Dear users, a short note to let you know I'll be unavailable (and away from computers!) for the next 10 days. Geonews aggregation will resume on the week of January 23rd. I had the intention of publishing more this week, but good intentions are sometimes not enough. Rest reassured, I will include everything pertinent that I accumulated and which was published during the past weeks. Meanwhile, you can still contribute stories that other editors will handle. Thank you for your understanding and patience.Google Plus One
OpenStreetMap News: Syrian Uprising and OSM+GMM Data, TomTom vs OSM Data, U.S. OSM Terrain Layer, SotM 2012 in Tokyo, and much more
Okay, there is much more geonews that were waiting for me than I expected. Please give me some time to catch up everything. Anything worthy, I'll aggregate and share with our users.
There has been several interesting articles and entries posted in the past two weeks about OpenStreetMap. Here they are!
- Ogle Earth shares an interesting article on what's happening in Syria with Google Map Maker and OpenStreetMap relying on crowdsourcing for their maps, in the context of the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising
- Cédric highlights an article on TomTom data vs OpenStreetMap data, specifically for Germany
- Cédric also enumerates 13 reasons why OpenStreetMap fails to replace official or proprietary base maps in a sustainable way - this list identify several interesting 'challenges' for OpenStreetMap
- Meanwhile, James Fee was one of many that reacted to Wired's article named Open Source Maps Gain Ground as Google Paywall Looms
- Related and worth reading, Nestoria explains why it dumped Google Maps in favor of OpenStreetMap, served by MapQuest
- James also linked to an article about OpenStreetMap data and what makes spatial data 'authoritative'
- Mapperz mentions the nice OpenStreetMap Terrain layer for the U.S.
- The OSM summary links to the video of OpenStreetMap edits for 2011, but don't expect to see details in this video
- The State of the Map 2012 conference will take place in Tokyo, September 6-8th
- Sadly, I still haven't found an appropriate iOS app to contribute to OpenStreetMap, anyone has?
The OSGeo announced the release of GDAL/OGR 1.9.0. It's hard to ignore GDAL/OGR, which is at the core of many open source and commercial geospatial software. We mention it quite often. Version 1.8.0 was release a year ago. For the curious ones, ESRI's FileGeodatabase format is now officially supported by GDAL/OGR.
The summary of what's new: "This is a major new release including the following major new features:
- New GDAL drivers: ACE2, CTG, E00GRID, ECRGTOC, GRASSASCIIGrid, GTA, NGSGEOID, SNODAS, WebP, ZMap
- New OGR drivers: ARCGEN, CouchDB, DWG, EDIGEO, ESRI FileGDB, Geomedia, Google Fusion Tables, IDRISI, MDB, SEGUKOOA, SEGY, SVG, XLS
- Significantly improved drivers: NetCDF
- Encoding support for shapefile/dbf (#882)
- RFC 35: Delete, reorder and alter field definitions of OGR layers
- RFC 37: Add mechanism to provide user data to CPLErrorHandler (#4295)
- gdalsrsinfo: new supported utility to report SRS in various form (supercedes testepsg)"
Or for geospatial purists, via 'satellite navigation systems' for pedestrian. In any case, Slashdot discusses a story named Microsoft Patents Bad Neighborhood Detection.
Their summary: "With the grant of their US Patent #8090532 Microsoft may be attempting to corner the market on GPS systems for use by pedestrians, or they may have opened a fertile ground for discrimination lawsuits. ... Described as a patent on pedestrian route production, the patent describes a two-way system of building navigation devices targeted at people who are not in vehicles, but still require the use of such a device to most efficiently route to their destination. ... For example, the user inputs their destination and any constraints or requirements they might have, such as a wheelchair accessible route, types of terrain they are willing to cross, the option of public transportation, and a way point such as the nearest Starbucks on the route. Any previously configured preferences are also considered, such as avoiding neighborhoods that exceed a certain threshold of violent crime statistics (hence the description of this as the 'avoid bad neighborhoods' patent), fastest route, most scenic, etc."Google Plus One
Via @Thierry_G I learned about this world map of geospatial conferences to be held in 2012 provided by Quarry One Eleven. You can filter the conferences by month.
Anyone's aware of similar global calendars of geospatial events?Google Plus One
Slashdot is discussing a story named Shopping Center Tracking System Condemned by Civil Rights Campaigners.
Their summary: "Civil rights campaigners have spoken out against a technology used by several shopping centers in the UK to track consumers using their mobile signals. The shopping centers claim that the technology helps them provide better services to consumers and retailers without compromising privacy. The system, called the Footpath, allows them to know how people are spending time in a shopping center, which spots they visit the most and even the route they take while walking around. Several consumer and civil rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, say consumers must be given a choice on whether they want their movement tracked or not."
