Posts Tagged ‘google’

GPS Kit and MotionX for iPhone (Kelso)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The iPhone GPS war up’d the anti with the 4.0 release of MotionX for the iPhone (above). They claim over 2 million users now and are the top ranked naviation app on the iTunes app store now. New in this version:

  • All new user interface maintaining the same structure that you are used to
    while improving all the graphics and sounds
  • MotionX Open Road Maps
  • MotionX Open Terrain Maps

It seems to have caught up to GPS Kit 3.0 (below) for features and ease of use, though I still prefer GPS Kit’s interface which is a little more refined and iPhone-like and less like a computer arcade game (the developer specializes in those types of games).

Most notable in the GPS Kit 3.0 update is the huge battery saver features of turning off the screen but maintaining track recording while in the pocket just like the screen turns off when the phone is held to the ear during a phone call.

All the GPS apps need to get serious about cacheing maps BEFORE heading out to a trail. Cell phone service, let alone 3g, is spotty out in the mountains. Also allowing user specified tile source, not just Google or OpenMap. Maybe via the ability to setup “trips” (ala Tracks and Waypoints) based on the current visible map extent and then having the app pre-download map tiles down to the lowest zoom-level within a user configureable, say, 50 meg cache limit.

All apps are less than $10 from the iTunes store. MotionX is having a sale at $2.99 right now.

  • If you want Google maps (including terrain) and care more about advanced features and a more sane interface, get GPS Kit.
  • If you want Open Street Map base maps and pretty good advanced features but weird interface, get MotionX.
  • If you are just a casual exerciser get an app like Trails (read New York Times review), RunKeeper, or rubiTrack that function mostly as a data capture and then interfaces with a desktop or web application to catalog your routes and graph progress.

Ed Prado Museum Tour … Now on Google Earth (Duke CIT)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

[Editor's note: Google has started to add museum collections to Google Earth. The Prada in Madrid includes a self portrait by Albrecht Dürer, Las Meninas, the dark Goyas, and the Fusilamientos del Tres de Mayo. Video includes section on how Google took the photos. Thanks KL!]

Republished from the Duke
Original January 14th, 2009 by Randy Riddle.

Google has added the El Prado museum to Google Earth, allowing you to not only see the buildings, but to do a “virtual tour” of 14 paintings in the collections, viewing them in incredible detail – each painting is captured and presented in 14 billion pixels.

Below is a short video and you can also read a blog post at Gizmodo about the project.

Google shows offline Gmail app running on iPhone (AppleInsider)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Republished from Apple Insider.

Google on Wednesday (Feb. 25, 2009) demonstrated how a future version of Gmail could soon run offline on mobile browsers compatible with HTML5, including the iPhone’s mobile Safari browser.

Continue reading at AppleInsider . . .

Introducing Google Latitude (Google)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

[Editor's note: Google get's on board the social network geotagging, tweeting band wagon by unveiling Google Latitude for the iPhone, G1, Blackberry, and desktop computers. See your friends' location and status live on a Google Maps mashup. Privacy settings are buildt into the service so you can pick and choose what level of location detail is revealed per friend.]

Republished from Google.
Additional coverage from MacNN.
Original post Feb. 4, 2009.

With Google Latitude, you can:

  • See where your friends are and what they are up to
  • Quickly contact them with SMS, IM, or a phone call
  • Maintain complete control over your privacy

Enjoy Google Latitude on your phone, PC, or both.

From your mobile phone – View your friends’ locations and status messages and share yours with them.

From your computer – View your friends’ locations and status messages on a full screen even without a compatible phone or data plan. Click here to see your friends from your PC.

Google Latitude is a feature of Google Maps for mobile on these phones:

  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
  • iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
  • most color BlackBerry devices
  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
  • many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)

See demonstration videos and more at Google . . .

Giving Google Maps a Heck of a View (Wash Post)

Monday, February 9th, 2009

[Editor's note: If you live in or visit Washington, DC, check out this exhibit in Arlington featuring Google's Streetview public art on Pittsburgh's Sampsonia Way. See related blog post.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

The morning last May when a Google Maps car — with a roof-mounted camera — came to record street-view images of Pittsburgh’s Sampsonia Way, artists Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett were waiting.

They and more than a hundred community members had lined the one-way alley with a staged street parade (with marching band!), a mini-marathon and a dozen other bizarre scenarios.

