Tag Archives: maps

Mikel Maron is mapping the West Bank

Mikel Maron is doing an incredible job of mapping the West Bank and has detailed his adventures on his blog, BrainOff.  Please head over and read about what Mikel is up to.  Mikel just sold Mapufacture to Fortius One and is an Open Street Map evangelist.

Read on…

GeoEye signs deal to provide imagery to Google – Reuters

Reuters is reporting that GeoEye will soon begin providing high-resolution imagery to Google for Google Maps and Google Earth.  Here are some highlights from the article:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – GeoEye Inc on Thursday said it will provide imagery from its new $502 million high-resolution GeoEye-1 satellite to Google Earth and Google Maps after the spacecraft is launched on September 4.

If all goes well with the launch, GeoEye’s new satellite will be the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite, offering images at .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color.

Google spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz said Google would begin receiving half-meter resolution imagery from the new satellite after 45 to 60 days, during which the company will make sure all the satellite’s systems are up and running.

Read on…

‘QR Codes on Google Maps’

Keir Clarke over at Google Maps Mania has a write-up on generating QR Codes for Google Maps.  He suggests these three sites for creating your own QR Codes from geolocated data:

  • Semapedia.org (which we already covered in an earlier post) connects Wikipedia articles with real world locations.
  • QRMap allows you to generate a code simply by dragging and dropping a placemark on a Google Map which you then email to yourself via a link on the map.  While definitely clever I am not sure it is any more efficient than the method I describe in a previous post.
  • QR Code Mapplet is more of a marketing tool but a cool one at that.  It allows registered users to create Google Maps placemarks with embedded QR Codes for events, sales, etc.  Definitely head over and check out the demo to see what is possible.

Lastly, Keir suggests Google Chart API for those of you who want to look under the hood.

Read on…

QR Code for a Google Earth Semacode

I am truly fascinated by this 2D barcode business, especially how it relates to location based information.  I found the perfect storm of 2D barcode and Google Earth this weekend when I came across Hello, world!.  In May 2006 two Germans mowed a 160mx160m Semacode into a wheat field outside the town of Ilmenau in the Land Thuringia.  (Ok, I could stop right there and this story would already be cool.  Did you even know there is a place called Land Thuringia!?)

They did it for typical geek reasons and then overflew the patch, snapped some pics and posted it.  Frank Taylor posted a write-up and KMZ file over at Google Earth Blog in May of last year.  I used Frank’s file to create a QR Code using the handy-dandy Kaywa QR-Code Generator and then copy and pasted the HTML code into a new placemark which I titled ‘Hello, world!’.

Unfortunately, snapping a pic with my iPhone’s NeoReader only gave me an error message as an iPhone cannot yet read KMZ.  (Snapping the actual wheatfield mow job pops up the website.)  However, with Earthscape’s new foray into the field of iPhone Apps with their newly released Earthscape Basic App we may soon be able to get stuck in some Escher-esque infinite QR Code/Google Earth loop.

Why is this all so fascinating?  We can now easily generate a QR Code for any geolocated data and with the recent release of iPhones in 21 new countries and the massive penetration of Nokias with their built in QR Code reader snapping pics of QR Codes to find out information about a location that is not available via other means (WikiMe, etc) will become more and more popular.

I realize I have not even begun to scratch the surface of what is possible with these technologies.  If anyone has information regarding these types of hacks, mash-ups, etc please comment.

Earthscape’s iPhone Earth App now available

Frank Taylor over at Google Earth Blog has posted about a new Google Earth-esque iPhone App that is now available over at the App store for $9.99.  He has created a short review video:

Frank has been writing about all things Google Earth for some time now as has Stefan Geens over at Ogle Earth.

Read on…

[UPDATE: Erick Schonfeld over at TechCrunch also covers Frank’s post here.]

How to embed Google Maps directions in a 2D barcode

First, you’ll need an iPhone and access to a computer.

Next, download a reliable 2D barcode reader from the App store.  I have been using the NeoReader and it seems to work well.

Select your route in Google Maps.  I have chosen a route between Marin Coffee Roasters (great coffee) and The Crucible (great welding classes).

Select the ‘Link’ option in the upper right corner of your Google Map and copy the link to your clipboard.

Open the Kaywa QR-Code Generator (my new favorite) and select the URL option.  Paste the Link you obtained from Google Maps into the URL box and select ‘Generate’.

You will now see a large QR Code which contains your Google Map route.  (I recommend using the large size if you are trying to take a picture of the image on your computer screen.)

Take a photo of the QR Code with the NeoReader on your iPhone.  The NeoReader will ask you if you want to use the photo, select ‘Use Photo’ the select ‘Continue’.  Your iPhone will first open Safari but once it recognizes that the QR Code content is a Google Map Link it should automatically open the Google Map App and plot the same course.  Here is my route on my iPhone’s Google Map App which you can compare against the mapped route above:

While this may not prove incredibly useful for the humanitarian community it does show that with a few simple tools useful data can be easily embeded into a small image in a matter of minutes by even the most inexperienced user.

Nokia provides Lonely Planet maps on cell phones – AP

The AP is running a story on how Nokia and Lonely Planet are teaming up to provide the latter’s maps on the former’s handsets.  If you happen to be in Lonely Planet’s Top 100 tourist destinations and don’t mind shelling out 7.99 euros ($11.75) dollars for each map (ouch!) then this story is right up your alley:

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Nokia and travel information company Lonely Planet said Tuesday they are joining forces to sell maps and city guides that can be accessed on mobile phones.

The world’s largest handset maker said users of Nokia Maps can now download information about more than 100 popular tourist locations provided by Lonely Planet, and that more destinations were planned. Each download costs 7.99 euros ($11.75).

“The Lonely Planet guides will help travelers to find great places to eat, shop and sleep, as well as describing the popular sights and nightlife for each destination,” Nokia said.

Downloads are available in the Extras menu on Nokia phones. Nokia Maps 2.0 uses maps provided by Navteq and TeleAtlas.

Read on…