O’Reilly on Mapdex

I noticed in my aggregator this morning there was a post about Mapdex and how it has done a wonderful job of indexing web map servers on O’Reilly Radar. Jeremy has noted similar problems with the web map servers on his blog before.

Of course the O’Reilly self promotion is really in full force getting ready for Where 2.0.

…it’s good to see the geospatial industry taking its first steps towards Where 2.0, with the Internet connecting everything.

Apparently us professional GIS types are just beginning to understand how the Internet connects everything and we can thank the good folks at O’Reilly for showing us how to do it. PLEASE!

Rolling my eyes...

Zillow.com now uses Birds Eye from Virtual Earth

One of my favorite sites using mapping is Zillow. Not everyone has been on board with the concept, but I really do think this site could be huge in a few years. Now we find out that at least in certain areas where the birds eye view is available, you can view a 45 degree angle view of the house you are interested. You can see the yard, the roof, the driveway, the neighbors, the backyard and even local parks, schools and shopping.

The biggest issue I see with this and one that I was critical about Zillow in the first place is that there is no metadata as to when the image was taken. The image could be old and not showing the true condition of the home. This is why it is still important to at least investigate houses on the ground to make sure that you are satisfied. Everyone from Ask to Zillow (Wow we can go from A to Z now with online mapping) needs to realize how important metadata is to applications and mashups.

The house that I grew up in, how I do miss it...

What’s new in NASA World Wind 1.3.4 Beta

NASA - From Space Shuttle to World WindI finally found a wiki page with some info on the 1.3.4 beta. I’m not sure why this isn’t linked on the front page of the World Wind Central community portal. I want to find some time to play around with using World Wind with shapefiles and see how well it works as a Geographic Exploration System (I hate that term, but it seems to be gaining traction). Many of our clients can’t use Google Earth because of its license and I’m sure others will begin to run into that problem. World Wind might just be the solution and we’ll see how well it handles Shapefiles.

Oh and NASA World Wind 1.3.4 Beta 3 is out. Grab it while it is hot.

Yahoo! Maps now has satellite imagery

About time! I actually use Yahoo! maps more than probably all the rest because I like the interface. Now I can at least take a look at imagery from areas I’m traveling to. The imagery isn’t as detailed as Google’s or ESRI’s in urban areas, but it does seem better in rural Texas where my in-laws live. As with Microsoft, Yahoo! focuses on the continental USA so if you live somewhere else, you usually don’t get as good imagery. That said you can finally use Yahoo! Maps outside the USA for basic mapping (the imagery isn’t good by any means) and it does sound like they are working to improve it.

**Update: ** Philip says in the comments that, “Yahoo has added international support for their maps and geocoder.” meaning that you can now use the geocoder in many countries now. Head over to his blog post to read more.

Yes, that is a satellite image in yahoo maps

Running ArcSDE with PostgreSQL and MySQL

I so want to see this elephant have ArcSDEI’m not sure why but I’ve gotten a couple emails asking me about running ArcSDE on PostgreSQL or MySQL. I’m sure it is because any Google search for ArcSDE with PostgreSQL or MySQL gives you my blog as a reference. Our clients almost always have an Oracle or SQL Server licenses so its not a big deal for them, but being part of a very small company, paying Oracle for a couple enterprise licenses kills us. I’m sure if a big ESRI client (or government) asked ESRI for ArcSDE on either PostgreSQL or MySQL it would happen. For now we’ll just have to sit back and hope there is something going on inside ESRI to enable ArcSDE on either database (my preference is PostgreSQL, but I know some are in love with MySQL). I’ve heard rumblings in the past that there was plans for ArcSDE to run on either database, but I asked around at the Dev Summit and was told there were no plans.

I’m hoping I just asked the wrong guys. 🙂

NASA World Wind 1.3.4 Beta

Yea its been out a couple of days but it is news to me. You can now download the new 1.3.4 Beta from NASA’s servers. I don’t see a change log, but I’m sure there is one somewhere. Tell me now, which looks better? Google Earth or NASA World Wind?

Google Earth

Ordinary Google Earth

NASA World Wind

Sexy World Wind

Yea, I’ll take World Wind thank you very much.

Say hello to Port25

The Port25 header graphic

Not a geospatial site per say, but an interesting community site from Microsoft. According to Bill Hilf, Port 25 “will be the place we not only blog, but also where we put analysis from our OSS labs and also where we discuss and show other parts of Microsoft that we think are just plain cool or interesting.” All the posts seem to be from Microsoft employees, but I understand others will be able to take part making it more than just a marketing site, but a community. Time will tell if that succeeds, but it does look like those blogging already are a very interesting lot.

Anyone trying to create a community site should take note of how Microsoft is doing this. As with all their new community sites (Channel 9, 10, Atlas) the site is pleasing to the eye, has much content on launch and is somehow compelling enough to return for more. Just creating a community and saying it is open for business won’t get people to stay. As I said above, you need something compelling and Microsoft sure has figured that out (at least for people who want to learn more about Microsoft).

VirtualEarth plug-in for NASA World Wind

I’ve been getting a couple of people saying I don’t blog about NASA World Wind. Well you are wrong, I did have one post back in July ‘05. cough

Anyway, since I did get an email from a WorldWind fan about this new VirtualEarth plug-in for World Wind I’ll go ahead and post it. Casey Chesnut has a great write up on how he created the plug-in and how he figured out to serve the tiles. And not only that I’m very impressed. Its fast, easy to use (well the install could work better, but its not hard at all) and allows average users to get more functionality out of World Wind.

NASA WorldWind VirtualEarth Hybrid

NASA WorldWind Virtual Earth Map

I really do need to get back on the World Wind wagon so I’ve created a post category and I’ll try and post some more especially after checking out more plugins.