Tag Archives: Google Maps

Batch Geonews: Esri’s FileGDB Reversed-Engineered, China to Rent 5% of Ukraine, U.S. Government Shutdown Map, and much more

The recent geonews in batch mode:

From the open source / open data front:

  • At the beginning of the month, followers of Slashgeo's Twitter feed learned right away about the announcement by the City of Montreal that they'll make their textured 3D buildings publicly available in OGC's CityGML format later this Fall - this was announced at the Geomatics event - I'm waiting for a link to share for a full story (they showed impressive fly-troughs), and as far as I'm aware, that's the first major city to provide detailed textured 3D building to the public, is that right?
  • The 20-minutes video of Paul Ramsey's closing session of FOSS4G, on Being an open source citizen, well worth watching
  • Using a drone and open source software to make an image mosaic of mountains
  • Users of the R open source statistics software, mapmap 0.7 released: "Import, plot and analyze bathymetric and topographic" data
  • Here's about using CSS instead of the SLD standard to style layers in GeoServer

From the Esri front:

  • There has been a GDAL/OGR driver for the Esri File Geodatabase since January, but what's new is that the FileGDB format is being reversed-engineered, which opens the door for deeper support than what the API provides
  • Updated, Esri Maps for SharePoint 3.0.1 Released and why not, Esri Maps for Office 2.1.1 Released

From the Google front:

  • Google offers a New Google Maps preview, which includes directions for multiple destinations, your reservations, upcoming events and more
  • This may interest some of you, A Google Earth Exercise for Biblical Geography

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Interesting, James Fee on remaining relevant as a GIS professional
  • Via VerySpatial, I learned about the article named China 'to rent five per cent of Ukraine'
  • We mentioned Semantic Mediawiki since, here's a fresh article named Semantic MediaWiki: A promising platform for the development of web geospatial crowdsourcing applications
  • Can you believe them? NSA Abandoned Project To Track Cell Phone Locations
  • Location tracking is getting more insidious with an accuracy of 10cm through walls without any transmitter, MIT Develops "Kinect of the Future"
  • Yes, you can even do that, Satellite Maps Reveal Who’s to Blame for the Sinking of Venice
  • A reminder, What four things do map projections distort?
  • Locating things matter, The Internet of Things will be a $1.9 Trillion business by
  • With all the NSA / spying / privacy stories, not surprising to hear Germany Announces Rules on Sale of Commercial High Resolution Imagery

In the maps category:

  • A former colleague shared an interesting collection of 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World
  • A Map By Nokia Shows All Windows Phones With Language Set To “Chinese” In Asia And Europe
  • A map named Roads of Death, mapping road accident deaths per country
  • For the U.S., a New York Times “Immigration Explorer” Interactive Map
  • In New York? Lower Manhattan Growth Animation (1840-2020)
  • Oh, but you might currently be more interested by the Government Shutdown Map by the Washington Post
  • Still U.S.-related, via APB, BitLy's Media Map
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Google Geonews: Ads Now in Mobile Google Maps, The Legal Uses of Google Earth, and more

Still catching up, here's the recent Google-related geonews for the month.

From official sources:

  • Because lots of us use it, Six tips and tricks for the new Google Maps app
  • Improved traffic and more in Google Maps, New features ahead: Google Maps and Waze apps better than ever
  • Google is Building Better Maps in Russia and Hong Kong
  • And there's Google Map Maker now available in Bulgaria, Italy, San Marino and the Vatican
  • With its recent launch, here's more locations and behind-the-scenes of Google Views
  • We even get zoos in Street View now, Visit lion, tigers and (panda) bears - Oh, my! - with Street View

From other sources:

  • It was a matter of time, and it's now, Ads Appear on Google Maps Mobile Apps
  • The GEB shares an informative entry on The legal uses of Google Earth
  • Expected, Google continues to expand 3D imagery, but starting to phase out 3D Warehouse
  • Another Google Earth curiosity understood, The Kazakhstan Pentagram explained
  • Almost in the same category, Sunken ships in Google Earth
  • A discussion, Google Glass Integration For Cars Is Coming: Neat Idea Or Crazy Town?
  • Quick tips on Measuring distances with the Google Earth Ruler
  • More on Exploring the moon in Google Earth
  • Interesting, Using Google Earth to understand geomorphology
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Supergeo Releases Android-powered SuperSurv 3.1a for Enhanced Data Collection

Supergeo Technologies, a leading global provider of complete GIS software and solutions, announced that SuperSurv 3.1a Beta, the mobile GIS application for Android devices, is available for improving data collection and filed operations.


