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Archive for 2011

Just in time for Thanksgiving: Metro Wine Map from UC Santa Barbara Geography Dept.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Dr. Map from the UC Santa Barbara Geography Department recently came across the extraordinary Metro Wine Map, designed by architectural historian and wine buff, Dr. David Gissen.” This map covers the French wine districts, and the “appellations.”

“The twist is that the map uses the technique pioneered by Harry Beck in the 1930s for the London underground map. Wine districts are colored “lines,” with branches showing the different appellations. One can clearly see, for example the link between Pouilly-Fumé and Vouvray, both from the Loire Valley, but with the former made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety and the latter Chenin Blanc.”

Going where no GPS has gone before

Monday, November 21st, 2011

In November a gathering of 150 GPS engineers convened in Stanford at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to discuss the $110 billion GPS market for military and commercial aviation systems, consumer mapping services in cars and automated agricultural machines, among other related industries at the fifth annual Stanford University symposium on Position, Navigation and Time.

A big topic on the table is that GPS is no longer the only navigation and tracking system on the planet any more. According to a November article in Wired, there are four things threatening the future of GPS:

  • Next-generation mobile broadband services angling for a piece of the electromagnetic spectrum relied upon by GPS
  • Cheap GPS jammers flooding the highways, thanks to consumers worried about invasive police and employers surveillance;
  • Cosmic events, like solar storms
  • Future location technology that will ultimately push those services to places where GPS hasn’t been able to go.

What’s on the horizon is the new mobile broadband company, Lightsquared, that has been said to threaten GPS signals with interference from a neighboring spectrum. Lightsquared appears at first like it will solve a lot of problems to broadband, by offering cable – like bandwidth to mobile customers through LTE, a next generation wireless service. What’s more, the Obama administration has endorsed Lightsquared – which resides in the same spectrum that runs GPS, which is lower power and gets interference easily.


Apple acquisition of C3 Technologies for 3D mapping

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

In October, Apple publicly announced its acquisition of its third mapping company since 2009 when it acquired C3 Technologies. C3 Technologies is a 3D mapping technology, Apple’s second acquisition of 3D mapping, after Poly9 was acquired last year.

Although it has just been announced, the acquisition actually occurred last year and is said to be worth around $240 million. The acquisition is expected to change Apple’s relationship with Google Maps, from which it outsources technology for its GIS mapping technology. This could ultimately really change mapping on the iOS platform.

Some pundits call C3 Technologies’ mapping solutions “Google Maps on steroids,” as the video shows.

Apple said that it is working on a crowdsourced traffic database to improve its traffic mapping service and speculation suggests that they will use their mapping database provided by Placebase, another of their acquisitions. This would mean cutting ties with Google, but that shouldn’t be happening any time soon as Apple recently renewed its partnership with Google.

Creation of new iceberg captured by aerial imagery

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

On October 14, 2011, scientists participating in NASA’s IceBridge mission, saw a huge crack in the ice running about 29 kilometers (18 miles) as they flew across Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier in a DC-8 research plane.

“The rift was 80 meters (260 feet) wide on average, and 50 to 60 meters (165 to 195 feet) deep. It marks the moment of creation for a new iceberg that should eventually span about 880 square kilometers (340 square miles) once it breaks loose from the glacier.”

Witness the Birth of an Iceberg
Earth Imaging Journal

Create Citysourced Facebook app yourself

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

CitySourced customers can create a custom Facebook App so they can report new issues directly from Facebook. Check out the blog below to see the how-to tutorial with a three step step-by-step guide to create a tab on a Facebook page for reporting new issues directly within Facebook. Follow this easy three step process to create you own version.

Citysourced app

Geolocated world news at Maplandia

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Maplandia offers latest world news on a Map, geolocated world news.

Maptitude 6.0’s unlimited geocoding and more for one-stop geospatial shoppers

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Most organizations are not necessarily geospatially adept, yet they understand the need for some geographic information to either make their businesses run better or to add interactive web mapping to their web sites. In city and county agencies, there is also the need for tools for creating and analyzing redistricting data for districts, and for elections and precincts, there is the necessity to manage the vast amount of data that is collected and aggregated during elections.

Maptitude Image Geocode Census Map

The new version of Maptitude, Maptitude 6.0, is a data visualization and geographic analysis tool that helps organizations understand the impact of geography on their organizations. The newest version includes extensive geographic and demographic data so that you can get started as soon as you open the box. Data are provided in a compact geographic data format that reduces data storage requirements and reduces network traffic. According to Stewart Berry, mapping software product manager, the new version of Maptitude is a “complete refresh” in terms of maps and graphics, routing, database and performance.


Cadastral GIS for Mexican municipality

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

What would life be without real estate, and without property taxes and property ownership?

In the municipality of Metepec, Mexico, a province with a population of 214,000, property ownership and taxes have not been the norm.

According to Marco Antonio Vazquez Nava, municipal treasurer, Cadastral and Geographic Information System for Metepec, the municipality’s revenue sharing status has decreased substantially during the last few years.

They needed software for property tax collection. Taxes represent between 4-6% GDP. “There is a huge difference in Latin America,” said Nava. “Property tax in the rest of South America is 4%, but 0% tax is collected in Mexico. The National Institute for Statistics for Mexico (NISM) research shows only 42% of municipalities register property to be taxed.”


Be Inspired: Day Two

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Tuesday opened with a series of keynotes that further pushed home the message of Bentley’s direction and clarified where they were headed with GIS.

CEO Greg Bentley

Be Inspired 2011 Press Conference recap

Monday, November 7th, 2011

At the Be Inspired Conference yesterday, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said that the company’s mission is “to improve quality of life in the world through infrastructure.”

The company Bentley has achieved its initial public rating and while in 2010 the company adjusted for exchange rates and acquisitions, they have regained revenue momentum from the downturn. Bentley made mention that Autodesk, their main competitor, is “ahead but not out of reach, we have sooner regained revenue than they have in 2010.”


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