- Wikileaks Now Holds UK Postcode Database — the UK does not have open geodata in the way that we know it. A state-owned enterprise, Ordnance Survey, is responsible for maintaining all sorts of baseline data and they charge (through the nose) for that data. This is the release of 1,841,177 post codes, geographic boundaries, and more. Postcodes in the UK are far more useful than US ZIP codes–they identify a handful of houses, rather than a few thousand houses.
- My New Sense Organ — a strap with buzzers and a compass, so you always have physical reminder of orientation. For people like me who can get lost putting on pants in the morning, this would be a godsend. (via Slashdot)
- Saving is Obsolete — EtherPad adds a Wave-like replay feature to help you see the history of a document.
- Open Source 3D People — incredible software to design realistic 3D faces and bodies. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
Google has announced a free turn-by-turn navigation system for Android 2.0 phones such as the Droid. Read more about the features of Google Maps Navigation.
Shortly after installing Snow Leopard I saw the first evidence of the new location services built into the operating system. I got the new version of Clarke, a Fire Eagle updater. After the install a window appeared that asked me if I wanted to share my location with an application. Finally! So how is Apple doing it? The same they do on the iPhone.
Involuntarily Opened Geodata, Sense Organ, Doc Vis, 3D Open Source Bodies
NoSQL, Gov 2.0 Videos, Linux Conf, Geodata Grump
- WTF Is A Supercolumn? — Cassandra is a NoSQL database, a triplestore that scales superwell. Because it’s not the usual relational thing we’re accustomed to, the language can be a barrier to learning: ColumnFamily, SuperColumns, and more. This post explains what’s what, with examples. (via joshua on Delicious)
- Gov 2.0 Summit Videos — When I grow up, I want to be Clay Shirky, Tom Steinberg, and Carl Malamud. Some videos are up, others coming up soon–stay tuned for Carl’s, which received the only standing O of the show. [updated with link to Carl’s talk when it was released]
- linux.conf.au Schedule Posted — bring the thunda down unda in 2010. The schedule was just released.
- Transport for London Does Not Like the Ordnance Survey — an Official Information Request yielded the Transport for London response to an Ordnance Survey “strategy consultation”. The OS should appoint an independent body to review their licence documents and pay them based on the number of words deleted. Sound advice too–OS have crippled the geospatial industry in the UK by charging for their (admittedly finely-detailed) data. (via mattb on delicious)
Hacktivism, Gov 2.0 Futures, Local Geodata, Cassandra Terminology
- A Political Startup (Aaron Swartz) — inside account of his grassroots activism efforts, with clever strategies he used to get the outcomes he wanted. A couple months later, frustrated that Norm Coleman wouldn’t drop his spurious legal challenges against Al Franken being named a Senator, we started NormDollar.com. We asked people to donate a dollar each day Norm Coleman didn’t drop out of the race, money we’d spend electing progressive candidates. It was featured on Hardball and throughout the political press. We also videotaped Norm’s donors’ reactions when we told them about the program. But my favorite was when we presented Norm with a big novelty check for him to sign, representing all the money he’d raised for progressives. Now we had money too.
- What Gov 2.0 Is Making Me Think (Quinn Norton) — two short and razor sharp observations on Gov 2.0. Like stages of grief, we need to figure out the stages of internet integration for institutions. I suspect grief is in there.
- Northland Regional Council Maps in Koordinates — a staggeringly clueful act by local government in New Zealand, releasing a pile of imagery and map layers under CC-BY license. As we hear about national governments’ Gov 2.0 efforts, it’s worth remembering many more local governments there are–with less money, a different revenue model, and no easy way to reach them all.
- Ten Second iPhone Tethering — just did this, and it is awesome. The “download” link takes you to a list of countries, which takes you to a list of telcos, which downloads a config file that gives your phone an “okay to tether” network config for that telco. Some report losing ability to MMS, which I for one won’t notice! (via many, including Engadget)
- How Twitter Works in Theory (Kevin Marks) — very nice summary about the conceptual properties of Twitter that let it work. Both Google and Twitter have little boxes for you to type into, but on Google you’re looking for information, and expecting a machine response, whereas on Twitter you’re declaring an emotion and expecting a human response. This is what leads to unintentionally ironic newspaper columns bemoaning public banality, because they miss that while you don’t care what random strangers feel about their lunch, you do if its your friend on holiday in Pompeii.
- Army To Test Wiki-Style Changes to The 7 Manuals — In early July the Army will conduct a 90-day online test using seven existing manuals that every soldier, from private to general officer, will have the opportunity to read and modify in a “wiki”-style environment. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- Open Data Standards Don’t Apply To The Military — It’s that last particular point that should be the most disturbing to the administration. Apparently all geospatial data being developed and utilized by the USAFA would be unusable without a sole software vendor. This causes concern over broader interoperability with other agencies and organizations, access to important national information, and archivability and retrievability. Expose of the single-source “standard” vendor lockin in US military geosoftware and geodata. (via johnmscott on Twitter)
Waze (blog) is using mobile phones as sensors to collect data. The Israeli-based start-up (though now with offices in SF) is relying on users to create its maps, to report realtime traffic and to teach it how to route from place A to place B. Along their drives the user gobbles points for every action. Use the app and gain recognition within the Waze community. The company is doing all of this through its free turn-by-turn navigation apps (sorry, iPhone and Android only for now).
Last week Google launched Latitude for the iPhone as a web app. They were held back from releasing a native app by Apple’s overbearing application approval process. However, this doesn’t matter that much as all location apps are currently hamstrung by Apple’s lack of background location updates. Luckily for iPhone customers there are developers out there trying to solve this problem.
Open Source Kids, Crowdsourcing Lessons, Flickr Secrets, Hadoop Spatial Joins
- The Digital Open — The Digital Open is an online technology community and competition for youth around the world, age 17 and under. Building a community of young open source hackers.
- Four Crowdsoucing Lessons from the Guardian’s Spectacular Expenses Scandal Experiment — Your workers are unpaid, so make it fun. How to lure them? By making it feel like a game. “Any time that you’re trying to get people to give you stuff, to do stuff for you, the most important thing is that people know that what they’re doing is having an effect,” Willison said. “It’s kind of a fundamental tenet of social software. … If you’re not giving people the ‘I rock’ vibe, you’re not getting people to stick around.” (via migurski on delicious)
- 10+ Deploys/Day: Dev & Ops Cooperation at Flickr — John Allspaw and Paul Hammond’s talk from Velocity. You tell any mainstream company in the world “10 deploys/day” and you’ll be met with disbelief.
- Reproducing Spatial Joins using Hadoop and EC2 — bit by bit the techniques for emulating important operations from trad databases are being discovered and shared in the new database scene. (via straup on delicious)
There many places in the world where it is not possible for larger companies to map them. These can be for economic reasons as is the case for Black Rock City (the temporary 40,000 person home for Burning Man). Or for political reasons as is the case for Iran and countries such as China.
As I mentioned the other day Google greatly improved their map coverage of Iran via user contributions through their Mapmaker program.