SuperSurv 3.1 enables surveyors to overlay layers in their tablets or smart devices to effortlessly collect surveyed data using GPS and waypoint guidance tools. The mobile GIS software supports global coordinate system settings, helping users save the collected data of point, line and polygon in SHP, GEO or KML formats for further application use.


Primarily leveraging the connection of SuperGIS Server 3.1a, SuperSurv 3.1a allows to access the server services and to edit feature service online for seamless data synchronization. In addition, the Online Map Tool supports to apply online map sources like OpenStreetMap and Google Maps as reference basemap for efficient field surveys.


To efficiently display the attribute data in multi-languages in other GIS applications, the code page settings will also be added into “Creating a New Layer.”


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Batch Geonews: 89% Use Google Maps, New Google Maps UI and iPad app Available, Esri UC Round Up, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Several interesting bits in there that may have deserved a full entry, but it's Summer time and I'm on holidays :-)

On the open source / open data front:

  • Remember Maki, the open / free cartography symbols? Maki got significantly improved and even gets an API
  • Announced, OpenGeo dives deeper into QGIS, along with the OpenGeo Suite 3.1 release
  • Jody shares his experience on OSGeo and LocationTech software foundations and their different cultures
  • Getting closer, OpenLayers 3.0.0-alpha.3
  • A success story in the Netherlands, Open standards open source projects for sharing geodata among provinces saves €4.5 million
  • A book review of 'Interactive Map designs with Leaflet JS Library How-to' by Jonathan Derrough

On the Esri front:

  • Lots of Esri news in the Round Up of Directions Magazine Esri UC Coverage 
  • A popular template, Map Tour story map template updates
  • James goes on with ArcGIS for Minecraft this time
  • Overview for Using the power of Amazon EC2 to build ArcGIS Server map caches

On the Google front:

  • Bang! 89% of websites that use mapping technologies use Google, while that may not be the exact figure, it does mean something
  • The new Google Maps interface is available to all, but you still have to opt-in, it's *really* an improvement
  • I'm amongst the happy ones, The new Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad is here
  • This goes along with the SDK version 1.4, Street View, indoor maps, and an updated map design in the Google Maps SDK for iOS
  • Jumping in, Google joins LocationTech
  • Indoor mapping everywhere, Where are we going to eat? See inside before you decide!
  • New places, On top of Mt. Fuji with the Street View Trekker and Scaling the heights of the Eiffel Tower
  • Still on a parallel track of OpenStreetMap, Growing the Google Map Maker community in Europe
  • And today, there is new imagery again

Geonews discussed over Slashdot:

  • Cheer up, Spatial Ability a Predictor of Creativity In Science
  • Another one, Disney Algorithm Builds High-Res 3D Models From Ordinary Photos
  • 3D printing for the masses, eBay Dips Toes Into 3-D Printing Market With iOS App
  • In case your weren't certain, U.S. DOJ: We Don't Need a Warrant To Track You
  • If you have a car, you can be tracked, "Smart Plates" Could Betray California Drivers' Privacy
  • And why not, ACLU Study Says Police Cameras Create Database of Our Movements
  • But some good news, Texas School District Drops Embattled RFID Student IDs; Opts For Cameras
  • Unsurprisingly, New Android Eyewear Wants To Compete With Google Glass
  • We mentioned what3words before, and now over Slashdot, Describe Any Location On Earth In 3 Words
  • What's in an Interactive Nukemap, Now In 3D

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Exposing online devices, Shodan lets you search and find the physical locations of online devices
  • On Apple, Apple Acquires Locationary to Address Location-based Big Data and Acquires HopStop for public transit  ... and according to Slate,  Apple's Maps Strategy Is Working Just Fine
  • An interesting discussion on mapping millions of dots and making great maps out of it
  • Via OR, an architecture book and design book named Operative Design: A catalogue of spatial verbs
  • OR shares a interesting quote: "We’re all carrying little networked laboratories in our pockets. You see a photo. I see millions of light-sensor readings at an exact coordinate on the earth’s surface with a time resolution down to the millisecond. The future is combining all these signals into new ways of understanding the world, like this real-time stream of atmospheric measurements."
  • BIM is there to stay? 71% of AEC professionals in annual UK survey see BIM as the future and Widespread adoption of BIM by national governments

