Friday, April 14, 2006

Collected links...

Continuing the series of posts on things geospatial (a promotional thing for their upcoming where 2.0 conference?), nat at O'Reilly Radar calls Mapdex a Google for Geodata. He does complain about the lack of metadata.

Has anyone out there looked at Thetus for metadata management? It seems like they promise to derive semantic metadata from things that don't have syntactic metadata- and I know that at least one organization with a massive amount of geodata is looking at it. The whole architecture seems wildly over-complicated though. It makes it hard to explain concretely what they do.

Another nice search thing is the Google desktop search plugin for Google Earth. It seems like that could have a few more location aware features...If I didn't already have 5 projects on my plate.

Speaking of all things Google, I would be remiss not to mention the stupidly hyped Calendar- which I have been testing for months now. It just doesn't work for me. I like the user interface, but I need this stuff on my Blackberry. Maybe they'll release this soon, like they did for Google Talk. A note- if you go to the RIM page to download this- it requires IE 5.0 or above. They could also really use Intellisync so I could get my client appointments out of outlook/exchange into something more portable. Maybe it will work with the RedBerry.

It will be interesting to see what 37signals pulls out for a calendar for backpack. It was the most widely requested feature by a ridiculous margin. The survey results for most desired feature are pretty consistent.

The intersection of time and space- calendars + maps. It usually takes the form of a map with time slider. It would be interesting to see a calendar with a map overview window that lets you select a spatial extent. Perhaps not useful, but interesting.

On the subject of the updated yahoo maps beta data- If I base it on the picture of my house test, it has the most up to data of any service out there: it's the first mapping service to display anything but trees where my house was completed in October of 2003. Most of the services have updated street data, but they are first with the picture of the house. Of course, in areas about 5 miles away the data is definitely much older. The source on the data for my house is Aerials Express, i-cubed. I wonder how much all of that 1m cost...

I am using their free geocoding service extensively, that's a real service to community. Plus- it's REST-ful. In general I am not a big fan of PHP/Flash (more of a Java/Ruby/HTML/CSS/AJAX guy), but we all can love RESTy verbing XML over HTTP. Here's a good intro to the REST topic- the fight goes on 3 years later, except now it's about WS-*. A lot of the stuff is well intentioned, but the output of some of these standards committees still seems to leave the value of simplicity completely off of the list of things they are trying to accomplish.