Have I actually been doing this blog for six years already? Apparently so.
For several years, I’ve been keeping half an eye on the GPS logger category — these are GPS receivers that record geographical coordinates that can later be applied to digital photos. But I never got around to trying one, probably because, as a Mac user, my options were slightly more limited (though Mac-compatible loggers are available), but mostly because the whole concept seemed too complicated.
You have to carry a separate device that records where you are at a given time, while you take pictures. Then you go home to your computer and sync up your GPS logs with the timestamps on your digital photos. A few more things to add to a photographer’s workflow, and if your camera’s clock doesn’t match the GPS satellite’s time, well, things can get messy. Far easier, I thought, to geotag my photos manually after the fact, I thought, especially since I could use Flickr’s relatively painless interface to drag and drop my photos onto a map.
Still, the idea was appealing, probably due to my interest in GPS, maps and navigation on the one hand, and my fast-developing interest in photography on the other.
Much more interesting to me were GPS units that plugged directly into your camera, writing latitude and longitude tags directly to the image file as you took your picture. That made a lot more sense to me, workflow-wise. But they were generally expensive, and for professional-grade digital SLRs. Above my pay scale.
My interest pricked up when consumer cameras with built-in GPS, like the Nikon Coolpix P6000, started to appear, but I’d already moved over to a consumer-level digital SLR.
And then came the Nikon D90, which, when it was announced last summer, promised compatibility with a new GPS accessory that would not be shipping until November. At least as far as Nikon digital SLRs were concerned, it was the first consumer- or prosumer-level digital SLR with GPS compatibility. I was already thinking about upgrading to the D90; after nearly two years of noodling about with my D40, I was ready for a more powerful camera. GPS compatibility was more than icing on the cake — it helped tip the balance for me.
I bought my D90 in September, but waited until the end of December before I picked up that GPS accessory — the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit. At around $280 (Canadian), it wasn’t cheap, but then (a) Nikon accessories usually aren’t, and (b) neither are GPS units for digital SLRs. It took me a while to test it (it was a cold winter, and my health hasn’t been great, both of which conspired to keep me from running around taking photos outdoors), but I’m able to provide you with my review now.
CNet reports that Microsoft and TomTom have settled their patent suits against one another: “As part of the deal, as TomTom will pay Microsoft for patent protection related to mapping patents and file-management patents that Microsoft claimed were infringed by TomTom’s use of the Linux kernel. Microsoft will also get access to the TomTom patents that were cited in TomTom’s countersuit against Microsoft, although Microsoft won’t make any payment to TomTom.” Via All Points Blog.
Previously: TomTom TroublesTroubles.
Remember that erroneous map of South America published in some Brazilian school textbooks? The secretary of education for the state of São Paulo, Maria Helena Guimaraes, was fired by the state’s governor over it. Via Vector One.
Flightmapping.com’s interactive maps show airline routes between airports in the UK and Ireland and, well, everywhere else in the world — which reflects the site’s overall focus, viz., providing flight information to and from the British Isles. Of limited use if that is not where you’re going or coming from. Via La Cartoteca.
An interesting article in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle profiling historical ecologist Robin Grossinger, who uses old maps, photos and aerial photos to reconstruct what the landscape was like in the past. More at the Historical Ecology section of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where Grossinger works. Via GeoCarta.
The need for accurate and up-to-date maps during a natural disaster or other humanitarian crisis is obvious. Teaching humanitarian aid workers how to make use of maps and mapping software is the idea behind the Field Guide to Humanitarian Mapping, a 118-page PDF document published by MapAction, an NGO that specializes in mapping for emergencies and disasters. Via Free Geography Tools, where Leszek argues that it’s “a terrific introduction to both data acquisition using a GPS, and how to use Google Earth and the free open-source Windows GIS program MapWindow for mapping” — indeed, it may be useful beyond its intended audience. (MapWindow’s home page, by the way.)