In the maps category:

  • This was a hot topic in the U.S. recently, Mapping the Trayvon Martin murder case
  • Maps of Global Patterns of Tobacco-Related Economic Issues and another one on tobacco consumption
  • O'Reilly shares an Interactive map: bike movements in New York City and Washington, D.C.
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Batch Geonews: New Google Maps App, 3D Printing in Windows 8.1, GeoServer Enterprise, MapBox Real-time Satellite Imagery, and much more

Here's the geonews in batch mode. Some of them may have deserved their own entry.

On the open source / open data front:

  • OpenLayers 2.13.1 has been released, but arguably more exciting is OpenLayers 3.0 - alpha.2, they're getting closer
  • W3C is Launching the Open Data Directory
  • Introducing GeoServer Enterprise, it's GeoServer with long term support releases and more
  • Here's the FOSS4G-CEE Bucharest, Romania final thoughts
  • Montreal's public transport organization adopted OpenStreetMap for their maps, another example of how mature enough OSM has become
  • Nokia uses the open source CartoDB to show off traffic data
  • Good news, California Supreme Court Says GIS Data are Public Data

On the Esri front:

  • It was the Esri User Conference this week, you can read Geoff's 3D and other themes of this year's conference entry
  • Jack Dangermond explaining How Esri Hit $912 Million in Sales, very interesting, including: "One thing that has made us so successful is that we've never taken outside investment. That means we can concentrate on what our customers want--not what the stockholders or the VCs want. That's a strategic advantage."
  • You'll find a lot lot more on the Esri blog for the International User Conference
  • New imagery for Esri tools, DigitalGlobe and community imagery added to the World Imagery map
  • ArcGIS Online just got more advantageous, Get More with ArcGIS Online – Announcing Subscription Savings

On the Google front:

  • Google announced their new Google Maps app for smartphones and tablets
  • Also over Slashdot, Google Updates Maps, Makes First Stable Chrome Release Using WebKit Fork
  • Rest reassured, the iOS Enhanced Google Maps App with iPad Support 'Coming Soon'
  • Unsurprisingly, there was New Google Earth Imagery – July 8

Geo-related news discussed over Slashdot:

  • Microsoft Reveals Its 3D Printing Strategy For Windows 8.1
  • 3 GLONASS-M GNSS satellites destroyed, Russian Rocket Proton-M Crashes At Launch
  • MapBox is aiming at nothing less than Real Time Imagery via MapBox Satellite Live
  • But that's clearly the beginning, read APB's entry named Real-Time Data is Really Here ... Kind of, Almost
  • Again, City-Sized Ice Shelf Breaks Free Of Antarctica
  • New Zealand ISP Offers "Global Mode" So Users Can Circumvent Geo-Restrictions
  • Something we discussed before, Automated Plate Readers Let Police Collect Millions of Records On Drivers
  • UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Interesting, O'Reilly shares news about Sifted, a 7-minutes animation set in a cloud points world, geo-geeky
  • A Newly Published Apple Mapping Patent Details Route Feedback System, Real-Time Accident Reporting
  • O'Reilly mentions Cricket, an indoor location system from MIT, but the latest news appear to be from
  • If you're into Minecraft, you'll like Hangouts with James Fee:: Professional Minecraft GIS
  • Here's starting points regarding Cross Platform Development with Bing Maps and PhoneGap
  • In the U.S., Round-the-clock GPS tracking of state worker ‘unreasonable’ (via SL)

In the maps category:

  • A series of maps on Who Serves in the U.S. Military? Mapping Enlisted Troops and Officers
  • Here's Midtown Manhattan Growth Animation (1850-2015) and Toronto Growth Animation (1834-2013) and San Francisco Growth Animation (1877-2015) and Calgary Growth Animation (1892-2016)
  • Now available, a New global ESA Vegetation Map
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Google Geonews: Cloudless Imagery in Maps and Earth, New Google Earth 7.1 for Mobile with Street View, 50 New Cities in 3D, and more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews.

