A Resource Devoted to PDF Maps for iOS

Learn all about PDF Maps, search and download map, become a PDF Maps vendor – Another fabulous resource for GeoGeeks and GeoTechs is something new from our friends at Avenza Systems. The crew has rolled out a new resource on the web at http://www.pdf-maps.com devoted to Avenza PDF Maps. The site informs you all about PDF Maps for iPhone and iPad, offers a vast library of maps, and describes in detail how you can become an official PDF Maps vendor (think $$$) and sell your own maps in the PDF Maps store – think iTunes for maps!

Check it out at http://www.pdf-maps.com/

Create and Share Awesome Maps Quickly with Mapbox

There’s no question that we are all data collectors, many of us data hoarders but what to do with all that awesome data? Well, naturally the geographer in me wants to create a map. Indeed there’s plenty of choices out there when it comes to map authoring tools including ArcGIS online, Geocommons, Google maps and many many more. One simple yet powerful tool that I’m sure you’ve herd about is Mapbox. In addition to their popular APIs and developer tools, Mapbox also has a sweet map design environment where anyone can create awesome maps, host them in the cloud, and share with the world.

Publishing with Mapbox is simple, just create a free account (or purchase a plan)  and create a new map. You can then easily add markers (POIs) along with awesome cartographic enhancements like a nice marker set. Users can also upload their own data layers or enhanced basemap data and also select from a number of pre-defined basemap layers and display parameters. Set a title, description, save and then share – it really is that easy! Create your own maps at Mapbox.com – I’ve shared my own map below showing some of the places I’ve been and also a quick test map showing some photos in my area

PBS Video Looks at Apple Maps v Google Maps and Crowdsourcing

Indeed an interesting quote from an analyst in the video… Apple needs to own maps… they need to own location. It seems David Rumsey enjoys the 3D capabilities of Apple Maps and seems to indicate that the user experience is a little nicer with Apple – indeed Apple is good at making a good experience for the user, however, with maps it really is all about the data! From David Rumsey… “no map is ever perfect”.

One has to think that the recent shake-up at Apple and reorg of several key architects may have resulted somewhat by the recent issues with the roll out of Apple Maps…


World’s Oldest Printed Maps at the Royal BC Museum

I had the pleasure of attending a very cool press event here in our little town of Victoria, B.C on Vancouver Island! Our awesome museum, The Royal B.C. Museum, has just scored a really cool exhibition (“Envisioning The World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700″) open to all visitors of the facility. On loan from Sonoma California, The Envisioning Our World exhibition brings us some of the earliest known printed maps in the World! The collection, ranging from 1472-1700 in period, is an impressive display of 30 maps that made us sit back and say “Wow”. The exhibition includes the first world map ever printed and a simple woodprint from around 150 A.D. Perhaps the coolest map in my mind was the Puetinger Table map (seen below) , perhaps the world’s first road map, redrawn from a Roman 5th Century map used by the Emperor’s couriers. It was also interesting hearing directly from the Museum’s History Curator as well as the collection owner who has come with the maps from California – I had to chuckle at the reference to Google maps and how the renewed interest in maps and location technology has brought about an explosion in interest by the general public in such historical displays and in maps and cartography – pretty darned awesome! Check out a few photos I snapped at the gallery and for more info you can follow the museum on Twitter @RoyalBCmuseum. Note, this map collection is on loan from Henry Wendt and the Sonoma County Museum.

It was also very interesting to hear that the B.C. Archives Map Collection, used to support local research in history, geography, cartography, and genealogy has more than 178,000 maps in total! The collection is accessible to researchers and has maps dating back to the 16th century!

Waze Yourself to Gas Deals with Waze 3.2

Some pretty cool news via the Waze blog as the company has officially announced details of the new, Waze at R 3.2. Something really cool is special Waze deals for wazers that will get you reduced gas at participating retailers. According to the team some 2,000 fuel retailers around the US are offering wazers gas reduced from 5-10 cents per gallon – or simply use the app’s search functionality to locate the best deals on gas nearby and then waze yourself to them and fuel up… very nice!Offering deals, coupons and the like is a really nice and logical extension to the Waze offering I think and I can’t wait to see where this goes next!

Here’s some details about updates found in Waze 3.2:

  • Category search lets you find local business by category (think coffee shops, car wash, pharmacy) along your way.
  • Waypoints allows you to add a stop en route to your final destination, and get accurate ETAs for both. (iPhone only, coming soon to your Android phone too!)
  • Text-to-Speech now supported in 9 new languages! TTS capabilities provide you with turn-by-turn voice prompts, including reading the street names you’ll be turning on, so you’ll never need to take your eyes off of the road to know where to turn again. Waze has been studying hard, and can now read street names in UK English, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Italian, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, and Swedish.
  • Voice reporting: Android users can now join their iPhone counterparts in reporting incidents on the road, hands-free. Here’s how.

