Thursday, 30 November 2006

arcExplorer & backseat gaming

Before we move onto the big news of the past few days, let me first talk about an interesting article that I read about on slashgeo. BackSeat Playground is a project sponsored by Microsoft and the Ordnance Survey, that plans to utilise GPS and ICE (in car entertainment), in the form of a video game, that relates a narrative on the basis of geographic location. While the 'game' appears relatively simple currently, it will be interesting to see how this can evolve. Into 3-d worlds through which you move as in real-time, affected by real weather and location? Interaction with other BSP users?

ESRI's arcGIS Explorer was fairly highly anticipated by the world. Not only is it a much needed rival to the google-earth's and world-wind's of today - but also an interesting change in direction for ESRI. Some of the functionality already present is really nice, with fairly intuitive interface that ESRI users will be familiar with. James Fee in his spatially adjusted blog, offers extensive review of the new product, together with the news that there are some new nice globes available for the newly releasedarcGIS-online.

I'll do more of a review of arcExplorer when I manage to use it a bit more. Haven't done much with it just now besides look at the base datasets. Currently it feels very similiar to GoogleEarth - though much much slower(almost certainly due to me using their dataservers, not locally kept copies).

I'm rather interested to see what developer tools will be made available, and what other data formats it is likely to support - outside of the esri standards.

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Tuesday, 28 November 2006

3d space pheripherals

One of the things that has been lacking in the terrestrial, non-CAD world, has been the viable alternative to the mouse. Yes, there are trackerballs and other pointers, but on the whole we have been restricted to the commodity item of the mouse. Even if we do have very good accurate optical ones these days. While a few consoles have just been released that use motion sensors (the Wii) in their controllers.. we've still really been waiting for something for the humble PC.

Well, the wait is over. Ogle Earth reviews the SpaceNavigator by 3Dconnexion, a subsidiary of Logitech. It also includes some interesting uses within Google Earth. And the good thing is, that at US$60, they are relatively affordable. With the SDK coming soon, there will hopefully be a whole range of applications, and possibly OS interactions. I wonder if the gaming market will embrace these?

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Monday, 27 November 2006

- visualising textual data
- making gazetteer co-ordinate data multi-platform (kml, gml?)

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