Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Garmin API, Pedestrian Warnings, Tagging Graffiti

In the GPS front Garmin announced its Communicator Plugin API which will allow "transfers data between websites and Garmin GPS Devices."

MotionBased webservices API's and a User Interface library with its Activity Player, and "a suite of visual programming components that visualize Garmin GPS data" will also become available soon.

More at GpsLodge.

Microsoft studying GPS tracklogs can predict drivers behavior among other things.

And Yahoo talks about mobile phones warning pedestrians about approaching vehicles. Via AllPointsBlog.

Finally, GrafittiTracker a way to use GPS by law enforcement in LA to track graffiti.

Map News: Links

Lots of maps news from Where 2.0 and abroad. Here are links to the most compelling companies, products and recent stories:


GpsLodge finds out about free Inrix Traffic Data from

AllPointBlog has a story on NavTeq eying GeoEye.

And Google bought Panoramio.

iPhone, uLocate: Toolbox for Your Content

When a huge wave is coming your way, better duck. Bet solar flares are taking us for a ride this week...

Plus shipping and blogging hardly go hand in hand. Unless you are writing docs I would imagine...

I don't know if this has to do with reading news from feeds but the amount of significative events in the last 72 hours has been quite overwhelming. Where 2.0, JobsGates...

Outside the Matrix

Filtering out most of it I would stick to these pearls for now:

From Jobs at D5 answering about Apple's marketshare:

"Personally, I find it absurd that the marketshare is so low. Seriously. It confuses the hell out of me. It's like watching people fight to be in the Matrix."
Considering then that the fight among entrepreneurs seems to be one where it is being conceptualized what we, as customers want to buy and use. What lifestyle is there, how does it gadgetize itself.

GeoRSS Feeds + Maps

Piecing together the words from Walt Doyle CEO from uLocate now offering widgets with support for KML and GeoRSS from Manufacture you read:

"Mobile phone users will be able to view thousands of location feeds including local news wire stories, user-generated travel guides, local blogs, restaurant reviews, and virtual location notes."

Again from Jobs at D5 answering to Mossberg's question about "What will be on the pocket device of the future? Jobs answer: "I don't know. Five years ago, I wouldn't have predicted maps."

Local Reporting

Back to Where 2.0 is invitating developers: "We'd also like to push the developers and content creators attending the conference to think to the future of geo-located information, including open standard APIs that allow mobile users not only to subscribe to geo-located data, but modify it on the fly in the real world."

At the conference attendees would be able to watch "live demos of GeoRSS feeds being dynamically updated and visually displayed in the car will re-inforce the customer value of freeing geo-located information from the confines of the PC."

For now, following on Gizmodo posts and D5's transcript.

Soon mobile blogging, feeding for, and from anyone with enough cash to get their hands on this mythical gadget that is materializing ahead of a shared lifestyle dream, where you can report from your current location and upload your geotagged photos, recorded videos, mail and stories.

Or to get started right away, check Locoblog and its blogging package for Nokia mobile phones running JSR 179 (Bluetooth or embedded GPS). And for MovableType users, GeoPressMT plugin is available.

Being a local reporter with your own content. Feeding the news, being fed leads.

Check Andrew Turner's presentation on Where 2.0 for a good visual explanation.

What a week.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Future of PND's: Your Mobile TV

Matt Nauman from Mercury News hints at the future of Portable Navigation Devices. Turn it on, get directions, check the offers along the way, watch a little clip, listen some more specials...

You got the picture.

Hey don't forget multitasking isn't going away anytime soon if it depends on this sort of engineering...

But watching TV and driving, that's asking a bit much of our already busy brains.

Matt also writes about James Keh, a Valley pioneer: opens the first GPS-only gadget store. In 1996.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Reading maps, Google Mobile, .NET CF 3.5

The Telegraph found a study that concludes that man reads maps better, but can't find the keys. Via The Register.

ZDNet found a patent for mobile search filled by Google. Talking Google, no real news here but... Blackberries can now run Google Maps Mobile as Windows Mobile PPC 2003 2nd edition users. Plus Google Developer Day 2007 is coming up.