From official sources:

  • Excellent news, there's now only clear skies on Google Maps and Earth, cloudless imagery at least in the northern hemisphere to start with
  • Google Earth 7.1 for Android and iOS was released and now features Street View imagery
  • You can now apply to get the Street View Trekker kit to contribute to Google Maps, also discussed over Slashdot
  • Here's the new list of supported browsers for JavaScript Maps API v3, that list was last updated 3 years ago!
  • Google Maps additions:
    • Japan's Battleship Island in now featured in Google Maps, discussed over Slashdot
    • Fans of Thomas Jefferson, there are now Street View images of Monticello’s grounds and some building interiors in Google Maps
    • Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, is now in Street View

From other sources:

  • The GEB reports a quiet major update to Street View and 3D imagery, with 3D imagery in 50 news cities
  • Here's the Tour de France in Google Earth on Android
  • Also interesting is the exploration of 25,000 ancient sites in Google Earth with the Megalithic Portal
  • Kurt shows coastal erosion rates in the entry Google TimeLapse for coastal and marine applications
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Supergeo to Release SuperSurv 3.1a for Improved Data Collection for Android Devices

Supergeo Technologies, the leading global provider of complete GIS software and solutions, announced that Android-powered SuperSurv 3.1a will be released with the enhanced connection of SuperGIS Server 3.1a services.


SuperSurv is the mobile GIS application for Android devices, which enables field surveyors to overlay layers in tablets or smart phones to collect spatial data, position with GPS, use waypoint guidance, etc. Moreover, the mobile GIS software supports global coordinate system settings, allowing users to save the collected data of point, line and polygon in SHP, GEO or KML formats for further application use.


Primarily leveraging the connection of SuperGIS Server 3.1a, SuperSurv 3.1a allows to access the server services and to edit feature service online to synchronize the updated feature and attribute data with server.


In addition, Online Map Tool will be offered to support OpenStreetMap and Google Maps as reference basemap for field surveys. To efficiently display the attribute data in different languages in other GIS applications, The code page settings will also be added into “Creating a New Layer.”

#  #  #


About Supergeo


Supergeo Technologies Inc. is a leading global provider of GIS software and solutions. Since the establishment, Supergeo has been dedicated to providing state-of-the-art geospatial technologies and comprehensive services for customers around the world. It is our vision to help users utilize geospatial technologies to create a better world.


Supergeo software and applications have been spread over the world to be the backbone of the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. Supergeo is the professional GIS vendor, providing GIS-related users with complete GIS solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms.

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Transport for London’s Journey Planner is now using Google Maps!

This year we at Earthware have been working alongside the Transport for London Online Team to create the new Transport for London Journey Planner, which you can now try out. This has been a really exciting project to work on due to the scalability required, the responsive design framework and the seemingly infinite  number of routes and modes of transport in and around London! We thought your readership would like to know about some of the intricacies of the project, as we think it's pretty interesting!

As mentioned, the new TfL website comprises of a responsive design layout, and it has been an interesting and educating experience inserting maps into a site that has been designed, right from the start, for mobile usage. There are 3 widths available to users; single column for mobile devices, 2 columns for medium sized screens such as small slate devices, and three columns for desktops.

There are 3 maps for you to take a look at in this release of the site.

The first shows where you are if you try to plan a journey using your current location as the start point – click on the 'Use my location' option in the drop down for starting locations:

Then, if you’ve allowed your browser to know your location, it will show a map of where it thinks you are:

The second map shows if you try to plan a journey and use a destination that isn’t exactly recognised, you are provided with a list of options that are possible matches for you to select from. You can see this in the example below where I was planning to go to “Victaria”.

Note the full screen button in the bottom right of all the maps, allowing you to better explore:

Once the site knows the start and end point of your journey, it offers you 4 possible routes and times of travel. For each option you can click on the details of each leg, and view that leg on a Google Map.

You can see the third map when you investigate an individual leg of the journey you have planned (by clicking on 'Show map'). For the leg shown below you are able to take either the Circle or District line from the same platform, so both colours are shown on a single polyline, to make sure there are no gaps. Here I planned a trip from St. James’s Park to Bank. See this route for yourself here.

And if you are a pictures person you can now switch to satellite view too!

As there are many modes of public transport in London, it’s worth taking a look at how these are now displayed on the site’s maps too.

River routes have been mapped clearly, by suppressing Google’s in built river ferry routes. Here I planned a trip from London Bridge Pier to Greenwich Pier. See this route for yourself here.

