Directions Mag offers a product overview of Maptitude 2012 by Caliper Corp., a product we never mentioned before.
From the article: "The U.S. version of Maptitude 2012 includes the October 2011 geographic data release from NAVTEQ. [...] The census geographic boundary files with Maptitude 2012 encompass variables from the 2010 Census and the 2009 American Community Survey to map demographic information from the state level down to the census tracts. [...]
Maptitude 2012 is designed to provide a user with the ability to quickly generate presentation quality maps at a very affordable price and includes a vast database with the product. As an experienced GIS software user, I was able to get up and running with the software very quickly and found the user interface to be very user-friendly and intuitive. Caliper’s website provides free video tutorials for prospective and existing customers to view and learn about the capabilities of the software. I like that Maptitude 2012 provides the ability to create maps with the Quick Start and Map Librarian menu. The layers are added and symbolized automatically, which saves plenty of time for a user to create presentation quality maps quickly. I was also impressed with the model estimation tool."
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."
The second session I attended at the Where 2.0 Conference after the Thursday morning Keynote addresses was a talk entitled “The Use of Light Detextion and Ranging (LIDAR) for Collecting Map Data”. The talk was given by Jeff Raimo and Jessica Borak of Navteq. Navteq is a provider of global navigation data.
The pair explained the three components that make up the mapping platform mounted on the Navteq vehicles. The first is a 360 degree mobile laser scanner. I recognized it as the kind of mobile laser scanner sold by Topcon. (Other surveying equipment vendors sell similar products, and my company has an instrument that uses a similar technology. However, our scanner is the more precise “non-mobile” type that is placed on a traditional surveying tripod and operated by qualified land surveying technicians.) The second component is high resolution panormaic cameras. The third component is positioning sensors, such as GPS, gyros, and IMUs.
Navteq has 19 of the mapping vehicles using the mapping platform I just described on the road currently. They will have 23 on the road by the end of the year. In three to four years they will have LIDAR mapping for all the major metro areas and major road corridor's in the United States.
This massive LIDAR data set will be made available to application developers through an API that has yet to be released. This will allow, in theory, GIS users to perform feature extraction from the data from the comfort of there own computer, via the API. Responses to my questions confirmed the mapping platform was using commercially available surveying equipment, and that high-quality RTK GPS or traditionally established surveying control was not being used to determine the position of the point clouds collected with the LIDAR mapping platform. As is typically the case, little discussion was given to the techniques used to process and clean the data, or to its overall quality and accuracy.
I believe land surveyors and other geospatial professionals should be aware of the impacts this mobile scanning technology will have, while data consumers need to get over the “wow factor” quickly and start asking tough questions about data quality so they can determine what these point clouds can actually be used for. There will be numerous applications, but the data won't be good enough for some things people will try to use it for.
The Sunburned Surveyor
Here's Friday geonews in batch mode. Exceptionally, the last two weeks are covered.
From the Google front:
From the open source / open data front:
From the ESRI front:
From the Microsoft front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
Here's the weekly batch of geonews, finally on a regular Friday.
On the ESRI front:
On the open source front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
As you know, with the website migration and my attendance at FOSS4G, there haven't been a 'Friday geonews' batch mode for a while. Well, there it is!
In the LBS category:
In the GPS category: