A few unrelated bits of Geonews: GPS for Mint, JFlow for Flood Modeling and WFS for Earthquakes

The Royal Mail are trialing the use of GPS units to collect more accurate location information as way to broaden their range of income generating services:

Something of interest relating to flood modeling. The link below contains an article describing JFlow, a tool that has been used to map the the flood risk for the UK:

The following link describes WFS/WFS-T in the context of the aftermath of the Christchurch, NZ, earthquake for the distribution and update of geospatial data between different agencies:


NAVSOP Navigation System Rivals GPS

A story discussed recently over Slashdot is named NAVSOP Navigation System Rivals GPS.

Their summary: "BAE Systems has developed a positioning solution that it claims will work even when GPS is unavailable. Its strategy is to use the collection of radio frequency signals from TV, radio and cellphone masts, even WiFi routers, to deduce a position. BAE's answer is dubbed Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP). It interrogates the airwaves for the ID and signal strength of local digital TV and radio signals, plus air traffic control radars, with finer grained adjustments coming from cellphone masts and WiFi routers. In any given area, the TV, radio, cellphone and radar signals tend to be at constant frequencies and power levels as they are are heavily regulated — so positions could be calculated from them. "The real beauty of NAVSOP is that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place," says a BAE spokesman — and "software defined radio" microchips that run NAVSOP routines can easily be integrated into existing satnavs. The firm believes the technology could also work in urban concrete canyons where GPS signals cannot currently reach."

I remembered 4 years ago we mentioned eLORAN as a possible backup system for the current satellite GNSS systems.

How SatNav Maps Are Made

It was National Holiday yesterday where I live, so it explains sharing this weekend story on a Tuesday, discussed by Slashdot: How Satnav Maps Are Made.

Their summary: ""PC Pro has a feature revealing how the world's biggest satnav firms create their maps. Nokia's Navteq, for example, has a huge database of almost 24 million miles of road across the globe. For each mile of road there are multiple data points, and for each of those positions, more than 280 road attributes. The maps are generated from public data and driver feedback, not to mention its own fleet of cars with 360-degree cameras on the top.There's an IMU (inertial measurement unit) for monitoring the pitch of the road, and the very latest in 3D surface-scanning technology too. This light detection and ranging (LIDAR) detector captures 1.3 million three-dimensional data points every second, mapping the world around Navteq's field vehicles in true 3D. The feature also investigates whether commercial mapping firms will be replaced by open-source maps." That last line makes me think of the difference between conventionally published encyclopedias and Wikipedia; "replaced by" is an odd standard in a big marketplace of ideas."

Batch Geonews: Stats on Mobile Maps, OpenLayers 3 News, Fantasy Maps, and some more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source front:

In the miscellaneous category:

  • O'Reilly links to a few interesting stats on mobile maps in the context of Apple Maps vs Google Maps, including "In the US, Google gets about 31 million users a month on its Maps app on iOS. On average those users spend more than 75 minutes apiece in the app each month." and "90% of all iOS users used the Google Maps app at least once during April 2012. Only 71% of Android users used the Google Maps app."
  • Slashdot discussed a story named Chuck Schumer Tells Apple and Google To "Curb Your Spy Planes", referring to the new high-resolution imagery coming later this year to Apple Maps and Google Maps

In the maps category:


Batch Geonews: GeoPublisher and AtlasStyler 1.9, Ten Things about GPS, MapInfo Pro 11.5, and some more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source front:

From the Google front:

Directions Mag articles:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

OpenCPN 3.0 GPS Navigation Released for Linux, MS Windows, and Mac OSX

OpenCPN Version 3.0.0 Release


OpenCPN Version 3.0 is released, and available for immediate download.
The version is a major feature upgrade and maintenance release of OpenCPN.

OpenCPN is a free and OpenSource navigation package running on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh computers.

