Welcome back.. Microsoft rejoins the OGC

In another example of the overlap between neo and paleogeography Microsoft announced yesterday on their Virtual Earth Blog that they have rejoined the Open Geospatial Consortium the industry standards body for “professional” GIS. Along with the new support for KML in virtual earth, I would say the geoweb is beginning to develop quite nicely !

Written and submitted from the IRLOGI Conference 2007, Dublin, using the bitbuzz 802.11 network.

Time comes to Google Earth

Just finished the plenary presentations at this years AGI conference, which actually nicely coincided with the latest revision of both Virtual Earth, Google Earth and the imminent release of ArcGIS explorer. For me the most interesting demo was the new Google Earth to be released tonight which brings a basic temporal capability, Michael Jones demonstrated animation of a GPS track over a period of time – a whole new way to use KML data !!

For me it also interesting to see the beginnings of the convergence between the GYM approach to Geographic Information and the “Established” GIS community – there is still some way to go, but ArcGIS Explorer is a great start.

I’ll upload my presentation later in the week if you are interested…

Written and submitted from the AGI Conference , London, using my Vodafone 3G network card.

A picture is worth a thousand words ?

Not when it comes to Geographic Information I would argue…

Adena very well I think identified the massive interest in imagery demonstrated by the vendors at this years ESRI UC exhibition in her latest directions magazine editorial. Imagery is great as context to other types of spatial information, but on its own I believe it’s value is limited.

There are a lot of innovative ideas in this part of the geodata business driven both by the massive demand of the new generation of geographic exploration services from GYM and now ESRI, and from the fact that for much of North America there is no large scale topographic information otherwise available.

southampton in 3D

While technologies like Pictometry are interesting especially when combined with tools like SocketSet and OpenFlight to produce 3-D city models (thanks to John Allan and Rick Mort of BAE for the Southampton example above) , they can only provide contextual information which need expert human interpretation to generate true information let alone ‘Geospatial intelligence”

Using the example above, without access to other geographic information, can you tell.. where in the city are we ?, what is the name of the street in the foreground,? what is the address of the red building?, who “owns” this property ?

To answer these type of questions and indeed to really carry out any type of spatial analysis you need detailed feature based information and I would argue for a lot of analysis up to date information as-well.

So until more feature based information can be produced (it’s expensive !!) new tools like ArcGIS Server at 9.2 and the increasingly popular OGC WFS standard will be constrained..

Have we have invented the equivalent of the CD player, but are still producing 78-rpm mono gramophone records.

And a semantic Geoweb based on imagery.. forget it !!

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

Middle East mashup

Middle East blogs

In the world of pin map mashups, it is hearting to see the avaibility of mapping api’s used in a more construcutive way that yet another real estate application. The Truth Laid Bear blog has produced a virtual earth mash-up which is tracking the latest middle east war and identifing the locations of blogs still operating despite the conflict.

Lets hope this a mashup will soon be no longer required, but things don’t look good on that front – shame on the UK and US governments for not supporting the UN call for an immediate ceasefire!

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

Virtual Earth UK, now with new imagery!

virtual earth uk

Microsoft have launched a new UK versions of virtual earth with new imagery sourced from getmapping. The imagery seems to leapfrog the imagery in google earth/maps seeming to be more recent at least in the area I looked at and appears to be around the same resolution 15-20cm.

Remember Microsoft have adopted a more conventional business model with virtual earth, and are selling it as a service to commercial users, in contrast to googles surposed “non-commercial” only approach

Written and submitted from the Holiday Inn Express Exeter, using the hotels wifi network.