Tag Archives: maps

Batch Geonews: shp.js, QMap, SPOT 6, Google Ground Truth Project, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source / data front:

  • MapBrief claim that the battle for open source in the enterprise in behind us, from the WSJ: "[...] for reasons including ease of innovation and cutting the time to get products to market"
  • Interesting, announcing QMap: A simple data collection application using QGIS
  • Unless I'm mistaken, we haven't mentioned yet the new 'shp.js' open source javascript Shapefile parser (via GGD)
  • In case you missed it in our PR section, there's an Education version of gvSIG
  • GeoTools 8.1 has been released, mostly a bug fix release
  • Portable GIS version 3 has been released too
  • Here's a summary of State of the Map held in Tokyo
  • It's done, OpenStreetMap data license is now ODbL
  • And yes, some crazy people try to sell open source geospatial code

From the Esri front:

  • Here's What’s New in ArcGIS Online for September

From the Microsoft front:

  • New imagery to Bing Maps, a lot of it, Global Ortho & 17 Million SqKm of New Satellite Imagery

From the Google front:

  • Plenty of geoblogs mentioned the Atlantic article on the secretive Ground Truth program in an article named How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything
  • Google shares a breakout of Google Maps search terms by country for this Summer
  • They also have an entry on the need to save the elephants and how to do it the geospatial way
  • You can also Explore the Forefront of Japanese Space Science with Google Maps
  • Here's the official entry on the latest imagery update in Google Maps and Google Earth, a lot of it
  • The GEB shares an entry on Viewing city lights in Google Earth and why not, another entry on Google Earth Fractals

Interesting Directions Mag articles:

  • Does Your Local Government Need A Drone?
  • New Spatial Information Act for Australia
  • Trucking Fleets Leverage Traffic Data to Work Smarter, Cut Costs
  • New Resources for GIS Job Seekers

In the miscellaneous category:

  • The SPOT 6 satellite is alive and well with its first images, it was successfully launched on September 9 and has a spatial resolution of 1.5m
  • LizardTech (MrSID) Releases Express Server 8

In the maps category:

  • Via APB, here's a Map the World’s Friendships from Facebook and Stamen
  • Here's a gigantic 3D map of the deaths in Grand Canyon
  • NASA wants you to help map an asteroid
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Amazon Maps API: Amazon Gets into the Web Mapping Game

Amazon just announced the release of  Amazon Maps API beta.

[Editor's addition] From the Amazon blog entry: "When we announced Kindle Fire HD, we also made the Amazon Maps API available to our developer community. The Amazon Maps API makes it easy for you to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.  These new devices will also support location-based services through the android.location API. The Amazon Maps API provides a simple migration path for developers who are already using the native Google Maps API on Android. "

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Batch Geonews: Shapefiles in Bing Maps, 80% of Data is Not Spatial?, In-Location Alliance, ArcGIS for AutoCAD 300, and much more

This is my tentative to catch up the geonews since my mid-August holidays. Here they are!

On the open source / open data front:

  • UDig 1.3.2 has been released with several new features and supports Axios spatial editing tools again
  • Since the USGS provides the Landsat archive, but this entry mentions that a substantial part of the Landsat archive is available on the fast and reliable public Google Earth Engine cloud storage

On the Esri front:

  • The free plugin ArcGIS for AutoCAD version 300 is now available
  • There's now an ArcGIS Runtime for iOS for ArcGIS WebMaps

On the Google front:

  • Google made a few Google Maps announcements, including voice guided directions in India, Map Maker in New Zealand and new Street View in 150 university campuses
  • In another entry, Google offers a roundup of their August Google Maps related news, most news we already shared with our users
  • Nothing surprising, new imagery released on September 1

On the Microsoft front:

  • Microsoft shares an entry on overlaying Esri shapefiles in BIng Maps
  • Microsoft's Global Ortho Project is complete for the United States, meaning there's high resolution 30cm imagery everywhere in the country
  • There's a new Bing Get Me There App for iOS for London, UK
  • An entry on Bing Maps V7 AJAX Highlights

In the everything else category:

  • James shares a must-read short entry named '80% of Data Is Not Spatial So Stop Claiming It Is', read the comments for insights
  • Here's a pertinent entry related to a UN paper, Criticism - Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management: The Five to Ten Year Vision
  • Here's an update on the OGC standards and the semantic web (aka Linked Data)
  • APB informs us that 22 companies formed the In-Location Alliance to Enhance Indoor Positioning
  • O'Reilly links to an article on Yelp Checkins to Measure Geopositioning Accuracy Across Phones
  • Slashdot discuss the Location Privacy Act Approved By California Legislature
  • Other stories at Slashdot, The Rapid Rise of License Plate Readers and UK License Plate Cameras Have "Gaps In Coverage"
  • Big numbers, APB indicates that the GIS market will soon reach between 3.7 - 10.6 Billions, depending on who you ask

In the maps category:

  • On APoD, there's a pretty interesting map of hurricane and tropical storms paths (screenshot below)
  • An interesting map of the Global Decline in Religiosity
  • Some London Olympics maps: The politics of London Olympic medal counts

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Mapnik 2.1.0 Released

I'm back from holidays - thank you for your patience. Expect several days for me to catch up geospatial news and share them with you. You can always submit anything pertinent directly.

