"maps" entries

The state of mapping APIs

Mobile, utility and server-side development will define the future of maps.

Map APIs took off in 2005, and during the ensuing years the whole notion of maps has changed. Where once they were slick add-ons, map functionality is now a necessary — and expected — tool. In this piece, Adam DuVander looks at the current state of mapping and he explains how mobile devices, third-party services and ease of use are shaping the map development world.

Redesigning the New York City subway map

The long and complicated path that led to Eddie Jabbour's KickMap.

The field of data visualization is much broader than most people conceive of it, and exploring this breadth was one of our primary goals in compiling the projects described in Beautiful Visualization. In the following excerpt, KickMap designer Eddie Jabbour explains the complexity he faced and the trade-offs he made while reinventing one of the most iconic maps in the world.

Navigating the Future: Take Me to Bob

Google has just announced a free turn-by-turn navigation app for Android 2.0 in the US (Radar post). Google Maps Navigation relies on Google’s own mapping for routing you. As with many navigation devices you can search Business Listings. However, they are also including data not traditionally available to navigators. In the promo video Google demonstrates that you can ask to be taken to “The King Tut exhibit”. GMN will determine that it’s in Golden Gate Park and route you. This is “because it is connected to the internet it is using all of the latest information on the internet.”

Four short links: 24 September 2009

Four short links: 24 September 2009

Historic Cartography, MySQL Futures, Timewarping GDB, Open Source Werewolves

  1. Milestones in the History of Thematic CartographyThis resource provides a comprehensive view of the history of cartography, with examples of maps created throughout the ages and background information about the contexts within which those maps, visualizations and map making technologies were created. Explore each time period, click on the images and stories found throughout each time line, and read more about the history of creating thematic maps as a means of visualizing data. (via Titine on Delicious)
  2. Interview with Larry Ellison (Infoworld) — Asked about MySQL, “No, we’re not going to spin it off,” even if asked to by the EU, Ellison said. Lots of detail and interesting tidbits in this interview. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  3. GDB and Reverse DebuggingGDB version 7.0 (due September 2009) will be the first public release of gdb to support reverse debugging (the ability to make the program being debugged step and continue in reverse). (via Hacker News)
  4. A New Self-Definition for FOSSThere was this clamour in the past to get companies to open source their products. This has stopped, because all the software that got open source sucked. It’s just not very interesting to have a closed source program get open sourced. It doesn’t help anyone, because the way closed source software is created in a very different way than open source software. The result is a software base that just does not engage people in a way to make it a valid piece of software for further development. I don’t agree entirely with this quoted piece, but there’s a lot to what he says. Open source is not a silver bullet–hell, most people don’t even know what the werewolf is. Open sourcing doesn’t magically make developers appear, open sourcing doesn’t magically make a market appear. Your closed source problems still exist after you open source because it’s. not. about. you. It’s about the users and their comfort, abilities, and freedoms. (via Simon Willison)
Four short links: 6 July 2009

Four short links: 6 July 2009

iPhone Maps, Tooth Milling, Scratch Updated, Newspapers for All

  1. Offline Mapping App for iPhone — carry Open Street Maps maps with you even when you’re not in 3G/wifi range. (via Elisabeth)
  2. My dentist used an in-office CAD & CNC mill to produce a new tooth for me today (Nat Friedman) — hello, future!
  3. New version of Scratch released — Scratch is an excellent way to teach kids how to program (I’ve had success with lots of 7 and 8 year olds). The new version includes keyboard entry, webcams, and support for Lego WeDo. The user interface has also been changed to work on a Netbook’s 800×600 screen. Kudos to the Scratch team! (via scratchteam on Twitter)
  4. Newspaper Club – a Work in Progress — blog for the Newspaper Club project. “We’re building a service to help people make their own newspapers. This is the blog where we’re alarmingly honest about where it’s all going wrong.” I can’t figure out whether this is a brilliant decentralisation move that will disrupt the newspaper industry, or a paper form of steampunk. (via Simon Willison)

Walking the Censorship Tightrope with Google's Marissa Mayer

Google sometimes finds itself at an difficult crossroad of wanting to make as much information available to as many people as possible, while still trying to obey the laws of the countries they operate in. I recently had a chance to talk to Marissa Mayer, who started at Google as their first female engineer, and has now risen to the ranks of vice president in charge of some of Google’s most critical product areas, such as search, maps and Chrome. We talked about some of Google’s future product directions, and also about how Google makes the decision as to when information has to be withheld from the users. Marissa will be delivering a keynote address at the O’Reilly Velocity Conference next week.