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Monday, March 05, 2012

Geocoda is launching to provide a replacement to the SimpleGeo service, which is being terminated on March 30, 2012. Geocoda aims to provide many of the services previously offered by SimpleGeo, with a simple migration path.

For now you can just sign up for info; the services are not yet ready.

- GeoCoda

With today's announcement, Preserve is launching a free iPhone app that allows anyone to find the nearest #5 collection area to drop off their plastics, and earn Recyclebank points for their earth efforts.

I'm glad my city does recycle #5 plastic. I'd hate to have to separate it out and drop it separately. On the other hand, we continue to add to the number of unique "find the nearest" sort of tools.

- press release

Stats NZ received anonymized data on the movements of mobile phones that were active in Christchurch city in the run up to February 22. By tracking the location of the unique IDs linked to where voice calls and text messages were sent, researchers were then able to pinpoint where these people went in the wake of the quake, how far from the city they travelled – and when they came back.

An undisclosed number of mobile phone users were tracked ...

and some patterns discovered. It's not clear how this information can help with future emergency planning, but collecting it is a start.

- National Business Review

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today, [Feb 22] in conjunction with the newly-launched BusinessUSA initiative, the Department of Commerce announced the launch of their business app challenge.  The $10,000 contest challenges app developers to find innovative ways to utilize Commerce and other publicly available data and information to support American businesses. The business app challenge calls on developers to utilize at least one Department of Commerce data set in creating an application that assists businesses and/or improves the service delivery of to the business community.  Developers may choose the platform that best suits them. Applicants may design for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, or any platform broadly accessible to the open Internet. A list of developer-friendly data sets can be found on the Business Data and Tools page of

Apps due by April 30, 2012. 

- Announcement on Commerce Dept Blog

- Contest Details

Coming March 23 and 24:

The AT&T San Diego Apps Challenge is focused on creating apps that improve the quality of life for San Diegans!  Mayor Jerry Sanders and the City of San Diego have partnered with AT&T to challenge software developers to use city and partner data to create new apps for their chance at $50,000 in prize money.  For more info please click this link:

Our Mobile App Hackathon (an event produced by the AT&T Developer Program, City of San Diego, and Apigee) is designed for attendees (technical & non-technical) to pitch ideas, build apps, get fed, compete for prizes across different categories and most importantly: meet new people and scout for teammates to work on new or current projects in San Diego. Our hackathon will introduce you to the latest cutting edge tools to help deploy your own app with a website backend, fully hosted in the cloud so that you can create the next great San Diego app.

- invite via eventbrite

New York’s BigApps contest, now in Version 3.0, has won no small amount of praise. Using data supplied by public agencies, Web developers compete for $50,000 in prizes, awarded based on voting by the public and a panel of judges. Voting on this year’s entries ends on Thursday.

As usual, there are a number of location based apps including one that shows vacant public land and whot to contact to explore developing it.

- NY Times

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, March 02, 2012

Foursquare has joined a few other players and switched off of Google Maps and onto OSM for its basemaps. The new maps are built on OSM, but are in fact MapBox Streets, a new product from the MapBox folks, aka DevelopmentSeed.

- Foursquare Blog

MapQuest has tweeked the look of its OSM-based maps (MapQuest Open) and enhance perfomance of tiles.

We updated the styles of our Open tiles to match some of the improvements we’ve made on our licensed tileset. ...

The second change is that we upgraded the tiling platform for better performance and reliability. Hopefully it’s like a great offensive line in football – you never notice it because it just works.

- MapQuest Dev Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/02 at 06:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

 Transparency International – Malaysia (TI-M) aims to enlist 1,000 committed volunteers this year to help monitor the forests in the country.

“Anybody can join our Forest Watch Project and become a forest ranger,” said TI-M Forest Governance Integrity Programme project manager Victor Soosai at a conference at Grand Dorsett Hotel last Thursday.

He said members of the public can sign up to be a volunteer via the Forest Watch Project website (

Launched on Feb 1, the website enables the public to report illegal deforestation using Google Earth’s real-time satellite imagery and aerial photography.

Of course the imagery is not real time, but the crowdsourced effort is already underway in other countries including  Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China and the Solomon Islands 

- Selangor Times

Using the power of social-networking BomgoHive Zambia is using the on-line mapping platform Ushahidi to build up an accurate picture of the fast-growing network of technology innovation and entrepreneurship centres across the continent of Africa. 

BongoHive have created a dynamic, user-generated, on-line map which is revealing just how many tech business incubation hubs have been set up around the continent. 

- press release

Grindr, the social network for the LGBT crowd, has luanched a new effort centered around social justice.

Grindr for Equality is requesting ongoing submissions and information pertaining to the GLBT community where users live. Individuals and like-minded groups are encouraged to send an email with basic contact information and a brief description of how the issue relates to the GLBT community and how Grindr for Equality could provide assistance. Submissions can be sent via email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or those interested can visit for additional information.

- Just Means

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/02 at 06:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Read about  Howard Veregin, Wisconsin's State Cartographer in Good Magazine.

Listen to FCC GIO Michael Byrne on FedNewsRadio.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/02 at 06:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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