Last November we mentioned the major 2.0 release, and now, Mapnik 2.1.0 has been released. Mapnik still is "a free Toolkit for developing mapping applications. Above all Mapnik is about making beautiful maps. It is easily extensible and suitable for both desktop and web development."

Here's the highlights for 2.1.0: "

  • A new framework for Style level image manipulation called Image filters.
  • A new pipeline for chained coordinate transformations like clipping or smoothing called Vertex Converters
  • Compositing modes at Symbolizer and (experimental) Style level. Infinite possibilities from this, see a few examples from AJ.
  • Support for Style level opacity
  • WKT, WKB, GeoJSON, SVG parsers and generators that can be used outside of rendering
  • Data-driven SVG style transforms on svg markers and images thanks to @lightmare
  • Data-driven orientationfor Text, heightfor Buildings, and width/heightfor Markers.
  • A new CSV input plugin
  • A new GeoJSON input plugin
  • A new Python input plugin
  • Better text labeling through support for placement-type="list". See the docs at the bottom of this page.
  • Improved Map loading speeds as well as warnings and errors"
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Batch Geonews: London Olympics Maps and more, Project Geo, MapPoint, Global Arms Trade, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the London Olympics:

  • Here's on the development of the London SuperMap
  • Microsoft shares Olympics bird's eye imagery and maps
  • Esri shares Olympics thematic maps on ArcGIS Online
  • In another entry, Using Esri Data to Find the Next Olympians – Part 1
  • DM shares links to other London Olympics maps
  • APB mentions telecommunication issues in an entry named Use of Twitter, Social Media Blamed for GPS Data Delay used in Olympic Bike Race Reporting

On the open source front:

  • If you're into vertical datums, VDatum 2.3.5 has been released (via Kurt)
  • OpenGeo tells us how Thematic map creation with SLD is now much easier with the new Recode, Categorize, and Interpolate functions support in GeoServer
  • New to QGIS, HTML map tips in QGIS

On the Esri front:

  • Here's GeoMobile for ArcGIS Online - A Free Mobile GIS App for Tablets
  • The Esri Map Book, Volume 27 now available
  • The Esri Ocean basemap color style available for download

On the Google front:

  • Google Map Maker is now available in Australia (and so is OpenStreetMap ;-)
  • Planned NYC subway changes are now in Google Maps
  • We now get the Kennedy Space Center in Street View for its 50th birthday
  • The iconic residence of the UK Prime Minister, Take a virtual walk in Downing Street
  • Via O'Reilly, strange images where 3d maps and aerial imagery don’t match up
  • Using Google Earth, GE Teach to receive a Geographic Excellence in Media Award
  • And there was an imagery update for 25 cities and 72 countries

On the Microsoft front:

  • Microsoft announced MapPoint Released
  • There's Expanded UK Transit Directions

A few geostories discussed over Slashdot:

  • US Census Bureau Offers Public API For Data Apps
  • ACLU Questions Privacy of License Plate Scanners
  • The Future of Project Glass (see our current related poll in the right-hand side column)
  • Defcon Researchers Build Tool To Track the Planes of the Rich and Famous
  • Detecting moving objects, Researchers Turn Home Wi-Fi Router Into Spy Device

In the everything else category:

  • The GEB mentions Project Geo, a new Google Plus Hangout web series dedicated to increasing awareness of Geospatial Technology, industry best practices, and GIS resources
  • The eoPortal wants us to know that their Events, Images and Job Opportunities sections are now updated and online

In the maps category:

  • Here's a really nice visualization of global arms trade
  • Here's a map of Melting and Mining in Greenland
  • Maps on the Global Geography of Coffee, Tea, and Yerba Mate
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How the Public Actually Uses Local Government Web Maps: Metrics from Denver

Many sources pointed to the excellent article from Brian Timoney named How the Public Actually Uses Local Government Web Maps: Metrics from Denver.

Here's the metrics, but head to the article to understand the context and get the informative details:

  • "Single-Topic maps get 3 times the traffic of the traditional Map Portal
  • 60% of map traffic comes directly from search engine requests
  • Auto-complete drives clean user queries
  • Map Usage is Spiky
  • People Look Up Info on Maps, and Leave
  • People Actually Interact with Balloon Content
  • People Rarely Change Default Map Settings

[...] What’s clear to me is what local government maps need is less GIS and a lot more user-friendly auto-complete and SEO. Because in the end users want search and retrieval to work for maps the way it works for the rest of the web."