Also .NET Compact Framework 3.5 Beta 1 is out. Via Solsie.

GeoFeed: Flickr Photos

Flickr (better saying, Rev Dan Catt) is working on a way for you to subscribe to a feed of photos taken at a given lat/long.

Like London and San Francisco. His latest post includes the two cities as examples of GeoFeeds. Neat.

Here is one for Santa Cruz.

Some wishes... How do I subscribe to my own custom lat/long? Anyway to enter those values in the URL? What about showing lat/long in the photo info?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

People's Map, iPhone Rumors

In UK People's Map Goes Beta

More ways of seeing photos on Google Earth at gearthblog.

NYTimes talks about the Garmin Rhino. And also about Scratch, the visual programming language used by those M.I.T. toys.

Rumors of a true GPS with iPhone, also at Navigadget.

A reminder, GeoIQ from those cool maps and FortiusOne from GeoCommons are all under the same company roof.

Angelina Jolie got GPS tags

No cash for GPS project

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

GeoCommons, Urban Mapping, Live Search for J2ME

GeoCommons gets into public beta May 28th during Where 2.0. Check 3pointd who looked into it. And at DirectionsMag for a good description of what is about to come.

Talking about maps Radar maps what Google is up to recently, plus Urban Mapping now used by Ask with its API and a cool demo of their map technology. And more about Yahoo dropping deCarta.

Via SolSie, Live Search for J2ME phones: including Nokia Series 40, 60, Motorola Razr, Samsung SPH-A900, Sanyo MM-8300 and beta software for some Blackberry models (Perl, 7130, 8700, 7290).

And Mobio help you find cheap gas, via VentureBeat.

In Other News

Brighthand liked the Pharos GPS Phone.

Via LBSZone: Geoweb 2007 Conference Program is out. And Qualcomm has one for Brew coming up too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Derek from Glastonbury: The First GPS Bull

Lots going on but for now just a note on a British first: bet on Derek's location, GPS-based.

Via PocketPicks and also PocketGamer which has a pretty concise review of mobile news in UK.

If you decide to play you might end up in Glastonbury for their upcoming Summer of Love 2007.

Maker Faire: Burning Man Meets Marx in Silicon Valley

Did he say something like "those who own the means of production will be set free"?

If that is the case, Maker Fair was here to help make that revolution happen by aligning and layering up the techno strata of the valley.

It showed the takeover (with affordable and tax-deductible costs) of tools for invention, design, production and distribution which now in an act of magic are freed and available to the Common Man.

This weekend will certainly revolve its ideas and potential for many weekends to come.

A few photos at Flickr and some more at

Friday, May 18, 2007

BBC GeoStories: Tagging the News

BBC is experimenting with tagging stories, sounds, photos and video to its location on a map.

The first set of the projects can be seen at GeoStories.

First at Technology news.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spatial Data: Vapor aware

Isaac @ MSDN blog comes up to say some more on SQL Server Spatial support. Meanwhile, Paul Ramsey points out that there are other choices already available out there like PostGIS 0.8.

Hardware: Dell, Garmin, Mobile TV

Yao Ming in three new commercials from Garmin (best, sure, whatever). And a cool educational effort with a new GPS Academy with Flash presentations like GPS 101 presented by Miss GPS. First at GPSLodge.

Dell out of the PDA market. From Solsie And GPS wins over Mobile TV.

Meanwhile Reuters discovers what is mostly already available. Echoed by Gizmodo.

Widgets/Social Networks: uLocate, GyPSii

uLocate raised more cash according to VentureBeat. Its widgets Where, are behind Ask Mobile GPS,, MapQuest FindMe and a mapping app for the Blackberries, KMaps . Used also in another photo uploader GeoSnapper for phones equipped with true GPS as the Motorola i860.

Reuters (note archived=false in the URL) covers the future use of GPS phones by social networks and gives good news from Sam Critchley (from A2B) and Dan Harple who sold GyPSii to Benefon. Congrats! First at mocoNews.

And to add another piece to this puzzle check the nice introduction of the moment's fad at Twitter 101: a good intro and summary with ideas and perspectives plus a comment that shots the whole thing down.