The latest instance of sat-nav Schadenfreude — the media having fun at the expense of some poor fool who followed his dashboard GPS’s directions to the letter and ended up in trouble — involves a 43-year-old British man (of course) who ended up driving down a footpath and hitting a fence; his BMW ended up hanging off the edge of a cliff. He faces careless driving charges. Via Engadget.
It’s a pity that this hoodie with a map of the New York subway printed on it seems to be sold out, because, you know, want. Via Platial.
Google Street View isn’t even available for Canadian locations yet, but already Google is running afoul of Canada’s strict privacy legislation. The Ottawa Citizen’s Vito Pilieci has a couple of stories about Google Street View in Canada: this one on the presence of Google’s camera vehicles on Canadian streets, and this one on the federal privacy commissioner’s reaction to Street View. Via Macleans and Richard.
The Santa Fe New Mexican has a review of A Dangerous Cartography, an exhibition by Miguel Angel Rios taking place at the EVO Gallery in Santa Fe. From the review: “His large-scale maps — collages made with raw canvas, photographic paper, paint, and pushpins — are striking. At more than 9 square feet, Magallanes en la Confusion Encontro un Oceano #3 (1994) [at right] demands attention not only because of its size but also because of its overall patterning of pleated photographic paper attached to pleated canvas with a reproduction of an antique map in the middle. Imagine a gigantic map repeatedly folded, stuffed into tight-fitting jeans, run through the wash, and then taken out and left to dry. (Obviously, Rios does more than that.)” The exhibition runs until April 4.
I’ve redesigned this site (again); the new design went live a couple of hours or so ago, and I’ve been fiddling with fixes here and there ever since. As always, there is a risk that it doesn’t look quite right in a browser I don’t have ready access to; I’ll probably be bugfixing and checking other browsers for most of the weekend.
The new design is wider, plainer (it uses virtually no graphical elements) and uses larger text. Hope you like it, but let me know if there are any problems.
Briefly noted: Geoweb Guru reviews Scott Davis’s GIS for Web Developers; on Vector One, Jeff shares his notes on three recent books from ESRI Press (Building a GIS by Dave Peters, the second edition of Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop, and the third edition of GIS Tutorial for Health).
I frequently post entries about mapping the other planets and moons in our solar system not just because I’m nuts about astronomy (though I am), but also because this is where maps of new places are coming from. Our own world has long since filled in the empty spaces; there’s nowhere left on the globe where “here be dragons” can be written. Out there, as I’ve said before, there are places that haven’t been mapped yet — and we’re mapping them now (Mercury, Titan) or will be shortly (Vesta, Ceres, Pluto).
In that vein, Steve Albers’s collection of planetary maps is worth keeping an eye on. Maintained for the Science on a Sphere project, the cylindrical-projection images collected here seem to be quite up to date: the MESSENGER imagery for Mercury, less than a year old, is already included, for example, and the map of Saturn’s moon Rhea was updated just over a week ago. At right, Jupiter’s moon Io.
Previously: Mapping the Solar System: Mercury and Titan.
Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, was visited for the first and only time on August 25 and 26, 1989, when Voyager 2 hurtled past it. Since then, any maps of that moon were based on images taken from the sunlit side. Now, however, in a paper presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Ted Stryk and Phil Stooke have taken images from behind the sunlit side — where Triton appeared as a crescent and the imagery wasn’t as sharp — processed them, and applied them to the map. More from The Planetary Society Blog.
It’s amazing to see what can be done with 20-year-old data; then again, with no return trips to Neptune in the works, this is all we have to work with. The map of Triton will probably not be completed in my lifetime.
A flurry of announcements last week related to Silverlight, Microsoft’s rich media browser plugin. Some will be of interest largely to geospatial professionals or web developers, like the public beta of the ArcGIS API for Silverlight or the Virtual Earth Silverlight Map Control.
