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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Everyone more or less understands maps.”

Mark Mulligan, a geographer at King’s College London and a project designer for Terra-i, quoted in the New York Times. He was discussing the new tool which offers near real time information on deforestation. It was unveiled at RIo+20 last week.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/26 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A New York based start-up Mapfia, Inc. have cracked the nut on LBS app's privacy issue. Mapfia's app for iPhone and Android phones lets users make free "map calls" to see each other's real time location. Its patented technology allows users to share location by simply making a phone call, and once you hang up, that's it! It only shares your location privately while you are on the call. Mapfia also integrates seamlessly with users' existing address books and does not require a PIN or username. Because of its private and temporary nature, Mapfia is especially useful for people who are constantly meeting up with others, such as college students, salespeople, real estate brokers, or even taxi drivers. And also for those who frequently want to know each other's location but still want to control when to share their location information.

Among the challenges for this vision: the name of the app.

- press release

Facebook did some location analysis of check-in and determined the "most social places" around the world.

Among the no. 1 ranked landmarks across the 25 cities:
- 7 are sports stadiums/arenas
- 6 are public areas: squares/avenues/parks/gardens
- 2 are amusement parks
- 2 are concert arenas
- 2 are shopping-related: shopping centers/malls

- Facebook

Facebook's friend finder was originally called “Friendshake” but now seems to be “find friends nearby” ( It's available via that URL or in the mobile apps. It finds friends and people you don't know who are local within an unknown distance. 

For now, the app works like this. Users have to be logged into Facebook and also into the Friendshake URL, and then others who are near can pick each other up. You can see both your own friends, as well as those you may not know.

For now it looks like the main purpose is to quickly add people who you meet at a specific event — like a hackathon, or a bar.

Between the time I wrote this on Monday and went to post it on Tuesday, the app was pulled per Wired.

- TechCrunch

- RWW offers a "how to" for what calls FB's new "stalking" app

- Wired

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/26 at 03:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Community Commons, is a social network was founded by Advancing the Movement and IP3 with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kaiser Permanente and the YMCA of the USA. The idea is to connect organizations who work on public health issues. Among the resources is a map of participating organizations (built on Google Maps) and a tool to build your own map based on various data sets (log in required).

- via Governing

Need some details radiation data for Japan? It's coming thanks to a newly funded Kickstarter effort called Safecast.

Mapping the world’s radiation and air pollution data, using one volunteer with one gadget at a time — that’s the goal of the Safecast project, which this week closed over $100,000 on Kickstarter to deliver a limited run of its open source geiger counters to interested buyers. “I don’t think it’s an unreasonable goal,” to create comprehensive maps of this data from all over the world, says Sean Bonner, co-founder of Safecast, in a phone interview shortly after his team’s project was funded.

The vision is that the data collected will be a available to all. The Kickstarter version of the device is $400, but the manufacturer will sell it retail for $800.

- GigaOm

Zanzibar now enjoys spatial distribution of health services with an average walking distance of five kilometres, the Deputy minister for health, Dr Sira Ubwa Mamboya, informed the House.

"Geographic Information System (GIS) shows that a health service covers 99 per cent of Zanzibar. This is admirable development," said Mamboya in response to question from Mr Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM-Muyuni). Ayoub asked why Pete village, Makunduchi in South Unguja has no clinic, and the deputy said Pete had two health centres at Kitogani and Unguja-Ukuu separated at a distance of three kilometres.

- All Africa via Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (never heard of it, but sounds like a good idea; note map has a big ad for Tanaznia Yachts on it!)

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/26 at 03:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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