The World… She be a changing…

The speed at which technology flows these days still impresses me. It seems like just yesterday I was watching TV on a TV, reading books on paper and listening to music on something called a walkman. My son asked me what a modem was and how it worked with my iPhone. Clearly we are all in trouble.

  • Brian Flood is correctly impressed with the World Resources Institute Reefs Map rendering 63,000 polygons with Google Fusion Tables faster than you can scream AXL.

    RT World Resources Institute maps coral reefs…Fusion Tables: http://bit.ly/gXX4Pu <- 63K features dynamically rendered. #wmsmightbedead

    – Brian Flood (@bFlood) February 23, 2011

  • Take a look at the Atlas of New South Wales. I love how it is organized for actual people and not technologists. I suspect it will be used quite a bit by the good folks upside-down on the other side of the world. Take note, organize information by how people understand it to be, not by how you think it should be. I’m not as smart as I think I am and neither are you.
  • The OpenLayers community has been sprinting in some neutral country in Europe. The main goal, only something where they get OpenLayers to support mobile devices better. Sounds like they have made some great progress.
  • When you see an article with “Gov 2.0” in the title you can but not help but cringe. That said the awesome that is TileMill is only to apparent to everyone. CSS is the future, stop using SLD everyone.
  • Speaking of freaking amazing, how about this? Noncontiguous cartograms in OpenLayers and Polymaps (just saying “noncontiguous cartograms” makes you sound smart). OpenLayers + Polymaps <small(oh and GeoJSON is in for the ride as well, what a great example all around) is a winning combination. God bless Ian Turton for pushing a SLD/GeoServer example (Come to think of it, maybe the fact you can do such a thing with SLD is more amazing) in the comments.
  • Do you use ArcGIS Server with OpenLayers? Thank the Azavea guys for making that happen.
  • Lastly, lets all start putting the fork in the IT department and just name them “the help desk”. Why we hold on to such nonsense is beyond me. We are all IT staff tonight! (Ich bin ein ITliner)

Have a great weekend folks, baseball is back in session!

WMS — Dead? No, But Does Anyone Really Want to Work With It?

Sophia Parafina threw this gem up over the weekend (3 day weekend no less).

Don’t get me wrong, W*S style services will have a long tail, because we’ve spent a decade expounding it’s virtues to the Federal government. However, it’s time we recognize the WMS is OBE.

Go read the details. Me? I’m no fan of WMS by any means, but tile map server urls can be just as complicated and undocumented. OGC WMS URLs? A mess at any level, but documented. Pick your poison, but at least tile map services can scale.

Either way conquering web mapping URLs can make you pass out.

Friday Web Map Fun

So yea, Friday should be a good day to prepare yourself for the weekend. To help ensure that I’ve got a couple interesting links to share.

  • TileMill – If you haven’t heard about TileMill yet, clearly you aren’t on the Internets. One of the biggest issues with creating maps online is you usually either needed a bug bulky desktop application to style them, or you had to go all ninja on notepad. Either way you end up hating yourself which is never good on a Friday. TileMill leverages Carto for styling which uses CSS (CSS for map creation has been a huge goal of mine for years). CSS to me is a natural way to style maps unlike AXL, SLD and MapFile. All this cartography greatness is rendered with the awesome Mapnik. Right now you need to stop how you are styling maps and move to TileMill, there is no other choice. Look at the awesome people are already creating.

    so hot! @brianboyer using TileMill/Carto @chicagotribune census map: http://is.gd/WqYjr0 stylesheet code: https://gist.github.com/833750

    – eric gundersen (@ericg) February 18, 2011

    https://spatiallyadjusted.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  • I’ve been called a Flex/Flash hater (Actually I’ve been called worse, but I can’t repeat it on the Internet), but clearly Flex is here to stay for web mapping. We’ve seen some APIs from proprietary vendors, but if you want to roll in the open/free/beer crowd, you need to check out OpenScales. Matt Sheehan has a good overview for open source developers that want to use open source for a web mapping front end, but not OpenLayers.
  • Lastly geographika ponders if HTML5 will change how we map raster graphics. I embrace that new world and hope it gets here sooner than later.

Enjoy your Friday and weekend folks!

MapQuest Takes on Google Navigation – OSM Comes Along For The Ride

Clearly when it comes to navigation, the Android platform is king. Me being an iOS Fan Boi, I roll with MapQuest as my navigation tool on the iPhone because it seems to do the best routing. The Google Map app seems to let me down again and again. Now MapQuest seems to have pegged its future on OSM and this new Android Navi app brings it front and center.

  • OSM Maps: User-sourced maps that may provide unique local perspective and detail
  • Bug Logging for OSM: Standing in front of a new building? Report it to the community and they’ll fill in the missing pieces
  • International Maps: Take MapQuest abroad on business trips (or for you ex-pats) and experience maps improved by mapping enthusiasts (is that code for mapping wackos?)

As I don’t have a working Android phone anymore, I can’t test it out. What would be killer is that if the OSM maps could be cached so that you can navigate while traveling and not have to use expensive data roaming plans.