Me, I’m delighted to see that Microsoft has ported WorldWide Telescope to Silverlight, making it available in a Web client — which means that, as a Mac user, since Silverlight is cross-platform, I can finally have a look at WorldWide Telescope!
Topographic maps of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have been created from stereo pairs of radar images obtained by the Cassini probe. “The new flyover maps show, for the first time, the 3-D topography and height of the 1,200-meter (4,000-foot) mountain tops, the north polar lake country, the vast dunes more than 100 meters (300 feet) high that crisscross the moon, and the thick flows that may have oozed from possible ice volcanoes.” In 19 flybys of Titan, Cassini has mapped two percent of the surface in stereo. Images and flyover movies are available here, here and here. Via CassiniSaturn.
Rachel Hewitt has written a history of the Ordnance Survey; even though Map of a Nation won’t be published until next year, it’s already won a £10,000 prize from the Royal Society of Literature. I’ll be looking for this book when it comes out. Via atlas(t).
Speaking of low-cost aerial photography, The Fiducial Mark links to a research paper on the use of kite-based aerial photography to produce high-resolution aerial imagery at a cost much lower than the usual method (which at that scale usually involves a helicopter). The idea that useful high-resolution imagery was obtained using a kite and a digital SLR — plus a modicum of software processing — is intriguing, but it doesn’t look like something for mere mortals.
That’s one hell of a science project: four Spanish students, using an inexpensive latex balloon and a Nikon Coolpix camera, managed to record images and meteorological data from an altitude of as high as 30 kilometres before the balloon burst. They managed to recover the sensor package 10 kilometres away. The project page is in Catalan (but can be machine-translated); the photos from the balloon and the launch can be found in this Flickr photoset (whence came the image at right) as well as The Big Picture. Via Boing Boing, Gizmodo and Engadget (among others).
A map Apple used during its iPhone 3.0 announcement to show the countries in which the iPhone is available is drawing fire for omitting Greenland and Iceland. Well, from Iceland, anyway. Okay, one Icelander. Just imagine the complaints that would have been generated if Apple had included Greenland — they used a Mercator projection!
Okay, how does something like this happen? “A map of South America in which landlocked Paraguay is shown with an Atlantic coastline and Ecuador does not exist may be found in a [sixth-grade] geography textbook used in the public schools of Brazil’s most-populous state,” the Latin American Herald Tribune reports. “Besides confusing Uruguay with Paraguay, another Paraguay figures on the map occupying a large part of Bolivian territory and distorting Colombia’s borders.” Somebody please, please, please find me a copy of this map. Via GeoCarta.
Google has exclusive access to the GeoEye-1 satellite’s high-resolution imagery for online mapping purposes; sample imagery from the satellite, which was launched last September and began commercial operations last month, has been posted as a sign of things to come. Google LatLong, GeoEye press release.
The Telegraph reports that Jonathan Potter’s entire £3-million catalogue of antique maps is available for sale as Potter, 58, prepares for retirement. On MapHist, however, Potter clarifies the situation: “My intention is for my business to continue into the next decade and beyond with enthusiasm and ambition. I expect to oversee this whilst also achieving a reduction in my own personal and financial commitment.” He’s looking for investment partners. Via GeoCarta and Map the Universe.
- Buy Collecting Antique Maps: An Introduction to the History of Cartography at Amazon.com
It’s an interview packed with softball questions, but Telematics Update’s interview with Dr. Tyler Bell, who heads the Yahoo Geo Technologies product team, reveals where Yahoo sees itself relative to other mapping providers. Short version: not as an also-ran by any stretch.
Tyler spends time talking about Yahoo’s GeoPlanet service, and suggests that this is both a major focus and a key differentiator:
We are not looking to simply duplicate a service that is already available. Yahoo! excels at geoinfomatics — how we use place to inform data and make it geographically relevant.
We want to capture the names of the world’s places as they are called by the world’s people: what are the colloquial terms in common use that aren’t in the atlas or formal gazeteer? What do the local residents call their area?
Our concern here is really named places and how they relate to each other.
