Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google Mapplets place in the world

I think we may be able to do some really cool things with this. They make for a way to create protected space to create a front-end for querying a whole db, they display results. Gotta play with it to find it's potential. The explanation for how it works was brilliant. Complex enough to do something hard, yet simple enough to make it easy enough to use. It's hard to make something so complex, so simple. That's pretty, very pretty.

Also, nice to see them pushing users to create and use KML and GeoRSS. I'm glad we've already started down that road. Now we'll need to find a good way to store or archive them.

Open Source versions of APIs from Google?

According to Pamela Fox, there will be some apis provided to an open source environment where users can add functionality. Gotta learn more about this, but it's a bit lower on my list. There are more pressing matters.

One open source addition mentioned was some guy creating a zoom box. Very nice. Another mention of a guy in Finland releasing graphing on the map support this summer.

Adwords with Maps API

Adwords can optionally be added to Maps API. When the user hits the dot it pops up the bubble, when the user clicks the link in the bubble, you make money. I like to call it the "Buy Gene a House in Expensive San Diego" program.

Traffic and Driving Directions in the API

just announced at a Google Developer Day 2007 session, and they make them both so easy to add. must figure out if that will be in the fusion enterprise version.

update: limit of 10,000 hits per day per key for the routing, no other terms of use issues discussed yet

Google Gears

Google Gears has been announced at Google Developer Day 2007. An open source project for developing and delivering data when offline. They want this to become an industry standard. In theory*, users could use apps without an internet connection. Developers could develop with google apis offline. A demo of this can be seen at Google Reader once you've downloaded Google Gears. I'm downloading now, and again, can't wait to get my hands into the code. Dammit Google, I was already busy and now I have so much new to learn!

Google Mapplets

Google Mapplets has been announced at Google Developer Day 2007. This really came up earlier at Where2.0. It's basically a shortcut for building FM2, or at least a design how-to. I can't wait to start getting my hands messy in this code.

Google Mashup Editor

Google Mashup Editor is a new product announced by Google at Google Developer Day 2007. It looks at first glance like an online Visual Studio. They just demo'd a basic mashup in 2 lines of code with Mashup Editor. I wonder how many lines of codes it would take me to find a hot dog stand to buy near me?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And Skyhook as well

The have the location aware browsers, but they use wifi instead of GPS phones. The advantage is you can use it on a laptop instead of your phone.

Where at Where2007

this is the bomb. The site is the beginning of delivering location aware data to handsets without fighting the carriers to do it. Hopefully the carriers figure out they don't need the middleman and open it up directly to developer dorks like me. Loopt presented earlier as well. They're adding social awareness (where are my friends) and taking care of the location part of it for handsets. Again, a middleman, but that's a start. Very exciting to me, I love the potential of delivering spatial, personally, professionally relevant data anywhere at anytime.

"Shiny and crap"

The Swivel guys just represented their Monday night 5 minute explanation of their site. When explaning why the export to kml button was cool they explained you could see the data you found at Swivel in Google Earth, which is "shiny and crap." Visualization of data is shiny, even when the data is crap. Combine good data with a good visualization tool and that's not just shiny but very useful as well.

ESRI Still part of Web 2.0

Esri showed off Arc Server??/Arc Explorer. Great for the government types with a lot of parcel building data etc. It exports out to GE and VE. The GIS leader had better spatial query tools of course. They had the best looking base layer as well. Still impressive.

Gene is waiting to get excited about the wifi location stuff.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

OpenLayers Open Source Maps

So some guy who looks like he was 16 just gave a presentation that was better than Microsoft, Garmin, Platial, and many more. He was talking about OpenLayers, an open source javascript mapping engine. It's one of those "I want to go sell hot dogs" moments. Now I'm going to have to go figure out what this is and what it can do. I'm scare to think it's something I may feel compelled to learn and use in some sort of way -- just to make my life more complete. Maybe I should just quit and sell hot dogs. I think mustard will be my thing. I'll have 12 different kinds of mustard, some home made. Yah, that could work.

Modest Maps and Microsoft intro

The Modest Maps guys were showing off a number of things including this:

OK, that's cool. It's some combination of apis and flash and uses trulia data for time-series animations. Cliph will love it. It has little value to cbre because it would be hard to automate and actually USE. It's pretty though. Pretty is better than not pretty.

Microsoft is coming up. I may skip it to go get coffee. Microsoft is the 7 foot center who can't dunk, can't run, and can't shoot. It looks impressive on a spreadsheet or a powerpoint slide, but is disappointing in actual action. Still, the crappy 7 foot player is better than all those 5 foot crappy players out there. Yah, yah, yah, 3d NYC in the browser. Let's see it play.

3-D Panel

The only thing interesting I can remember form this panel (which included Jack Dangermond) Is that VE wants to have 500 cities in 3-D.

API for Intl' Geocoding

The speaker from multimap made Euro Geocoding seem even harder then US. Yippie!!!!!!

Howler Monkeys, and Whales, and dead birdies oh my!

Ok, so this guy from Wild Sanctuary is showing off a kml that links to sounds of nature and animals in remote locations and maps those locations. It should have been a 5 minute presentation last night when there was a third of the people here. Because it's now and like 30 minutes, I'm going to mock it.

This is quite entertaining if you're looking for something to entertain and teach your small child about animals. Of course your children would have to much more patience than I and would have to imagine that the big space of green on the map is a forest.

