Google Maps Adds Pac Man!

Yep, I said Pac Man! Here’s a little kickback to the 1980s as Google has added the ability for users to play a little Pac Man via the Google Maps service.  Simply visit maps.google.com and click on the little PacMan box found in the lower left corner – PacMan is also available to users of Google Maps on Mobile – have fun!

Pac Man on Google Maps!

Pac Man on Google Maps!

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Cincinnati Asks Residents to Be A Pothole Spotter

An interesting request from the Cincinnati City Manager… City Manager Harry Black is asking Cincinnati drivers to join the campaign to “Be a Pothole Spotter.” from the news post – “We’re in primetime pothole season. The ground’s thawing up, and cars are hitting potholes all over town. We need everyone to tell us about these potholes so that we can fix them as quickly as possible,” Black said.

report a pothole

Report a pothole (Image credit, BBC)

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USGS Maps – Over 18 Million Served!

According to the USGS, their maps have been downloaded by the millions since converting to digital delivery. The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Geospatial Program, has delivered more than 18 million US Topoquadrangles and Historic Topographic Maps in the past six years. A download is counted when a user select the desired map(s) from the USGS Storeor The National Map Viewer and places that file on their computer or mobile device for further manipulation.

USGS map locator

Read More in this news update from the USGS

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Open Source Geotech and OpenGeo components Explained

Some great questions have been answered in a recent blog post from the OpenGeo crew. The meaty article takes a close look at the OpenGeo Suite as well as a look at the individual, OpenGeo Components. For the non-developer type like yours truly, this is an excellent and must read if you think there’s any chance you might be considering  a move to open source solutions in your mapping workflows.

opengeo components

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Enjoy the Chemistry of Guinness Beer on this St. Patty’s Day

A little shout out to all of our colleagues, friends and others who are enjoying the Irish spirit today. Here’s a fun visualization sourced from my favorite local Craft Brewery (here on Vancouver Island)  to enlighten you a little on our favorite Irish refreshment – enjoy!

the chemistry of Guiness beer

Click to enlarge image – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day All – Cheers!

And if the poster isn’t enough, you can learn everything there is to know about Guinness in this fine documentary… its kinda long, you might need 2 beers to get through it!

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Need Relief at the Pump? Check the GasBuddy HeatMap

With the new year we saw gas prices dip to a level not seen in a number of years. Hold on though because the prices are now quickly rebounding. So how to find the cheapest cheap gas? (unless of course you happen to be in Canada where the prices are fixed by what is essentially a monopoly!)

USA National Gas Price Heat Map

From GasBuddy… Now you can see what gas prices are around the country at a glance. Areas are color coded according to their price for the average price for regular unleaded gasoline. Click here for the Canada National Gas Price Heat Map.

 

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Looking for Real World Commercial Drone Apps and Uses? Head to Canada!

Ever wonder when will commercial drone activity become a reality in the US and also at the same time wonder why Canada is so much further ahead? According to this fine read from Popular Science it really is simple, “The regulatory process is admirably simple, usually requiring only 20 days to process an application for an exemption, known as a Special Flight Operations Certificate”.

Looking for Real World Drone Apps and Uses?

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Dev Tip – Who’s Up for A DataViz Challenge? Esri Wants to Know

A challenge to developers from Esri designed to encourage Geo devs to build a great mapping app – enter the Esri DataViz App Challenge.  From Esri… Esri challenges any and all geo developers to make brilliant, interactive, meaningful mapping applications that showcase the data visualization power of ArcGIS.

Competition closes April 27, 2015

See Details HERE

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Tip – Optimal Dimensions for Images Shared on Social Networks

Yes indeed, we love social media just as much as the other guy and you can find us on most of the popular “must have” social channels. Images are a huge part of our social strategy, particularly as it is well known that a good image can really drive engagement. So how to optimize images (or maps) for a good social media strategy? Thanks to the good people at HootSuite, here’s a pretty handy list of the optimal dimensions for an image shared on  top social networks:

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Americans Lead the World – Spending 4.7 Hours a Day on Smartphones

Those glancing moments that you have every hour or so are really adding up! Americans are now spending an average of 4.7 hours a day on their smart phones – more than their counterparts in at least 11 countries around the world – according to a new monthly report from Informate Mobile Intelligence that tracks and measures consumer use of smartphones in 12 countries.

Americans Spending Nearly Five Hours a Day on Smartphones

See more info on the report HERE

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Java Training Tips, Tools and Resources

Would be coders, hackers, mashup artists and others are honing their coding skills, many of them brushing up on Java and Java Script. A number of free toolkits, guides, white papers and other learning aids are available to take advantage of  including the following:

Java 8 Features: With no doubts, Java 8 release is the greatest thing in the Java world since Java 5 (released quite a while ago, back in 2004). It brings tons of new features to the Java as a language, its compiler, libraries, tools and the JVM (Java virtual machine) itself. In this guide we are going to take a look at all these changes and demonstrate the different usage scenarios on real examples

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Tips to Locate and Track Your Lost or Stolen Android Smartphone

I’m a pretty heavy Android user, and I’m also a big lover of my device(s). So naturally I’m also quite proactive when it comes to keeping them secure. Here’s a tip on how you can hopefully secure your Android smartphone – remember, a disaster is pretty much inevitable!

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