maps

Mapnik 2.1.0 Released

I'm back from holidays - thank you for your patience. Expect several days for me to catch up geospatial news and share them with you. You can always submit anything pertinent directly.

Last November we mentioned the major 2.0 release, and now, Mapnik 2.1.0 has been released. Mapnik still is "a free Toolkit for developing mapping applications. Above all Mapnik is about making beautiful maps. It is easily extensible and suitable for both desktop and web development."

Here's the highlights for 2.1.0: "

  • A new framework for Style level image manipulation called Image filters.
  • A new pipeline for chained coordinate transformations like clipping or smoothing called Vertex Converters
  • Compositing modes at Symbolizer and (experimental) Style level. Infinite possibilities from this, see a few examples from AJ.
  • Support for Style level opacity
  • WKT, WKB, GeoJSON, SVG parsers and generators that can be used outside of rendering
  • Data-driven SVG style transforms on svg markers and images thanks to @lightmare
  • Data-driven orientationfor Text, heightfor Buildings, and width/heightfor Markers.
  • A new CSV input plugin
  • A new GeoJSON input plugin
  • A new Python input plugin
  • Better text labeling through support for placement-type="list". See the docs at the bottom of this page.
  • Improved Map loading speeds as well as warnings and errors"

Batch Geonews: 2012 London Olympics Maps and more, Project Geo, MapPoint 2013, Global Arms Trade, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the 2012 London Olympics:

On the open source front:

On the Esri front:

On the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

A few geostories discussed over Slashdot:

In the everything else category:

In the maps category:

How the Public Actually Uses Local Government Web Maps: Metrics from Denver

Many sources pointed to the excellent article from Brian Timoney named How the Public Actually Uses Local Government Web Maps: Metrics from Denver.

Here's the metrics, but head to the article to understand the context and get the informative details:

  • "Single-Topic maps get 3 times the traffic of the traditional Map Portal
  • 60% of map traffic comes directly from search engine requests
  • Auto-complete drives clean user queries
  • Map Usage is Spiky
  • People Look Up Info on Maps, and Leave
  • People Actually Interact with Balloon Content
  • People Rarely Change Default Map Settings

[...] What’s clear to me is what local government maps need is less GIS and a lot more user-friendly auto-complete and SEO. Because in the end users want search and retrieval to work for maps the way it works for the rest of the web."

Batch Geonews: OpenStreetView.org, 215TB of new Bird's Eye Imagery, Omnipresence of the Google Maps API, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. It excludes Esri-related geonews since I wait for the conclusion of the User Conference to share an aggregated entry. Also to note, this week some of our users finally get our daily newsletter in their inboxes after an absence of over a year - the problem was that it was identified as 'spam' by a 3rd party filtering system - thanks to the user who reported this issue!

On the open source front:

On the Microsoft front:

Discussed over Slashdot:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Esri Maps for Microsoft Office Launched

It's the 2012 Esri International User Conference, expect more Esri news in the coming days, meanwhile, Mandown made me aware of the launch of Esri Maps for Office.

Here's the official list of features, and the summary from the Mandown blog: "With Esri Maps for Office, business professionals can quickly create interactive maps from their data in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. These live maps, which can be based on any geographic component, such as customer locations or sales by ZIP Code, can be simply added to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or shared through Esri’s cloud mapping platform, ArcGIS Online. Maps shared through ArcGIS Online can then be distributed throughout an organization or embedded into mobile or web applications."

Of course this isn't the first solution to build maps directly from MS Excel, but the first deep integration with MS Office from Esri.

Stamen Design Maps for QGIS

We mentioned several times the beautiful maps from Stamen Design, and you can now use them directly in QGIS.

From the entry: "Stamen’s maps are amongst the most creative and beautiful OpenStreetMap visualizations and it would be great to have them as base maps in QGIS. No problem! Nathaniel Kelso has already done all the work for us [...] It adds the possibility to load Stamen’s Watercolor, Toner and Terrain tiles into the QGIS project"

Great Open Source Map Tools for Web Developers

I'm on holiday, but I saw this discussion over Slashdot named Great Open Source Map Tools For Web Developers.

Their summary: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner surveys the rich ecosystem of free maps, free data, and free libraries that give developers excellent alternatives to Google Maps. 'The options are expanding quickly as companies are building their own databases for holding geographical data, their own rendering tools for building maps, and their own software for embedding the maps in websites. ... Working with these tools can be a bit more complex than working with a big provider like Google. Some of these companies make JavaScript tools for displaying the maps, and others just deliver the raw tiles that the browsers use to assemble the maps. Working with the code means making decisions about how you want to assemble the pieces — now within your control. You can stick with one simple library or combine someone else's library with tiles you produce yourself.'"

Like APB pointed out, the linked article got a few things wrong, like "OSGeo is a collection of open source packages for creating maps and displaying them in browsers."

Batch Geonews: iD OpenStreetMap Editor, GeoIQ Acquired by Esri, Predicting People's Location, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source and open data front:

On the Esri front:

In the drones category:

In the car navigation category:

In the everything else category:

In the maps category:

Batch Geonews: AutoCAD Worm, QGIS Cloud, Map Calls, Shapefile Spatial Index Revealed, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source front:

On the Esri front:

On the web mapping front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

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:

 

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