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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I got a preview of (or is it Mapstory - the site has it both ways) last week at FOSS4GNA. It was scheduled to launch last Thursday and is now up an running.

What is it? There is no "about" page, so I can only tell you what I think it is. It's a platform for collecting datasets (StoryLayers), amd MapStories (animaged maps of these datasets over times). The intro video talks about sharing what we know about our part of the world and collaborating with others to learn more. The platform shares vision heritage from sites like Platial, GeoCommonas and ArcGIS Online. The datasets are offered in several formats (shapfiles, KML, GeoJSON under a CC license (of some sort) and the MapStories are embeddable (though I was unable to successfully embed one as of yet). 

For now, you need to ask for an invitation to join (a video explains how). Once you log in you can upload data (shapefiles, KML for now), build stories, comment, etc. There are currently 67 StoryLayers and 45 MapStories. They are categorized (crisis, health, culture and ideas, etc.) for better searching. A wider campaign to invite users is expected in a few weeks.

It will be interesting to see this platform mature and see where it goes. The underlying tech is the open source geonode platform for the management and publication of geospatial data.

The idea dates back to 1994, when Chris Tucker got the idea while working as an academic. It's come togehter over the past few years with the last nine months of agressive coding. Tucker expects students to learn quite a bit from these animated visualizations. Tucker also sees the site as a place for "homeless" geodata.

I'm wondering if there'll be confusion with Esri's MapStory effort. I think that work may be in the process of being remamed Story Maps

See (ok listen) also: GotGeoint podcast interview with Chris Tucker

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/17 at 09:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Microsoft wants you to know:

Today, Bing is announcing several updates to help people navigate Bing Maps faster and more easily find businesses, building and venues.

-  Expanded venue maps: Now there are nearly 900 venue maps which are much easier to find and use. Simply zoom-in into your favorite shopping mall, airport or stadium and click on its footprint to access the venue map.

-  Improved local business info: Zoom-in into Bing Maps and find some of the most popular local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and much more. Simply click on a business name or icon and find out more details about it.

-  Better navigation: Bing Maps added semi-transparent 3D building outlines for metropolitan areas, providing better context of how a city looks and where the key buildings and landmarks are located. Additionally, most labels in Bing Maps now act as shortcuts, making it faster and easier to zoom-in and provide the best map view for a particular place (state, neighborhood, park, etc.).

- e-mail from Microsoft PR

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/17 at 04:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Willbros Group, Inc. is collaborating GeoEye for imagery and Google for data serving to deliver a cloud-based pipeline integrity management solution.

This cloud-based solution will provide customers easy access to real-time pipeline information integrated with GeoEye's high-resolution, map-accurate commercial satellite imagery served from the Google Earth Builder platform.

This is the first announcement that I've seen of a product built on GEB.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/17 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Cartifact will sponsor a Map Innovation Award with a top prize of $10,000 to be given for the best map-focused innovation of 2012.  The company made the kick-off announcement Tuesday at the O'Reilly Where Conference in San Francisco.  Bruce Daniel, Director of Cartifact Labs and coordinator of the competition explained, "Maps are in a renaissance today, becoming a fundamental way of understanding data and location.  We hope to foster a wide-open push to develop innovative maps and mapping tools, and in the process create an exciting opportunity within the community of mapmakers and developers."

It runs through 2012 with the winner announced at the Where Conference next year.

- details

SkyScanner is giving away ten Crumpled City Maps (they cover 30 big cities) in a drawing which closes April 30. The maps are printed on fabric that's waterproof and rather indesrtuctible, so you don't fold them, just crumple them.

- SkyScanner

Code for America is recruiting civic startups for a four month Accelator program starting in August. The three to five companies selected get funding, mentoring, marketing support and more. Have any other geo companies been selected? Yes: SeeClickFix. Applications due by June 1.

- Code for America Acclerator

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/17 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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