Monday, April 30, 2012

Tell a Story Through Maps

Recently launched allows users to created animated maps.  Can't wait to see all the MapStories that are created, it should be engaging and informative. 

Play With Maps - Google's Map Labyrinth Game (Cube)

Google Cube is live. Looks like you need Chrome to play with it, though.

Cube: A Game About Google Maps --

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mexican "Geolocalization Law"

The gov't claims it's to aid in the war on drugs, but is it a severe privacy infraction?

"Last week, revisions to Mexican federal law took effect that give public authorities and law enforcement unprecedented ability to compel mobile phone companies to disclose real-time geographic data from mobile phone companies in a wide variety of cases."

Full article at Ars Technica: Mexican "Geolocalization Law" draws ire of privacy activists

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Demographics of Health Care

AdAge examines major health issues across the US.  It's interesting to see the clustered issues and its implication on care in those areas.

"You might think that, averaged across all populations, disease would be pretty evenly distributed. 

You would be wrong."

The Demographics of Health Care 

Reverse Geocoding Can Get You Sued

Story from

This is the grist of the matter:
Since 2004 we have crowdsourced* the generation of the "Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Database." When you make a query to geocoder containing for example this information "1435 Prince of Wales, Ottawa, ON K2C 1N5", we then extract the postal code "K2C 1N5" and insert it into the database that you may download for free on this website.

This allows you to look up a postal code (eg K2C 1N5) on, or or a number of other sites that use data and technology.

Since we do not have a postal code dataset from the authority on postal code assignments, namely "Canada Post", we derive and guess this information sometimes with pretty good accuracy results.

Now "Canada Post" has sued "" in Federal Court, asking "" to take this database down from this website, and also to "pay Canada Post" damages on lost business the later has suffered by not selling enough copies of their own postal code file (last time I checked at $5,000CAD a piece).

This brings us here. Having to face a crown corporation with deep pockets in Federal Court, over something we have created but which they believe otherwise.

Fighting for principle is expensive, and we will do it. Even against the odds, namely the foremost law firm in the country for IP litigation, hired by Canada Post to bring us down. 

It will be easier with your help. If you are an entity or person who has benefited from free or commercial products and services write your thoughts on Canada Post's desire to shut down this website.

ESRI Story Map of the Titanic

ESRI has a nice interactive map up of the Titanic voyage. You can click on passenger class to see their hometown.  No information about a large chunk of the fatalities, though...the crew.

ESRI Titanic Story Map

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Independent State of Azawad

Friday, the New York Times reported that the Tuareg rebels who overran the northern regions of Mali have declared independence.  The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) is currently administering control until a national authority is formed.  The MNLA declared Azawad an independent state on 6 April 2012 and pledged to draft a constitution establishing it as a democracy. Their statement also acknowledged the United Nations charter and said the new state would uphold its principles.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trimble Acquires Gatewing

First the FAA talks to open up civilian UAV traffic and now Trimble announced Friday that it's buying Gatewing.

I posted about Gatewing a few weeks ago: Are (non-orbiting) UAVs the Future of Aerial Imagery?

Here's a little more about them.

About Gatewing
Founded in 2008, Gatewing designs and provides one of the world's fastest and easiest to use remote sensing solutions for the surveying and mapping industry. Based on its revolutionary X100 lightweight unmanned aircraft, Gatewing has built a solution for rapid terrain mapping that consists of image acquisition field operation and fully digital and automated image processing. By making this technology highly accessible in terms of price and ease of use, Gatewing's goal is to revolutionize the surveying and mapping industry.

Trimble press release.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

International Encyclopedia of Geography

The Association of American Geographers is undertaking a rather massive project and is planning on producing a 15 volume work titled:  The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology

"The goal of the project is to create the most comprehensive and authoritative in-print and online resource covering a field broadly defined to include
  • Human geography
  • Physical geography
  • Geographic information science and systems
  • Study of the earth
  • Study of the environment"
Full article over at ESRI News