Recall, Waze is the very cool, free, community driven navigation, traffic and mapping service available to users of iOS, Android, and BB smartphones. Waze combines routing and navigation along with a support network of community members as well as a fun social gaming element.

See more on the waze blog of follow @waze


Giant Map from NGS to Hit Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

A cool Geo EDU story here as word of the National Geographic traveling map “road show” will be reaching Mississippi in an effort to help educate kids on geography.  According to a report, the map measures 26 feet by 35 feet and is designed as a giant game board to introduce students to the diverse geography of Asia. Designed for grades K-8, the map comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive activities and props and photo cards that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history, wildlife, and varied cultures. Way cool! See detaisl in this story from the Hattiesburg American

Image credit: National Geographic

See more about the NGS Traveling Map events HERE

War Horse Journey Time Map by Dreamworks and Microsoft (Bing)

A new movie promotional effort has been put together for Dreamworks and Microsoft (Bing) for the movie War Horse – the entire project done using AJAX.  This from the developers… After months of research into the battlefields of World War One and development of the TimeMap code for the AJAX version of BING maps, we are proud to announce the launch of  “The War Horse TimeMap Journey”  on MSN USA.

For this project, DreamWorks and Microsoft commissioned Shoothill to create an experience for online users to be able to follow the fictional horse Joey from southern England to the Western Front in France using archive material from World War One. And, we have put together an “edutainment” piece using Bing Maps, Deep Zoom and Azure to tell the fictional story of Joey (the horse) and his owner Albert’s journey from Devon to the trenches of WWI through the use of scans of real trench maps, aerial reconnaissance imagery of the battles, historic imagery of real war horses and Calvary officers from the Dragoon Guards War Diary extracts from the beginning of the war.

The project is built entirely on AJAX and has been optimised for PC, Mac and IPad.

To see the online exhibit please go to: http://movies.msn.com/warhorse/map/

Avenza PDF Maps for iOS Adds KML and Dropbox Support

A reminder to you iPad and iOS users out there about another fabulous and free map reader available to you, the PDF Maps application for iOS from Avenza Systems. Much more than a simple map viewer, Avenza also provides power users with the ability to create, publish, share, and even sell your custom maps! Using the PDF Maps app users have acccess to tens of thousands of intelligent PDF maps and can also add data to their maps, working n a connected or disconnected environment simply by using their iPad. Just today (Dec 2, 2011) Avenza announced on Twitter @avenza the availability of a new release of PDf maps, this version with support for KML import as well as added support from Dropbox – this is huge for custom map creation and sharing!!

Me being curious by nature, I had to rush off and download the app and take it for a quick test spin. I quickly loaded a PDF Map on iPad that I had saved in my library – this is a hydrographic chart for S. Vancouver Island. To test the KML import I simply clicked on the new import option within the app, pointed to my foursquare checkin historical data, available from foursquare,  and voila, my data was dropped onto my map… too easy!  Some sample images of the test I ran are provided below. To get the latest release of PDF Maps see the iTunes store

Notice the new “Import KML Option” upon loading PDF Maps

KML Data is quickly imported from a file on the web or via Dropbox sharing

Notice the foursquare data is imported along with attributes.

For more about PDF Maps see also:

Wrap up a Historic Map For The Holidays

Here’s a cool holiday gift idea from the gang at Amerisurv… historic maps! These are ideal for the map lover, for the boss, or for the living room… yes, I have one of these (a sweet State of Florida map) hanging in my living room! Printed on acid free paper and they have a genuine classic look and feel and they get loads of comments.  These are also a great way to dress up a conference booth display or meeting room. Check out the vast collection HERE

Atlas of Canada Archives, Over 1,000 Historical Maps

Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) has a nice online resource where visitors can access a digital archive of the Atlas of Canada. Maps dating back to 1906 are available as scanned digital files, or can be viewed online using a handy web map viewer. Made up of over 1,000 maps, the archive include all five past editions of the Atlas of Canada, 1906 to 1995, the Canadian sector of the International Map of the World, 1956 to 1987, and the first Glacier Atlas of Canada, 1969 to 1972. Topics of maps include maps themed on:  Population, culture, aboriginal peoples, economics, transportation, environment, and historical themes. Scanned maps are available as a high-res PDF or JPG download, typically 1-3 MB in size

Lighthouses and sailing routes, 1915

Check out the NRCAN map archives HERE