Lord Satri writes "MacOSForge announced that Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is now available open source under the Apache license: "The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple and supported on iPhone, iPad, most iPods, Mac and iTunes. ALAC is a data compression method which reduces the size of audio files with no loss of information. A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec project contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder. Also included is an example command line utility, called alacconvert, to read and write audio data to/from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. A description of a 'magic cookie' for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well.""
Submission Summary: 0 pending, 53 declined, 6 accepted (59 total, 10.17% accepted)
Lord Satri writes "Microsoft's Bing Maps (formerly known as Virtual Earth) got a major upgrade today. Amongst the new features: Streetside, enhanced Bird’s Eye view, Photosynth integration and more. Microsoft's Streetside is similar in concept to Google StreetView. From the official blog: "[Regarding Streetside:] Ground level photographs fully stitched allowing full continuous immersion into the street level landscape [...] Street labels hovering within the images showing you road names (so you don’t get lost) [...] [Regarding Bird's Eye view:] Our investments in photogrammetric processing are being leveraged for a new mode in the urban areas where we’ve captured high resolution photography and stereo data to create models of the respective cities. [Regarding Photosynth:] Photosynth is now natively integrated into Bing Maps. This means you can zip down from space down into someone’s housenot kidding." There's also a 27-minutes video showing the features, specifically focusing on Streetside."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Lord Satri writes "Don't believe the CNET headline, it's not really a Google Satellite that we'll see in orbit this week, but almost! Google signed an exclusivity deal with GeoEye regarding GeoEye-1, the most advanced high resolution civil remote sensing satellite to date. This can be annoying to normal high-resolution remote sensing data users since Google already has an exclusivity deal with DigitalGlobe, the other major civil satellite imagery provider. From the CNET article: "Under the deal, Google is the exclusive online mapping site that may use the imagery, said Mark Brender, vice president of corporate communications and marketing. Google uses satellite imagery in its Google Maps and Google Earth product. And as a little icing on the cake, Google's logo is on the side of the rocket set to launch the 4,300-pound satellite in six days from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. GeoEye-1 will orbit 423 miles above Earth, but it will be able to gather imagery with details the size of 41 centimeters, Brender said. Google, though, is permitted to use data only with a resolution of 50cm because of the terms of GeoEye's license with the U.S. government.""
Lord Satri writes "TechCrunch, Wired, and I'm sure many others are talking about Yahoo's new FireEagle service which is in alpha release now. TechCrunch describes the service, "FireEagle, which is built entirely on Ruby on Rails, was originally inspired by Yahoos ZoneTag research product. It is a platform for controlling peoples location information. Tell it (directly or via a third party application built on FireEagles APIs) where you are (give it specific lat/long, or a city name, or a zip code, etc.) and it will note your location. Alternatively, users with GPS phones (or other GPS device) could set it to periodically update FireEagle with geo information." Wired touches on something I'm sure we'll hear a lot about services that know your location, the "creepy" factor, "As with most developments in the geo-location realm, FireEagle offers some really cool possibilities I have no doubt that web developers will leap at the chance to offer seamless integration of geodata but it also looks a little bit creepy. Do we really want everyone to know exactly where we are all the time? Of course, if you consider that your mobile service provider already has that information, perhaps concern over making it public is a moot point." I see plenty of "cool possibilities" to having a single warehouse and API for that kind of data, so I'll be trying to get myself in the alpha-testing along with many others I'm sure."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Lord Satri writes "This week, Microsoft announced their new Live Maps, in addition to supporting Firefox on Windows for 3D, now supports the GeoRSS standard. They join Google which recently announced the support of GeoRSS and KML mapping in their Google Maps API. In short, GeoRSS is a standard supported by the Open Geospatial Consortium that incorporates geolocation in an interoperable manner to RSS feeds. The applications are numerous. With Yahoo!'s support of GeoRSS, all the major players are in and the future looks bright for this emerging standard. As for KML, Google Earth's file format, this new Google Maps integration is not unrelated to the recent announcement of internet-wide KML search capabilities within Google Earth. From the GeoRSS website: "This site describes a number of ways to encode location in RSS feeds. As RSS becomes more and more prevalent as a way to publish and share information, it becomes increasingly important that location is described in an interoperable manner so that applications can request, aggregate, share and map geographically tagged feeds. To avoid the fragmentation of language that has occurred in RSS and other Web information encoding efforts, we have created this site to promote a relatively small number of encodings that meet the needs of a wide range of communities. By building these encodings on a common information model, we hope to promote interoperability and "upwards-compatibility" across encodings.""
Lord Satri writes "When my father sent me a short french-written article about this, I though it was wrong, but Infoworld offers a short article about a new GPS chip which uses two satellite navigation services and will operate in indoor environments. From the article: "The u-blox 5 chip, which Switzerland's U-blox plans to unveil at the 3GSM World Congress event in Barcelona next month, uses two global navigation satellite services: GPS, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, and Europe's Galileo, the vendor said Wednesday. The technology has a tracking sensitivity of -160 dBm, which enables indoor coverage. The abbreviation dBm represents the power ratio in decibels (dB) with respect to 1 milliwatt (mW). With a power consumption of less than 50 mW, the u-blox 5 chip allows GPS-enabled mobile phones and other wireless devices to operate in difficult indoor environments, such as shopping malls and train stations." This and the upcoming much cheaper and better performance option for mobile phones and other hand-held devices will help location-based services to reach mass market."