This is pretty much completely useless for a business environment. No way this is in anyway helpful for CBRE. Can you image us trying to use sounds with maps? New York dot: "Youse want to buy this building or what?" Houston dot: "Yee-haw, how's about y'all pay a truck load of dollars for my barn?" San Diego dot: "Duuuude, hurry up and look at the building. I totally don't want to miss the waves."

I'm bored right now, even it does demonstrate the new ability to embed objects with javascript in a popup. This presentation is almost over and the two before this were boring too, I hope Garmin is better.

Old School Mappers Unite!!!

I'll admit to sharing the thoughts posting in the link above. So much fancy, head-spinning stuff, but it has to simple and thorough enough to be adopted. Mapquest's General Manager is saying that right now. Good advice to consider while developing.

Eye Film - GeoTags

Geotag any Camera?

More on the Google Mapplets Mashups with Google Maps

They're practically writing FM2 for us...

More info on it -- documentation site

it's having some load probs this morning, but will be nice when the release rush is gone.

Lost in the mix, Microsoft adds 3d markets

Including New York City, Tampa, and some other cities.

but i can barely pay attention, that new google streetview kicks butt.

Highlights from John Hanke - Building the GeoWeb

2 Focus for Google...

Improve the Basemap
Build the GeoWeb - User Annotations

1/2 the population covered by hi res imagery
*Far off places using Google Earth: Tribes in Amazon, Inuits in Canada

Sketch Up Update
*Kabul in 3d Warehouse

Google Street View
*5 US Cities
*Panoramic View
*Navigation within the view
*Information not seen with overhead imagery "No Parking Signs" etc etc
*Full Screen View
(Gene is sighing.....)

Looks like no updates to the hazy 3 year old Queen Creek imagery though.....

User Annotation....
Increased support for OGC. KML is best practice used by OGC
GeoRSS Support
"atom" tags
Google gadgets mashups with maps "Mashups of Mashups"

View of Where 2.0 Monday Night Event

Above is a great update from Frank Taylor at Google Earth Blog. Trends Jerry and I noted include:
* too many underpants gnomes
* warehousing of data (mostly free) and providing mashup ability in one site. -- more than one new company launching this notion
* using gis for social websites -- think myspace more focused on community and location. again, more than one pushing that concept.

Nothing really blew us away. There was one company with a really cool Java applet that did GE type 3d. They're only in New York right now and I doubt they're very scalable. Take a look, I haven't yet so I'm not sure you can get to the good stuff --

Google is talking now -- I'm getting goosebumps..

CityGML and 3D buildings

CityGML is trying to become the open source standard for 3d Business Information Modeling (BIM).

A story about them from Directions Mag at

Google adds "Street View"

Street view pics of selcted cities. The photos even have lables on them.,+San+Francisco,+CA+94105&sll=37.848833,-122.420654&sspn=1.051842,1.867676&ie=UTF8&ll=37.787776,-122.39984&spn=0.004892,0.010911&z=17&om=0&layer=c&cbll=37.786074,-122.401763&cbp=1,242.867730823863,0.516966638948982,0

Landsat 7 data to be released June 4th

"The project will allow the Landsat data user community to help refine the distribution system planned for the upcoming LDCM. Each scene will be registered to the terrain, or "ortho-rectified," prior to being placed on the Web. Copies of these data will also be available on CD or DVD at the cost of reproduction."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Good news for those that like cheap/free data

Had this case gone the other way, it would have set a very nasty precedent and made data collection from the data a tricky thing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Very interesting article looking at the data sources and future of GMY mapping

ok, and the article looks at Ask too, but I don't consider them as influencial as the big three...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Microsoft's PopFly

It's a mashup creator that's been compared to Yahoo!'s Pipes. It's an interesting concept: bringing together data sources from a variety of providers and delivery types, manipulating, then delivering in a desired output format. Designed to do this easily enough for non-programmers, but with enough features and flexibility to accomodate programmers as well, this could be very useful. Like most Microsoft releases, this has already been overhyped and has already delivered disappointment (how long until I get the access info email promised at signup?). Sure, it's in "private alpha" still, but I'd expect no positive comments from non-Microsoft paid sources until at least 6 months down the road. I'll be keeping my eye on it though. Along with Yahoo! Pipes and SRC's Alteryx, Microsoft's attempt at creating a visual, simple, powerful way of walking non-experienced users through the stages of creating a mashup could bring out many creative and usefull end products.

Upgraded Yahoo! Maps

Doesn't seem to be anything major. They say they're using their own engine completely now. That's nice.

The one thing I'm taking away from this update is their decision to add building footprints to major markets. This feature is on its way to becoming the norm. Soon map users will expect to see building footprints in urban cores. We should recognize this trend and plan our offerings accordingly.

Racing the big three (GMY) is not fun. Hopefully we can piggyback Google's technology stay current no matter what the next front is in their race to be the best map portal.

Automated 3D in Google Earth?

There had been rumors for a while that Google was looking for a way to automatically create 3D buildings for Google Earth. Some content added to the 3D warehouse may have been from companies or individuals trying to impress Google with their skills or technology in addressing this topic. Well, it looks like Google may have found it's solution:

Expect a 3D world in GE some day, maybe some day soon...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another one bites the dust -- Webraska bought

A continuing of the trend that has the lower to mid size companies specializing in location aware technologies being absorbed into larger companies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes now export in KML

The samples are great for understanding the steps and logic involved in taking normal data and getting into a useful kml form.