Category: Uncategorized

Less Map, More Apps

I was able to make a flying visit to the State of the Map US conference yesterday in Washington DC. As usual it had the higher than average GIS conference energy levels, but it felt really different to previous events to me..

Firstly the conference was a step up in terms of the professionalism of organisation, congratulations to the local organising team even if they owe me a T-Shirt !

The real difference I guess compared to SOTM events in Europe was more focus on the opportunities that the map as a dataset provides to other organisations and companies to build additional products and services many of which are commercial.  The large investments made by Map Box and those announced by Digital Globe in developing the ecosystem around OSM are evidence of this..

Perhaps as a result  of this perspective the big topic of the weekend was the ongoing debate around the ODbL licence and it's impact on the use of OSM within third party products.

Is it more than a cliche then to say that the US is more entrepreneurial than Europe ?   


Google Faculty Research Award call open !

The Google Research Awards  programme is open again open for applications and now in addition to computer science/GIS related projects the scope has been expanded into policy areas and we’re eager now to attract top notch researchers to submit applications on Internet policy matters.

Researchers can apply for up to $150,000. However most first time awards are funded at the amount needed to support basic expenses for one graduate student for one year, or around $50,000. Please see the FAQs for more details on eligibility and budgets.

Applications for the next funding round are due by April 15th.

Each funded project will be assigned a Googler as sponsor. The role of the sponsor is to support the project by discussing research directions, engaging with professors and students, and overseeing collaboration between the project team and Google.

In the last round the following Geo related projects obtained funding..

  • General Bounding Mechanism for Constraint Programs
  • Modeling the World’s Appearance
  • Building Entrance Recognition from Street-Level LiDAR and Video Images
  • Improving Terrain Perception in Web Maps
  • On Relating Visual Elements to City Statistics

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions..




Free Google Geo workshop at the EGU

During the week of the annual European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, my colleagues from the Google Earth Engine team will be holding a workshop for  Research and Higher Education users .


This free workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to Google’s Geo cloud technologies, including Google Earth Engine for geospatial data analysis and Google Maps Engine for geospatial data management and publication. The workshop will be held Monday, 28 April, 2014, 18:00 – 22:00 at the Hotel Das Triest (map), a short U-Bahn ride away from the Austria Centre Vienna conference centre. If you are in Vienna  for EGU, we hope that you can attend this event as you begin the week of events. Please find the complete invitation and application here:

We hope you will consider attending this event. Feel free to forward this invitation to your colleagues and make sure to apply by the application deadline: March 26, 2014.

You can also find more information on the event’s site here:

A Map inside

We spend about 70% of our lives indoors, a real data capture challenge, as your need a very scalable solution -

ProjectTango may be part of the solution.. 

Early days of course, but there is real potential with this approach, perhaps more than efforts focused on data standards which overlook how the data will be captured..

The project team have 200 prototype dev kits to distribute to Open Source developers working in projects including of course  indoor navigation and mapping.

Visit for details


What’s in the bag Steve

So Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh, this video from the original launch event once again demonstrates Jobs extraordinary ability to demo a product.

Although of course technically a huge step forward from the green screen personal computers of the time, the Mac was a commercial disaster leading to the infamous ousting of Jobs from Apple just a year later..Apple have done a great job celebrating the last 30 years, with Macs and their users from each year, including the awful Macs of the mid 1990′s at

For the record, my personal ownership has been as follows..

1987 – Macintosh SE
1989 – Macintosh IIci
1990 – Macintosh LC (first Mac I actually purchased with my own money)
1992 – Powerbook 170 & Quadra 700
1993 – Cenris 660AV
1995 – Power Macintosh 8500

The Dark Years….

2002 iMac (the luxo lamp)
2004 PowerBook G4
2005 Power Mac G5
2007 Macbook Pro
2008 Macbook (White)
2009 Macbook Air
2010 Mac mini
2011 Macbook Air
2012 iMac
2013 Macbook & Macbook Air

Beat that ?