Find your way, no matter where you are

July 10, 2012

GPS is great and has helped nearly everyone at one stage or another to find their way.

The problem is that it doesn’t work indoors and all the mapping companies are working hard on finding a solution so you can find your way around the shopping mall or the supermarket.

Now there is a new kid on the block called IndoorAtlas.

image

Developed by a team at Finland’s University of Oulu, their method relies on identifying the unique geomagnetic field of every location on Earth to get positioning through a mobile device.

It is very accurate, to less than 6.6 feet, and it can work without triangulations of wireless signals and at any location. IndoorAtlas has already conducted tests in a mine 4,593 feet deep.

Geomagnetic location-finding is already available through an Android API, so hopefully there will be plenty of apps coming our way soon.

Check out the video below for a brief explanation.

@maniac13


The future of Google Maps

June 7, 2012

Google had a nice little get together today where they talked about their mapping solutions, Google Maps, Google Earth, Navigation, Streetview etc. etc.

Google has been obsessed with maps for at least a decade now and they made the below video to tell you about their history:

So what is it that Google is envisioning for the future?

Being comprehensive

First of all there is StreetView wherever there wasn’t before. Google developed the StreetTrecker, a portable device to map out areas that can’t be reached by car, bike or bicycle.

image

It is about 20kg and it has batteries that will last all day.

Think about exploring every little aspect of the Grand Canyon simple within Google Earth. It can also be used to map your favourite shopping mall.

Take it offline

The next big thing is offline Google Maps, yes you have read correctly. I am most excited about this one as I am overseas at the moment and constantly trying to find my way around, but don’t want to use roaming data so i always have to find a free wifi connection, thank you Starbucks.

Offline Google Maps for Android are coming in the next few weeks. Users will be able to take maps offline from more than 100 countries.

image

The next dimension

Google has had 3D models in Google Earth since 2006 and today they announced that they will begin adding 3D model to entire metropolitan areas to mobile devices.

This is possible thanks to a combination of a new imagery rendering techniques and computer vision that lets Google automatically create 3D cityscapes, complete with buildings, terrain and even landscaping, from 45-degree aerial imagery.

By the end of the year the aim is to have 3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people.

Pretty cool? that’s what I said.

@maniac13


Move over Google Earth… the new Nokia Ovi 3D City Maps are better.

July 1, 2011

For the last few years Google has always stayed ahead of its rivals with products like Google Earth, Streetview, Maps etc but Nokia just launched the Beta of Ovi maps in 3D and it is mind blowing! Every texture is rendered in 3D on every building (for the major cities they have completed) and it is a lot of fun to play with. It’s not often that people in the office gather around a monitor and say “wow”… but today it happened. Well played Nokia – this is really cool.

http://maps.ovi.com/3D/

image

Tower Bridge

Ovi Maps 3d beta

image

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Cities mapped in 3D in Ovi are : San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Helsinki, Milan, Prague, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Madrid, Oslo, Wien, Florence, Venice.

image

@eunmac


Microsoft’s answer to Google Street View

August 3, 2010

The issue: traversing a busy urban street in a 360-degree photographic bubble can be disorienting, especially when searching for a specific address or business

The solution: Microsoft Street Slide, developed by MS Research. Zoom out of your panoramic bubble and the street is presented as a dynamic, multi-perspective "strip" giving you an instant visual summary of the surroundings.

image

Supposedly Microsoft is already working on taking Street Slide mobile with an iPhone port, and probably a version for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 series.

Unfortunately, don’t expect this to be released anytime soon as the team has only processed about 2400 panoramas so far covering just 4 kilometers of streets.

Watch the video and you will be impressed.

@maniac13


Google Map iPhone app. Australia live traffic updates

March 17, 2010

For those who haven’t seen it here’s a quick look at ‘live traffic’ function for Sydney on the iPhone Google maps app. Screenshot below.

So how good is it? Well, it’s ok but a long way from perfect. Driving around on a busy Saturday afternoon there were a lot of yellow roads which should have been red, green ones that should have been yellow etc. I don’t blame the app or Google for the quality of the data – I’m sure pretty the info is from the RTA 

Marks out of 10 = 6

Red=congested, Yellow=slow but moving, Green=all clear.

image

Tip: Google maps app with GPS and traffic updates drains your battery… make sure you have a power source in the car.


Strange Maps

September 16, 2009

Two of my favourite things are niche blogs and maps. Combine the two and you have Strange Maps.

If this kind of cartographical madness floats your boat, have a look…

dd_litcity_map

Literary map of San Francisco

the-road-to-success

Allegorical map to “success” (I remember this from a print on someone’s wall from my childhood – thanks for the bizarre blast from the past, Strange Maps!)

whiteaustralia

…and this relic from the White Australia era which depicts a racist view of Asian immigrants. Strange map!

Enjoy: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com

@iclazie

HT @dankrause


Live Australian Traffic Information Added to Google Maps

September 15, 2009

…or why I won’t be taking William St. tonight.

googletraffic

Lucky commuters in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can now take a quick look at the traffic in Google Maps before deciding if they should wait for it to clear in the pub over the road or not.

Thanks to Intelematics, traffic data is now shown as an optional overlay in all versions of Google Maps. Green, for good. Yellow for average. Red for nasty.

iPhone users rejoice. That greyed out traffic button under the page curl in the Google Maps app is now alive and ready to serve. Apparantly it works on other mobile versions too.

Other cities (read US cities) have had this for a while so it’s nice to be caught up.

To the pub, now, I reckon.


Google Street View goes live in Australia

August 5, 2008

Australia has become the third country in the world to be scanned by Google’s fleet of “Googlemobiles” for the Google Street View project.

Literally thousands of kilometres of road have been scanned in order to create thousands street-level panoramas of almost anywhere in the country there’s a road.

image

As you can see from the blue areas above, the coverage is staggering. If you had the time (and inclination) you could travel from one end of the country to the other.

image

As staggering as it is, however, Google apparantly don’t deem Hargrave St important enough to cover. Maybe the one-way street put it in the too-hard-basket. You’ll just have to wave at us as you head down Liverpool St.

image

With so many images in the system, more than are few are going to be “interesting”. For example, Gizmodo were sent the following location on Denigan St in the ACT, where it appears the Googlemobile driver decided to make a pitstop at the Erindale shopping centre.

image

Expect some kind of Media Watch-style outcry about the invasion of peoples privacy, but this is information anyone can get by driving down the street. Google have taken the time to blur the faces of anyone captured in the images.

What remains to be seen is the first real commercial application of this technology that will raise it above being just a (very) cool toy.