Tag Archives: PostGIS

Slashdot Discussion: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

Ok, I'm almost back behind the helm and I expect it's going to take me at least a week to catch up the geonews, but you'll get them.

During my absence last week, Slashdot ran a discussion named Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

Their summary: "As the Project Manager for a non-profit looking to implement a tech project, I am running into a few dilemmas, and as a casual Slashdotter I could really use some help. I'll start with a brief explanation of the project. We research issues in Canadian Immigrants, and found that there was a lack of recent, unaggregated information. As we dug further, we found that some data was available, but there was no central repository. Therefore, we are building a web based service to collect this data, with the intent of having it display in Google Maps and then be downloadable as a CSV file that is readable in GIS software such as ESRI Arcsoft, so that data may be visualized."

Like a lot of Slashdot discussions, the value is in the moderated comments.

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GeoCat Bridge v1.1. - Publishing Open Data using Open Standards




Publishing Open Data using Open Standards

GeoCat - The Government Geographic Data Publishing Company introduces GeoCat Bridge v1.1 

Bennekom, 10 January - GeoCat Bridge is designed to publish geospatial data and metadata on the Internet with a click of a button. GeoCat Bridge is an Esri® ArcGIS® Desktop extension. Publishing is done through Open Standards on a proven Free and Open Software (FOSS) server platform. Numerous government agencies, universities and privately held companies are satisfied users of Bridge version 1.0

Open Data - Open Standards!

Using a high performance server solution with unparalleled support for OGC services, data providers can deliver Open Data through Open Standards. Publishing data through Open Standards is critical to make your work a success. It allows consumers to make optimal use of your data.

Bridge has been optimized to work with the GeoServer map server and the GeoNetwork opensource metadata catalog. This free and open source server platform publishes your data in the most common data formats. Your data can be combined with Open Street Map, Google Maps™, Bing® or other base maps. 

“GeoCat Bridge is the long awaited product that promises to fill the gap between our open - and closed source hybrid geospatial frameworks” according to Thijs van Menen from Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, The Netherlands). “Specific knowledge on how to make services is no longer needed. Finally we can fulfill the needs of our staff by providing them with a tool to make services by themselves in an easy way”

Comply with the INSPIRE Directive

GeoCat Bridge makes it extremely easy to comply with the European INSPIRE directive. You can create INSPIRE View Services with related metadata that complies to INSPIRE or is based upon an even more specific country profile (check availability). 

”The combination of ArcGIS Desktop and publishing data to an open source server platform in accordance with INSPIRE regulations is exactly what our customers need” said Sjaak Dieleman of Nieuwland Geo-Informatie “It is one of the main reasons why we were asked to build the INSPIRE services for all 25 Regional Water Authorities and the Department of Cultural Heritage (RCE) in The Netherlands”

New in Version 1.1 - Exhaustive Symbology and PostGIS Support

With the introduction of Version 1.1 a lot of improvements were implemented that contribute to an even better end-result and user experience. An exhaustive list of complex symbols is supported allowing a one-on-one conversion from Desktop to Web Map. Publishing map legends, ArcGIS 10 support, GeoSticker support and ArcSDE layer support have been added or further improved. 

Another major step is the support for PostGIS. It is now possible to upload data directly into a PostGIS database and configure map services on GeoServer using that data store. This can dramatically boost your map server performance.

“GeoCat Bridge is a key part of our Neftex Earth Model publishing workflow, enabling us to easily replicate the geological symbols used to style our ArcGIS produced content” said Alex Rushfort of Neftex ”Now we can deliver Web Map Services to our international oil industry clients through GeoServer, retaining the familiar appearance of our desktop GIS data products”

You can do it!

No advanced skills required! As a Bridge user you can fully enjoy all of the relevant functionality GeoServer and GeoNetwork have to offer without the need to be a web mapping or metadata expert. Map services and metadata are automatically linked, complexity of map symbology is no longer an issue, preview images are automatically generated and much, much more. 