Video of the resulting public art project, “Street With a View,” and a Web terminal to check out the project are now on view as part of the Arlington Arts Center’s new “Public/Private” exhibit. And the truth about it is, the little Google Maps “intervention” was a six-month undertaking — that required assistance from Google.

“They had already shot that street. Pittsburgh was already done,” Kinsley tells us by phone from Iceland, where he now works. “In the end, they were willing to reshoot the area just for us. There wasn’t any guarantee that what they shot would go live.” But it did: Just Google “Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh,” and there they are (though you’ll have to scroll around to find all of the scenes).

When it launched the street-view scenes in November, Google even offered hints that a surprise was waiting, says Elaine Filadelfo, spokeswoman for Google Maps. In tech-speak, it’s an “Easter egg.” (For the record, Google gave no money to the artists; the street-view team just liked their idea.)

Kinsley says he and Hewlett (both Carnegie Mellon grads) hit upon the idea after seeing street views.

“We asked ourselves, ‘What if we knew this car was coming down the street, what would we do? What could we do?’ ”

Free. “Street With a View” and the rest of “Public/Private” are up Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. through April 4. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd. 703-248-6800. For more about the project visit http://www.streetwithaview.com.

Google Outs Earth 5 with Ocean Floor, More (Electronista)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

UPDATE: Be cautious about installing GE 5 on your Mac. Wired has the details . . .

[Editor's note: New 3d ocean floor elevation data, historical land imagery, ability to record virtual tours, and 3d planet Mars mode come to Google Earth in version 5 released Monday, Feb. 2, 2009.]

Republished from Electronista / MacNN.
Google’s LatLong blog has official coverage: Historical Imagery and Ocean elevation data.

Download version 5 from Google for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Google on Monday announced the immediate release of Google Earth 5.0, bumping it up from the previous 4.3 build. Among the biggest changes are the inclusion of a detailed 3D ocean floor, the ability to go up to 50 years back in time when looking at a particular location, record a virtual tour of locations, and a 3D rendition of Mars. The ocean feature was developed together with many partners, including National Geographic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the US Navy, among others. The approximate two-thirds of the planet can now be viewed under water and includes videos and images of ocean life, along with details on surf spots, expedition logs and more. The historical images are accessed via a clock icon on the toolbar when viewing a location on the planet. The Touring feature lets travelers show off their journeys by recording navigating through their destinations and easily sharing them with peers. The fly-throughs can be narrated for an organized flow of a multi-stop journey.

Thanks to a joint project with NASA, Google Earth now also extends beyond to include a 3D map of Mars. Apart from 3D terrain, there are annotations describing the location and circumstanced associated with landing sites and the red planet’s other curiosities.

The download is free for both Mac and Windows PCs. Comprehensive information on the new features of Google Earth will be published throughout the week on Google’s Lat Long blog.

RUMOR: Google Earth 5 on Monday (Google Earth Blog)

Friday, January 30th, 2009

[Editor's note: New features are coming to an application near you. Thanks Laris!]

Republished from Google Earth Blog.
Original publish date: January 26, 2009.

Big Google Earth Announcement with Al Gore and More

The tech world was abuzz this weekend with rumors about a big upcoming event concerning Google Earth. WebProNews and AppScout were the first to report on Friday. Google has sent out an invitation to the press, including Google Earth Blog, for a “Special announcement about Google Earth” on February 2nd in San Francisco. And this event looks like it could be the biggest announcement since Google Earth was released! Speakers include: former Vice President Al Gore, CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, VP of Google Marissa Mayer, and Director of Google Geo John Hanke. Wow!

There are no specifics on the announcement mentioned in the invitation. Just some comments about how Google Earth has reached hundreds of millions of people around the world. The last time Google had this many dignitaries to make an announcement for Google Earth was in June of 2006 when they announced the upcoming release of Google Earth 4. Eric Schmidt and the two co-founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) were there for the announcement made by John Hanke at that event. Google Earth 4 introduced photorealistic textures to 3D models, GE for the Mac and Linux, multi-lingual support, and a huge global imagery update covering many countries for the first time.

Another clue for this announcement was some other speakers for the announcement: Sylvia Earle – Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic Society; Terry Garcia – EVP for National Geographic Society, and Greg Farrington, Executive Director for California Academy of Sciences. The last one isn’t surprising because the invitation says the announcement will be held at the California Academy of Sciences.

