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More on Google Maps Navigation

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The press buzzed yesterday with countless articles on Google’s move into the GPS turn-by-turn navigation market for mobile phones, with its announcement that it will offer a free service for the new Motorola Droid called Google Maps for Mobile. Google will offer this service to more phones soon.

This announcement is profound for a number of reasons:

1) it picks up where standalone GPS devices and the subscription services offered by cellphone carriers are lagging, actually punches them in the gut by offering consumers a free service with which they cannot compete;

2) the announcement also signals a broader shift toward consolidation in the gadget world, according to The New York Times;

3) mapping data becomes an ever increasingly important piece in the entire navigation/location arena.

Prior to this announcement, Google had begun to create its own digital maps of the U.S., ending a contract with map data provider TeleAtlas, owned by TomTom, a provider of mobile phones. It was unforeseen by most in this industry that this would happen; we were accustomed to the sparring of TeleAtlas and NAVTEQ over the mapping data market, but did not think that space left any room for competitors. It is, after all, time consuming and expensive to gather this type of extensive data.

As a result of the announcement, yesterday shares of TomTom and Garmin plummeted – Garmin’s shares dropped 16 percent to $31.45 on Nasdaq, TomTom’s shares closed around 21 percent lower on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

The excitement about this is interesting in light of studies done by ABI Research, which I reported on in May of this year in GISWeekly, which found that consumers more readily printed out directions from Mapquest rather than relying on navigation devices or services on their mobile phones.

ABI Research practice director for telematics and navigation, Dominique Bonte, said many people may think everybody has navigation on his/her mobile phone or has a personal navigation device built in to the car, so why would they go to these online mapping sites on their computers to look for directions, then print the directions and keep the direction in the car?

“Although that’s still a use case, what I found is that most of the sites are very quickly evolving towards companion sites for your mobile navigation system, where after you’ve planned your trip days ahead, you can look at the trip, the traffic, and finally download to your mobile navigation device, which is much easier than having to look for destinations on your device,” explained Bonte. Typically mobile devices don’t have the same facility as computers to enter destinations and other important data. More importantly, Bonte added that these sites are very quickly evolving from offering solely traditional directions to expanding their scope to include such offerings as real time traffic information.

http://www10.giscafe.com/nbc/articles/view_weekly.php?section=Magazine&articleid=671235

That’s all changed, as just yesterday, Bonte was quoted as saying: “With a free alternative that is just as good, I don’t see much positive growth for the likes of TomTom, Navigon or Garmin. If it’s free and a good service, why would you pay for something you can get for free?”

Most likely printing out directions from Mapquest or Google Maps will still be highly desirable for planned trips, but for those spur-of-the-moment on the road decisions, or when you forget to make yourself a map beforehand, Google Maps for Mobile will be greatly appreciated.

I, for one, am excited about its future availability for my cell phone.

Google Maps turn-by-turn directions coming soon for Android 2.0 phones

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

What consumers have been waiting for perhaps?

“Turn-by-turn directions powered by Google Maps will soon be
available for Android 2.0 phones, and don’t be surprised to see
this software find its way into other types of devices.”
Wed, Oct 28 07:00:00 PDT 2009 – CNET.com

Google Maps Navigation takes a mobile turn

GIS for economics in Lebanon

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Geographic Information System will help modernize Lebanon’s economy
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=107887

By Mohammed Zaatari, The Daily Star, Lebanon

Add street sense to GIS crime reporting

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For law enforcement, a lot of “GIS” begins on the street as police officers generally possess an innate knowledge of what areas on their beats are trouble spots. Those who are back at the office and doing crime analysis don’t have that field knowledge, however, they can identify hot spots with the help of:

http://crimeinamerica.net/2009/10/26/hot-spots-key-to-crime-control/

Here’s an idea: What if the GIS could include the so called “ground truth” gathered by police officers, as a specific sort of user-generated data?