We are very excited to offer the GeoCat Bridge plugin to users of the OpenGeo Suite” said Chris Holmes, OpenGeo President ” This will greatly improve workflows for our users of Esri Desktop software, and make it much simpler for everyone to put their maps onto the web"

Pricing & Availability - Try Now for Free

GeoCat Bridge is available worldwide for a retail price of €1200,-  for a single Standard license and €1500,- for the Premium version (Prices Excluding VAT). More details, also regarding other types of licenses and volume discounts. 

During the month of January we offer you a one week FREE trial license to give you the possibility to experience all functionality first hand. In addition to the Bridge software GeoCat offers premium support contracts and services on GeoNetwork and the OpenGeo Suite to get you up and running quickly.

About GeoCat bv

GeoCat bv, The Government Geographic Data Publishing Company, was established in the Netherlands in and offers cutting-edge, customized software and services that make publishing geospatial data on the Internet easier and more efficient than ever. GeoCat offers consultancy and support for GeoNetwork and has a direct partnership with OpenGeo to deliver OpenGeo Suite Support and Services. GeoCat provides consulting services and products that contribute to the development of National Spatial Data Infrastructures for The Netherlands, Swiss, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Scotland, ESA and many others. GeoCat’s Jeroen Ticheler founded the GeoNetwork opensource metadata catalog project.


Copyright © GeoCat bv. All rights reserved. GeoCat Bridge is a trademark of GeoCat bv. Esri, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcSDE and GeoSticker are trademark or registered trademarks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Google Maps is a trademark of Google Inc in the United States and/or other countries. Bing is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
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Grontmij Joins OpenGeo’s International Partner Program


Grontmij Joins OpenGeo’s International Partner Program
Grontmij to Provide Expert, Local Support of OpenGeo Suite to Scandinavia
Copenhagen, DK & New York, NY, December 19, — Grontmij, a leading European engineering consultancy and OpenGeo producer of the OpenGeo Suite, have announced a reseller agreement that will bring the OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition to Scandinavia.
OpenGeo is well known for its contributions and leadership in the development and evolution of powerful open source geospatial technologies. The OpenGeo Suite offers a fully integrated open source geospatial platform for serving maps and data through web applications, mobile devices, and desktop clients. The OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition is comprised of tested, integrated and supported geospatial components GeoServer, OpenLayers, GeoWebCache, PostGIS and GeoExt.
Grontmij will assume first line support of the OpenGeo Suite for local clientele in Scandinavia while having privileged access to OpenGeo for second line support. Upon making the announcement, Grontmij Director of GIS and IT, Nils Bo Wille-Jørgensen, said, "We are very pleased to offer our clients even better support and an even closer connection to the people behind these outstanding geospatial components."
Chris Holmes, OpenGeo president, added: "Grontmij is a well respected international organization that has joined a diverse group of businesses who see value in partnering with OpenGeo. Together we’re all able to offer our clients better service and support. What’s especially important is that we’re able to give back to the software projects that comprise the OpenGeo Suite. We’re very happy to be working with Grontmij and to have a local expert on the ground in Scandinavia."
About OpenGeo
OpenGeo is a social enterprise working to build the best web-based geospatial technology. The company brings the best practices of open source software to geospatial organizations around the world by providing enterprises with supported, tested, and integrated open source solutions to build the Geospatial Web. OpenGeo also supports open source communities by employing key developers of PostGIS, GeoServer, and OpenLayers. Since, the company has provided successful consulting services and products to clients like the World Bank, Google, Ordnance Survey Great Britain, Portland TriMet, MassGIS, Landgate, and the Federal Communications Commission. OpenGeo is the geospatial division of OpenPlans, a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that informs and engages communities through journalism and open source software. All of OpenGeo's revenue has been and will continue to be re-invested into innovative and useful software in support of the OpenPlans mission.
About Grontmij
Grontmij is the third largest engineering consultancy in Europe with nearly 10,000 professionals, almost 300 offices across the region, and a further 50 offices on other parts of the globe. The sustainability by design principle is at the heart of their business, and this leading value proposition for our customers is delivered via four business lines: planning/design, transportation/mobility, water/energy, and monitoring/testing.
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Open Source Geonews: StatCan Opening its Data, OSM at 500,000 Users, QGIS News, and much more

Here's the recent open source and open data geonews in batch mode.