The big clue is Sylvia Earle. As pointed out by everyone, Sylvia Earle is a world renowned oceanographer. So, of course, the immediate conclusion is that Google Ocean is finally about to be introduced. Rumors have been flying about Google Ocean for quite a while.

So, clearly Google Earth is going to get some new Ocean-related data. Google just added new detailed ocean floor imagery last week. And, it’s a known fact that several of the parties involved with that also have worked on 3D bathymetry. Google Earth to date has not had many layers which provide data about the ocean. And the ocean terrain has always been flat (2D) in Google Earth. More ocean data is an area I’ve been looking forward to with great anticipation. Especially since this year my wife and I are departing to spend the next five years circumnavigating the oceans by sailboat. Having Google Earth help us explore the oceans will be handy! Google Earth has needed more information about the 75% of the Earth most of us ignore.

I don’t think this announcement will be confined to just Google Ocean though. When Google makes an announcement like this, they always try to push the envelope on multiple fronts. And, with Al Gore headlining the event, I’m sure we’re going to get some data about the environment. I’m expecting lots of new features and data to write about in February. It’s going to be exciting! I just wish I could attend the event myself – but, unfortunately we’ve got plans for next week which keep me from going. But, have no fear, I’ll still be reporting on this major event!

Using Wii Balance Board to Fly Through Google Earth (Google)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Editor's note: And here I thought the Wii was just for bowling, lol.]

Republished from Google Lat Long blog.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM

This year for Macworld I decided to create a program that allows people to “surf” any region on the Earth’s surface using a Nintendo Wii Balance Board and the Google Earth API.  To do this, I used the Google Earth Browser Plug-in with a Javascript API.  The Wii Balance Board transmits the your movements to the Earth Surfer application using Bluetooth and allows you to maneuver a virtual milk truck by shifting your balance as if you were on a surfboard.

Check out the following video to see it in action:

While it’s fun to use Earth Surfer, I really wrote it to inspire others to write their own programs. It’s all open source using the Apache License, so you can use the code in your own programs, even commercial ones.

It is based on Thatcher Ulrich’s terrific Javascript Monster Milktruck demo, which is an open source program on a webpage. I wrapped it as a Macintosh application program so I could add Objective-C.  Objective-C uses the Macintosh Bluetooth support to decode the Bluetooth packets from the Wii Balance Board. The Balance Board support is my work. I based that on DarwiinRemote, open source decoders for the Wii Remote.
Earth Surfer and its source code will be available next week on the Google Mac Developer Playground.

Another amusing hack for surfing in Google Earth.

iPhoto 2009 and Picasa for Mac (Apple and Google)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

[Editor's note: Both Apple and Google have released new photo management software this week coinciding with MacWorld in San Francisco. Google unveiled a Mac version of their popular Picasa software but their beta lacks maps and geotagging support found in the current Windows version. Apple, meanwhile, released the 2009 version of iPhoto with extensive support for managing geotagged images from cameras like the iPhone. Geotags are imported and can be edited for photos and seen on a map. Photos can be searched by location (lat longs are turned into human readable placenames such as "Paris, France"). And nifty looking map itineraries can be created in photo books.]

Republished from Apple.

Places

iPhoto helps you explore your travel photos with a new feature called Places. This feature uses data from GPS-enabled cameras or the camera on iPhone to categorize photos by location and convert GPS location tags to common, user-friendly names. So without any effort, pictures you took of the Eiffel Tower are labeled with easily searchable names like “France,” “Paris,” and “Eiffel Tower.”

If you don’t have a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone, you can still make the most of Places. Add locations to your photos by typing the name of a place, entering an address, or dropping a pin on a map. Then, when you want to find photos you shot in New York City or the Grand Canyon, just type the place name in the search field. If you feel like exploring, use the Places column browser to navigate your photos by clicking a country, state, city, or point of interest.

Travel Maps

If you’re an iPhoto fan, you already know how fun and easy it is to create professionally printed photo books to show off your vacation pictures. iPhoto ’09 makes your travel books even more special with custom maps that illustrate your journey. iPhoto uses the location data from your photos to generate a beautifully rendered map showing the countries and cities you visited. Or you can type in the names of places you’ve visited to create a travel map in any photo book theme. Every map is fully customizable. Show a point-to-point path of your travels, change the order of the cities, and mark points of interest. Learn more about iPhoto print products

Map Scale Calculator Tools? (Kelso)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Do you know of any good tools for converting a map’s graphic scale bar measurement to a representational fraction (RF)? Please share them! We often think of maps as 1:24,000 or 1:1,000,000 natural scale but more often than not a scale bar is the only indication of scale we have on a map. How to convert that back to the more familiar representational fraction?