Map API's: Yahoo, PushPin, OpenWave MIDAS

Yahoo Maps Out of Beta: version 3 includes Ajax and Flash API's; drops deCarta drill-down engine. Via AllPointsBlog.

PR from ThomasNet about availability of Pushpin, a subscription-based web service JavaScript API (Ajax) for map tiles.

OpenWave partners with Sirf to offer MIDAS, Ajax-based Mobile Widgets development platform for Brew, Windows Mobile, Symbian, QTopia and Linux. Via WirelessIQ.

JavaFX: Rippling Effects at Nokia, Motorola

EETimes interviewed surprised executives from Motorola and Nokia regarding Sun's latest move on its all Java mobile platform. Interesting times.

Teardown slideshow: Celestron Skyscout

If you want to take a peek inside a Skyscout from Celestron with its GPS, compass (magnetometer by Honeywell + accelerometer from Analog Devices) head to EETimes' TearDown for a freebie.

Click the red On Demand button (buggy on Firefox, works in IE + RealAudio) and register for a 15 or so minutes long video (slides with narration) by David Carey from TearDown. Parts list included.

Guts of a Prius

EETimes publisher CMP, just put out the second issue of 'Under The Hood" showing (besides the Skyscout) the guts of a Toyota Prius, a Blackberry 8100 Pearl, the Sony game controller and a bunch of other toys.

A good point made at the Skyscout presentation is the fact that Freescale doesn't produce the MG4100A anymore. Guess Motorola sold that IP to Sirf at some point.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blackberry, MakerFaire, LED on the windshield

Visual Studio will get a Blackberry Plugin soon and new Pearl models may include real GPS.

HUD brings a way to have the view of a LED on your windshield, quite ingenious (via Solsie).

Maker Fair Schedule is out. Happening this weekend.

G-Map Track: A new name (site, use, positioning) for MGMaps, now a free Google Maps based tracking app for Symbian and J2ME phones.

Welcome Blade Runner

GPS concept mixing e-paper, navigation. Via CoolestGadgets. And an umbrella that shows you the way (via AllPointsBlog).

ElectronicDesign: 10 GPS Apps

Great article from the ground up of the GPS technology to current chipset makers. A pretty concise view of the GPS market and its applications.

Discuss-able around A-GPS but still covered enough material on less than three pages.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

News week: DIY LBS Development

HP announced mscape, a tool (player plus editor) used to teach GPS and surrounding subjects by schools in England. The US version has an automated way of generating map images with coordinates but the documentation available points to the British version.

You will have some fun learning about Easting and Northing used by UTM based projections. It does run on PocketPC 2003 despite the warnings along the way. It does requires Adobe Flash PDA client. Review soon.

FreeEarth demos Ajax in 3D maps using Poly9 API as covered in Radar.

According to AllBlogs, next rev of MS SQL to support geospatial data.

Buzzword Alert: GeoWeb. Coined first here. Google does GeoBlogging.

News week: PNDs, A-GPS

Are Brits prone to follow gadgets blindly? Perhaps because lots of them are now so much into navigation with satnav's.

Well, BBC reports on even dumber ideas for those not distracted enough or not multitasking at recommended levels. How do you call those little things used for testing new stuff... Guinea pigs?

In fact, it seems that these gadgets are dropping the resale price of used cars.

But if you are still looking for a deal, check this list of under $200 models.

SFGate had an interesting article on the time it takes for updates to trickle down into these devices and online map services.

Here a video with some of TomTom's history.

Handhelds, Mobile Phones

According to EETimes, US Census Bureau will use custom handhelds manufactured by HTC equipped with GPS in its next Census.

Helio Ocean is now available.

Nokia promoting a Road To China.

IAC (Ask Mobile owner) announces "Ask Mobile GPS". For Sprint customers using WaveMarket LBS technology.

And this time Sprint got it right.

Google Maps Mobile in UK (Nokia N95) Video on Reuters, article by The Register. It includes local search, UK-based and Vodafone phones will have it preloaded.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Casa Loma: Passage to Morgan Hill

Loma Prieta Peak is the highest point in the Santa Cruz Mountains (or not). It is private land, covered with antennas.

