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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today, TomTom announced a new Map Toolkit API. Here's a list of what TomTom is offering to app developers (source: TomTom):

  • Map display web service, which delivers WMS-style raster maps based on TomTom’s flagship MultiNet map database. Tiles are pre-rendered at 18 zoom levels, ranging from a single global tile to 305x305 meter detailed map images.
  • Geocoding web service, enabling both free text forward geocoding (find a location by entering an unstructured address, place or POI) and reverse geocoding (identify a location from a pair of latitude and longitude coordinates).
  • Routing web service, which provides highly accurate point to point routing and route re-calculation using TomTom’s best-in-class algorithms.
  • Traffic web service, using TomTom’s HD Traffic to deliver real-time traffic incident and delay information.

TomTom is making downloadable iOS (v 5.0), Android (API Level 8 [V2.2x] and higher), and JavaScript software development kits (SDKs) from their developer portal. Here's what's included:

  • Reception of an API key for evaluation (upon registration)
  • Documentation available to download
  • Code snippets and SDKs
  • Reporting and analytics to test and manage apps
  • Transaction based pricing
  • Support and forum
by Joe Francica on 11/15 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Greg Williams, the executive editor of Wired Magazine, was the keynote speaker at Bentley System's Be Inspired Awards Event in Amsterdam this week. He delivered a summary that explained how the mobile society is being transformed today and how mobile devices will impact society tomorrow. He believes that the next three years will see mobile tackle three key areas: payment, search and shopping.

"Our connected devices have become our primary interface with the world and it’s something that mobile is really, really good at, said Williams. He stated that global mobile internet traffic will increase 18 times between 2011 and 2016. "Africa is coming online fast; China and India are maturing. It’s a world gone mobile."

Williams also reminded the audience that "In the old world, content was meant to be protected [but] the rules of value creation have changed." As such he said that we don't need much to distribute content anymore and in fact remarked how little we depend on TV or traditional publishing.

Williams delivered five key clues to what the mobile society should expect tomorrow and what is truly happening today:

  1. The web has allowed us to break outside of institutional boundaries. People will communicate independently of official channels. However, some companies have taken the approach that social media, when brought internal to the organization, can eliminate certain roadblocks to communication among employees. For example, Salesforce's Rypple is a social media platform built for work team evaluations and communications. The traditional way of evaluating employees antiquated. Rypple allows employees to build a continuous resume of work-related kudos from superiors into a simple portfolio based on communications with work teams and managers.
  2. Individualized conversations. Social media means that the transaction is just the beginning. Customers, clients and team members seek relationships that go beyond the merely transactional. If you run a business, communication with clients and stakeholders is now driven by social networks. If you are a brand manager, you need to be a part of the fabric of your business which means doing much more to communicate with customers with social media and outside mainstream mass marketing. One example of building a more effective internal communication solutions was adopted by Lockheed Martin Corporation. They built an internal microblogging site to foster employee interaction, called eurekastreams, that Lockheed has found helps workers, especially in a company as large as they, find more immediate answers to questions.
  3. Act in real time. Have you noticed how people tweet while watching TV in order to become part of the experience of watching a new episode or a live sports event? Williams feels that we are going to need to scale this enormously in order for the data to flow. Williams pointed to the example of how Ushahidi became extremely useful during the earthquake that hit Haiti. It became a real-time platform for information distribution where things like SMS texts were geolocated to determine areas where immediate help was needed.
  4. Williams quoted Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired and former publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, who said that, "Access is better than ownership." People want "interaction without friction." As an example, Williams point to "zopa" a peer to peer micro-lending site where people can lend or borrow money. Individual lenders set their own rate of return and risk exposure while borrowers have less hassles than with a bank.
  5. Finally in an era where there social networks have encouraged avoiding institutional channels and conversations are "individualized," Williams final suggestion was to "design for loss of control" because social networks allow people to follow their passion no matter where they are.

Good advice in this nacient era of social networking.

