Amazon just announced the release of Amazon Maps API beta.
[Editor's addition] From the Amazon blog entry: "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. The Amazon Maps API provides a simple migration path for developers who are already using the native Google Maps API on Android. "
Here's the recent Google-related geonews.
From official sources:
From other sources:
ThinkGeo has announced on their blog that they have created an extension for their Map Suite GIS software that allows users to store, edit and access spatial information in the cloud via Amazon's DynanoDB cloud database technology. The Map Suite DynamoDB Extension is currently offered as a community technology preview that works with any of the company's various Map Suite GIS software controls.
Amazon's DynamoDB database system is an innovative way to greatly reduce the cost and complexity of setting up a traditional SQL-based database for spatial data storage. It's innately scalable and offers high performance, plus the cloud-based model means that data stored there can be easily updated and consumed from anyplace. DynamoDB also obviates the need to set up your own dedicated hardware for serving databases or purchase licenses for database systems like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Server.
In addition to the Map Suite DynamoDB Extension and a bundled sample application which demonstrates it, ThinkGeo has also put up a video on YouTube that describes Amazon's DynamoDB system and walks developers through the extension.
Their summary: "A new patent for Amazon just put the company squarely in the location tracking controversy. It covers a system to not only track, through mobile devices, where individuals or aggregated users have been, but to determine where they're likely to go next to better target ads, coupons, or other messages that could appear on a mobile phone or on displays that individuals are likely to see in their travels. The system could also use someone's identity to further tailor the marketing according to demographic information."
Two days ago (yes, I was busy) Slashdot discussed a story named Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google Chase 'Got Milk?' Patents.
Their summary: "Among the new iOS 5 features is Reminders, which Apple explains this way: 'Say you need to remember to pick up milk during your next grocery trip. Since Reminders can be location based, you'll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot.' But does Reminders infringe on a newly-granted patent to Amazon for Location Aware Reminders, which covers the use of location based reminders to remind a user 'to purchase certain items such as, for example, as milk, bread, and eggs'? Or could Reminders run afoul of Google's new patent for Geocoding Personal Information, which covers triggering a voice reminder or making a computing device vibrate when a user approaches a location if 'one of the user's events is a task to pick up milk and bread'? Not to be left out of the 'Got Milk?' patent race, Apple also has a patent pending for Computer Systems and Methods for Collecting, Associating, and/or Retrieving Data, which covers providing a reminder to a user whose 'to do' list includes 'get milk' when the user's location matches 'a store that sells the item "milk."'
That should not be confused with Microsoft's pending patent for Geographic Reminders, which allows users to specify reminders such as 'pick up milk if I am within a ten minutes drive of any grocery store.' That all four tech giants chose to pursue remember-the-milk patents — and the USPTO is considering and granting them — is all the more remarkable considering that Microsoft suggested location-based reminders were obvious in a 2005 patent filing, which informed the USPTO that 'a conventional reminder application may give the user relevant information at a given location, such as 'You're near a grocery store, and you need milk at home.' So much for that immediate patent quality improvement promised by the America Invents Act!"
You bet the patent system needs to be overhauled!
I'm back in front of the keyboard after a 3 weeks break with my wife and daughters. I'll catchup and share the recent geonews in the coming days. Thank you for your patience. Let's start with Google geonews (because they're easier to aggregate).
From the official sources:
From other sources:
SpatialCloud.com is proud to announce they’re leaving beta and releasing the first nationwide, pay-as-you-go imagery dataset, SpatialCloud USA. This tiled mapping service (TMS) represents over 3.5 terabytes of imagery with a maximum resolution of 1 meter per pixel. The imagery can be used and resold by anyone by simply subscribing to the MapSource at SpatialCloud.com. Using 28,000 sq. miles of full resolution imagery annually would cost less than $1,500. Plus, SpatialCloud Global (world-wide Landsat imagery) access is included with the SpatialCloud USA subscription.
“Now geospatial developers and users will have unencumbered access to seamless USA aerial imagery without cumbersome licensing restrictions and expensive data infrastructure,” explained Mike Tully, SpatialCloud’s President. “SpatialCloud USA, and future publicly branded datasets, are, and will be, licensed using flexible terms. These terms make MapSources attractive for web application developers, large government, and corporate users.”
The SpatialCloud USA dataset is a seamless coverage of the United States created from the USDA’s National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). This imagery benefits users and resellers because it is a national seamless coverage available as pre-rendered tiles, which is faster than WMS and more scalable. SpatialCloud MapSources will support any number of users without showing degradation in performance.
Scalable, Flexible Licensing, & Usage Logging
SpatialCloud.com is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Users benefit from the rock solid performance and reliability of Amazon.com. Because imagery is the heaviest component of geospatial web services, outsourcing it to the cloud has the greatest impact on IT costs. In addition, SpatialCloud USA uses the Creative Commons license, freeing customers to use the content in creative ways and to develop new business models. To support these models, SpatialCloud provides logs of individual MapStreams so end-user consumption can be tracked. This is useful for 3rd party billing, among other applications.
SpatialCloud USA is available today as a secure RESTful service. SpatialCloud MapSources can be accessed by a number of compliant clients, including OpenLayers, ESRI ArcGIS (with a free extension called ArcBruTile), and using SpatialCloud’s TMS-to-WMS service.
Process & Host Your Own Custom Data
In addition to access to imagery layers like SpatialCloud USA, government and corporate users with large caches of imagery can elect to host their imagery at SpatialCloud.com. Customers can choose to create “public” or “private” MapSources. “Private” MapStreams can then be used by anyone with permission and are useful for extending valuable image base layers inside organizations or to important clients. “Public” MapSources are visible to all SpatialCloud users and can be purchased by anyone and resold according to the MapSource owner’s licensing terms.
“The SpatialCloud USA (NAIP) dataset is comprised of millions of 256 x 256 pixel web optimized images and demonstrates the robust nature of our cloud-based imagery system,” noted Mark Korver, Chief Technology Officer. “More importantly, our infrastructure allows any content provider, developer, or GIS user to offload the time, money, and frustration of managing heavy imagery internally, by outsourcing this task to SpatialCloud, and do it at a fraction of the cost of using your own infrastructure and IT personnel. You just stream the data over the internet to your employees or customers wherever they may be located. If the content provider chooses to make their MapSource public they enjoy the added advantage of exposing their data to a worldwide market of potential resellers and users.”
SpatialCloud expects additional datasets to be available in the near future. For more details regarding SpatialCloud.com, SpatialCloud USA, custom hosting, or future service offerings, please visit www.SpatialCloud.com.
SpatialCloud is a geospatial services company providing enterprise-ready web-based tools to warehouse, process, publish, and visualize geodata using cloud infrastructure. Founded in 2008 and initiated by Aerial Services, Inc., a respected United States geospatial services provider founded in 1967, SpatialCloud is committed to providing quality geospatial imagery data via the cloud.
Questions or comments may be directed at SpatialCloud’s Marketing Manager, Joshua McNary, at [email protected].
Amazon Watch and International Rivers, two non-profit environmental groups, have been advocating against the construction of the Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in the Brazilian Amazon, what would be the third-largest in the world. To make its threats palpable, the two organizations used Google Earth to map how the dam would flood cities and make stagnant pools out of the Xingu River, a vital tributary of the Amazon and the lifeblood of the riverine and indigenous peoples who live there.
To view the animation, go to http://amazonwatch.org/tour-belo-monte.php.