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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tiramisu Transit LLC, the Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company that uses crowdsourcing and GPS technology to track Port Authority of Allegheny County and CMU transit trips, has received $102,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant, which comes from the department's Federal Transit Administration and its Research and Innovative Technology Administration, will go toward researching sustainable business models to bring the technology to the commercial market.

The crowdsourcing bit includes sharing GPS traces, info on how many seats are available on busses and more.

Post Gazette

It's time for BeeWatch, a crowdsourcing effort in the UK to map bees. The app is based on photos and the users use of a tool to identify the bee in question. Then there's the best part.

Upon submitting the identification, a bumblebee expert will respond to the submitter with feedback regarding the accuracy of the identification.

There is a lot of interest in seeing how far naturally visiting bees and those formally re-introduced will spread across the country.

- The Guardian

The Police of Finland - Poliisi - wants to make neighborhoods safer by engaging the citizens of Finland in a mobile and online social conversation. Poliisi will be testing beta app Grafetee as a public safety tool in the following months, and engage with non-mobile users via Grafetee-supported interactive map on

Already widely adopted in Finland, Grafetee allows users to update their status with images and text, and to alert the police in real time about things happening in their area, without having to actually make a call. With just a tap, citizens of Finland will be able to report a crime or a dangerous situation, or inform officials of any situation needing immediate attention. Likewise, the police can alert citizens and request support as needed.

The police will actively monitor both Grafetee app, and the online interactive map, responding to citizens’ feedback. In case of emergencies, local users should still call 112 - the Finnish police emergency number.

What does it mean when police only actively monitor one social network?

press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/03 at 04:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MapQuest now offers authoritative commercial data via its Community Edition API.

Who doesn’t love free? Yes F-R-E-E. MapQuest is known for its accurate geocoding and flexible routing APIs but did you know that developers and businesses can get unlimited free MapQuest maps? With MapQuest Community Edition you can build both online and mobile apps and get access to highly accurate maps for free (there’s that F word again) with no usage limits for maps (check out our licensing chart for details). The combo of free maps built on commercial data and no usage limits for maps makes us different. Different in a good way, we think.

Do be careful because while the maps are free and unlimited, other calls have daily limits. See a comparison chart here.

- MapQuest Blog

Next up, the latest geo APIs per Programmable Web.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/03 at 03:25 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yahoo has announced that it will close down location-based social network Koprol at the end of August, less than two and a half years after it bought the Indonesia-headquartered social network for an undisclosed sum.

- The Next Web

With the growth of more location-based mobile apps, there is some inevitable shakedown, too: the latest of these is that check-in service Forecast will be shutting down its app and website, effective July 1, because its developers, Hurricane Party, have run out of money.

... Forecast was developed a service for people to make more sophisticated use of the check-in concept, by either letting them check-in on Facebook and Foursquare before actually arriving somewhere — or, more recently, enabling automatic, ambient check-ins once they got there.

- TechCrunch

Last week Foursquare announced a new option for developers: Connected Apps. The idea is that when you check in you can get extra information from these partner-provided apps. So, let's say you check-in and the Weather Channel provides the forecast. Or, you check in at a chain restaurant and Eat This Not That tells you what's healthy and what's best avoided to stay lean. Those are both likely future options as those two organizations and 10 or so more are already involved in the early development with Foursquare. Would getting that sort of data make you more likely to check-in? I find the idea rather compelling.

- TechCrunch

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/03 at 03:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The top university geography program, per QS World (who?), is Oxford. I can't argue that. I do wonder how the Univeristy of Chicago, with no geography department and but 8 faculty (several are in other departments and one is from another school) on its "Committee" can be ranked 9th (tied with Australian National Univeristy). Yeah, I'm still sore about the school shutting down the department the year I graduated.

Other U.S. institutions: Northwestern 49, Dartmouth 47, Indiana 45, Penn State 41, UNC 39, Minnesota 30, Washington 18, Wisconsin 14, UCLA 4, Berkeley 2. Wow...just three private universities are on the list!

The methodology (heavily academically, aka publishingly, related) is here.

- The Guardian

The Societal Impacts Committee of the GSDI Association will provide a free training opportunity for up to three candidates from Latin America to attend the ICLPST (International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training) training Seminar on Geographical Information Systems and Land Management in Taipei. The training seminar will begin on September 12, 2012 and conclude on September 25, 2012.

There are language and other requirements; the oddest one is that applicants must be under 55.


There's an opportunity for a studentship (I guess that's a student doing work for a university) at University College London. It's a PAID position exploringintegrating open source GIS (QGIS, GRASS) into the GIS curriculum. It's for students in the Dept of Civil, Environment and Geomatic Engineering.

details via @mhacklay

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/03 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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