I’m constantly blown away by the amazing Geo Tech talent that we have coming out of Canada… today we have details of another cool webmap service coming from North of 49 – enter MapSherpa (from DM Solutions Group, Ottawa). MapSherpa is a user friendly we-service enabling users (likely the outdoor enthusiast looking for a map for a hike, bicycle trip, camping trip etc…) to easily and quickly create a map for printing. The user simply selects a location from the search dialog, then sets the desired zoom level, optionally adds text, linear features, points or polygons, then saves to a user account and print as a PDF. Several map types can be created using the Terrain, Topo, or Streets option for display. Maps can be saved for printing later or purchased immediately as a downloadable PDF for a nominal cost of $2.99 – Test it for yourself at http://www.mapsherpa.com or see the official announcement here.
Archives for August 2009
Some great food for thought for those of you who enjoy Death by Power Point!
Yes indeed, it’s been some time since I’ve shared my 7 cool things… and so, by popular request, another edition of 7 Cool things that I’d like to share with my readers… enjoy!
1. iPhone App of the day – WHERE is a fabulous app that is always listed in the Top Free apps in the iTunes store. I’m pleased to say I was a fan long before the app hit the iPhone platform as it was a staple on the deck of my Nokia N95 8GB, Where enables users to access local information albeit in a location-aware context. Use the app (and supporting widgets) to locate a Starbucks nearby, find the cheapest gas (think GasBuddy), read local news stories, and have the local weather at your fingertips. Search “WHERE” in the App store or jump to http://www.ulocate.com/ for corporate information
I really dig how ESRI serves up so much great EDU material just for the taking… really, apart from a school maybe having a lack of hardware, there’s really no reason why any high school geography class (or club) can’t get up and running with a GIS and do some really fun lessons. Case in point, Joe Kerski from the ESRI EDU team in Boulder, CO has just today reminded us via Twitter (see @josephkerski) about an interesting lesson available where students use GIS (perhaps the free ArcGIS Explorer or an affordable or Free ArcGIS EDU license) to select wind farm site locations in Colorado – check out the lesson HERE and maybe think about downloading a lesson or two for yourself to share with the kids som time – you could be on your way to becoming a GeoMentor
It seems the sporting world is glued to updates concerning Michael Vick today as he prepares to take to the field for the first time in 2 years. I’m not getting in to any discussion about Vick’s past, his future, legal issues, rather I’d rather simply let matters play out and see what happens. Today Vick will be in court in Newport News, VA and will be rushing to get back to Philly in time for tonight’s Eagles game – apparently his flight gets in about 1 hour prior to pre-game practice time. It made me wonder, what kind of navigational aids, routing, and tracking will the Eagles be putting into place to ensure that Vick gets to the stadium on time? Much of this will depend on what kind of mobile devices Vick and the Eagles crew is using – I’m guessing he may be an iPhone guy!
To track the progress of Vick’s flight from VA to PA the team would be wise to use Flightstats, enabling them to receive real-time alerts via email and mobile messaging. I frequently use flightstats when I have to do a “Pick-Up” and its a must-have! Users can simply park off-site near an airport and wait to receive TXT confirmation that the flight has landed. Reports of any delays are also sent to users – very handy. Mindyou, Vick may be flying on a private charter so flightstats may not be needed… in that case, his crew will be more concerned with getting from the airport or air field to the “Vet” – enter Traffic.com.
Traffic.com is a service from NAVTEQ providing users with real-time road conditions, traffic alerts, and news about delays – see http://www.traffic.com or Phily traffic at http://www.traffic.com/Philadelphia. The Vick transport team would also be wise to take advantage of Google Mobile Tools including live traffic reports and updates that are available via GMaps Mobile http://www.google.com/mobile
A sample report sent from Traffic.com showing problem spots
Details of many other Traffic and Routing tools can be found Here
Finally, the transport team would be wise to also monitor the news via mobile (I suggest phillymobile.com) and keep tabs on the weather which is easily done via some fine mobile weather apps including accuweather.com, http://mobile.weather.gov, Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com), and www.worldtraveler.biz
The idea of crowd-sourcing is nothing new, however, just this week Google has officially announced that users of their Mobile maps service (google maps mobile) have been opting in to share traffic information. The idea is that GMaps mobile users can optionally elect to share their current location (I’m not exactly sure how the MyLocation setting differes from the Latitude sharing setting), enabling Google to store and analyze traffic trends and conditions based on the user’s speed and movements. Details were released this week on the Google Blog – see more here
This may be a no-brainer for you old-school iPhone users, however, you novice users will appreciate this undocumented tip on how to easily generate a screen capture image – this is very useful for sharing tips or even including sample images in app reviews, blog posts or tips like this! To generate a screen-capture of your current view, simply press and hold the Home Button (Bottom, center) and the Sleep/Wake key (found on the top, right-side) – see image here. Not rocket science, however, very useful. How do you generate your iPhone screen shots?
Sample screen capture of WHERE app running on iPhone 3G – sent to TwitPic
Another fine, location-aware iPhone app hits the marketplace – The Metro Paris Subway iPhone and iPod Touch Application – Metro Paris Subway has added the push notification support that allows you to be notified in background, even if you have closed the application. This new feature allows you to receive Paris Metro alerts in real time, when a disrupted line is detected, a notification is automatically sent to your iPhone / iPod Touch. A numbered badge to Metro Paris Subway application icon shows the current number of disrupted lines. This functionality is totally free and it also provides users with the ability to easily switch between Metro Paris Subway and Metro Paris Bus routing… nice! See Details
The Carbon Project has updated the free and open-source Windows GOS Gadget. The new version offers improved search results, including a status and score of each selected item from the Geospatial One Stop (GOS) service. The free application enables “at-a-glance” visualization of geospatial assets and monitoring of Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) search functions from desktop PCs. See more in this official announcement or download the app HERE
Some words to live by… if it’s not broken then don’t bother fixing it… developers need to keep this in mind. This latest Samsung device coming later this fall to the UK is a fine example. Mobile device makers are always trying to outdo each other, trying to set fashion trends, make stylish statements etc… although quite often they forget about the most important element of a mobile device – functionality. Developers looking for a new, killer application need to keep this in mind and focus on innovative ideas or perhaps making another idea much better – stay away from re-creating the wheel, particularly if the wheel has already been perfected. More on the Samsung b3310 available on Engadget
Samsung B3310 (Image Credit: Engadget)