What are the features and interface you’d like to see for such a tool?

The best that I’ve been able to dig up is:

From Oregon State University Library
http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset/html/scale.html

Type in the number of units per distance (or distance per unit) and it’ll return the relational fraction. It does not do a very good job allowing you to type in both the units and the distance as variable. I hardly ever find scale bars on maps that are exactly an inch long. So involves some pre-math to get this tool to work.

Screenshots below:

This University of Texas site does the opposite:
http://www.beg.utexas.edu/GIS/tools/scale2.htm

Enter the representational fraction of the map and get “1 inch = X miles” verbal statements where the left and right terms do not have the same units.

Then there is the general problem of converting between map units.

Google provides the most ready answer:
Type in “convert 12 miles to km” and it will return the conversion.

The same OSU site also has a version:

Read more about map scales.

Some example map scales and worked formula examples from Richard Layton (source).

  • 1 inch equals 10 miles
  • 1 inch = 10 miles
  • 1 inch = 10 miles x 12 inches/foot x 5280 feet/mile
  • 1 inch = 10 x 63360 inches = 633,600 inches
  • 1:633,600

To convert from RF to Verbal Scale you convert the fraction to familiar units of measurements; for example:

  • 1:250,000
  • 1 inch = 250,000 inches
  • 1 inch = 250,000 inches [d] 12 inches/foot = 20,833.3 feet
  • 1 inch = 20,833.3 feet [d] 5280 feet/mile = 4 miles or
  • 1 inch = 250,000 [d] 63360 inches/mile = 4 miles
  • 1 inch equals 4 miles

[Note: [d] = divided by]

SOME COMMON SCALES. Here is a list of RF scales commonly used in the Map Collection and their equivalent Verbal Scales.

  • 1:24,000 - 1 in. = .379 mi.
  • 1:62,500 - 1 in. = .986 mi.
  • 1:100,000 – 1 in. = 1.578 mi.
  • 1:250,000 - 1 in. = 4 mi.
  • 1:500,000 - 1 in. = 7.891 mi.
  • 1:1,000,000 – 1 in. = 15.783 mi.

For example you want a map of Arizona on a 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper. To allow for 1/2-inch margins the new sheet will then be 7 1/2 x 10 inches. Since Arizona’s north-south dimension, 395 miles, is slightly longer than its east-west dimension, 340 miles, we will place the longer north-south dimension along the longer 10-inch dimension of the paper. The next step is to compute the scales for both dimensions of the State. The smaller of the two scales will be the one we need.

North-south
10 in = 395 mi
10 in = 395 mi x 63360 in/mi
10 in [d] 10 = 25027200 in [d] 10
1 in = 2502720 in
1:2,502,720

East-west
7.5 in = 340 mi
7.5 in = 340 mi x 63360 in/mi
7.5 in [d] 7.5 = 21542400 in [d] 7.5
1 in = 2872320 in
1:2,872,320

[Note: [d] = divided by]

We therefore need a map of Arizona at a scale of 1:2,872,320 or less to place it on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper.

Scale

Miles/inch

Line
Width on Ground*

Examples

1:2,000,000

~32

2000’

USGS
Nation-wide maps

1:1,000,000

~16

1000’

National and
state maps

1:500,000

~8

500’

State or
regional maps

1:250,000

~4

250’

US Army Map
Series

1:100,000

~1.6

100’

USGS 30′
quads

1:62,500

5208 feet

62.5’

USGS 15′
quads

1:24,000

2000 feet

24’

USGS 7′
quads

1:15,840

1320 feet

15.84’

Soils

1:9,600

800 feet

Aerial
photos

*Approximate real width on ground of a pencil line on a map – harder pencils give a finer line

1:2,000,000 to about 1:250,000 are SMALL-scale maps. Items on these maps appear small (e.g. a county on a 1:2,000,000 map is much smaller than on a 1:100,000 map).

1:24,000 on towards 1:9,600 are LARGE-scale maps. Items on these maps appear larger. 1:100,000 are
pretty much in the middle – intermediate scale.