Thursday, 24 May 2007

People's map BETA & new Yahoo maps

From an email I received last night, it looks like The XYZ Digital Map Company, a business based up here just outside Edinburgh, have made a new service available called People's Map.

OS map 1920

While it looks and feels much like all the other google maps clones, it allows you not only to access the "people's map", a nicely designed map product - but also to access other layers such as the out of copyright 1920's Ordance Survey Map or high resolution getmapping imagery of the entire United Kingdom. Tbe photo below shows the harbour at Portree on the Isle of Skye for instance.

And why is it called People's Map? Well presumeably because XYZ plan to allow people to be able to edit and correct the maps themselves (a bit like wikipedia). Currently this mode isn't available yet, though they allow you to register on the page and be informed when this feature does become available. You can also buy aerial photography of your selected region (via getmapping).

Portree Harbour, Skye

For those wishing to use it as part of their websites, it is possible to pass parameters in the URL. The man behind it all, Tim Rideout, is presenting at the GISupdate conference here at the University next week, so I'm sure I'll hear more about it then.

I wanted to cover the rumour and news of Google buying up all of the SPOT imagery, but can't find anything official on it. Or more substantive. Or I'm not looking hard enough.

Instead, news of Yahoo Maps' fresh new look. Most of the changes are covered on the blog , but it struck me that suddenly the interface feels much cleaner, crisper and ultimately more useable. Glad Google is getting decent competition. Aerial imagery for a lot of Europe is terrible though!

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Thursday, 10 May 2007

Google Earth Sounds + World Wind Fly thru demo

Haven't blogged for ages - sorry! Been very busy with work and endless PERL to do with my dissertation. Should have some stuff to show off with that in the next few weeks.. but in the meantime, I came across a cool news story, and a very nice JAVA world wind demo.

First up is the New Scientist story about a company called wild sanctuary who are working on software to embed these sound files into the relevant locations in Google Earth. The man behind it all, Bernie Krause, has got over 3500 hours of sound recordings from all over the world, taken over 40 years.

Krause plans to have the software ready with 26 sounds for demonstration at the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, California, on 29 May.

The obvious question is whether users would be able to add their own sounds, and apparently work is underway on a project called Freesound. In any case, fantastic use of sound to create an immersive website, where so many have failed in the past (remember the dreadfull embedded Midi files?).

Next up the New Look The Earth is Square has links and screenshots for a World Wind JAVA demo, created by a company called DiSTI. I've been frustrated all day at uni trying to get it to work, and although I can get the fighter jet to appear, I don't get any of the landscapes. Not sure what the problem is (I presume port blocking), but now that I'm home, I've really enjoyed flying over real life locations (even if they are limited to a choice of around 5 or 6 at present). So nip over to Earth is Square for a preview, or jump straight in through this link.

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