Somehow I've been wondering about a passage [kml] through those mountains from "this side of hill" to the Morgan Hill side.

Road across the Fault line

It runs through Eureka Canyon from Corralitos, Highland, Mt Bache Rd, Loma Prieta Ave where you can reach the peak and from there, (private roads) Uvas Canyon Road also known as Loma Chiquita Road, then the in really bad shape Casa Loma Road.

It ends at a gate by Rancho Canada del Oro [pdf], an Open Space Preserve in Morgan Hill.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nasa WorldWind Java SDK Available

If you are looking for a way to build a free client for Google Earth look at what NASA and Sun are making available: a Java SDK for NASA's WorldWind. Add KML support to it and you are half way there.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

JavaOne: JavaFXScript + Linux

AllPointsBlog scored twice:

  • Sharing the Sprint presentation on Java's Location API 2.0 (JSR293) and
  • presenting views on Savaje's IP acquisition by Sun which brought in a couple of weeks a port of its JavaFX framework to the FIC/OpenMoko device (photo).
LBSZone also following Sun's noisy entrance in the Open Source + Open Hardware mobile market with its JavaFXScript for Mobile.

Check articles at LinuxDevices and CNET for more.

Meanwhile, Helio is leading the design contest with Ocean. With Gizmodo putting up its whole manual...

Sprint Conference papers here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

GPS, LBS, Maps: Mixed Bag News

Reuters wrote about a controversial plan that uses GPS (among others techniques) to track drivers in the Island. Via Engadget.

Yahoo Pipes now has GeoRSS support, so you can build a pipe to grab feeds based on their location.

Make found this post about a project that hooks up a Garmin eTrex to Nikon D200.

Geocaching still the best way to get someone started with GPS.

CNET reviews the Pharos GPS Phone 600e and doesn't like it. The 600e doesn't include navigation software (while the 600 does). Via SolSie.

Trust on Technology: New Zealand boaters also asked to keep their maps around.

TeleAtlas going 3D with its City Maps. From the PR:

"By leveraging Tele Atlas 3D city maps, developers can add recognizable building representations with excellent optical quality while maintaining a low volume of data.[...] This ability to present the highly detailed, true-to-life 3D models at exceptionally low data volumes was achieved through a new parametric texture technology developed by GTA Geoinformatik GmbH, a German company with extensive experience in 3D geo-referenced visualization and modelling."

: quick review of iGuidance and MS Streets and Trips by Warner Croker on GottaBeMobile.

EU is considering running the late in schedule Galileo Project.

US considering use of (A)GPS equipped cell phones to help track terrorist attacks.

Free Google Earth client: That's one of the FSF top priorities. Good one.

Emotional Maps of San Francisco. Or how to use GSR while strolling in the City.

2D barcodes used to help commuters in France by providing real-time traffic data

O'Reilly Where 2.0 is coming and bringing GeoCommons Launch.Via LBSZone

Interesting post on eating your own dogfood at MS Mobile Blog. It also shows how HTC is helping out with the development of Windows Mobile.

Programmable Web published a list of resources for developing mashups with Ruby including among them:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Economist: When Everything Connects

As OgleEarth already acted upon. It is all in the cover of current (for US) The Economist.

It is all connected. More about the cover at Moteiv.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Landscaping, Locals, Tags

Some synchronicity on this one: spent sometime looking up stitching packages and ran into a local artist. Today I find an article on Digital Urban about the same sort of tooling but for the Nokia N95.

You are It

In other parts, (Vegas to be specific or Venetian Hotel to be even more) MEDC 2007 in on its way and Daniel Wagner in a research on Augmented Reality is showing SignPost2007, a Windows Mobile version of his project .

The Windows version evolved quite a bit since his early prototypes in a research project born at the Graz University.

SignPost uses a lower resolution version of tags similar to the QuickResponse codes used in Japan. The low-res encoding provides less combinations but it should be certainly faster to read/process.

The library used to prototype the "computer vision tracking" to read these tags AR Toolkit Plus is available for download.