  • Statistics Canada, aka StatCan, will offer a lot (but not all) of its data under an open data license beginning February
  • OpenStreetMap now has nothing less than 500,000 registered users, here's new tile sets for the Transport Layer and the MapQuest Open layer, and V1 discusses the idea of OpenFarmMap
  • Here's an interactive QGIS tutorial by Harvard's Lex Berman, a detailed entry on the creation of Map Books in QGIS via the EasyPrint plugin, a first glimpse at the pgRouting layer for QGIS, and more on the fusion of QGIS Desktop with web technologies
  • Mike at OpenGeo discusses the Esri white paper about using an hybrid approach; using both open source and proprietary GIS software
  • A few sources mentioned the 'Public Mapping Project' which develops the open source 'District Builder' redistricting software, this was also discussed over Slashdot
  • PostGIS gets GeoJSON support and here's an entry on Topology cleaning with PostGIS
  • If you're into Python, here's Kurt lecture on writing KML and SQLite with Python
  • We just shared with you the new global GMTED dataset, here's how to seamlessly access to remote Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data with GDAL
  • GeoSolutions shared an entry named Serving Meteo data with GeoServer, GeoBatch and GeoNetwork: the LaMMA use case 
  • DM shares an article from a Slashgeo editor, named Open Source Software and OGC Web Services: Life-saving Components in Québec’s Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Geopaparazzi 2.5.0 has been released
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Batch Geonews: GeoServer WMS Animator, Trimble Custom Topo Maps, Esri at 41% Marketshare, and much more

Here's the recent geonews that we haven't mentioned yet, in batch mode.

On the open source front:

  • You can now animate your maps with the GeoServer WMS Animator Tool
  • Here I found out about oculu-Z, an open source, open data platform for collaborative Computer Vision technology
  • Want to know where OpenStreetMap is heading? Read this entry on the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board. Related to OSM, TripAdvisor now uses OpenStreetMap
  • DM shared the first of a series of articles on open source geospatial software in the classroom, called Open Source Desktop GIS: Let’s Get Started
  • APB mentions the Ushahidi2ArcGIS prototype, which imports Ushahidi data into ArcGIS
  • I could only smile when I learned about the PostGIS Day, a day after 'GIS Day'
  • gvSIG shares 60 new case studies

In the everything-else category:

  • APB reports about an estimation of Esri's worldwide market share at 40.7% in 2010
  • MapQuest wants to make certain we know that they don't have preset limits on their free Map API transactions
  • DM shares an article named Effective Offshore GIS Data Management Services
  • SS informs us that Trimble launched custom printed maps with MyTopo, for the U.S. and Canada
  • The Map Room shares lists of Map Books of to help us with our Christmas gifts, TMR also reviews Maphead by Ken Jennings
  • V1 discuss a EU Geographical Indications (GI) Scheme report, what ? "The aim of this program is to geographically assign product names, for example, champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France."

In the maps category:

  • O'Reilly shares what they call A better U.S. migration [interactive] map
  • The popular xkcd cartoon share a funny and geeky cartoon on what your favorite map projection says about you
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Tuesday Geonews: OSM Inspector, Single-Language Labels in Google Maps, TomTom Teaming with Oracle, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Some of those news seem important enough to deserve their own entries, but I dare share them in a single one. Yes, that's another unusually long post. Normal posting frequency should resume next February!

