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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Microsoft wants you to know:

Today, the Bing Maps team announces the completion of its ambitious mapping effort, Global Ortho Project, for the United States. In two years, the Bing Maps Imagery team has collected every square inch of the continental US and Western Europe at 30cm resolution (1ft = 1 pixel). This endeavor sets a new standard in aerial map imagery.

To give you an idea of the amount of imagery the team has taken, at 30cm per pixel, you could line up all the Global Ortho pixels end-to-end to reach around the earth 994 times, to the moon 104 times and to Venus with an extra seven trillion pixels to spare.

Check out the Bing Maps blog post for more information. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/30 at 07:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Cruse says one of the next “big things” he thinks will start gaining more traction is geographical information systems, or “GIS”. Already in use in some places, GIS would allow a person with a smart phone to receive messages from businesses he or she is interested in, whenever that person is in close proximity to that business.

“Whenever you’re traveling past a business, for them to be able to send that information out regarding, say, a 25% off special that day. Some of those things are already being done now, but I think you’re going to start seeing more of that GIS targeting through mobile devices because these are what everybody is going to be using," says Cruse.

Nathan Cruse talks about the future of his company, VE Creative based in Owensboro, KY, which started out building websites and supporting social media for business. I found this an interesting take on the state of the industry from a fellow who started his company in 2007, his senior year of college.


Google now offers turn by turn directions for bikes on its new Android app.

Cyclists will be able to view turn-by-turn directions on a live updating map after selecting a destination and affixing their phone onto the handle bars, or they can simply listen to the spoken directions from the phone's speaker or via a connected headset.

I really don't expect to use this during my errand running in the city or on long rides in the 'burbs. I like to keep the phone in the jersey pocket, except when at a full stop.

- C|net and Google Lat Long Blog

According to figures out today from Nielsen, 95% of all mobile traffic for travel-related content comes from native mobile apps — specifically on iOS and Android platforms. Mobile web — and traffic on operating systems that are not Android and iOS, for that matter — accounts for only 5% of visits.

Number one on the hit parade? Google Maps as both app and Web, then Gas Buddy (app) and TripAdvisor (Web) in the two second spots.

- TechCrunch

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/30 at 05:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

News that a federal court fund that Texas' redistricting plan violates the Voting Rights Act appeared yesterday. Among the court documents is this statement from the court on the state's claim the chief mapmaker was not aware of the capabilities of the software regarding using racial data:

Texas made [Texas House Republican staffer Gerardo] Interiano’s testimony the cornerstone of its case on purpose in the House Plan. Interiano spent close to a thousand hours…training on the computer program Texas used for redistricting, yet testified that he did not know about the program’s help function, or of its capability to display racial data at the census block level…The implausibility of Interiano’s professed ignorance of these functions suggests that Texas had something to hide in the way it used racial data to draw district lines.

- Truth-Out via reader Bruce (full text of that part is available in the Houston Chronicle).


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/30 at 04:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This list of trash piles was in the online version of the Philadelphia Daily News. You can "vote" up a site that you want fixed (it's unclear if anyone is watching the votes or acting on them). The full map (Google Maps based) shows situations reported, resolved and acknowledged, but not by whom. I'd guess DPW. You can embed the map on your website, but it requires a rather complex wizard and you have to provide your contact info and agree to a license, something I chose not to do. This is the first time I've seen this sort of community outreach via SeeClickFix.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/30 at 03:54 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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