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Monday, July 30, 2012

The Google-Apple map wars took another twist today when it was announced that Barnes & Noble is making OpenStreetMap, the Nook's first mapping platform. Barnes & Noble's decision to adopt OpenSteetMap, through Skobbler's ForeverMap 2 app means that developers will also be able to create Nook applications with location-based functionality. Barnes & Noble's decision gives them the edge on Amazon, who opted not to have Google Maps or a third-party map system integrated into the Kindle Fire's version of Android. Kindle Fire users currently have to access Google Maps through the web, although limited GIS applications exist.

I could find nothing on the Nook website about the announcement or decision (save that the app is listed under apps) and nothing on the Skobbler new page on this "big news."

- Fast Company

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/30 at 03:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Google latest imagery update for Earth and Maps covers Olympic venues along imagery for 25 cities and 72 countries/regions.

We’ll start in the United Kingdom, where the London 2012 Olympic Games opens this Friday. We’ve released new satellite imagery taken this past May of the Olympic Park and Village. In the image above, you can see the final construction touches being added to the open-air Olympic Stadium (lower right).

- Google Lat Long Blog

The offiical London 2012 map is build on Bing Maps, and includes both a "find nearest" and a "search" box. I tried to find the location of the marathon (I know where it will be held) but found all sorts of other events with "marathon" in their titles. To use this map effectively, one must first set a series of event type and time parameters at the bottom of the map, then move up the map to input the query of interst. Only then did I find the Mall as the venue for the event. And, the map tip included this helpful info: "Athletics - MarathonSaturday 4 August – Saturday 11 August." Perhaps it's more helpful for those at the games, not those watching from afar.

- map hosts and olympic map (based on Google Maps) but I can't figure out just where the venues are - or how I might search them.

- MyLondonMap - Olympic Map

LondonTown also offered what it calls and interactive map, but I didn't find it too interactive at all. You can pan and zoom and that's about it. Oh and you can embed it, as I did below.

London - The Olympic City, from

- press release

Crisis Mappers UK is deploying a Situational Awareness map for the London Olympic Games which will collate and distribute relevant, real time information to a broad range of stakeholders (general public and emergency services) to support situation awareness and facilitate rapid reaction in case of an emergency. Our definition of ‘emergency’ includes incidents (transport disruption, emergency services) and health events.

It uses volunteers to add information to Ushahidi's Crowdmap platform:

How does it work?

Volunteers will register on and sign in on Skype
Volunteers will receive confirmation of registration and suggested slots
Data will be collected and distributed on the Ushahidi Platform:

Volunteers will be able to choose between different tasks:

1) Media Monitoring Team
Identify mainstream & social media websites/feeds
Monitor these feeds on an ongoing basis
Enter actionable info

2) Geo-Location Team
Find GPS coordinates of Media reports
Find GPS coordinates for other info requested by Humanitarian Team
Keep an up-to-date Google Doc of all GPS coordinates found by location

3) Responders Liaison Team
Liaise between UKCM and humanitarian responders.
Fast track urgent reports to humanitarian responders
- Send sit reports to humanitarian responders

4) Verification team
Verify urgent reports and actionable reports using original sources or triangulation

5) Analysis Team
Find patterns in the reports submitted to the platform
Produce a regular CMUK Report

- Demotix

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/30 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The National Geographical Information System (nat-GIS), described by three officials how refuesed to be identified, will use existing datasets from the likes of Google and Microsoft (who are in on the discussions) as well as state data and data rom private firms to build a kind of Google Maps, but with far more data layers, for the country. The cost is expected to be 3,000 crore, about US$54 mllion.

The government will not collect data, but provide infrstructure and cajole the players to share their datasets disourage duplication of data.

The state’s role will be to set up the infrastructure—servers, communication links that will enable them to piggyback on existing fibre optic networks such as those manned by the National Informatics Centre—and to get the ministries and the government departments, both at the state and the district levels, to make their data accessible.

One GIS expert, Sanjay Mehendale, doesn't expect to see anything too soon.

“Making data compatible is the most challenging aspect and there are several impediments—legal, administrative—to it. I don’t see anything before 2020.”

- Livemint

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/30 at 02:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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