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Top GISCafe Today blog posts for 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

ABI Research report says Wi-Fi location will overshadow all other location technologies.

Q&A session with Carl Bass.

OpenStreetMap founder now principal architect for Bing Mobile

Black Friday shopping geo news

Esri’s MyPlaceHistory app

3D printed street maps for the blind

Bentley press briefing

“Big Island” GIS mapping and analysis tool to pinpoint landslide hazards

Azavea to use Phase 1 SBIR funds to develop OpenTreeMap

Geolocation services help small businesses find customers

GPS-stamped photos aid in Gulf oil spill cleanup

Google Labs launches Fusion Tables

5 top features in new ERDAS 2010.10.1 release

Cintiq 21UX multitouch tablet from Wacom

Increase in new passenger cars with telematics over next 6 years

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

According to a prediction issued by ABI Research, the percentage of new passenger cars globally shipping with factory-installed telematics will increase from less than 10% in 2010 to 62% in 2016.

ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “Several factors are driving the uptake of OEM telematics, the most important being an automotive industry that is emerging from a painful recession and finding renewed dynamism.

Readers’ top picks from GISWeekly in 2010

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

In order of their popularity – here are readers’ top picks of GISWeekly’s feature stories for 2010:

 

What’s in Store for Geospatial in 2010

 

Intelligent Cities, Intelligent Campuses

 

Revealing the Interior – Indoor Mapping

 

Open Source Extends it Reach

 

Skape Takes on 3D City Scapes

 

Safe Software Introduces FME 2010

 

Accela’s Mobile Office Drives GIS in the Field

 

Dr. Howard Botts on Storm Surge

ABI Research report says Wi-Fi location will overshadow all other location technologies

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

From ABI Research comes the prediction that Wi-Fi location will “outstrip
 all other location technologies including GPS, cellular and MEMs, with shipments reaching more than 1 billion by 2015. ”

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments: “Location-based services, revenues and advertising are the hot topics of 2010 as companies grapple to gain control of this market. The key is accurate, ubiquitous location-finding across a variety of portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. ABI Research has forecast that with the proliferation of Wi-Fi and increasingly lower cost or free location engines, it will become the most widely available location technology over the next five years.”

Q&A session with Carl Bass

Monday, December 6th, 2010

 

What will we see in terms of cost for infinite computing after it’s in place?

 

You have two things going on simultaneously: you have a deep curve into the climbing price of computing – computing is the only asset that’s going down in price while everything else going up. From the commercial perspective we’re shifting some of the costs from customers back to us. Generally people providing this today are not as computer intensive – like Salesforce.com.

 

We’re affordably doing it; you can now try AutoCAD LT running off the cloud.

 

Right now the spot price for cloud computing is at 3 cents an hour.

 

If I’ve got infinite computing available, when and where do I make the decision to use it?

 

We’re going to have a hybrid computing model. Because of the tablet, there is incredible computing power and you don’t need to be connected. You’ll continue to have local devices – and the cloud for compute intensive jobs. We don’t build out our own cloud, for most of them we are trying to use commoditized resources, if you need an answer within short period of time you pay more; there are some models like this. What if people are able to solve problems they were never able to solve before?

 

We think the cloud is a choice. Some customers no longer want the local choice, where they need power and resources; they want another choice of deployment. Choice is available to all customers. Pricing models are changing; mobile devices are putting pressure on the market. The way we can use infinite computing is by offering different models for those who only need this software two hours a month.

 

I’m not sure if it has any fundamental pressure on pricing in general, what pressure it does introduce is offset by greater capability. The price of fundamental resources goes down while capabilities go far up.

 

What kind of delivery models will you see?

 

You’ll see electronic software downloads rather than boxes, some people deploying through streaming, etc., and other services that purely exist in the cloud only. You’ll have a variety. We’re looking at our subscription program for people to get information on options.

 

What about Autodesk’s growth?

 

Our business without acquisitions is no better or worse than other years, we have 12-15% growth rate in 2010, and that can be changed by economic conditions and by acquisitions. We have factored in the idea of infinite computing but at a low level.

 

Are you addressing multicore?

 

We have done a lot of multicore work on our products. It works only when you’re doing a lot of the same thing, like sorting a lot of data items. Our studies show it accounts for only about 15 percent of what engineers do. That’s why the breakthrough is making the cloud available. We can run a larger analysis process across more iterations.

 

We have some amount of work in foundation stuff, there are some ways to do things in a multithreaded way. It’s a valuable technique, not quite as valuable in general purpose computing as you might think. We’re much more interested in what allows you to optimize an answer to a question.

 

What about the consumer market?

 

Our customers are mostly professionals, 1 percent top account for 30 percent of our revenue, 70% of customers account for other revenue. Historically we haven’t done much with consumers, SketchBook Pro is way past 2 million people who have downloaded it, and it has done amazingly well. It’s phenomenal in what it’s been able to do in terms of generating awareness. Selling SketchBook at $8.99 is not a way to make profitable business but it has done a great job of raising awareness, to understand also what people are looking for. There is a greater influence of the consumer market going back into the professional market.

 

We need to pay attention to the consumer market and see what is going on, such as the community that gets created around Flickr, that social community around professionals. I don’t think our business will change to become a consumer business, although we have more people coming in at the entry stage as new users and students, a feeder population, and are getting people interested in design and math.

 

We need tools that everyone can take advantage of.

