- ESRI adds tools to ArcGIS Server to make
searching for and using data in the Google environment simple.
this was not a huge technical feat (some wrote it off as "ESRI will
write out KML"), the commitment to do it and the implications of it are
significant. The choice to include developer tools in ArcGIS Server to make Map Services (data) and Geoprocessing Services (analytical services) not only findable via Google Search, but also usable
in any app that uses KML, affirms ESRI's confidence in its role as a
geospatial technology provider. By working with Google (this was
referred to as a partnership), ESRI has opened up its users'
significant accomplishments in both data and services to the larger
world. More details at All
- FortiusOne launches GeoCommons Finder! This next step in the company's vision for sharing public data is valuable because Finder! includes effective search tools and the ability to download data in shapefile, KML and CSV (comma separated values) formats. There's also a "personal account" where users can "hold" data of interest to them for later use. I like this idea of a personal storage location "for my data," one akin to how we store pictures (Flickr) and other data (YouTube, MySpace, etc.) in the cloud. Finder! is but one of the pieces in the triad FortiusOne will offer in due time; the others include Maker and Atlas, for map creation and group collaboration, respectively. Watch the Finder! video and read more at Mashable.
- Urban Mapping launches public transportation
dataset. While Google and many other sites try to put together
city or regional networks, Urban Mapping has done the hard work of collecting
public transportation data from 53 agencies in the U.S. and Canada,
standardizing them and cleaning them up on intake. One of the carrots
to get transit systems to be part of the Mass Transit database - the
ability to use the Urban Mapping system to clean the data for the
agency's internal use. With its usual flair for completeness, the
company includes "details" about elevators, restrooms and actual
locations of station exits. In these times of high gas prices, this
dataset should be in high demand.
- Yahoo! opens its WEOID database/API; don't
Fire Eagle. The WEOID is a gazetteer database with an API, part of the Yahoo!
Internet Location Platform. It, like Fire Eagle, can jumpstart any
geoapp. More at All
Points Blog. The only real news about Fire Eagle
from Where 2.0 is that a few more LBS developers are supporting it.
Still, I mention it here because so few people in the geospatial
community realize the power of this location broker. I think it has
significant potential for Web apps, too. If you do not know what it is,
I recommend this video.
- The panel on monetization didn't offer answers.
is from Andres at BlinkGeo. Monetizing mashups, I agree, is a
conundrum. But, the real challenge? If anyone really knew the answer,
would they tell? We run into this situation annually with our Location
Intelligence Conference. The good news: We have plenty of folks making
and saving money in the enterprise with geospatial technologies, just
not via consumer-facing, "for fun" mashups.
- Poly9 highlights FreeEarth. Two big
note this 3D globe and its API:
It's got a solid API and it requires no special plug-in (it uses
Flash). Or as the company puts it: It's "a cross-browser,
cross-platform 3D globe." One more reason to pay attention? FreeEarth
supports GeoRSS and WMS. I'm anti-globe for two reasons: the overhead
of the software and my lack of navigation ability in 3D. FreeEarth
solves half of my problems! Further, I think it'd be a great platform
for Joe Francica's vision for Business
- Google introduces Maps Flash API and other
goodies. Poly9 gets Flash, so does Yahoo! and ESRI, which both
Flash Web implementations for their mapping apps. Google announced a Flash
API this week. Also from Google: more data layers in Google Maps
(Wikipedia, real estate, photos), and the opening of the GeoSearch
which until now was only available in Google Maps and Earth. That
allows developers to search for KML and business listings "near" a
- Dash opens up its API. The
mashup-downloadable, speed-of-travel-sharing satnav system has opened
up its API to developers. A few early services include weather (via
WeatherBug) and real estate information (via Coldwell Banker). I'm most
interested to see what kinds of crowd-sourced data can be collected
from drivers (beyond speed of travel) and re-used with the system.
- Plea for metadata and details on satellite
images. Ben Lorica (O'Reilly) described Lisa Parks' (Professor of
Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara) presentation on the use and impact of
satellite imagery and its cultural and societal impacts (think wars,
natural disasters). To help educate the public about this important
resource, she ended with a plea. I quote Lorica's
closed by appealing to the technologists and web developers in the
audience. Satellites are everywhere and impact a lot of what we do, yet
we know very little about them. When embedding satellite images in web
applications, developers should consider exposing important satellite
meta-data to users: source of the images, sensing technique used,
orbital address and owner of the satellite, etc."
- EveryScape announces Ambassador Program. How
EveryScape, the company offering street photos akin to Google
StreetView, stay competitive? By offering contract "jobs" collecting
data. After training, teams of two, called EveryScape Ambassadors,
take GPSs and hard drives (provided by EveryScape), and digital cameras
(self-provided) and collect data. The company is also looking for
contract photographers to shoot business interiors. This is a nice mix
between hired hands and user generated content. Google did a bit of
this trying to get locals to encourage businesses to get on the map.
This sounds a bit more exciting, and in time data gatherers can show
off their handiwork to friends and family on the Web!
- Presentation skills vary. More than one
Bouwman, Andres) noted the
variation in quality/content of
presentations. Few were at the level of TED
and some were described as
being nearly unwatchable. Bouwman suggests Presentation Zen as
preparation. Andres notes that a compelling story is at least as
important as technical details. This situation is not unique to Where
2.0; it's just rare that it's mentioned in conference coverage. It's a
good reminder to all who plan to speak to do their homework.
- Nokia goes from maps on mobiles to maps on computers. Yes, that sounds backward, but Nokia is a mobile company trying to link back to the laptop/desktop. The company outlined a plan for users to be able to create, store and upload maps to their phones from its Ovi content sharing site in the coming months. Some point to this move as a serious step to compete with Google.