He also points out what I think is why the large Web media companies are focusing on mapping and location technology: geographically targeted advertising (another nail in newspapers’ coffins):
In this economy, ad spends and budgets are decreasing, making the importance of getting the right products to the right people even more critical. Geo-relevance and geo-targeting are central to this effort, and we are looking at ways we can increase the efficacy of the geographic technologies so advertisers can be more successful, and users are not presented irrelevant offerings.
Like its historical imagery, Google Earth 5.0’s Mars features have been updated not very long after the launch of Google Earth 5.0. In addition to layers showing historical maps of Mars (like Schiaparelli’s) and narrated guided tours (that really do work as an introduction to all the Mars material), there is something called Live from Mars that provides imagery that, while not exactly live, is certainly fresh — imagery from orbiting probes can be viewed within hours of being taken. See Google’s announcements on the official blog and LatLong; see astronomers’ take on all this at Astronomy, Bad Astronomy and Universe Today; and, of course, see Google Earth Blog. By now, the short introductory video from Google is de rigueur:
The California State Automobile Association has donated 7,000 old road maps to Stanford University’s Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections; the donation was triggered by the CSAA’s move to new headquarters with less space. “Along with the road maps, the AAA donation includes thousands of linen maps, topographic maps and county tract maps that expose the nooks and crannies of neighborhoods down to the sizes of housing lots and location of storm drains,” Stanford’s news service reports. “Also in the collection are several boxes of etched sheets of scribecoat, a material similar to Mylar that was used by AAA mapmakers starting in 1970.” Via MAPS-L.
ARCAblog, the blog of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, has a translation of a year-old Spanish news article (the original is here) about map thefts; the article mentions the notorious cases of Cesar Gomez Rivero and Forbes Smiley, but also engages in a discussion of a very interesting question: what makes map thefts different from the theft of other works of art?
Unlike fine art, which is most often unique, instantly recognizable and traceable, illicit rare maps may be sold at a legitimate level. Gomez Rivero sold some through eBay, for instance. The greatest difficulty in most art crime is not in the stealing but in the selling. Maps, most of which are printed on paper, are far easier to carry, to smuggle, and to sell. …
Map theft is all too easy for several reasons. Compared to art, maps, books, and manuscripts tend to receive little or no protection. Maps tend to be housed in libraries, archives, or offices where researchers are inherently trusted.
It hasn’t been that long since the release of Google Earth 5.0, which added historical satellite and aerial imagery via a slider, but Google LatLong is already announcing a significant update to Google Earth’s archive of historical imagery; the blog entry gives some pertinent examples of just how useful such imagery could be: development in Dubai, deforestation of the Amazon, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, New York on September 12.
Sunday morning at SXSW Interactive, there was a panel entitled Neocartography: Mapping Design and Usability Evolved: “Designers are dropping maps into their applications with little concern for usability or design and users are getting ‘Google Map fatigue.’ We need to move beyond the simple pin-dropping and consider appropriate mapping interfaces. This panel will look at the current and emerging tools to provide compelling geographic interaction and visualization.” The Grauniad’s digital content blog, PDA, has a writeup of the panel discussions. Via All Points Blog.
Frank Taylor isn’t the first person to explain at length how Google Earth imagery isn’t real-time imagery, but it’s something that seems to require repeating; his explanation also goes into considerable depth about how old the imagery can be (months to years), and, more importantly, why it’s as old as it is when it finally makes it to Google Earth.
Based on feedback the Toronto Star received after it published a version of its neighbourhood map last weekend, the neighbourhood map has been updated with 29 specific changes. This strikes me as the kind of project that will never truly be definitive: any attempt at the final answer will end up being challenged.
Mark Ovenden — author of Transit Maps of the World — has the fascinating story of how Harry Beck tried to create a map of the Paris Métro in the style of his iconic map of the London Underground. Both of Beck’s attempts were rejected. Eventually, however, the RATP adopted a similar diagrammatic map of the Métro in 2001. Via Kottke.