Some features of OpenCPN include:
- Quilted Raster(RNC) and Vector(ENC) digital chart display
- Industry standard GPS receiver interfacing, with "moving map" on-screen vessel tracking.
- AIS receiver interfacing with configurable target safety monitoring
- Integrated Route, Track, and Waypoint database, with industry standard Import/Export capabilities
- Tide and Current prediction, with on-screen overlay of predicted data.
- Broad International Language support

OpenCPN is designed to be easy to install, configure, and use daily.
OpenCPN may be freely downloaded and installed without cost, registration, or time limits.

New and Enhanced Features for OpenCPN Version 3.0

1. OpenGL support, for enhanced graphics performance and functionality.
2. Improved ENC object Query interface
3. Portable execution option, allowing easy migration to new systems.
4. Upgrade to wxWidgets 2.8.12.
5. Support ENC Overlay cells.
6. Upgrade gpsd support to Version 2.96
7. Implement enhanced PlugIn system, enabling a wide variety of PlugIn types.
8. Implement DSC and GPS_Gate Buddy tracking.
9. Implement user defined Chart Groups.
10. Implement AIS SART transponder display and tracking.
11. Improved ENC object rendering and display.
12. Implement user definable Tide/Current datasets.
13. Full conformance for all platforms, especially including Macintosh OS X.
14. Greatly improved stability on all platforms, as a result of extended Beta testing.
15. Many, many improvements in the basic User Interface, while maintaining the ease-of-use that OpenCPN is widely known for.

Extended Release Notes for OpenCPN Version 3.0 may be found at

We hope you enjoy the new features of OpenCPN Version 3.0, and look forward to your continued feedback.

Download OpenCPN Version 3.0 at

For PlugIns and other useful information, visit our support website at

The OpenCPN Development Team
Dave Register, Lead Developer

Batch Geonews: ArcGIS 10.1, Bing Maps using Nokia, GeoPDF, GPS Camera Banned in China, Zombie Geography, India RISAT-1, FearSquare, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode, covering the last few weeks (which have been crazy to me).

From the Esri front:

From the Microsoft front:

Discussed over Slashdot:

Directions Mag articles:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Ah... it feels good to be current on geonews once again!

Cops' Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Now Better Than GPS

I was away last week, I have a lot of geonews to catch up... I'll try to share them in the coming days.

This story was discussed over Slashdot during the last weekend, Cops' Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Now Better Than GPS.

Their summary: "On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss a proposed bill to limit location tracking of electronic devices without a warrant — what it's calling the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, or the GPS Act. Ahead of that hearing, University of Pennsylvania computer science professor Matt Blaze submitted written testimony (PDF) telling Congress that phone carriers, as well as the law enforcement agencies with which they share data, can now use phones' proximity to cell towers and other sources of cellular data to track their location as precisely or even more precisely than they can with global positioning satellites. Thanks to the growing density of cell towers and the proliferation of devices like picocells and femtocells that transmit cell signals indoors, even GPS-less phones can be tracked with a high degree of precision and can offer data that GPS can't, like the location of someone inside a building or what floor they're on. With the GPS Act, Congress is considering expanding the ban on warrantless tracking of cars with GPS devices that the Supreme Court decided on in January. Blaze's testimony suggests they need to include non-GPS tracking of cell phones in that ban, a measure law enforcement agencies are strongly resisting."

North Korea Jamming GPS Signals In South Korea

That's the name of the Slashdot story, North Korea Jamming GPS Signals In South Korea.

Their summary: "North Korea has been looking for new and inventive ways to mess with South Korea. It seems that their missile launch fizzled a bit though, so those wacky folks from the North have bought a few GPS jamming trucks from Russia and are now blocking GPS signals around their city of Kaeson. While Kaeson is around 60 Km inside their borders, the jamming circle is around 100 Km, so it actually covers good parts of South Korea including the airports at Inchon and Gimpo. While no accidents have been caused as yet, it has caused quite some disruption and has made ocean going craft suffer as well due to their heavy reliance on GPS signals."

Batch Geonews: StreetView in Jerusalem, Broadcom 4752 Location Chip, GIS Certification, Mapping Ice Shelf Disintegration, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source front:

From the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

Discussed over Slashdot:

Directions Mag articles of note:

In the everything else category:

In the maps category:

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