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Showing posts from March, 2011

Getaround - Car Sharing 2.0 a smart idea this times

After some time I'd like to introduce another smart start up idea, which I came across recently. The company is called getaround and offers a platform to rent cars from private people. The idea is to bring together people, who would like to rent a car for a short term basis with car owners, who have their cars available for a certain time.


It includes a very flexible renting schema, which allows to rent cars on daily or hourly basis. The main part is a small car kit or On Board Unit (OBU), that is placed within the car of the car owner. The OBU includes a GNSS receiver, to determine the location of the car. This information can be used by the car renter to find an available car which is nearby her/his location and available for rent. The OBU can also be used for security and insurance issues to track the vehicle.


Interview with the co-founder of Getaround.com: Jessica Scorpio
Getaround includes also a feedback system similar to ebay, which will make the platform more trusted and pre…

Social Crisis Mapping is more popular than ever: Lybia Crisis Map as example.

Latest crisis, like the earthquake in New Zealand and Japan followed by the nuclear endangerment keep us breathless. But these crisis have born a new very popular field of web mapping, which can be called as Social Crisis Mapping. The first big event where these kind of effort has be seen on a large scale was the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Social Crisis Mapping tries to collect as many information as possible from different social networks and put them together on a map, which fuctions as usebale interface. People can quickly get an overview about the situation and find locations where news are related to or facilities has etablished or dangers occur.

The latest Social Crisis Map I have found on the web covers the Lybia crisis. A detailed map includes a timeline and points different layers on the map.




The CrisisMappers Standby Task Force has been undertaking a mapping of social media, news reports and official situation reports from within Libya and along the borders at the request of O…

Educational video shows the revolution in the Geospatial industry

The Penn State Public Broadcasting agency has started a new educational series called Geospatial Revolution. As the title already suggest the series focuses on the influence of geospatial technology in our everyday life and how it changed over the past few years and months. The series is very well made and includes interviews from people related to the geospatial and GIS community, introduces interesting geo-related projects and includes well done animations to explain different topics in this area.
The first episode covers what is involved in the geospatial revolution, the origins of mapping and geospatial technology, and a look at the use of crisis mapping in Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Main topics are humans as geospatial sensors and how data collections changes over the past few years, from mapping the earth in the ancient world to first GPS receivers.
Episode One
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poMGRbfgp38

More videos from Episode One...

Worldwide nuclear power plants near earthquake zones

Japans earthquake and the related Nuclear incidents at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has recalled the threatening endangerment of nuclear power. The author of maptd.com has wondered about the location of worldwide power station, in relation to active earthquake zones.  The result is a map which shows an alarmingly picture:
With this in mind, the author of maptd has created a map combining two sets of information: A heatmap of every 4.5+ magnitude earthquake since to 1973 – around 174,000 in totalThe location of 248 atomic energy plants, including numbers of reactors. Represented by blue markers.The seismic data are from the United States Geological Survey and the nuclear power station information the International Atomic Energy Agency. The map is built from two Google Fusion tables, here and here. To see the actual locations of the earthquakes you can toggle the heatmap off and display markers instead.

Trend towards Vector Tile Maps and away from raster tiles

Early this year Andy Ruby and the Android Team together with the Google Maps team announced a new version of Google Maps capable of neat 3D transition features. These new features are empowered by the strategy to use vector data.

On this year’s ESRIs Developer Configuration there was an interesting talk by Dave Bouwman and Mike Juniper entitled Creating (and Sharing with You) a Vector Tile Cache for ArcGIS Server. With this presentation they introduced early results of their project ArcStache derived by a vector based map cache. This is possible with the ArcGIS feature service introduced at version 10.
Vector Tile Caching: ArcStache [Video Link]

Japan and its effects on GPS and Geodata

The massive earthquake (magnitude 9.0 Richter scale) in Japan has caused a shift of a land mass of the peninsula Honshu. The land mass of Japan biggest main island was shifted by an average of 2.5 meters. The Earth’s axis has also shifted slightly.

