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.
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 Maps.app 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.
Steve and I talk about deCarta/Google patents, NoSQL, the shapefile being awesome, and why you need to know more than just being a GIS professional. Plus Steve fell out of his chair when I said I was going to URISA.
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.
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.
As nice as chocolate and peanut butter turned out, sometimes you just don’t want someone else’s API putting raisins in your oatmeal cookies (yes raisins are the work of the devil). Amazon, who has their own mobile platform, has made sure the shriveled up Google Maps API does not have to be used by their developers.
You may have noticed a new API on the Amazon Mobile App SDK tab in the developer portal. When we announced Kindle Fire HD, we also made the Amazon Maps API available to our developer community. The Amazon Maps API makes it easy for you to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. These new devices will also support location-based services through the android.location API.
I’m not going to apply to see their beta because I have zero use for yet another mapping API. That said as the Amazon Mobile platform becomes larger, developers are going to be looking for these APIs. We can expect this to look like Nokia’s mapping API given that Amazon chose Nokia to provide their mapping technology. Nook aside, every mobile phone/tablet platform has their own mapping API now. Amazon has been on fire (pun intended) lately and I can assure you the moment that Amazon gives these Kindle Fire devices free to Amazon Prime customers, I’ll go ahead and take it.
I don’t see this having much impact on Apple/Android given they both have pretty much solidified themselves as the top two platforms. The “also-rans” of Microsoft, Nook, Blackberry, and possibly whatever is left of PalmOS are now going to have to battle a 3rd platform (Kindle) that is well supported by it’s owner and is innovating at a great pace. I’d suspect Nokia will make more money off providing mapping to the Kindle platform than they will selling their own phones.
Spatial isn’t special, but it sure has it’s own API.
You see in this world there’s two kinds of mobile platforms, my friend. Those with mapping APIs, and those who dig. You dig.
There is a small change this week to the hangout. First off the commenting has bothered all of us since day one. YouTube comments are almost worthless and Disqus has issues. So from today forward, we are going to use IRC to manage the discussion. When you visit the Hangout page 15 minutes before the show, you’ll see the web IRC client appear. This will allow you to join the new Hangout IRC channel, #hwjf. Of course you can also just add this to your own IRC client. Just point it to chat.freenode.net and join the room #hwjf. This should make it much easier to have a discussion with everyone.
The second change is we have no guest this week. I thought it might be fun to take a week off and just talk shop, hence the “clever” title. As there is no set topic this week, we set up a Google Moderator thread where you can propose and vote on topics. I encourage you to post a question and vote up. Feel free to vote up this one!