Previously: Review: Transit Maps of the World.
To be honest, I haven’t been paying close attention to Yahoo’s Fire Eagle geolocation service, but since I reported on it a year ago it’s accumulated 70 applications that use it, integrating Fire Eagle location data with everything from Movable Type to the SPOT Satellite Messenger to whereyougonnabe (previously: 1, 2). But with Friends on Fire, their new Facebook application, their profile may well go up a bit. More here.
I have to say I like the approach of using a single service to update your location on many different devices and platforms; I’m just not sure that the case for broadcasting your location has been made yet.
The “new” version of Yahoo Maps was released as a beta in November 2005 and became the default version a year later, at which point the old version remained for dialup users. It’s taken until now — more than two years later — for Yahoo to discontinue the “classic maps” version of Yahoo Maps. I swear, I’d forgotten it was there.
Just one more New York Times interactive map, I swear (at least for today), but this one is fantastic. It shows U.S. immigration patterns since 1880: where immigrants came from, and how much of the population (per county) they represent. It’s very interesting to see how this changes over time (except in Maine, where most foreigners seem to have always been Canadian). The screenshot shows the largest foreign-born group (by region) in each county; you can also select a specific group (Canadians, Czechoslovaks) and see where they settled. Thanks to Andy Anderson for the link.
USA Today’s map of 2006 and 2008 foreclosures shows “that rising rates of foreclosure were most severe in a few areas. Last year, 35 counties accounted for half the nation’s foreclosure actions.” (Those counties are outlined in red on the map, reproduced at right.) Via The Electoral Map.
Another interactive map from the New York Times, this one showing subprime mortgages in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Zoom in to get more than county-by-county detail. (At the right of the map there’s a bit of a blooper.) Via Google Earth Design.
The New York Times has created an interactive map showing, by borough and by neighbourhood, how residents feel about crime, municipal services, quality of life and a host of other things, based on a city survey of 2,500 residents last year. (Here’s the related article). For example, the map at right shows what New Yorkers think about rat control in their neighbourhood — something’s the matter in the Bronx, I think (see previous entry). Via Kottke.
Publishers Marketplace is reporting that Jeopardy freak of nature Ken Jennings has sold a book “exploring the world of map nuts and geography obsessives” called Maphead to Scribner (Google cache; LA Observed). No idea when it’ll be out; the publishing industry can take a while. Via MapHist.
Update: Ken Jennings’s blog entry announcing the book proposal and soliciting tips (“I go into this knowing next to nothing about the subculture — or even if there is such a thing as map subculture”). Via Cartophilia.
Val Britton was interviewed in this week’s Salt Lake City Fine Arts Examiner. Britton makes “immersive collaged drawings that draw on the language of maps,” according to her artist’s statement. “Based on road maps of the U.S., routes my father often traveled, and an invented conglomeration, mutation, and fragmentation of those passageways, my works on paper help me piece together the past and make up the parts I cannot know.” From the interview: “I was looking at an old atlas my family had given me, and I discovered that these maps resonated with me and the stories of my father’s travels. Elements of these maps had the potential to be the jumping off points for my images.” At right: constellation #1 (2009), 16"×16½", ink, collage, graphite, and gouache on paper.
What geotagging is to ordinary photography, astrotagging is to astrophotography — embedding machine-readable data that identifies the location of a photo. But astrophotography is harder: orientation, field of view and pixel scale come into play if you want to map a photo on Google Sky or WorldWide Telescope. And it’s not like GPS can help you here. Here’s one way of doing it. Astrometry.net’s robot takes photos uploaded to the Flickr astrometry group or the Astronomy Photographer of the Year group and looks for matching star patterns. Having identified the image, it then adds tags for the image’s location (right ascension, declination), pixel scale, orientation and field size, as well as tags for any interesting catalogue objects like galaxies or nebulae.
Via Ogle Earth.
Also via The Map Scroll, a collection of accidents collected by New York Times graphics editor Matthew Bloch while working on maps and other graphics. At right, a 1917 map of Beijing “after trying to use spline-based georeferencing in ArcGIS.” Reminds me of blooper reels from computer-animated movies.
Stefan Geens of Ogle Earth compares Google Latitude with GMap-Track, a service he’s been using on his site. “Letting your mobile phone update your location at all times can be useful among close-knit groups of trusted friends in urban settings looking for the next place to congregate. Google Latitude is perfect for that. But frequent travelers will mostly want to make periodic user-initiated updates from interesting places — a geographic version of the Facebook status update — and publish that information as a widget. And that is just what GMap-Track delivers.”
I can’t believe I didn’t notice Radical Cartography’s Urban Mass Transit Systems of North America before. This map plots the mass transit systems — subways, light rail, busways, whatever — of U.S., Canadian and Mexican cities circa 2005 on the same scale. Direct link to the PDF. Via The Map Scroll, where Chachy observes the following: “You can also really pick out the slackers in this sort of direct comparison — I’m looking at you, Detroit and Seattle.”
An exhibition of the artwork of Rachel Austin is taking place at Tilde, a store in Portland, Oregon, until the end of March. Austin’s work includes mixed media map paintings. “The map series are done with maps and layers of transparent paint on wood panels. They are each named after a location from the map used in the painting. They have a thick, waxy look. Super cute.” The end result is that the maps in the background, with a bokeh-like effect. At right, “Parker.” Via GeoCarta.
Wired: “Two million flights pass through New York’s airspace each year. Artist Aaron Koblin used images from his piece, Flight Patterns, to create a Google map representing air traffic across the United States over a 24-hour period. The map displays the flight paths for more than 205,000 aircraft the FAA tracked on August 12, 2008.” The data comes from real-time air travel information provider FlightView, and while you can select by model or make of aircraft, there is no legend explaining what each colour represents. We’ve seen Aaron Koblin’s work before. Via Gizmodo.
The Financial Times article, What drives people to steal precious books, does not spend much time answering the question posed by its title; the article, which references recent map thieves, does talk about how people steal precious books (and maps), as well as the impact on library security. There’s also a brief discussion of inside jobs. As for motive:
In newspaper reports of such crimes, epithets such as “gentlemen thieves” are liberally applied to men such as [Farhad] Hakimzadeh and [William] Jacques. Typically, they are characterised as obsessed academics willing to do almost anything to obtain that ancient tome or map that will fill a gap on their bookshelves. Hakimzadeh’s defence revealed that he spent his wedding night polishing his beloved books, while Gosse offered his own love of books as mitigation for his crime. “I felt the books had been abandoned,” he said. He was given a suspended sentence, a €17,000 fine and was allowed to go back to his teaching job. The archbishop forgave the thief and said he would even allow him (supervised) access to the library.
Via Map the Universe.
The Toronto Star is developing a map of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, based in part on reader feedback. (Boundaries are always the problem with neighbourhoods, because they’re not always strictly defined; growing up in a western suburb of Winnipeg, I wasn’t sure which neighbourhood my family’s house belonged to — St. Charles or Crestview.) What’s interesting about the online version of the Star’s map is that, because it uses the Google Maps interface, Google’s neighbourhood names are also on the map, resulting in a few examples of dissonance: Google’s label for Rexdale is not within the boundaries for Rexdale set out by the Star, for example. Thanks to Richard for the link.
Here’s another review of the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit (via the Nikon Digital Flickr group). The GP-1 is facing some pretty stiff competition, according to Nikon Rumors — at least as far as Nikon digital SLRs with 10-pin PC terminals are concerned. (D90 users must make do with the GP-1, and there are, as far as I am aware, no direct geotaggers for the D40, D50, D60, D70 or D80.) Unfortunately, the competition is about as expensive as the GP-1: the recently announced Unleashed from Foolography, a Bluetooth dongle that attaches to the PC terminal and that is compatible with Bluetooth GPS receivers, is expected to ship this summer for a price around €200 (more from Gadget Lab); the di-GPS Pro L (pictured) includes a built-in datalogger and costs $300 after shipping; Custom Idea GeoPic II is also $300.
