According to the Google geo dev blog this week, Google now is making reverse geocoding available to developers. This is pretty huge for developers… in a nutshell this enables developers to add functionality that generates an address from a lat/long pair – a much tougher process than the reverse, which is grabbing a coordinate pair from an address (geocoding). See more on this in this article
Save the date for Mashup Camp… November 17-19, Mountainview / San Jose, CA at the Computer History Museum – the un-conference for the mashup developer community. Of note, seems that this event will overlap somewhat with the iPhone Live event, Nov 18 in San Jose. The theme of mashup camp this year – Learn, Hack, Compete! Who’s coming to mashupcamp? See the Wiki
Finally, the focus of this year’s event will once again be the best mashup contest, where attendees will decide on the coolest mashup created for the event. Here’s how the contest works:
On Day One of Mashup Camp, attendee will be exposed to several APIs through quick-and-dirty Speed Geeking sessions and more in-depth Chalk Talks. Attendees should pay close attention to the tools described by the solution providers on Day One. Prizes will be awarded by each Solution Provider at the end of Mashup Camp for the best usage of each tool in an original mashup! In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to award a prize to the best solution provider tool.
Day Two of Mashup Camp offers attendees the opportunity to discuss the use of these APIs with their peers while working on the development of original mashups in the Hack Den under the watchful eye of Mashup Camp Hack Masters.
Day Three is competition day! On this day, Camp attendees will travel in small, organized groups from table to table as competing mashup developers present their mashups for review. Each developer will have about 5 minutes to convince each group that visits his or her table that their mashup is most deserving for one of the Best Mashup Contest prizes on offer.
Looks like EveryBlock is still growing, now with the addition of three more cities to the portfolio (that’s 8 in total) . New additions this week are Boston, Seattle, and DC. Recall EveryBlock is an extensive mashup that provide loads of public information to users, including fire inspection reports, news, restarant inspections, and much more, like photos (flickr, Panoramio), real estate listings (Trulia) and much more.. all focused on your specific neighborhood or block. See more at everyblock.com – thanks for the heads-up on this James!
How much trust can we have in mashups? That’s always a good question, particularly as web20 services like Zillow, Trulia and others are becoming commonplace for the consumer. But where does the data come from and how accurate is it? that’s always the fear of mine. Perhaps the error lies in public information, in that case, perhaps a mashup can help you identify some issues with data stored about you or your property. Case in point. Just today, popular real estate search resource, Trulia, just announced many new features today – likely in an effort to try to one-up Zillow. But how good is the information provided by these resources? For example, if you were shopping for a home in my area and were perhaps interested in my home the information conveyed by Trulia is a little odd! Details of my property list it as a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath (perhaps poor info served via public records), however, it’s definitely 4 bedroom 3 bath property. Also, for some weird reason, when hitting my address, the zip code is reset to one that is incorrect, even if I enter the correct zip code? Finally, the street view imagery pulled from Google maps is also incorrect and shows a property that is not mine, likely a blunder resulting from the whacked reverse geocoding that is grabbing a wrong zip code. So where’s the value in this? You tell me. For now, these services may need some help, perhaps provided by some true, GIS programming skills! See also http://www.trulia.com
Geocommons is coming out with a new component for their GeoCommons Suite called Maker (you may have heard a release date of Aug 18 but it looks like it will be a little later than that.. stay tuned). Essentially, the app boasts that anyone can easily become an expert map maker… and share their maps. The services developed by FortiusOne (www.fortiusone.com) have already been widely used to allow people to create and share their maps and GIS data. The following are just a few things you can see… From Olympics data and Beijing smog reports to Starbucks closing locations, IED attacks in Iraq or locations of terrorist attacks, everyone can understand a map and clearly visualize the information.
As a bit of a teaser, Sean Gorman over at FortiusOne has shared with me a sneak peek at what users will be able to create, share, and experience using Maker. The map below shows Chines Power Plant Carbon Emissions in 2007 – a very impressive map mashup!
China Power Plant Carbon Emissions 2007
So, Metacarta has rolled out their fine, new GeoSearch (isn’t that a GIS Career resource??) news aggregator, ideal for News, Real Estate, and Travel Applications – see the official PR here. But will it be the “ultimate” news aggregator that some people are speculating about? One has to ask, have you seen EveryBlock? EveryBlock is an amazing mashup for everyone that pulls news, photos, crime reports, property sales, restaurant inspections, and much more for several geographic locations. The app currently provides info for 3 major cities (New York, Chicago, and) oh, and get this, it doesn’t use Google, Yahoo! or Microsoft’s map data, but rather, have created their own developed the app. on OpenLayers and Mapnik – other data sources are pulled from TIGER/Line files,PostGIS, and OGR (see the full skinny from Adrian’s Blog) The developer, you may know the name, is Adrian Holovati of Chicago Crime data fame. I could go on but you have to browse EveryBlock for yourself – see http://www.everyblock.com/. Oh, and for those of you attending Where2.0 or contemplating on attending it, you can hear all about EveryBlock from Holovati himself. See also the blog for more http://blog.everyblock.com/
The World Time Engine is a service for home users and business professionals to search and compare local world times for any country, city, town, village, zip code, point of interest or geographic coordinates on earth. Test it out… simply enter a place and you’ll receive a map along with geographic coordinates, exact time along with GMT reference time. From the developers… “If a user performs an action, for example, uploads something to a service (e.g. a twitter update) you can now obtain the local time that this action occurred based purely on the coordinates data for that user or place.” See http://worldtimeengine.com