See this story and the related links for numerous previous similar stories.Google Plus One
Bloggage update: Free geosciences 3D data show GIS helping model reservoir depletion, and displaying it on the desktop and on-line. Then came pipeline routing and now to close the loop is gridding and contouring. Again, this is no replacement for geosciences packages, but rather a tool for triage. [...] Starting with ArcMap 9, 3D Analyst extension under “spline with barriers” handles grids with faults like we do in petroleum, no small thanks to “the two Steves”, Kopp of Esri and Zoraster ex of Zycor. I posted on Arcgis Online the project resulting from this workflow. [...] Beyond traditional visualisation, GIS is thus also used for data management. Next posts will further extend the workflow into data connection and acquisition on and off the web.Google Plus One
A local transport summit is being organized in the UK to look at better and more frequent ways to update the information used by Sat-Nav units (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16434183). This is to try to avoid those commonly occurring stories that appear in the media such as large vehicles being sent through narrow streets (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15395200) or sent along inappropriate roads (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315762/White-van-man-airlifted-safety-satnav-sends-mountain.html).Google Plus One
Slate magazine has an article on the "Best of Show" at the 38th annual competition of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. David Imus spent two years drawing a wall map of the United States, placing special emphasis on relief shading and type placement. The article describes the lengthy design and production process and compares the winning map to the standard National Geographic wall map, illustrated by a few specific examples from each map.
The author, Seth Stevenson, also discusses the advantages of a full national map on paper versus a zoomed-in section of a virtual web map on a screen, stating that children's geographic knowledge is not improving even with easy access to digital maps.Google Plus One
First, happy 2012 to everyone! :-)
Slashdot is running a discussion named Judge Doesn't Care About Supreme Court GPS Case.
Their summary: "The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not law enforcement needs a warrant before they put a GPS tracker on a person's car. A judge in St. Louis doesn't seem to care about that, though. He ruled last week (PDF) that the FBI didn't need a warrant to track the car of a state employee they suspected was collecting a paycheck without actually going to work. (Their suspicions were confirmed.) While in favor of corrupt government employees being caught, it's a bit disturbing that a federal judge would decide a warrant wasn't needed while the Supreme Court has said the issue is unclear."Google Plus One
Slashdot discussed this story named China Begins Using New Global Positioning Satellites.
Their summary: "cswilly writes with the news that China's satellite navigation system, called Beidou, has been successfully activated. "With ten satellites now, 16 in 2012, and 35 in 2020, China is making damn sure they are independent of the U.S. military's lock on GPS. According to the article, 'Beidou, or 'Big Dipper,' would cover most parts of the Asia Pacific by next year and then the world by 2020.'" The BBC also has slightly more detailed coverage"Google Plus One
Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and Sensor Web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management: trends, OGC standards and application examples
An in-depth review entitled 'Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and Sensor Web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management: trends, OGC standards and application examples' has just been published in International Journal of Health Geographics (http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/10/1/67/abstract). This state-of-the-art review was written by nine world-class experts in the field from a number of distinguished institutions from around the world such as ISPRS, DERI, MIT, etc. And best of all it is Open Access, meaning the full text is free for anyone to download. Below is the abstract and link to download the paper:
Abstract: 'Wikification of GIS by the masses' is a phrase-term first coined by Kamel Boulos in 2005, two years earlier than Goodchild's term 'Volunteered Geographic Information'. Six years later (2005-2011), OpenStreetMap and Google Earth (GE) are now full-fledged, crowdsourced 'Wikipedias of the Earth' par excellence, with millions of users contributing their own layers to GE, attaching photos, videos, notes and even 3-D (three dimensional) models to locations in GE. From using Twitter in participatory sensing and bicycle-mounted sensors in pervasive environmental sensing, to creating a 100,000-sensor geo-mashup using Semantic Web technology, to the 3-D visualisation of indoor and outdoor surveillance data in real-time and the development of next-generation, collaborative natural user interfaces that will power the spatially-enabled public health and emergency situation rooms of the future, where sensor data and citizen reports can be triaged and acted upon in real-time by distributed teams of professionals, this paper offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the overlapping domains of the Sensor Web, citizen sensing and 'human-in-the-loop sensing' in the era of the Mobile and Social Web, and the roles these domains can play in environmental and public health surveillance and crisis/disaster informatics. We provide an in-depth review of the key issues and trends in these areas, the challenges faced when reasoning and making decisions with real-time crowdsourced data (such as issues of information overload, "noise", misinformation, bias and trust), the core technologies and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards involved (Sensor Web Enablement and Open GeoSMS), as well as a few outstanding project implementation examples from around the world.
Download the full paper from: http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/pdf/1476-072X-10-67.pdfGoogle Plus One
In the spirit of the holidays, the GeoTime Team decided to look at what Santa’s yearly voyage would look like if he planned his route based population. This way, he would offload as much weight as possible early in his voyage, thus being more fuel efficient overall. Take a look at the visualization of Santa's December 25th voyage on the GeoTime(s) Blog:Google Plus One
Batch Geonews: Pleiades-1 in Orbit, GeoInt at the US DoD, Hyperspectral UAV, GLONASS Global, and much more
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. I've been overly busy lately - like a lot of us are at that time of the year I guess - please allow the unusual delay of this entry. Have a nice holiday break!
On the Esri front:
- Via an Esri email, I learned about the National Geographic World Map to be used as a basemap with Esri products and services
On the Google front:
- Again, there's new 45° imagery available, now for Detroit, Fayetteville, Nashville, Baton Rouge and Huntsville
- The GEB has an entry on Google Earth on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus
- The GEB also shares another entry on using Google Earth in the classroom
- Finally from the GEB, here's an entry named Visualizing Google Analytics data in Google Earth
- Slashdot is discussing a story about British Telecom suing Google over Android, including several location-related patents
- Here's the official entry on last week's imagery update
In the miscellaneous category:
- APB shares their top 10 GIS stories of 2011
- SS informs us that France's Pleiades-1 high-resolution is now in orbit: "Pleiades-1 has a 70cm resolution, mulitspectral views in the visible and near-infrared bands, and a swath width of 20km"
- Read this if you want to grasp how important geospatial intelligence is to the US Department of Defense
- We often mentioned the LightSquared debacle, now they want the FCC to rule now, not a bad idea since they might run out of money in the coming months
- SS also informs us of an hyperspectral imager that can be deployed on UAVs
- We mentioned GeoSMS before, here's the OGC blog the use of GeoSMS for disaster management
- APB informs us that Facebook added Location Tagging to their Timeline Rollout
- Two weeks ago in a PR we mentioned GISLounge's GIS job skills and employment survey
- Also from a recent PR, we never mentioned before the free Dinamica EGO software, now at version 1.8, EGO standing for Environment for Geoprocessing Objects
- V1 informs us that Russia's GLONASS satellite navigation system is officially global again
- Slashdot discusses how the brain's structure changes with your spacial and navigation skills, at least for taxi drivers
- Another location-related story discussed at the same place is named Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation
- Finally from the same source, DigitalGlobe's satellite spotted China's first aircraft carrier
- WebMapSolutions reviews 8 mobile GIS apps for iOS and Android
- Microsoft tells us about the Updated Spatial Features in the SQL Azure Q4 2011 Service Release
- MapQuest updated their Mobile Flash Maps API to v7.0.7, but with Flash for Mobile officially abandoned by Adobe, what's the future of Flash?
- O'Reilly shares a long entry on the Public Mapping Project for gerrymandering the U.S. elections, which we mentioned before
- Hum... APB shares an entry named Confidence Key to Women Doing Well at Spatial Tasks
In the maps category:
- While I'm a bit late for Christmas gifts, VS mentions interesting typographic maps of various U.S. cities on sale, VS also links to reasonably priced 'vintage' geography gifts
- Here's OWNI's list of Best Maps of 2011, a few of them previously mentioned here
- Discussed over Slashdot, a New All-Sky Map Shows the Magnetic Fields of the Milky Way
- O'Reilly shares this British map of traffic casualties
Open Source Geonews: AntiMap, Fiona 0.5, QGIS 1.7.3, GeoServer 2.1.3, Shapefile-JS in HTML5, and more
Here's the recent open source geospatial news.
- O'Reilly mentioned AntiMap, an open source toolset for recording and visualising your own location data from a smartphone, such lat long, compass direction, speed, distance, time and POI
- Here's the shapefile-js project, allowing you to render local shapefiles with HTML5
- We mentioned Fiona before, Sean reports on where's Fiona, a python OGR API, now at its v0.5 release
- Quantum GIS 1.7.3 has been released, and they're getting closer to QGIS 1.8.0 and 2.0, apparently QGIS benefits from great momentum
- GeoServer 2.1.3 has been release, related, here's an entry named Robust Clustering Solution for GeoServer
- GeoTools 2.7.4 has been released
- Its been since last Spring that we heard about the open source virtual globe Marble, here's an entry on Marble's satellite view
- In this OpenGeo interview of Matt Priour, I learned about MapStory.org, "MapStory is an infrastructure for enabling “MapStorytelling” as a means of communicating important sociocultural dynamics to a global audience."