And of course the cable car route! Here I planned a trip from Emirates Greenwich Peninsula to Emirates Royal Docks. You can see this route for yourself here.

On the DLR Route below you can see it ‘’dog legging’’ through the isle of dogs. Here I planned a trip from Bank to Greenwich Station. Again, see this route for yourself here.

It has been a fantastic experience working with TfL on this exciting project. Take a look at the new TfL website today and let us know what you think of the design, responsive layout, and of course, the maps!

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like any more info at all!


Best Wishes,


The Earthware Team


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LibanPost Adopts Global Postal Code System


June 18, Toronto, Canada, NAC Geographic Products Inc. announced that LibanPost - the postal service provider of Lebanon has licensed Global Postal Code System (also called Universal Address System) to establish a nation-wide address database and provide Global Postal Code based postal services in Lebanon.

Before knowing the Universal Address, Mr. Khalil Daoud, Chairman and Managing Director of LibanPost, had worked with public committees for over 10 years to establish an address system in Lebanon without success. Lebanese residents continue using "landmark"-based references to identify the location of their homes, such as “beside the hospital”, “in front of the school”. Postal services rely on locals to deliver mail to households based on somewhat arbitrary knowledge about who lives where.

The introduction of the Universal Address will vastly change the situation. Generated from longitude/latitude coordinates, a Universal Address i.e. an eight or ten character Natural Area Code (NAC) can uniquely specify a house, building or even a fire hydrant anywhere in the world, and can be obtained with a smartphone or an online high resolution satellite image map such as NAC Locator. For example, the Universal Address of Grand Serail is NAC: KXQK NMGG and Lighthouse NAC: KXN7 NMH0. With the Universal Addresses, you can get the turn by turn driving directions from Grand Serail to Lighthouse immediately.

Unlike conventional addresses, the Universal Address does not need people to assign and is readily available for public use for all location purposes. If it is printed on an evelope of a letter, LibanPost will be able to sort the letter from the world level to final household mailboxes automatically and deliver it right to your home efficiently. In an emergency situation, a given Universal Address can significantly accelerate emergency address dispatching and locating. If you tell the Universal Address to your visitor, he can use a GPS navigation system to get to your home without your directions. Governments can use Universal Addresses to register properties and collect property taxes. Banks and insurance companies can use Universal Addresses to verify the home locations of their clients.

"The adoption of the Universal Address will hopefully solve all Lebanese addressing problems," said Dr. Xinhang Shen, president of NAC Geographic Products Inc., "and it is also another milestone toward the unification of postal code systems in the world."

About NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Incorporated in 1995 in Toronto, Canada, NAC Geographic Products Inc. is a world's leading company in geographic technologies and geo-services, developing GIS/GPS software products and providing APIs for real-time geo-services (geocoding addresses, reverse-geocoding, mapping, routing, etc.) for web applications and wireless location based services, etc.

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New Google Maps Announced and New Geo APIs for Android

Yesterday Google announced the new Google Maps, including several significant changes. It's going to be available this summer, and there will finally be an iPad version of the Google Maps app. The Google Geo Dev blog tells you how to use the new look for your maps today via the Maps API. The Google Earth Blog (not from Google) shares an entry on Google Earth integration in Google Maps might mean the demise of the Google Earth Plugin. APB also shares and entry about the Three New Geo APIs for Android: Fuse Location Provider, Geofencing, Active Recognition.

Snippets from the announcement: "

  • Every click draws a new map highlighting the things that matter most 
    Like a friend drawing you a map to her favorite restaurant, with only the roads and landmarks you need to get there, the new Google Maps instantly changes to highlight information that matters most.
  • Easier to find the best local places
    In addition to a customized map, we’ve also made it easier to uncover the best local gems. Search results are labeled directly on the map with brief place descriptions and icons that highlight business categories and other useful information – like restaurants that are recommended by your Google+ friends.
  • Amazing imagery for exploring the world
    Of course, no map would be complete without amazing images for exploring the world. The new carousel gathers all Google Maps imagery in one spot enabling you to fly through cities, walk canyon trails, climb mountains, and even swim the oceans. And on a WebGL-enabled browser, like Google Chrome, the carousel is also where you'll find the Earth view which directly integrates the beautiful 3D experience from Google Earth into the new maps."

The best way to get an overview of what's new is certainly to watch this 2 minutes video:

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