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Batch Geonews: OpenStreetView, 215TB of new Bird’s Eye Imagery, Omnipresence of the Google Maps API, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. It excludes Esri-related geonews since I wait for the conclusion of the User Conference to share an aggregated entry. Also to note, this week some of our users finally get our daily newsletter in their inboxes after an absence of over a year - the problem was that it was identified as 'spam' by a 3rd party filtering system - thanks to the user who reported this issue!

On the open source front:

  • It's in a James Fee rant named Google Maps Is More Accurate Because They Say It Is, I learned about the OpenStreetView, you guessed it, an open version of Google's Street View
  • A few weeks ago, we mentioned FOSS4G in Beijing being cancelled, here's the related official OSGeo board reaction
  • Here's an entry on Creating contour lines with GDAL and Mapnik
  • A technical entry named Manipulating GPS tracks in Spatialite
  • Time flies, QGIS Is Ten Years Old

On the Microsoft front:

  • Microsoft released an impressive 215TB of new Bird's Eye imagery: "spans across the United States and features certain areas in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Tokyo"
  • In an entry, Microsoft details the Bing Maps keys, including the limitations of what you can do for free

Discussed over Slashdot:

  • Dr. Faragher Answers Your Questions About the Future of Navigation Technology, he's the Principal Scientist at the BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre and NAVSOP supporter
  • A discussion on Resources For Identifying Telecom Right-of-Way Locations?
  • Australian Consumer Group Wants Geo-IP Blocking Banned "saying it created significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services"
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 Stripped of Local Search

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Pretty interesting stat: 93% of the top million sites and 89% of the top 10,000 sites on the internet with maps are using Google maps or the Google maps API, this comes from this overview of statistics for mapping technologies
  • Directions Mag offers screenshots in an entry named Get Ready for the London Olympics with AEgis’ 3D Models
  • Via the AQT [French link], I learned about the Kessler syndrome: "[...] a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade – each collision generating debris which increases the likelihood of further collisions. One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space exploration, and even the use of satellites, unfeasible for many generations."
  • APB tells us that DigitalGlobe and GeoEye agreed to merge
  • APB informs us that there is Nokia 4000 Indoor Maps
  • Apparently, drones are an hazard to air traffic in Somalia
  • The GEB has en entry on Meograph, as multimedia tool for creating Google Earth visualizations
  • Long entry on MapQuest iOS Maps API 1.0.1 released and their official announcement of their iOS Maps API
  • The US NGA released its Strategic Plan-2017
  • An interesting short entry, Starbucks: 1 Store = $1 Million Investment and GIS Helps Get It Right

In the maps category:

  • Via O'Reilly, you can read Google's Ed Parson in an short article named The Future of the Map Isn't a Map at All—It's Information
  • TMR shares an entry about Susan Schulten's 'Mapping the Nation' book, focusing on 19th century U.S.

Esri Maps for Microsoft Office Launched

It's the Esri International User Conference, expect more Esri news in the coming days, meanwhile, Mandown made me aware of the launch of Esri Maps for Office.

Here's the official list of features, and the summary from the Mandown blog: "With Esri Maps for Office, business professionals can quickly create interactive maps from their data in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. These live maps, which can be based on any geographic component, such as customer locations or sales by ZIP Code, can be simply added to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or shared through Esri’s cloud mapping platform, ArcGIS Online. Maps shared through ArcGIS Online can then be distributed throughout an organization or embedded into mobile or web applications."

Of course this isn't the first solution to build maps directly from MS Excel, but the first deep integration with MS Office from Esri.

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Stamen Design Maps for QGIS

We mentioned several times the beautiful maps from Stamen Design, and you can now use them directly in QGIS.

From the entry: "Stamen’s maps are amongst the most creative and beautiful OpenStreetMap visualizations and it would be great to have them as base maps in QGIS. No problem! Nathaniel Kelso has already done all the work for us [...] It adds the possibility to load Stamen’s Watercolor, Toner and Terrain tiles into the QGIS project"

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Great Open Source Map Tools for Web Developers

I'm on holiday, but I saw this discussion over Slashdot named Great Open Source Map Tools For Web Developers.

Their summary: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner surveys the rich ecosystem of free maps, free data, and free libraries that give developers excellent alternatives to Google Maps. 'The options are expanding quickly as companies are building their own databases for holding geographical data, their own rendering tools for building maps, and their own software for embedding the maps in websites. ... Working with these tools can be a bit more complex than working with a big provider like Google. Some of these companies make JavaScript tools for displaying the maps, and others just deliver the raw tiles that the browsers use to assemble the maps. Working with the code means making decisions about how you want to assemble the pieces — now within your control. You can stick with one simple library or combine someone else's library with tiles you produce yourself.'"

Like APB pointed out, the linked article got a few things wrong, like "OSGeo is a collection of open source packages for creating maps and displaying them in browsers."

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