Merging Data From Multiple Sources Is Hard

Remember this from a couple weeks ago? I exposed it as hogwash, but one of the statements rings true, but not in the way Google intended during that interview.
Says Brian McClendon;

“Merging data from multiple sources of truth is hard,” he said, “and mapping is the best example of that.”

Now he was digging at OpenStreetMap and the millions of “multiple sources” that that community has. But take that quote out of context and apply it to Apple. Rings a bit true, doesn’t it?


This Week’s Hangout with Paul Ramsey:: PostArcQGIS

This week’s Hangout guest is Paul Ramsey of OpenGeo and chair of the PostGIS steering committee. We’ll be talking about PostGIS (surprise, right?), why spatial databases are treated as special and why OpenGeo has been successful providing solutions using open source software when clearly anyone can download all the software for free.

We’ll be talking on the IRC channel again so either show up to the Hangout page on WeoGeo or better yet, point your IRC client to #hwjf on I’ve you’ve got a question you’d like Paul, Madeline or myself to answer, please post it on the Google Moderator page and we’ll be sure to address it.

We’ll see you Wednesday at 10am PDT!


Apple’s Maps Anger Hipsters and MapBox Wins Knight News Challenge

Apparently Apple thought they could release their own version of a mapping solution where it integrates Yelp and other 3rd part services into something that helps people find the best coffee shop near them and then navigate there. Humans, used to how Google does things, were very unhappy. I used the new to find the new Togo’s (yes they finally came back to Phoenix) and then navigate there. Worked awesome, but clearly YMMV. I’m sure you as I are already sick of the Apple Maps “news”, but read Marc Prioleau’s article on Apple. Well worth your time.

Well, welcome to the mapping world, Apple. I wish them the best of luck, as an iPhone user but also as someone who really wants them to succeed. We need more options, not fewer. But today’s debut performance wasn’t the result of that team not trying. If Apple wants to be one of the Big Three map platforms, they’re going to need to get serious.

The big news though is MapBox winning the Knight News Challenge, half a million dollars worth! They are going to work on “core tools” and improve the community site. Says Eric:

It’s not about the maps, it’s about the data

Yea, tell that to Apple.


Apple fans are not sure what to do about the poor Apple Maps app. Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire….

TileMill 0.10.0 Changes Everything

So this just happened:

We just released TileMill 0.10.0, the latest version of our open source map design studio. This release redefines the creative possibilities for web cartography with its new support for compositing layers and features, achieving photoshop-like clipping, masking, blurring, or highlighting. This powerful set of compositing operations can be used seamlessly across vector and raster layers all using pure CartoCSS. The compositing now possible in TileMill, in combination with image patterns or raster hillshades, can enable effects of uniqueness and beauty that go beyond was has previously been possible.

Think for a minute all you had to do to get your maps to look as good as TileMill can make them out of the box. I said last week on my hangout that after Python, Javascript was what people needed to learn to be good at GIS. I’ve changed my mind, learn CSS, there is no other way to create cartography for printed or web maps after TileMill 0.10.0.

Someone needs to create a CartoCSS importer for ArcGIS to free their users from those crazy tabbed cartography preference windows. Actually, I can only imagine the headache to create such a tool, just move to TileMill for your cartography.


This from CSS, just awesome!

This Week’s Hangout: NoNodeGIS

This week I have Steve Citron-Pousty on where we’ll talk about deCarta patents, NoSQL, why GIS pros think they are smarter than they are and much more. We’ll be talking on the IRC channel again so either show up to the Hangout page on WeoGeo or better yet, point your IRC client to #hwjf on IRC works well because you can join the conversation live and ask me what the San Francisco Giants Magic Number is.

The Google Moderator worked well last week for questions, so if you’ve got something you’d like Steve and I to talk about, add it here and we’ll make sure to hit it.