Recent Posts

Geeky & Green: Avego Takes Rideshare High Tech

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Noe Sacoco Jr writes “With high gas prices, traffic and under-investment in public transportation, finding a solution is on the minds of most Americans. Introduced this month, Mapflow’s Avego aims to turn private cars into public transit.

Combining real time data location and the ubiquity of the iPhone, Avego matches wasted seat capacity—those seats which are unoccupied—to passengers, reducing commute costs for all participants. The free iPhone application, set to be launched in beta at the end of October, can also work at a feeder to public transportation authorities and corporate campuses.” See also Spatial Sustain’s recent coverage of Avego.

Analysts: Google Maps wins, rivals ‘stagnate’

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There is an article currently running on CNet news about a report by analysts Cowen and Co. analysts. Here is part of the report taken from the article : “Since our initial survey in July 2007, innovation at (AOL’s) MapQuest and Yahoo Maps has stagnated,” and although Microsoft has improved Live Search Maps, it remains the least popular of the four top services, said analysts Jim Friedland and Kevin Kopelman. “Yahoo and MapQuest do not have the resources to keep pace and are forced to aggressively monetize a declining franchise in the maps segment.”

Australia Mulling a Nationwide Vehicle-Tracking System

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Slashdot discussed over the weekend the story named Australia Mulling a Nationwide Vehicle-Tracking System.

This is a topic regularly covered here, see related stories below. Australia joins the U.S and the U.K. for similar efforts.

Their summary: “It seems that as political support for Australia’s version of the national ID card is waning, the powers that be have found a far more effective way to catalog the populace. CrimTrac, an Australian government agency responsible for designing technical solutions to aid policing, is due to hand in a $2.2 million scoping study for the introduction of a nationwide automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). It seems that as well as ANPR, the system will also collect images of drivers and passengers with high enough resolution for identification purposes. All ANPR data collected would be made available to participating agencies in real time, and retained for five years for future investigations.

Debunking the Google Earth Censorship Myth

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Slashdot discussed this weekend a story named Debunking the Google Earth Censorship Myth.

These “51 censored places” have been greatly discussed by Ogle Earth in an informative entry (followup entry) – read the copied snippet below.

The /. summary: “There’s a persistent Web meme to the effect that Google obscures sensitive or top-secret locations in Google Maps and Google Earth at the insistence of national governments. A July IT Security article promoted on Digg, ‘Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren’t Allowed to See on Google Maps,’ revived this notion. But the article has been widely criticized, and I did some fact-checking this week on the six Boston-area locations mentioned in the IT Security list. As it turns out, not one of the allegedly blurred locations has degraded imagery in Google Maps, as my screen shots demonstrate. My post looks into the sources of the misleading IT Security piece, and of other mistaken rumors about Google Maps.” From Ogle Earth: “But of the 51 items posted, in only one case did Google actively roll back imagery for security reasons at a government’s behest — in Basra, Iraq in January 2007. (Street View imagery removed because it was mistakenly taken from private property is not interesting from a censorship perspective.)” This topic has been regularly covered on Slashgeo, see related stories below.

Microsoft’s Mundie Sees a Future In Spatial Computing

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Slashdot ran a story this weekend named Microsoft’s Mundie Sees a Future In Spatial Computing. Their summary: “Speaking at the MIT Emerging Technology Conference, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie explained that he sees the industry evolving into ‘spatial computing,’ and he envisions a 3-D virtual world populated by virtual presences, using a combination of client and cloud services. ‘In a few months, the compay plans to test a new virtual reception assistant in some of its campus buildings. The assistant, which takes the form of an avatar, helps schedule shuttle reservations to get people to various locations across the 10-million-square-foot Redmond, Wash., campus. The system includes array microphones and natural language processing by which the avatar listens to the subjects and then interacts with them in real time. The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing. Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider.” The GeoCLoud and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth 6.2 has been discussed recently, see related stories below.