 

People are more interested in moving things to mobile devices. Open source was the end of an era – commodization. There is still open source software out there successfully deployed in server based environments, but most of our software doesn’t fall into that category.

 

 

OpenStreetMap founder now Principal Architect for Bing Mobile

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Founder of OpenStreetMap, Steve Coast, has taken a position as a Principal Architect for Bing Mobile at Microsoft. What this means is that Steve will lead a new initiative of Bing’s involvement with the OpenStreetMap project, a community of 250,000 people who have built  maps for all countries in the world. Microsoft is donating access to Bing’s Aerial Imagery for use in the OpenStreetMaps project, as part of this initiative.

Black Friday shopping geo news

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The Dealmap, a source for consumers to find and share local deals,  announced it has categorized and mapped more than 165,000 unique Black Friday product offers at more than 52,000 retail locations so that consumers can easily find nearby holiday sales.  The press release says that the Dealmap’s Android and iPhone apps are the “first and only” mobile applications that make use of location awareness to display nearby Black Friday deals on a map.

Borders is participating in Google’s Local Availability feature, a national service that provides customers with “a fast, easy and convenient way to search for books and other products at participating retailers.” Borders has also linked up with Meetup to enable consumers to direct customers to family-friendly events in their communities. Look for a dedicated page at Borders.com on Meetup Everywhere for customers to locate Borders’ kids parties, storytime events, musical performances, national author readings and book signings as well as other activities happening in their communities.

New retail and mobile merchandising opportunities will come about as a result of the acquisition of NearbyNow, mobile location technology provider by JiWire, a location-based mobile media company. 

Maybe not in time for Black Friday this year, the acquisition “accelerates the expansion of JiWire’s extensive location-based media channel across Wi-Fi and mobile with the addition of industry-leading location technology. The combination of JiWire’s broad location-based audience, which gives advertisers access to over 35 million monthly uniques, and NearbyNow’s sophisticated mobile location technology and deep expertise in retail and mobile merchandising will create a new set of location-based advertising opportunities for major brands.”

Street View spurs weight loss program for overweight user

Friday, November 19th, 2010

An odd twist to geospatial problem-solving in the world: a Bristol, UK man saw himself on Google Maps Street View and promptly went on a diet. 

The Daily Mail reported that Bob Mewse, 56, weighed 296 pounds a year ago when he saw himself on the mapping service. The camera shot a side view of Mewse wearing a gray shirt near a filling station.

“I was horrified when I saw that photo,” he told the Telegraph. “I was massive. My belly was sticking out and I looked huge.”

Further, he was having back problems and very high blood pressure. He went to a gym, hired a personal trainer and has since lost 98 pounds.

shopkick expands to Android just in time for the holiday season

Friday, November 19th, 2010

shopkick is expanding to the Android platform, effective immediately.

shopkick is a free (and only) app in the Android Market that rewards shoppers for walking into participating retailers, including Best Buy, Macy’s, Inc., Target Corporation, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., Simon Property Group, Inc. malls, Sports Authority and Wet Seal, Inc., and for interacting with partner brand products HP, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.

The shopkick app verifies the actual presence of a shopper by detecting a “shopkick Signal” coming from the shopkick transmitter located in each participating store. The user can control privacy because the detection happens on the mobile phone.  Once a shopkick Signal is detected, the app delivers reward points called “kickbucks” to the user — just for walking through the door.

Users can then redeem kickbucks at all partner stores for instant gift card rewards or for Facebook Credits to play games online, song downloads, hotel vouchers, specific products, and can even donate to their favorite charity. 

Press materials say that by Black Friday, more than 1,000 individual stores and over 100 of the country’s largest malls will have fully deployed shopkick’s technology.

Volunteer-geographic information marches through history

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Recently I’ve been reading a biography of Freya Stark (Passionate Nomad, by Jane Fletcher Geniesse), born in 1903, an explorer who became renowned when she explored the mountainous territory of the mysterious “Assassins” of Persia, who were connected with the feared Druze, the most “effective terrorist group in history.” These Assassins had occupied fortress castles in Syria that they had been forced out of  in 1273, but were still resident in the mountains at the time of Stark’s exploration. Scholars suggest that there are parallels between the Assassins and modern day sects such as the military wing of Hamas in Israel or Osama bin Laden’s Afghani terrorists.

Stark  became the first woman to explore Luristan in western Iran. She also followed ancient frankincense routes to locate a lost Arabian city. Throughout her life, she greatly extended geographical knowledge of remote regions of the Middle East, and won the Royal Geographical Society’s Back Grant for her cartographic accomplishments, among other honors, and provided a valuable resource for Allied Intelligence during World War II.

Not limiting herself to geography, Stark learned multiple Middle Eastern languages and customs of the regions she visited, which helped the military and diplomatic corps and markedly influenced foreign policy.

Stark wrote thirty books on her adventures in the Middle East and captured a time when huge changes were taking place in that region. She became one of Britain’s outstanding authorities on the Middle East.

So here is one of the first volunteer geographic information (VGI) sources – following on heels of such explorers as Sir Richard Francis Burton and Richard Speke who discovered Lake Tanganyika, Sir Lawrence of Arabia, and others of that general time period.

Although Stark’s maps depict land divisions that are no longer relevant, their accuracy and clarity show us the Middle East as it once was, and helps to deepen our understanding of  the history of land and culture that still exist today.

Perhaps their relevancy is as a layer, to be compared with how we collect data today.

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