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."
The race for improved indoor navigation goes on, MacRumors informs us that Apple Acquires Indoor Mobile Location Positioning Firm WifiSLAM.
From the Wall Street Journal: "The two-year-old startup has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps. The company has a handful of employees, and its co-founders include former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang. [...] Google already offers indoor mapping in certain locations like airports, shopping centers and sports venues."
Not related to their recent donation (really!), Cube Cities provides an excellent comparison of Google and Apple's 3D building products.
From the entry: "Note how the entire urban fabric is rendered in the computer generated maps, whereas Google's legacy building layer has missing buildings and contains stylistically different models due to it's human-crafted origin. [...] However, Apple currently does not provide a method of loading data into their mapping application, with the exception of the built-in third party data feeds from Tom Tom and Yelp."
MacRumors summarizes a full entry on an In-Depth Comparison Between iOS Map Frameworks: Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK. Really an informative article, go read it.
From the comparison: "The Google Maps for iOS SDK isn’t all roses, however. McKinlay warns that Google applies usage limits and quotas to their Places Search API, so if your app gets too successful then you get “punished” for it. [...] There were a few reasons we chose to implement a dual mapping solution. The first was where we couldn’t do everything we needed on the Google Maps so had to keep Apple Maps, otherwise we would be removing features from our app (such as advanced overlays and gradient polylines)! [...] However, Armstrong adds that MapKit only wins for now: “Ask again in six months’ time and that opinion may have changed.”"
I guess this would normally not be major news, but since a lot of iPhone users rely on it and that alternatives like Apple Maps and Blackberry Maps have not impressed the press so far, here it is: Google Maps for iOS version 1.1 has been released, but no iPad compatibility yet.
MacRumors informs about it: "What's New in Version 1.1:
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.
On the open source front:
On the Esri front:
On the Google front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
- Geospatial PDF reader updated with new features and tools -
Toronto, ON, December 21, 2012 - Avenza Systems Inc., the leading developer of cartographic software –including MAPublisher® for Adobe® Illustrator® and Geographic Imager® geospatial tools for Adobe Photoshop®– is pleased to announce the release of PDF Maps 1.6, the latest version of the popular map and navigation app on the Apple iOS platform. The PDF Maps app allows users to explore and navigate maps offline without having to worry about cellular data connectivity or incur data roaming charges compared to other streaming map apps.
"The focus of this release is about enhancing existing features and tools to allow our users to experience, navigate, and view maps on Apple iOS devices even better" said Ted Florence, President of Avenza. "Many of the optimizations and improvements have stemmed from user feedback. We're listening to our users and creating tools that suit their needs. In the end, we're making a much better product than even we anticipated," he added.
This release of PDF Maps offers many features including:
The PDF Maps app takes advantage of geospatial technology that allows travelers to view and measure real world locations and attributes. Paired together with mobile devices that utilize GPS, such as an iPhone or iPad, the PDF Maps app provides constant access to geographic locations and even points of interest without the risk of losing reception due to cell tower proximity – making it the ultimate traveling accessory for those that are enthusiastic about travel or anywhere internet bandwidth is not available or is cost-prohibitive when roaming internationally. In combination with the embedded map store PDF Maps takes map use commerce into the iTunes-like digital age previously reserved for music, books and videos.
PDF Maps is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal use. For more information about the app and Avenza Map Store , visit the PDF Maps website at www.pdf-maps.com. Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps in-app map store.
More about Avenza Systems Inc.
Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services. For more information visit the Avenza website at www.avenza.com.
Michael W. Dobson (Ph.D) runs the TeleMapics organization. TeleMapics provides independent advice on mapping, geospatial technology and solutions for applications that use geographic information. In this interview GPS Bites spoke to him about his views on the Apple partnership with TomTom, TeleAtlas, and his predictions for GPS and mapping over the next two years. You can read the interview in full on the GPS Bites website on the link below:
Discussed both on Slashdot and MacRumors, respectively, Google Doubts Apple Will Approve Its New Maps Application and Google Employees Suggest Apple Approval of Google Maps App 'Unlikely'.
The Slashdot summary: "Even though Apple's App Store has also been friendly enough to offer alternative mapping applications to ameliorate customers upset with Apple's new default Maps app, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company may not be so friendly as to approve a Maps app submission from Google, which used to be responsible for the Maps experience in iOS until the iPhone 5. On Monday, sources at Google familiar with its mapping plans said the chances of Apple approving a dedicated Google Maps app on iOS 6 are 'not optimistic.' Specifically, they pointed to the lack of any mapping app in the 'Find maps for your iPhone' section of the App Store — accessible only via iPhones or iPads — that use the Google Maps APIs to call wirelessly for location, routing or point-of-interest (POI) data."
Most surprising is A letter from Tim Cook on Apple Maps, that starts with: "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better." This was a topic discussed over Slashdot amongst many other digital places.
Other Apple Maps related news:
My personal experience with Apple Maps was rather very positive so far. Maybe my region is just lucky, but the Apple Maps app is great looking, fast (for the data it displays) and was accurate enough for the 500km of roads where we've been relying on Apple Maps last weekend. And the 3D for my city (Montreal) is awesome, much better than the 2D Google-maps based iOS 5 app. I haven't used the Apple Maps search feature extensively and I haven't compared with what's being offered on Android nowadays.