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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ayers Saint Gross, a Baltimore architecture firm built 3D Baltimore InSite for $40,000. For now it's just on the Web but mobile versions are in the works. Since the database of Visit Baltimore's member information (the source for the site, but not every attraction in the city!) is updated daily, the promise is the map will be more up-to-date than other services.

- Baltimore Biz Journal

[Texas] Comptroller Susan Combs has created a new website – http://www.texastransparency.org/yourmoney/localtax/– intended to help taxpayers get a handle on sales and property tax rates from cities, counties, special purpose districts, transit authorities and others.

Maps are built on Google and the raw data is avaialble for download.

- Houston Chronicle

The [Phillippine One Map] project is being funded through the e-Government fund and has a total budget of Php 600 million (USD 14 million) over a three-year implementation period.

After the first phase is done, the lead agency is considering using cloud computing, crowdsourcing and providing mobile applications.

- FutureGov

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 04:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

TomTom's navigation app for iPhone and iPad receives a small refresh with today's version 1.11 bump. The new update brings with it the most recent TomTom map data, new methods for choosing destinations and modifying routes, and Foursquare integration that further fleshes out the apps social networking feature set.

- C|net

"MarcoPoloLoco is a location-based messaging app," explained President Joe Roets, "that lets you send a message (a "Marco") to anyone currently at a specified location. It also lets you send a Marco to anyone at that location in the future, or anyone who has been to that location in the past."

Yep, we needed that. The unique feature, per the company, is that individuals' location information is not shared. I don't expect a hit here; another SoLoMo also ran. I'm guessing they could not get the MarcoPolo name.

- press release

Confused.com is an insurance comany in the UK. It's known to me as a company that does marketing by commissioning travel related surveys. It's got a new way to market: an LBS app.  The app is a promotional tool that monitors driving behavior using GPS on your smartphone. 

Each journey is marked out of five based on the user’s anticipation of the road, braking, acceleration and driving at an appropriate speed. Once the user has driven 250 miles they are given an overall score out of 100.

For those of us that don’t use the car to commute every day it may take a while to clock up 250 miles, so Confused.com has incentivised users with rewards when they achieve certain distances.

After 20 miles users are given an in-car cradle and phone charger, and if they complete 250 miles they are given £25 cash plus a further £25 off if they buy an insurance policy form Confused.com.

This doesn't match what happens in the U.S. I get a discount if I drive less: I'm less likely to get into an accident if the car is in the driveway! I suspect apps that help you drive more efficiently, that is save gas and thus save money would be more motivating. And, I'd like apps that penalize you for short trips; better to find another mode of transport like the bus or bike.

- eConsultancy

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 02:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The commercial winners of the Remote Sensing Energy Challenge on the Spatial Energy have been announced. No word yet on student winners. The commercial winners are:

Adrian McCardle and Parwant Ghuman from 3v Geomatics Inc.of Vancouver, Canada. Their winning entry, “High Resolution Ice Motion Mapping,” makes a convincing argument for the use of InSAR data for ice monitoring.

GeoEye was the sponsor and will present the winners with $7,500. I found this competition disquieting because it required winners to give up rights to their ideas for $100. "Further, by submitting an entry, you assign all such rights in such ideas and concepts to Spatial Energy and agree that, by payment to you (in Spatial Energy's sole discretion) of $100, Spatial Energy shall have the full right to use, further develop, commercialize, distribute, and transfer such rights and any products or services incorporating any such ideas or concepts, without any additional payment or other consideration to you."

- press release

Want to help out some interns and learn about their research?

This summer, 178 interns from across North America conducted 30 research projects in partnership with more than 77 end-users. These projects highlight NASA Earth observation capabilities relative to environmental issues and concerns for enhanced policy- and decision-making. ...

Students from the DEVELOP program will compete in a blogging contest for prizes from our sponsor, Esri, a company known for its Geographic Information System mapping software and other innovations. Students will compete in the contest by discussing their projects with peers and Earthzine readers using the Facebook commenting system at the bottom of each project page.

Sounds complicated and I guess you have to be on Facebook to participate in the "blogging" discussion.

- Earthzine via @josephkerski

CARIS' popular calendar contest is back! Submissions for the 2013 calendar contest are now being accepted. CARIS is encouraging users of its software to enter their favourite CARIS imagery. CARIS' calendar contest is now in its seventh year of production and continues to gain in popularity.

Winning entries are put in the paper calendar, are used in social media and are available for download. Winners receive a mounted copy of their image, too. The deadline for submissions is September 14, 2012.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/22 at 05:32 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GovWin offers a "short examination of the historical spending data on the ESI [Enterprise Software Initiative] program examines which vendors are winning the most business, what COTS software DoD customers are buying, and what the implications of expanding the ESI program might be."

Here's the takeaway graphic and quote (below the chart) for geospatial: 

The Top 10 DoD ESI Vendors

" The presence of ESRI in the top 10 vendors indicates the value the DoD sees in expanding the use of geospatial capabilities."

And, maybe, I'll toss in, further explains the aqusition of GeoIQ. I thought Google might be in there too, but I think Carahsoft sells their enterprise geospatial products.

- GovWin

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/22 at 04:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ergon Energy delivers electricity in Queensland, Australia. It's "experimenting with open source gaming engines and physics models in an effort to capitalise on a massive geospatial data set from its ongoing laser-mapping project." That project, called ROAMES, is 10% done in its quest to map 150,000km of power lines in the state by June 2013 using LiDAR and imagery.

The vision is SimCity:

ROAMES research director Matthew Coleman said Ergon developers – including games industry veterans from companies like THQ – were building SimCity-like graphical interfaces to allow the firm to play out what-if scenarios with the data.

"The traditional asset management systems we're used to today are moving away from tabular data sets and bringing that to a very rich, game-like environment," he told iTnews.

"They'll be more like SimCity. Utilities will be able to play out scenarios – for example, 'what if I deferred maintenance of all poles for the next five years' – and the system should be able to show us the effect of those changes."

- ITNews.com.au

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/22 at 04:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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