LG.Philips 52-inch Multi-touch Screen

Gizmodo and Engadget both have articles on this LCD touch screen and both show a picture of Google Earth being demonstrated.

LG-Philips LCD Touch1

52-inch Multi-touch Screen – World’s Largest Multi-touch Display
LG.Philips LCD’s 52-inch multi-touch panel for public and interactive displays is not only the world’s largest, it is also one of the most responsive, able to recognize input from either a touch of a finger or more precise writing instruments. It uses an infrared image sensor that gives it the ability to recognize two separate touch points as well as gestures. It boasts some of the industry’s highest specifications, with a 90 Hz touch response time, 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and a light transmission rate of 95 to 100 percent.

What caught my eye was how thin this unit is and there is no hacking here to get a touch table. We could be seeing this technology explode here in a few months.

  1. If you look past the cute girl, you can see Google Earth 

Microsoft turns the world right side up again

Thanks to Paul Ramsey, Bill Dollins, Morten Nielsen and others, Microsoft has said that they plan to implement longitude-latitude ordering in WKB and WKT for both the geography and geometry types. Bill put it best IMO as to why this change needed to happen with SQL Server 2008.

For me, the issue is consistency. Regardless of the mindsets of professionals vs. non-professionals or the imprecision of the OGC spec, the bottom line is that the same call behaves differently for two related data types.

Now sure it would have been possible to work around this, but it makes no sense for Microsoft to do things different from everyone else. Now I still see Microsoft using the GML example of axis order to justify their choice, but given that the standard is long/lat I can’t understand why they’d want to be different.

Now you know why folks such as Howard Butler were “unhappy” that Google named their blog Google LatLong rather than the more correct Google LongLat.

Homer 3D

Man, this place looks expensive. I feel like I’m wasting a fortune just standing here.

Using OGR to Visualize Data

The biggest excuse I hear time and time again for not using open source geospatial tools is that they are too confusing to use. Take GDAL/OGR for example, the webpage probably scares off most users because of the lack of examples of how to use both toolsets. But the tools themselves are so easy to use this shouldn’t scare anyone off. In fact, if you’ve used ArcInfo to convert a coverage to a shapefile in your past, you have all the skills needed to use both GDAL and OGR.

That said Tom Kralidis has a great example of using OGR to convert a Microsoft Excel file to KML. GDAL/OGR is integral to so many GIS applications (even ESRI uses it) that any GIS professional should have at least a basic understanding to how it works. Look at Tom’s example, download FWTools and get cracking on using GDAL/OGR.

Waffle House

Fans of the Waffle House wait for open source geospatial tool users to create GeoRSS feed of store locations


Its been a cold and blistery day here in Tempe, Arizona (well by Tempe standards at least) so I’m ready to get the fire burning and the Kahlua hot chocolate flowing. My son Connor has been bouncing off the walls full of Christmas candy and cookies and the anticipation that Santa is on his way. I’ve had Google Earth running all day and I’ve caught him watching multiple times. About 4 more hours and he will be in bed and dreaming of Santa.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

TileCache 2.0 Released with ArcIMS Support

TileCache 2.0 has been released with support for ArcIMS AXL requests. This should be of great interest to users of ArcIMS who want to create a tile cache. If you have a server that can run Python CGI and has write access to the hard drive and an ArcIMS Web Service, you can create tiles. Now your ArcIMS site will have the performance of the tile cache and you can even use the cache with the OpenLayers client. I’m really anxious to give this a try when I get back from vacation on some of our older ArcIMS sites.

In addition Christopher Schmidt says there is also limited support for KML Super-Overlays in Google Earth. We’ve had great luck with Arc2Earth and using super-overlays created directly from ArcMap and using TileCache in Google Earth just as interesting to me. Definitely have to look more into that (just think, ArcIMS in Google Earth using super-overlay). Christopher also mentions that Amazon S3 is available. I’ve really taken to leveraging Amazon S3 with sharing our datasets. The costs are just so inexpensive that I cannot think of hosting data any other way. TileCache just became much more valuable to our workflows with S3 support.

So as Agent J might say from MIB II; you can take your old “old and busted” ArcIMS web service and turn it into new hotness with TileCache.

Agent J