Disclosure: Bentley Systems supported travel to the Be Inspired Conference.

by Joe Francica on 11/15 at 04:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A coalition of 52 organisations called the Sydney Alliance has commissioned maps revealing the proximity and frequency of public transport services throughout greater Sydney.

The alliance commissioned urban geographer Dr Kurt Iveson to map Sydney's public transport network.

He found while a significant proportion of the city's residents live within 400 metres of public transport, just 15 per cent of those locations have services that leave every 15 minutes or less.

That, the alliance suggests, means inequality for the citizens. The best way to provide more options: busses. They are far more cost effective than more expensive dedicated trains.

- ABC News

The Phelps County Assessor’s Office, MO, is getting mobile GIS.


... the goal is for the mobile app to replace paper maps used in the field.  

Currently, the assessor’s office cannot use the web GIS on a tablet. “

Who and how much?

The proposal from Midland GIS Solutions includes a cost of $4,150 to create the application as well as maintenance up through Dec. 31, 2013. To continue to host and update the app, it would cost $2,400 a year starting in 2014.

The contract price of $4,150 is under the threshold needed to seek bids.

Is there support?

District One Commissioner Larry Stratman said, “You don’t have to sell me on it. I applaud your efforts and it makes all of the sense in the world.”

- Booneville Daily News

California's GIO announced plans for a January launch for a state geoportal.

The geo portal -- which will catalog state, city, county, federal, tribal and nonprofit data and operate based on "federated search" -- will launch this January with the goal of enabling government, business and the public to find information within two to three clicks.

The state will also develop high-value data sets that are used often across government, but presently reside in what Gregory called "disparate formats." The state also is looking at building a GIS cloud for state government to share information as a Web service, and building a communication strategy that exploits the latest technology tools.

I think @briantimoney has it right: "The more things change..." BTW, this article cites 85% of data having a geospatial component.

- GovTech

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/15 at 03:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I know that we set aside Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day to put a special emphasis on the perspective and technology respectively. My GIS Day, however, reminded me that in fact, both are perspectives and technologies that pop up everyday. My friends Facebook posts on GIS Day provided many examples. (No, none of my closest friends are geographers or GIS people...)

I posted asking if any of these non-geo people knew it was GAWeek or GIS Day. Only my best friend, who is required by law to know everything about me, was aware of it. That got me thinking: Are we just talking to ourselves during this week? I don't know. How do we measure our success? The most amusing response to that question was a guess at what GIS stood for: Get In Shape.

At lunch time a friend sent on a series of Google Maps he received to show a meeting place for a noon run and the route the group would take. He explained in detail that the maps were not oriented in a way that made sense to him and that they were not "zoomed out" enough to provide context. Those were some pretty spatially aware comments for a guy who, by his own admission confirmed by observation, has no sense of direction.

Later in the day another friend posted, obviously dismayed, that her Garmin had died. A quick response came: "Get a map." Nope, it was not her personal navigation device that died, but rather her running GPS (the kind without maps as discussed in this article). Yep, Garmin is like Kleenex...except that it clearly defines more than one kind of device.

Finally, this evening a friend noted a hot story here in Boston. It turns out that a U.S. attorney wants to take over a hotel from its owner because there's lots of crime there. The owner has no record, but by law, the government can take over his geography via civil forfeiture.

Yes, GIS Day was just another day...

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/15 at 03:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
USC approves Bachelor of Science in GeoDesign degree, begins Spring 2013. Spatial Sciences Inst, Architecture, Public Policy involved 
- via @daviddibiase

The Bucks University Technical College (UK) specialises in ICT and construction studies for 14 to 18 year olds and will work with high profile partners such as Taylor Wimpey, ESRI and Cisco.

So far the school has 21 students signed on. By 2016 it will be able to hold 600. Doors open in 2013 and students will study 8-5, just like work.
Unmanned Vechicle University writes in an e-mail that its new textbook on UAVs, Introduction to Unmanned Systems: Air, Ground, Sea and Space, Technologies and Commercial Applications (Amazon link), is under review for courses at Embry Riddle, Eastern Michigan University and Indiana State University.
- e-mail from UVX
by Adena Schutzberg on 11/15 at 02:57 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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