From the open source / open data front:

  • SS shares an entry named MIT Releases Smartphone Data Tracking Tools as Open Source Software, it's called Funf
  • There's now an OpenStreetMap Inspector, a quality evaluation service to help improve OSM data
  • Here's a short entry on using OpenStreetMap data, tidbit: the entire database is 250GB
  • Here's an entry on generating contours using GDAL (via shell or QGIS)
  • Paul explains Indexed Nearest Neighbour Search in PostGIS
  • Here's the FOSS4G WMS Performance Shootout slides, and I haven't shared this yet, James Fee's Guide to what was important at FOSS4G

From the Esri front:

  • Mandown reports that Esri updated their deprecation plans for ArcGIS 10 and 10.1
  • SS indicates Esri Releases a Map Story on Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

From the Google front:

  • Finally, single-language labels made their way to Google Maps, that's making it much less confusing
  • Here's in simple words why Google offers Google Maps / Earth
  • Ogle Earth shares an entry on using Google Earth to hunt illegal mining in Goa, India

From the Microsoft front:

  • Bing Maps added detailed airport maps, 42 U.S. airports so far 

In the miscellaneous category:

  • SS reports that TomTom Launched a Geospatial Platform with Oracle: "The service will offer geocoding, vehicle routing and mapping information, all hosted on Oracle’s 11g database."
  • V1 writes about INTERGEO, the German geospatial conference that attracted 17,000 attendees, making it one of the largest geoconferences in the world (the largest?)
  • James Fee linked to the U.S. and Canadian top 10 largest cities GIS web maps
  • We mentioned it before, but here's another article on the completion of the ERS satellite missions after 20 years
  • O'Reilly shares an entry named Why indoor navigation is so hard and another entry on the state and future of local news
  • If you have interest in the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification), here's data model diagrams
  • MapQuest launched a Mobile Flash Maps API
  • VerySpatial mentioned the National Geographic Challenge game for the PS3, XBox360 and Wii
  • On a more serious topic, VS shares an entry on The Geography of the Death Penalty

Slashdot discussed a few geospatial-related stories:

  • Don't you wish you were a student again, Put On Your 3D Glasses — Class Is About To Start
  • Not the first time we hear such news (from any OS phone), HTC Android Backdoor Leaks Private User Data, including GPS locations
  • US Military Seeks Non-Cooperative Biometric Tracking Technology
  • A story named California Governor Vetoes Ban On Warrantless Phone Searches, including GPS logs
  • An on the same theme, a Senator Goes After 'Brazen' OnStar Privacy Shift
  • With a search, you'll find plenty of similar stories, German Researchers Crack Mifare RFID Encryption, in other words, RFID can be of great use, but can't be considered secure 
  • There's also a story about using stereo-vision mapping to visualize the oldest submerged city

In the maps category:

  • TMR shares a few map books for Fall
  • Here's the first global map of ocean salinity
  • Here's the Japanese tsunami mapped in detail for the first time

In the coming days, I'll be at Géomatique, the major geospatial event in the province of Québec. Slashgeo is a media partner of the event.

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Open Source Geonews: OSGeo about 20,000 Strong Now, FOSS4G Wrap-Ups, GrassrootsMapping, and much more

Here's the recent open source geospatial news in batch mode, which includes everything about FOSS4G on the geoblogs that we haven't mentioned yet.

On the FOSS4G Conference front:

  • Interesting numbers, "By there are now 19,471 unique subscribers to OSGeo, more than 400 mailing lists, and more than 15 million lines of code, with 740 contributors, and 269 that have contributed for more than 12 months."
  • Slashgeo editor Nicolas summarized Brian Timoney's excellent talk at FOSS4G, and if you want to hear it yourself, here is that 14-minutes impassioned talk on the state of the geospatial industry, Brian demonstrate how much better we could do
  • Here's the slides of Paul Ramsey's keynote
  • Here's Jody Garnett's updated slides on the WPS Shootout
  • Here's the entry to read about Open Source and Open Data at the U.K. Ordnance Survey
  • If you haven't read too much about it already, here's an entry on the case study of the U.S. FCC National Broadband Map based on open source geospatial software
  • Here's the what's coming to PostGIS 2.0 slides [pdf]
  • I heard comments that 30-minutes talks at FOSS4G was too short for the presenters to dive into their subjects, would you agree? If you're interested in what could be improved see this recap of FOSS4G by OSGeo's president
  • Here's Directions Mag complete wrap up of the conference

In other news:

  • I was surprised to read that Tyler Mitchell won't be the OSGeo Executive Director anymore
  • GWT-OpenLayers version 0.6 has been released, that's the wrapper library for using OpenLayers in Google Web Toolkit applications
  • MapFish is now an official OSGeo project
  • This entry reminds us of the comprehensive list of web mapping toolkits (there's too much of them!)
  • SS mentioned GrassrootsMapping, which is a crowdsourcing aerial image project with goals similar to OpenAerialMap
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FOSS4G Geonews: FOSS4G & SotM at the door, Sextante in ArcGIS, MapGuide Maestro 3.5, OpenTripPlanner Update, and more

Still in catch up mode, here's the last three weeks of geospatial open source news in batch mode.

  • Of huge pertinence to the geospatial open source and open data communities, the FOSS4G and State of the Map conferences are set to being in a few days. If you're in the Denver area and still hesiting, don't, they are really worth. I'll have to miss them myself this year, but Slashgeo's editor Nicolas Gignac will be attending and provide coverage.
  • Directions Mag share an interview with Peter Batty on what to expect at FOSS4G
  • Another recent article at DM is named Open Source Licensing: Risk and Opportunity, risks related to intellectual property and governance
  • Sextante, the open source spatial java data analysis library, can now work in ArcGIS, and run SAGA and GRASS GIS in ArcGIS via Sextante, and why not, use Sextante algorithms in ArcGIS Model Builder
  • PostGIS's Paul Ramsey continues to share insightful comments in an entry named Open source is not free (as in beer) ...
  • Users of Autodesk's MapGuide Open Source will be happy to know MapGuide Maestro 3.5 has been released. We already know that MapGuide Maestro 4.0 is introducing 'Local Conneciton Mode'
  • V1 mentions updates to the open source multi-modal routing software OpenTripPlanner, which now supports Canada, Poland, India, Spain, Ireland, and Israel (we covered OpenTripPlanner in May
  • Tim links to a generic article on Quantum GIS in the GeoInformatics magazine, and here's a tip on modifying SVG symbols in QGIS
  • Here's an entry on getting GPS data (GPX format) into SpatiaLite, either from QGIS, CSV or OGR
  • Here's web-based PostGIS geometry and raster viewer, no need to install anything
  • GeoServer now has extensions to monitor and audit your GeoServer installation
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Thursday Geonews: Bing Maps Map Style Updated, London Transit in Google Maps, Timezones Shapefile, Backseat Driver, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode covering the last two weeks. It's a bit longer than usual.

On the open source front:

  • Almost two weeks ago, the OSGeo released their 2 minutes video promoting the FOSS4G conference, Slashgeo is proud to be a media partner
  • The FGT blog offers a long entry on the portable version of gvSIG, an open source GIS - portable meaning running from a USB key with a host computer with no intallation required
  • Several sources mentioned that Canada's British Columbia opened their province-wide open data portal, with plenty of geospatial data in it
  • While we mentioned the its preview in May, here's more documentation on the upcoming GeoRepository, an advanced authorization manager for GeoServer
  • ImageI/O-Ext 1.1.1 has been released
  • uDig 1.2.2 has been released too
  • There's a PostGIS Drupal module in the works

On the Google front (well, new since yesterday):

  • Public transport directions of London is now available in Google Maps
  • Google details the new Google Maps version 5.8 for Android, adding photo uploads and My Places
  • Mapperz tells us how to load OpenStreetMap data in Google Earth via FME with BBOX.ME

On the Microsoft front:

  • Most visible changes for users are updates to the Bing Maps road map style, they even offer a 9-pages guide to detail what 's new
  • APB reports that Microsoft will use Gigwalk to enhance Bing Maps search results
  • Microsoft announced Bing Maps updates to Account Center, REST Services, and Documentation
  • Another entry enumerate what's new in the Bing AJAX Map Control

In the miscellaneous category:

  • O'Reilly links to a free shapefile of the TZ timezones of the world
  • SS mentions the GeoTime software that "displays movement over time in an intuitive manner"
  • Here's an article on the technical, scientific, historic and political background to the GPS system
  • On the topic of the future of GPS, V1 shares an entry named the Significance of LightSquared Debate to Europeans and APB shares ESA's reaction to LightSquared potential interference with Galileo
  • MacRumors have an entry named Apple Pays $946 in Korean Lawsuit Over Location Data Collection, New Class Action Suit Coming
  • In the funny category, APB mentions (video included) ToyToyota's Backseat Driver GPS iOS game for kids that uses the real-time itinerary of the car

Discussed over Slashdot:

  • 3D Hurts Your Eyes
  • Chief NSA Lawyer Hints That NSA May Be Tracking US Citizens
  • Google Grabbed Locations of Phones, PCs
  • Undersea Cable Map Shows Where The Data Pipes Are

In the maps category:

  • SS shares an entry named eLEAF Maps the World’s Water for Food Security
  • Ready for the hurricane season, the UK Met Office launched their Storm Tracker (beta), with free and paid versions, and on the same topic, the GEB offers an entry on tracking hurricanes in Google Earth
  • V1 mentions Africover WebMap from the UN, offering geodata for Africa
  • O'Reilly have an entry on cellphone connections in the U.S.
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Wednesday Geonews: The End of Yahoo! Maps APIs, Magicshop Frontdoor, MapInfo 11 News, Israel Imagery, and much more

Here's the geonews in batch mode, covering a bit more than a week (exception made of a few minor geonews I forgot to mention in our last 'batch mode' edition). On the open source / data front:

  • A new MapGuide Instant Setup utility has been introduced
  • Here's a detailed entry on scale-dependent generalization in PostGIS and QGIS
  • Here's an entry on time and elevation support in GeoServer
  • If you're new to OpenStreetMap or want to introduce new people, here's OpenStreetMap editing for beginners videos
  • Plenty geoblogs mentioned the Magicshop Frontdoor (Beta) tool, with which you can easily improve address search results for Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap
On the Google front:
  • Ogle Earth mentions Google JV applied for online mapping license in China
  • Ogle Earth also mentions the constraints on high-resolution satellite imagery of Israel in Google Earth/Maps
  • There's New Building Maker cities available in Argentina and Canada
  • Google unveiled the new My Places tab on Google Maps, "which helps you quickly view and interact with your saved maps, starred locations, and rated businesses"
  • They also introduced descriptive terms in Local Search results
  • The GEB mentions the Touristo and Skydiver games for Google Earth
  • Some readers like to know when there's new imagery available in Google Earth, well, there is 
On the Microsoft front:
  • An entry on The Value of Bing Maps Spatial Data Services
In the miscellaneous category:
  • Mapperz informs us of the Yahoo! Maps APIs Service Closure, due 13th September     
  • James Fee summarizes What Was Up at the Pitney Bowes Business Insights Conference, with news of MapInfo 11, and APB has more on MapInfo Spatial Server
  • APB shares a long article named Intergraph and ERDAS: From GeoMedia to IMAGINE-The Big and Little Picture for this Geospatial Marriage, Spatial Sustain also shares an entry on the same topic, named Intergraph ‘Reinforces the House’ Under Hexagon
  • A study concludes that Schematic Transit Maps Affect Passengers' Travel Choices
  • Slashdot discussed a story named New Projects Use Phone Data To Track Big Cities' Mass Transit Use
  • Slashdot also offers a story named NASA's Aquarius Launched To Help Map the Oceans' Salt
  • Still from the same site, we learn the Nissan LEAF Leaks Speed & Location To RSS Feed
  • And last story from that site, if you're interested in tools to map wifi networks, this discussion named What's Killing Your Wi-Fi? will interest you
In the maps category:
  • The Strange Maps blog offers maps of the U.S. States, with what they do best and worse, worth a quick look of you're American
  • Slashdot mentions a map of the Universe called the 2MASS Redshift Survey
  • Not a geographic map, but O'Reilly has an article on generating a map of your LinkedIn contacts with InMaps, I found the result pretty interesting
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