems Google’s location database will still be accessible and perhaps used in the Motorola phones.

But, Motorola officials said, Google’s location data will still be available on the phone, and apps may end up using it in some cases. The phone will first seek Skyhook data, but in some cases will also check Google. And depending on which gives the stronger and faster reading, the device will make a decision as to which is used.

- NY Times Gadgetwise Blog

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/29 at 08:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In March Slate asked readers to send in hand-drawn maps and they did. The resulting article shows quite a range and warms the heart of this geographer. The comments are worth reading, as well.

It reinforces some of my thinking as I finish up a column on how interactive maps sometimes get in the way of a good story. (Don’t look for it in Directions Magazine, it’ll be in GIS Professional.)

- Slate

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/29 at 08:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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