- In this entry, you'll learn about using PgRouting on OpenStreetMap data within QGIS
- Still on the same topic here's the vector transparency plugin for QGIS
- Here's how to create coloured rasters with GDAL
- If you're in Europe, the FOSS4G-CEE & Geoinformatics 2012 conference will be held in Prague May 21-23
Here's what it is: "Google Vector Layers allows you to easily add one or more vector layers from a number of different geo web services to a Google Maps API based application. Currently there's support for ArcGIS Server, Arc2Earth, GeoIQ and CartoDB with more planned."
And how it's done: "Google Vector Layers works by listening to map events (pan and zoom) and then fetching features within the map bounds after each event. This method works great for data sets with lots of features that you want to interact with, but not load all at once."
There's demos if you want to try it live.Google Plus One
Via O'Reilly I learned about this open source jQuery Plugin for creating subway-style map visualizations directly in HTML5. Now at version 0.5.0, the subwayMap Plugin already creates nice maps.
The intro of the provided step-by-step guide: "Here is a guide to using the Subway Map Visualization jQuery Plugin. Before you get started, there’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind — beautiful subway maps are never automatic; they are almost always the result of care in design and placement to ensure that the resulting map is functional, legible and beautiful. This plugin is just a tool…you will still need to plan and design your map in order to produce a good result."Google Plus One
Slashdot discusses a story named Google Outlines AI-Based Number Reading For Street View Photos.
Their summary: "A recent Google research paper [pdf] outlines how it might use AI to read digits in natural images — specifically Street View photos. The idea is to automatically extract the number of each house as captured by Street View and then use this to improve the geocoding data returned by Google. When you next ask for directions to a particular address the new data could be used to show you a street view looking directly at the house you specified."
We mentioned a few times in the past the reading and mapping of license plates.Google Plus One
Slashdot discusses a story named US Sentinel Drone Fooled Into Landing With GPS Spoofing.
Their summary: "Following up on the earlier Slashdot story, the Christian Science Monitor now reports that GPS spoofing was used to get the RQ-170 Sentinel Drone to land in Iran. According to an Iranian engineer quoted in the article, 'By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.' Apparently, once it loses its brain, the bird relies on GPS signals to get home. By spoofing GPS, Iranian Engineers were able to get the drone to 'land on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications.'"Google Plus One
Google Geonews: Numerous New 45° and 3D Cities, New Map Maker UI, Google Launches Schemer, and much more
Here's the recent Google-related geonews.
From official sources:
- There's new 45° imagery available for nothing less than 21 cities: "U.S.: Albuquerque (west), NM; Benton, AR; Boulder, CO; Eldridge, IA; Boston (east), MA; Centennial (south), CO; GooglePlex, CA; Indianapolis (south), IN; Las Vegas Strip, NV; Montgomery (outskirts), AL; Olathe, KA; Petaluma, CA; Tulsa, OK. South America: Brasilia, Brazil"
- On a similar topic, there's new cities in 3D in Google Maps: Rome, Seville, Las Vegas and more - the full list: "US: Foster City, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Norfolk,Palo Alto, Portland, Redwood City, Riverside, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Sunnyvale. Europe: Rome, IT, Rotterdam, NL; Seville, ES; Stuttgart, DE, Amsterdam, NL"
- Google Map Maker has been revamped with a new user interface, my hope is that one day Google will surprise us and link Google Map Maker with OpenStreetMap - they could eventually do it, since Google doesn't make money out of the data directly anyway and they're already great supporters of open data - am I delusional? :-)
- Somewhat related, Google Maps data got improved in the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and Sweden
- The official Dev blog shares an entry named The power of visualization with the Google Analytics API and Google Earth
- We also previously mentioned Liquid Galaxy, and now they're running Google Earth on 48 screens! The code is open source is your living room is big enough
- Here's a new entry on the tsunami-affected areas of Japan in Street View
- Here's an entry named Exploring ancient ruins in 3D with Google Earth
From other sources:
- The GEB reports about new high-resolution imagery in Antarctica in Google Earth
- APB mentioned Google blocking a first person shooter "game" in Google Maps
- The GEB also has an entry on the reorganization of the 'Ocean' layer
- Still from the same source, here's how to View your Google Latitude history in Google Earth
- Ed Parsons mentioned that satellite images revealed a “secret” Nevada UAV site
- Finally, the GEB is excited about the 3D tours of Mount Urgull in San Sebastian, Spain
- SS informs us that Google purchased Clever Sense, which tagline was "Never Miss Places You’ll Love", and APB informs us that Google launched Schemer, a non-checking location-based service for finding what to do, it's in invite-only beta