The world's fifth-largest, 8.9 magnitude quake was caused when the Pacific tectonic plate dove under the North American plate, which shifted Eastern Japan towards North America by about 13 feet. The quake also shifted the earth's axis by 6.5 inches, shortened the Earths day by 1.6 miliseconds, and sank Japan downward by about two feet.

High Resolution Satellite Pictures of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and Tsunami devestation in North-East Japan

Geoeye a provided of digital satellite images has published some high resolution imagery of North-East Japan. I have summarized some of the most impressive ones. Click on the Picktures to get the full resolution for downloading.


Japan Tsunami Wave height animation across the Pacific ocean

This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) image released on March 11, 2011 shows model runs from the Center for Tsunami Research at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory showing the expected wave heights of the tsunami as it travels across the Pacific basin. The largest wave heights are expected near the earthquake epicenter off Japan. The wave will decrease in height as it travels across the deep Pacific but grow taller as it nears coastal areas. In general, as the energy of the wave decreases with distance, the near shore heights will also decrease (e.g., coastal Hawaii will not expect heights of that encountered in coastal Japan). Tsunami waves rolled thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean after a massive earthquake off Japan and washed ashore in Hawaii early March 11. (NOAA) Animation:

Geosimulation of the nuclear cloud in Japan

After the big earthquake on Friday in Japan (Richter scale: 9.0) and the resulting Tsunami waves several nuclear power plants facing major security issues. At 8:30 UTC an explosion happened the nuclear power plant in Fukushima and nuclear fusion is probable. ZAMG has calculated a possible distribution of the radioactivity cloud.
The amount of airborne radionuclides is not sure. The calculation has to be interpreted in qualitative manner only. A continuous disposal near the earth's surface (0-30m) is assumed.

Routing with Live Traffic on Google Maps Navigation for Android

This week Google released their latest version of Google Maps for Android. One of the most prominent changes can be found in the Google Maps Navigation mode. Google introduced live traffic data within their routing. Google Maps for Android advise you to take an alternative road if heavy traffic is on the road you are currently on. Even better it suggest a route where traffic is ok, and you will not become stuck on a road with heavy traffic. Data from the application is used to derive actual traffic density on individual road segments. Google Maps navigation is uses for more than 35 million miles driven by users every day. So this service is expected to become better by the amount of drivers using Google Maps as their navigation system. Of course this information will be used in the web application of Google Maps as well and we can expect a better coverage of live traffic data for the entire world soon. One example of Google Maps navigation with live traffic data, explained by Roy Willia…

ESRI Developer Summit 2011 - Major Topics

ESRI’s developer Conference is starting today in Palm Springs California. This will be the largest Developer Summit yet. This reflects the trend from GIS Professionals towards GIS Developers. This year’s developer conference will focus on several highlights of ESRI geospatial technology and their visions of the future. I expect following topics: Strategic partnerships with leading IT innovators and companies like IBM and Microsoft.Presentation of ArcGIS 10.1 with new features and expected release date.New more powerful version of ArcExplorer and ArcExplorer Web edition.Evolution of Web APIs (Javascript, Silverlight and Flex).Presentation of Web API for mobile (more details on ArcGIS for Android, release expected by May 2011). In addition to Android there is support for iOS and Windows Phone 7.Official Support end of WEB ADF for ArcGIS Server and strategies/technologies for post WEB ADF.Basemaps are becoming public available (for non-commercial and commercial use). ESRIs vision to become…

Why is nobody caring about Bing Maps?

Bing Maps recently has introduced some new functionality within their Bing Maps application. There is now an enhanced and more minimalistic user interface, new functionality and improved performance. The update was done more than 3 months ago but there was not much echo about it. Why is Bing Maps not present? Bing Maps includes really nice functionality and they catch up with some innovations known from Google Maps. In example Bing Maps now supports much smoother drag and drop routing. But there is still no real innovation in the field of routing. More or less they copied or adapted well known features from Google Maps. Therefore it’s not worth talking about. This is true for many other functionalities like map navigation, searching, etc.