New Google Maps Announced and New Geo APIs for Android

Yesterday Google announced the new Google Maps, including several significant changes. It's going to be available this summer, and there will finally be an iPad version of the Google Maps app. The Google Geo Dev blog tells you how to use the new look for your maps today via the Maps API. The Google Earth Blog (not from Google) shares an entry on Google Earth integration in Google Maps might mean the demise of the Google Earth Plugin. APB also shares and entry about the Three New Geo APIs for Android: Fuse Location Provider, Geofencing, Active Recognition.

Snippets from the announcement: "

  • Every click draws a new map highlighting the things that matter most 
    Like a friend drawing you a map to her favorite restaurant, with only the roads and landmarks you need to get there, the new Google Maps instantly changes to highlight information that matters most.
  • Easier to find the best local places
    In addition to a customized map, we’ve also made it easier to uncover the best local gems. Search results are labeled directly on the map with brief place descriptions and icons that highlight business categories and other useful information – like restaurants that are recommended by your Google+ friends.
  • Amazing imagery for exploring the world
    Of course, no map would be complete without amazing images for exploring the world. The new carousel gathers all Google Maps imagery in one spot enabling you to fly through cities, walk canyon trails, climb mountains, and even swim the oceans. And on a WebGL-enabled browser, like Google Chrome, the carousel is also where you'll find the Earth view which directly integrates the beautiful 3D experience from Google Earth into the new maps."

The best way to get an overview of what's new is certainly to watch this 2 minutes video:

Coin-sized Device Pairs with Smartphone to Prevent Loss of Valuables



I would like to let you now about Button TrackR. This is a coin-sized wireless device that communicates to your smartphone or tablet to help you keep track of your commonly misplaced items. If the user is about to leave an item behind, the phone and device will notify the user & take a GPS snapshot of where the item was left. If the item goes missing, our new Crowd Sourced Tracking technology can be used to receive live gps updates of where the lost item is. To learn more about how the Button TrackR can help you and your readers, visit our Indiegogo campaign at or check out our latest press release at

If you have any questions, please contact me or our CEO at [email protected].

Thanks for the support!

Ariel Rothbard

Phone Halo

M (209) 345-6726

Bringing Esri to Open Source and Open Standards

Chris Holmes shares a pretty insightful and informative letter in an entry named 'Opening Esri'. Esri's closer relationship with open source started with providing code on GitHub last September and even up to last February's official entry named going open source with Esri.

From the Chris Holmes entry: "So I wanted to give to Esri a measurable roadmap of actions to take that would signal to me a real commitment to ‘open’. [...] Each piece of Esri technology ideally could be used stand alone with other pieces. Stated another way, there should be no lock-in of anything that users create – even their cartography rules. [...] it is a business risk, since it opens up more potential competition. But it’s also a big business opportunity if done right. And reaches beyond mere business to being a real force for good in the world, becoming a truly loved company, with lots of friends."

"The Ubiquitous Digital Map" Talk: a Quick History of the Digital Map

InfoQ have published a talk by Gary Gale (@vicchi) called "The Ubiquitous Digital Map (Abridged)" giving a half hour potted history of the digital map. Worth a watch (but not as full screen as you'll miss the slides!) as knowing where we came from might help to understand where we are going.

IEEE Distinguished Lecture, Eastern Canada in Quebec City: Contribution of Geomatics to Systems-of-Systems (SoS) & Systems Engineering

IEEE GOLD Section Quebec announces a DL event organized in collaboration with Centre de Recherche en Géomatique (CRG) - Université Laval on 23 May 2013 in Laval University, Quebec City. Paul E. Gartz member of the Boeing Technical Fellowship,former president of IEEE AESS, and IEEE global lecturer is the invited speaker. With over forty years of experience in large-scale and multi-billion dollar programs on commercial, defense, and civil project in aerospace and communications industries, Paul will talk about “Systems-of-Systems (SoS) & Systems Engineering” and “How Geomatics Apps are Changing the World through SoS“ in two exclusive sessions (morning and afternoon). The third session (evening) is dedicated to networking among the participants.  

For more info, contact Kyarash Shahriari <[email protected]> or visit the event page.

When: 23 May 2013

Where: Room #2320, Pavilion Kruger, 2425, rue de la Terrasse, Université Laval, Quebec City

Speaker: Paul E. Gartz, member of Boeing Technical Fellowship, former president of IEEE AESS, IEEE global lecturer

Event Program:

9:00 am – 10:30 am: “Systems-of-Systems (SoS) & Systems Engineering / Educating 21st Century Engineers”

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: “How Geomatics Apps are Changing the World through SoS”

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Networking

GeoNews by Alborz Zamyadi  <[email protected]>, Students’ Representative in CRG Board.

