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I’m dreaming of a Twitter Christmas

Monday, November 30th, 2009

According to the New York Times, “America’s first Twitter Christmas got under way in earnest on Friday. Across the land, retailers and their customers used the social networking site to talk to one another about bargains, problems, purchases and shopping strategies.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/28/technology/28twitter.html?th&emc=th

The article gave an example of a woman who had bought a navigation system that didn’t work. She sent a tweet to Best Buy’s Twitter account and within minutes, they had customer support helping her with the problem. Customers also reported useful information on what parking lots in what malls were full, with advice on where it was best to park to get to certain store locations.

I went to Twitter to check this out. Most of Twitter regarding retail was devoted to trivial comments such as, “I got this great sweater at…”

Retailers’ messages are viewed by Twitter users who “follow” the retailer, basically this means the retailer’s posts show up on their Twitter home page when they log in.

This may be useful for Cyber Monday shoppers.

Black Friday shoppers will use nav devices for holiday shopping

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

“Networks In Motion (NIM)…announced research findings that show Black Friday holiday shoppers show an astounding reliance on GPS Navigation as they travel from store to store to take advantage of various blowout savings. Shoppers use their navigation devices to search for stores, look at traffic information on the road, and make sure they get to their destination quickly enough to take advantage of the once-a-season deals.” – press release

“View from horseback” isometric maps

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

santa-fe-mapMapmaker Jamshid Kooros has published seven bird’s-eye-view, vue cavaliere (literally, “the view from horseback”) or isometric maps of Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery, Williamsburg, Va., Paris, Versailles, Claude Monet’s home and garden at Giverny, France, and London. His latest tourist map is of Santa Fe, sketched in colored pencil.

The Iranian-born, English-raised, American-educated architect who lives in Alexandria, Va. doesn’t like computers but he does use a digital camera and Google Earth maps to see how a location all fits.

A full-color poster of Kooros’ map is expected to retail for under $15, with a smaller, four-fold map for $7 to $8. Both should be available via postersofsantafe.com or koorosmaps.com by March.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Santa-Fe-map-takes-shape-as-visitor-learns-finer-points-of-loca

GIS Day Celebration in McAllen, TX

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The city of McAllen, TX is hosting their own GIS Day celebration today, to demonstrate to citizens its new GIS approach to managing city government departments.

The city has gone from a paper-based system where permitting fees were not collected correctly to a full GIS with Accela GIS and Accela Wireless with ESRI ArcGIS Server Mobile ADF. The implementation is not limited to just one department however, as health, code enforcement, public works, building, utilities and water all use the GIS. Currently eight departments utilize the GIS, and lead programmer analyst Jose Pena said that many more are interested in coming on board.

At the event, speakers include UPS, Accela, the National Weather Service, Border Patrol, ESRI and the U.S. Census Bureau.

ZIP Code changes reflect changing USPS landscape

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

“In the past few months the number of changes that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has pushed through in terms of the coverage area for ZIP codes is more than we’ve ever seen,” stated Darrin Clement, CEO of Maponics. “For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in just three months, 26% of the ZIP Codes changed.”

According to Clement, most of the change is from consolidations, as they’re closing post offices rather than adding new ones, driven by lower and lower mail volumes.

http://www10.giscafe.com/nbc/articles/view_article.php?section=CorpNews&articleid=762251b1-carrier_route_map_change-a

Bing Maps sports new features

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Microsoft BIng Maps sports new features such as  ‘Draggable Routes’, the ‘Zoom Bar’ and ‘Embed a Map’ as well us updates to the user interface. The Bing Maps team blog has more on these specific updates.

New joint venture company Tucuxi

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

ESi®, the developers of WebEOC®, the world’s first web-enabled crisis information management software, and 3-GIS™, a major provider of geospatial consulting and systems integration services, have announced the formation of a new joint venture company, Tucuxi™ (“Too-Koo-Shi,” www.tucuxisoftware.com.)

The new company will develop advanced geospatial software products that provide a common operating picture to crisis response teams and decision makers at emergency operations centers at government and corporate installations around the world.

“Our first release is WebEOC Mapper Professional 2 that brings the power of visualization technology into the emergency operations center,” said Adam Geitgey, Tucuxi’s chief technology officer.  “Without any specialized GIS or mapping expertise, emergency managers can use Mapper 2 to create a dynamic, geographically-based common operating picture utilizing WebEOC situation boards.” press release -November 5, 2009

Kerala state government jump starts State Spatial Data Infrastructure

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Kerala takes lead in setting up a State Spatial Data Infrastructure
http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/information-technology/2009110536981.htm”>htm

Urban Mapping database used by Yellow Pages

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Yesterday Urban Mapping, Inc. (UMI) announced that Yellow Pages Group (YPG) is using the URBANWARE Neighborhoods database for its online directory sites. According to the press release, YPG, Canada’s leading local commercial search provider and largest directory publisher, owns and manages the country’s most visited online directories YellowPages.ca and Canada411.ca. The company also has a network of seven local city sites that attract over 7 million unique visitors per month.

The popular online directories use Urban Mapping’s data as a basis of their geographical search results ranking algorithm, which allows their end-users to search for merchants by neighborhood. YPG is then able to visually present these search results to the user by using the database’s neighborhood centroids (latitude/longitude) and border information.

MapQuest Gets Intermap Technologies Terrain Maps

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Intermap Technologies announced this week that it has licensed shaded terrain products which leverage the nationwide NEXTMap 3D mapping database to MapQuest, Inc. Additionally, Intermap will deliver shaded terrain products for Europe from its NEXTMap Europe database and the remainder of the world for subsequent releases on the MapQuest.com consumer Web site and Platform products, according to press materials.

In April I reported on Intermap’s NEXTMap USA release. Completed March 16, 2009, NEXTMap USA is the first company-funded initiative to map 3.1 million square miles (more than 8 million km2) of the entire contiguous U.S. and Hawaii in 3D. Elevation data for the national dataset includes 3D digital terrain models, digital surface models, contours, 3D road centerline geometries, and other high-resolution geospatial products as part of the Company’s proactive mapping program.

“We’re really transitioning from the collection phase to truly putting everything on the shelf,” explained Kevin Thomas, vice president of Marketing, Intermap. “We finished collecting Europe in August of last year, so we still had to go through the editing process in order to create a finalized product that’s on the shelf. By the end of April we should have all of Western Europe, that is about 2.4 million square kilometers, to put on the shelf at the same time. Then we continued through the rest of this year to edit all the U.S. data so we can get it on the shelf at the beginning of 2010.”

When Intermap set out to collect the entire U.S., many people said it “can’t be done,” Thomas pointed out, and even near completion, watchers were incredulous. “They didn’t think it was possible to collect that much data over a couple of years’ time frame and then making it commercially available — it’s never been done.” Thomas noted that it took the U.S. government 30 plus years to collect it using varying methods to create the USGS DEMS “that obviously don’t have the accuracy and uniform nature that Intermap has collected.” Thomas said that the collection launches a whole new breed of applications in the future.

From the press release: “We are excited to provide MapQuest with terrain products that will boost its innovative online assets with our advanced wide area 3D map database,” said Garth Lawrence, Intermap’s senior vice president of strategic business. “By incorporating Intermap’s data products, MapQuest is delivering detailed terrain visualization that will enhance the map-viewing experience for MapQuest’s millions of users.”

Most end users won’t know where this robust technology comes from, nor what its potential is, however, the enhancements should definitely make their map experience more indepth.

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