For now, at least, separate GPS data loggers appear to be the only inexpensive option.
- Buy Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit at Amazon.com
Very Spatial links to a number of maps depicting foreclosures in the U.S., including RealityTrac’s map of the 2.3 million foreclosures across the U.S. in 2008 (thumbnail at right) and USA Today’s map of foreclosures in Denver since 2006, which begins in one particularly hard-hit neighbourhood.
The New York Times always seems to have good online maps; here’s one showing county-by-county unemployment rates. Via MAPS-L.
Off the Map takes stimuluswatch.org’s database and plots it on a map to see if the stimulus projects match areas with heavy job losses. Via Slashgeo.
But though one’s initial impression may be of maps or other kinds of compressed or abstracted informational forms, in the end these works are fully independent of the types of object they superficially resemble. … McNally is technically very inventive, generating with the pencil a multiplicity of lines, dots, scratches or tracks, building up individual works from literally thousands and thousands of marks that frequently make up specific units or shapes – thick, solid circles; tiny, sharp dots; wiggly yet rigid lines; equilateral triangles laid point to point; blocked-in squares containing crosses – all overlaid and underpinned with neat grids and other reticulated structures that run across the entire surface.
See also Ana Balona de Oliviera’s essay.
A review on astronomy enthusiast site Cloudy Nights of the new Cambridge Double Star Atlas, which, unlike the Cambridge Star Atlas itself (reviewed last month), is coil-bound rather than hardcover. The reviewer, a double star observer, compares its usefulness in the field to Sky and Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas (also reviewed last month): “The CDSA is bigger, easier to read, has plenty of objects for owners of smaller scopes, but also plots wickedly difficult doubles for 10-inch scopes and bigger who have dynamite skies year round and don’t live below sea level as I do. … For its intended goal, double star observing, it gets my unreserved recommendation.”
- Buy The Cambridge Double Star Atlas at Amazon.com
I’m not sure how someone working on Yahoo Maps is going to react to a headline like this: Yahoo CEO likes Google Maps better than Yahoo Maps. Key graf:
After admitting that she uses Google Maps, [new Yahoo CEO Carol] Bartz said Yahoo Maps isn’t as good as it should be because “we haven’t paid any attention” to it. CFO Blake Jorgensen, who resigned last week but is still on board, added that an online mapping service is very expensive to maintain, and that he doesn’t foresee Yahoo pouring significant additional investments into Yahoo Maps in the near future.
I think Yahoo makes a pretty good mapping product; though I generally prefer Google Maps as well, I’d give Yahoo a solid second place. And one way of reading this is that Yahoo Maps is about to get more attention, which can’t be a bad thing. The other way of reading this is, well, not good.
The ESRI Mapping Center blog points to a new booklet from the British Cartographic Society: Cartography: An Introduction, co-written by Giles Darkes and Mary Spence, is part of the BCS’s Better Mapping Campaign (see previous entry); its aim “is to give basic information on what works well in map design and to get the world thinking about maps and their messages.” Available from their Web site for £5 (plus shipping).
Stupid Republican California Assemblyman Joel Anderson has introduced a bill to censor online satellite imagery of public buildings. “His bill would restrict the images such Web sites could post online. Clear, detailed images of schools, hospitals, churches and all government buildings — what he calls soft terrorism targets — would not be allowed. … His bill would make it illegal in California to post close-up images of such buildings. Instead, the images would have to be blurred.” Note to terrorists: Everything blurred is worth bombing. And, since transportation infrastructure is also clearly a soft terrorist target, all imagery of roads should be blurred too. Via All Points Blog.
Update: Stefan weighs in.