Tag Archives: GPS

Google Experiment With GPS and Lidar Controlled Cars in Real Traffic

Slashdot and Engadget are both reporting on Google's latest experiment. From the slashdot summary : "Autonomous cars are years from mass production, but technologists who have long dreamed of them believe that they can transform society as profoundly as the Internet has. Now the NY Times reports that Google has been working in secret on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver. With someone behind the wheel to take control if something went awry and a technician in the passenger seat to monitor the navigation system, seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles without human intervention and more than 140,000 miles with only occasional human control. One even drove itself down Lombard Street in San Francisco, one of the steepest and curviest streets in the nation. The only accident, engineers said, was when one Google car was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light."

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College Student Finds GPS On Car, FBI Retrieve

Slashdot discusses a story named College Student Finds GPS On Car, FBI Retrieve.

Their summary: "A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do. It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back ... His discovery comes in the wake of a recent ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals saying it's legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect's car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway. ... 'We have all the information we needed,' they told him. 'You don't need to call your lawyer. Don't worry, you're boring.'"

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Friday Geonews: China Crippled Maps, QGIS Improvements, AutoCAD WS Launched, and much more

It's Friday! Here's the geonews that haven't made it into an individual story, in batch mode.

In the open source/open data front:

  • The OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition version 2.2. was released
  • Automated ground control points (GCP) collection is coming to QGIS. There's also an offline editing plugin coming for QGIS. And another welcomed improvement, new class breaks for graduated symbols in QGIS
  • Here's tips on upgrading / backuping PostGIS databases
  • The UK Ordnance Survey clarified what you can do with their open data.
  • Slashdot discussed a story about CycleStreets for the U.K., hopefully someone was quick enough to mention OpenCycleMap that we mentioned in the past.

In the miscellanous category:

  • Remember we when mentioned Autodesk's Project Butterfly? It's now announced as and renamed to AutoCAD WS: a web application that allows you to view, edit, and share drawings (.dwg) through a web browser or a mobile device.
  • GeoCommons got overhauled. Finder! and Maker! disapeered for the sake of a new interface. It also now supports the time dimension visualizations.
  • Microsoft mentioned the TweetHeat Map App: "helping users visualize the [Twitter] public response/feeling towards a product, event or really any topic."
  • Google has an entry on Liquid Galaxy, eight 55-inches LCD screens showing Google Earth
  • TMR links to an article on GPS reception myths and misconceptions
  • Mapperz discusses TripGeo, offering directions with video StreetView
  • The GeoNames Ontology version 2.2 has been released
  • India's Bhuvan, their virtual globe, has been recently improved
  • There will be 3 new UK commercial EO satellites planned, along with a new commercial earth observation company

In the maps category:

  • TMR offers an entry named Google Maps Errors and Disappearing Cities
  • TMR also offers a Roundup of iPhone and iPad Map Apps
  • Ogle Earth warns us, the newly available Chinese iPhone 4 comes with a crippled Maps app, there's also a second entry on the same topic
  • Kurt details his difficulties encountered to access USGS Topo Maps
  • En entry on a New Map Offering a Global View of Health-Sapping Air Pollution
  • The FGT blog has an entry on BBC's Dimensions website, showing how big things are relative to one another
  • FTG also tells us how to embed a QR Position Code Losslessly Into A Geotagged Picture With QRStamper
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Friday Geonews: Twitter’s Tweet with Location, GPS Reviews, Japan GNSS, AutoCAD for Mac, and much more

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:

  • A Slashdot discussion named "Burglary Ring Used Facebook Places To Find Targets"
  • O'Reilly discusses local ads, check-ins and place pages
  • There's a new Twitter's Tweet With Your Location feature
  • If you wonder, RFID is still not secure: "New German Government ID Hacked By CCC"

In the GPS category:

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Google Street View And Walking Navigation Beta For Android

The Google Mobile Blog has an update with a screenshot and video. From their summary : "Whether you’re going for an urban hike or wandering from your hotel to find that restaurant you passed earlier, you won’t have to flag down a local if you’ve got Google Maps for mobile 4.5 on Android. Maps already had Navigation and walking directions, and today we’re happy to share the perfect marriage of the two: Walking Navigation (Beta). If you need help deciding where to walk (or drive), you can now also use Street View smart navigation or the new Google Maps search bar to guide your choice."

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Google Geonews: SketchUp 8 Released, Android vs Consumer GPS, 3D Sound in Google Earth, and more

Some Google-related geonews for the last two days:

  • Google SketchUp 8 has been released: Major new features for modeling in geospatial context and for creating new 3D building models for Google Earth. [...] new “Solid” tools in SketchUp Pro for common additive/subtractive modeling operations [...] additional features in LayOut for documenting models professionally.
  • Google added business logos to Google Maps.
  • The FGT blog offers an informative 2-parts article on Android and the future of consumer GPS. An excerpt: "Android has the capability to turn GPS into a commodity market, meaning less control and more competition, leading to lower prices. And this is an environment that the old-school GPS vendors may have trouble with." FGT also decided to launch a new blog named AndroGeoid.
  • Google's Ed Parsons wonder if 'When' is the next big thing after the 'Where'.
  • Here's an entry named Mapping with Google Fusion Tables .
  • The GEB has an entry on 3D sound with the Google Earth plug-in.
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Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices

This morning, Slashdot discusses a story named Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices. Their summary: "Graeme Wood writes in the Atlantic that increasingly GPS devices are looking like an appealing alternative to conventional incarceration, as it becomes ever clearer that traditional prison has become more or less synonymous with failed prison. 'By almost any metric, our practice of locking large numbers of people behind bars has proved at best ineffective and at worst a national disgrace,' writes Wood. But new devices such as ExacuTrack suggest a revolutionary possibility: that we might do away with the current, expensive array of guards and cells and fences, in favor of a regimen of close, constant surveillance on the outside and swift, certain punishment for any deviations from an established, legally unobjectionable routine. 'The potential upside is enormous. Not only might such a system save billions of dollars annually, it could theoretically produce far better outcomes, training convicts to become law-abiders rather than more-ruthless lawbreakers,' adds Wood. 'The ultimate result could be lower crime rates, at a reduced cost, and with considerably less inhumanity in the bargain.'"

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Slashdot Geonews: Legal GPS Tracking, OpenStreetMap and Money, Garmin Recall and Brazil’s GPS Census

Still having quite a lot of geonews catching up to do, here's the geospatial-related stories discussed over Slashdot during the past week.

  • GPS Tracking Without a Warrant Declared Legal in the U.S.
  • Can an Open Source Map Project Make Money?, discussing the relation between Bing Maps, MapQuest and OpenStreetMap
  • Garmin Recalls 1.25M 'Fire Risk' Satnavs
  • Brazil Using Smartphones For Planning the Future, their summary: "Brazil has bought 150,000 LG smartphones and has embarked on the world's first fully digital national census. Can they succeed when the US recently failed to go digital? The Brazilians say that the digital census has several advantages over paper and pen methods. They say that the data is more accurate since GPS data will pinpoint the exact location of a household. The GPS data is cross-referenced with satellite images to ensure that responses are correctly geo-tagged. The recently begun census will underpin future publicy-making decisions."
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