Google Geonews: Google Glass Navigation Review, 29-years Satellite Imagery Timelapse, and more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews.

From official sources:

From other sources:

Specifically on Google Glass Project:

Launch of the Open Source 'MapBox Earth' for iOS

MapBox announced their open source iOS virtual globe named MapBox Earth.

From the announcement: "We just launched MapBox Earth, a free and open source iOS app that combines the power of a 3D globe with MapBox’s beautiful maps. It’s also a great starting point to build your own 3D mapping app - we’re cracking the 3D globe software market wide open by releasing the source code and building in the open. MapBox Earth is a universal app optimized for iPhone and iPad and it includes beautiful preloaded layers based off of MapBox Streets, MapBox Terrain, and MapBox Satellite. You can switch the map layer with a single tap and feel the maps right in your hands, in gorgeous and fast 3D."

We did mention some other open source virtual globes in the past months / years, such as Glob3 Mobile, the Godzi WebGL Globe, OpenWebGlobe, WebGL Earth, and there's even the Google open source 'WebGL Globe'.

OpenStreetMap Launches iD: All-new Easy Map Editor

Two days ago the new open source iD editor we mentioned a few times has been officially launched, here's the official announcement OpenStreetMap launches all-new easy map editor and announces funding appeal.

From the announcement: "The new editor, codenamed ‘iD’, boasts an intuitive interface and clear walk-throughs that make editing much easier for new mappers. By lowering the barrier to contributions, we believe that more people can contribute their local knowledge to the map – the crucial factor that sets OSM apart from closed-source commercial maps. [...] The new iD editor is a pure HTML5 experience, using the cutting-edge D3 visualisation library. Behind the clear design and intuitive interface is a sophisticated back-end that automatically recommends the most popular ‘tagging’ conventions used by the OSM community."

Numerous sources discussed the new iD editor, you'll find more technical details on iD on the MapBox blog, MapBox built iD, including multiple links to media coverage. Slashdot also discussed two stories, OpenStreetMap Launches a New Easy To Use HTML5 Editor and OpenStreetMap Adds Easier Reporting of Map Problems.

Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations

Slashdot discusses a story named Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations. Not the first time this happens to major location services providers. We can expect Apple to fix this loophole.

Their summary: "A researcher has found that Apple user locations can be potentially determined by tapping into Apple Maps and he has created a Python tool to make the process easier. iSniff GPS accesses Apple's database of wireless access points, which is collected by iPhones and iPads that have GPS and Wi-Fi location services enabled. Apple uses this crowd-sourced data to run its location services; however, the location database is not meant to be public. You can download the tool via Giuthub."

GDAL/OGR 1.10.0 Released, Now Includes Geocoding Client and Much More

I was abroad last week. I'll catch up the recent geonews in the coming days.

The open source library at the core of most open source geospatial software and numerous commercial geospatial software just got better, version 1.10.0 of GDAL/OGR has been released a week ago. The previous major version 1.9.0 was released about 16 months ago.

From the release notes: "

  • New GDAL drivers:
    • ARG: read/write support for ARG datasets (#4591)
    • CTable2: read/write support for CTable2 datum grid shift format
    • DDS: write-only support for DirectDraw Surface format (#5017)
    • IRIS: read support for products generated by the IRIS weather radar software (#4854)
    • MAP: read OziExplorer .map files (#3380)
    • MBTiles: read-only support for MBTiles rasters (needs libsqlite3)
  • New OGR drivers:
    • ElasticSearch: write-only support to write into ElasticSearch databases (needs libcurl)
    • ODS : read/write support for OpenOffice .ods (Open Document Spreadsheets) (needs libexpat)
    • OSM : read-only support for .osm / .pbf OpenStreetMap files
    • PDF: read/write support for vector/structured PDF files
    • XLSX: read/write support for MS Excel 2007 and later Open Office XML .xlsx spreadsheets (needs libexpat)
  • RFC 39: OGR Layer algebra methods :
  • Add a SQL SQLite dialect :
  • Make GDAL loadable as a SQLite3 extension (named VirtualOGR) (#4782)
  • /vsicurl_streaming/: new virtual file system handler designed to read in streaming mode dynamically generated files
  • GDAL API_PROXY mechanism to run GDAL drivers in a separate process:
  • Significantly improved drivers : PDF, SQLite, JP2OpenJPEG
  • Add a geocoding client :
  • Upgrade to EPSG 8.0 database"

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