Find the closest…er, haunted house

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Location-based technology enjoys some holiday fun with MapQuest’s latest “ghost icon search button” within the On-Map Search tool (located to the right hand side of the map).

This search shows not only locations of haunted houses and other Halloween festivities, but also includes a link to the web sites of haunted houses when available.

For more information, visit the MapQuest team blog at: http://blog.mapquest.com/.

GIS and why government can’t be more like business

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Herhold: Government failures flourish in dark by Scott Herhold, October 19, 2009 – San Jose Mercury News

Car theft reduced as a result of GPS technology

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

An article in USA Today, October 19, by Donna Leinwand, entitled “Car theft slows to lowest in 20 years” cites GPS technology and ignition locks as the cause of this positive change.

“Reported vehicle theft has fallen to a 20-year low even as the number of vehicles on the road has doubled, as manufacturers install sophisticated anti-theft technology in cars and police target organized car-theft rings.”

Human Behavior Monitoring and Interpretation

Friday, October 16th, 2009

The 3rd Workshop on Behaviour Monitoring and Interpretation: Studying Moving Objects in a three-dimensional world, is to be held in conjunction with the 4th International 3D Geoinfo Workshop, and will take place on November 3 2009 in Ghent, Belgium.

“Modelling ‘reality’ has always been a fundamental issue in geography. Considering two major aspects of reality, i.e. space and time, leads to a crucial GIScience research domain concerning moving objects. Indeed, motion or movement enters the picture whenever one and the same object occupies different positions in space at different times. Great advances have been made in the context of positioning techniques in recent years. As a consequence, application areas such as navigation, location based services, ubiquitous computing, smart places, ambient intelligence, and more specific areas like ambient assisted living came into existence. One fundamental issue in all these areas is the consideration of locomotion behaviours of humans for whom such technologies are devised. Besides such application areas, different scientific fields, such as ecology or geographical information science call for methods helping in analysing the spatiotemporal behaviour of moving people. Moreover, these research fields and application areas state new fundamental questions concerned with the analysis of locomotion behaviour, making it necessary to provide a scientific forum as this workshop is intended to be.”

3rd Workshop on Behaviour Monitoring and Interpretation, BMI’09

http://www.3dgeoinfo.org/movingobjects

Laws of blogging

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In a world where the lines between advertising and editorial are already blurred in some places, the F.T.C. is planning to revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that have been in place since 1980. According to an article in The New York Times, “the new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/business/media/06adco.html

It seems this rule is designed to control advertisers who are using bloggers and social media to hawk their products, and also to stem the tide of giveaways to bloggers who review products. Publications who review products have always received free products, in order to review them. How is the government going to tease out the differences? What does this mean in terms of covering products, writing reviews of products, and otherwise posting relevant information about particular industries?

American Samoan GIS resources

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Here is a collection of resources for GIS data on American Samoa, the area hit by tsunami last week. GISCorps’ Shoreh Elhami said that as of yet, they have not received any requests for volunteers.

Fagatelle Bay National Marine Sanctuary
http://dusk.geo.orst.edu/djl/samoa/

GIS / Vector Data of Samoa from EastView Cartographics: http://www.cartographic.com/xq/asp/samoa/gis/data/navmode.r/rid.224/tid.8/sid.0/cid.0/vid.0/oid.0/qx/hub/index.asp

Pacific Disaster Center: http://www.pdc.org/pdf/factsheets/American_Samoa.pdf

NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management for American Samoa: http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/mystate/american_samoa.html

American Samoa Historic Preservation Office, Geography of American Samoa http://www.ashpo.org/geography.htm

Paper by Dawn Wright GIS Coordination at America’s Remotest National Marine Sanctuary (American Samoa)*

* portions of this chapter will be reprinted in the forthcoming ESRI Press book, Undersea With GIS, due out in the fall of 2001.

http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/proc01/professional/papers/pap140/p140.htm

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