Placeroulette anyone..

As a fun demostration of just how extenive StreetView coverage now is, it’s hard to beat Globe Genie, the product of MIT student Joe McMichael. Try it without the Map display to test just how powerful our ability to identify places from just visual clues is or is not ūüôā

Can you tell where this is ?

Written and submitted from the Google Offices, London (51.495N, 0.146W)

The Geek Atlas to Go

One of my favourite books of the year so far has been the marvellous Geek Atlas by  John Graham-Cumming. The book which details the locations of 128 places of scientific and technological importance is perfect for someone like me who travels a fair bit and on those rare occasions when I have some spare time on a trip would like to visit somewhere interesting.

The Geek Atlas App

Not for me The Louvre in Paris, I would rather follow the Arago Medallions which mark out the path of the Paris Meridian, the line of longitude that lost out to Greenwich in 1884, Chapter 8 in the Book.

Sites I have already visited thanks to the atlas include the Airbus Factory in Toulouse, Kempton Park Waterworks and the Eagle Pub in Cambridge; you will need to buy the book to understand their significance.

The problem with the book is that at 544 pages it is a heavy addition to my already overloaded laptop bag, and on a number of occasions I have had to leave it behind, and then wished I had it while away from home.

The solution to this problem arrived this week, The Geek Atlas has been turned into an iPhone app using ebook technology developed by Stanza, so as my iPhone is nearly always with me so is the book !

The app is great value at £3.49, especially when compared to the epub electronic book and printed book cost more than £20!!

Written and submitted from the Google Office, London

A “get well soon” video from Microsoft?

I thought this must be a joke, or pehaps a clever “Get Well Soon” card for Steve Jobs, you know don’t worry iLife is safe for the next six months¬†because¬†your competition is Microsoft Songsmith.


I still think maybe this is an elaborate joke, along the lines of the Microsoft Shoe commercial, just to demostrate the potential of spinning the blogosphere.. but it seems real ?

Love the fact they use a Macbook Pro covered in stickers in the video.

Written and submitted from the Google Office, London.

The “modern world” demo…

As anyone who has spent any time as a demo jockey can tell you, the best demos paint a picture for your audience of a future using your tools/products which is both exciting and believable. If your demo and your product was really good your audience would leave enthused with the possibilities now achievable, and can’t wait to try themselves.

On rare occasions you might get an opportunity to demonstrate something a little more radical, something that is really just out of the labs but which has the potential to really change the industry, I think about the first time I saw MapGuide in late 1995 and of course Google Earth ten years later, both products which have had a major impact on the Geospatial industry directly or indirectly.

40 years ago however a demo was given that truly radical, so audacious in terms of its content to many who saw it, it seemed so different from the current technology that it appeared to be science fiction rather than IT. Yet the demo given by Doug Engelbart and his colleagues from the Stanford Augmentation Research Centre, was so influential it has become known as the mother of all demos, it’s pretty much a demonstration of the computer you are sitting in-front of today, with mouse , web like hypertext documents delivered via a wide area network which allowed real time collaboration with remote colleagues, there is even an example of structuring data using location !

Now thanks to the modern version of that technology you too can watch the complete demo on youTube. While watching this, don’t forget that the primary mechanism to interact with a computer was the punch card.

Oh and by the way, iPhone product mangers take note – there is a great demo of copy and paste in part 2 of 10 if you need some inspiration..

Written and submitted from the Google Office, London.

The old computers quiz

A bit of midweek fun from the BBC. The old computers quiz inspired by a question asked on University Challenge no less, which my wife just knew I would love. A little UK-centric, but good fun anyway. I am a Super-Mario of old computers it seems, my children must be so proud !

Written and submitted from a First Great Western Train near Reading, using my Three 3G modem.