Lord Satri writes "Google announced today's release of Pro and Free versions of SketchUp 6, with very interesting features. The Photo Match feature feels like a preemptive strike against Microsoft's Photosynth. From this AECNews article: "In sharing the news of SketchUp 6 with AECnews in a pre-release briefing, Google SketchUp Product Manager John Bacus emphasized the "virtuous circle" that Google sees between Google Earth, Google 3D Warehouse, and Google SketchUp. One additional tool required for this virtuous circle becomes available tomorrow, a "Collections" feature in 3D Warehouse, where "groups of like-minded people can come together on projects like modeling cities," said Bacus. "If you turn on the 3D Warehouse layer in the latest release of Google Earth, you can see that many cities have a fair number of buildings in them already. A large community of SketchUp users are already making and creating and posting to the 3D Warehouse; the best will go to Google Earth." Collections will make this process even easier, Bacus added.""
Lord Satri writes "An important Microsoft announcement, Virtual Earth 3D has launched. See also numerous screenshots and a Google Earth comparison from Spatially Adjusted. Read the Google Earth Blog on why he thinks it's not a treat to Google. Here's the CNET article and Microsoft's official press release (via The Map Room). Read more here from the development side or see the CBS reportage on Virtual Earth 3D. My main gripe: Windows and Internet Explorer 6/7 only. From the official press release: "When people visit Live Search, type a query into the search box and click the "Maps" tab, they get their search results in a map context that offers the option to explore the area using two-dimensional views (aerial and bird's-eye) or three dimensional models with Virtual Earth 3D. This new technology compiles photographic images of cities and terrain to generate textured, photorealistic 3-D models with engineering level accuracy.""
Lord Satri writes "National Geographics runs a story on GeoRSS named disaster prediction, social networking boosted by geo-data feeds. From the article: "Singh, a staff member at the nonprofit Open Geospatial Consortium, says that the GeoRSS service will extend the capability to create such location-based tagsa concept known as georeferencingto anyone with an Internet connection. [...] "GeoRSS, by providing an easy and easily agreed-to data format, would enable greater sharing of crucial information on the ground," he said. Now it is up to software companies to incorporate the standard into their products. Already industry giants Microsoft and Yahoo! have taken an interest, Singh says." Version 1 of the GeoRSS specifications was release last month. Here's a GeoPlace article on GeoRSS from Raj Singh."
Lord Satri writes "Last week at the FOSS4G2006, the Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics conference, after one year of work, the GeoRSS specifications version 1.0 have been released. From the GeoRSS website: "This site describes a number of ways to encode location in RSS feeds. As RSS becomes more and more prevalent as a way to publish and share information, it becomes increasingly important that location is described in an interoperable manner so that applications can request, aggregate, share and map geographically tagged feeds." The GeoRSS was adopted earlier this year by the Open Geospatial Consortium. GeoRSS opens a wealth of new possibilities, especially in regards to the 'sensor web' building around us. More reading about GeoRSS in this excellent summary article and the presentation made at the Where 2.0 conference. GeoRSS also supports Time tags and thus can be tied to the new time tracking capabilities of Google Earth (Free version)."
Lord Satri writes "Following September 8th major satellite/photo imagery update for Google Maps and Google Earth, Google Earth v4.0.2080 has been released today. It is no small update. Here's yesterday press release about major content update for Google Earth. From this ZDNet article: "Google Earth will include before and after satellite images of environmentally endangered locations originally published by the U.N. Environment Program as a coffee-table book." and from the Ogle Earth blog: "New stuff in the "Featured content" folder in the Layers sidebar. Some of it's been there for a while, but brand new is a layer by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), a layer by the US National Park service, and expanded global content by the Discovery Channel." The Google Earth Blog tells us about the addition of 3D buildings in cities all over Japan. Here's another ZDNet article where we learn the time tracking tool in Google Earth Pro will now be available in Google Earth Free (and GE Plus, of course!). From the article: "The feature in which a slider is used to scroll through time [...] now features a simplified interface. [...] showing how scientists, who had tracked the movements of a whale shark using GPS, had then mapped the creature's path using the application. Business uses could include fleet tracking or mapping the movements of transport infrastructure according to Google. Jones also described how the new version would enable users to track all of the geostationary satellites orbiting the earth." Remember, you can't use Google Earth Free at work. Doing a 'check for update' will not work, you must get it from the GE website."
Lord Satri writes "Here's the press release about today's major content update for Google Earth. The Google Earth Blog tells us about the addition of 3D buildings in cities all over Japan. From this ZDNet article: "Google Earth will include before and after satellite images of environmentally endangered locations originally published by the U.N. Environment Program as a coffee-table book." and from the Ogle Earth blog: "New stuff in the "Featured content" folder in the Layers sidebar. Some of it's been there for a while, but brand new is a layer by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), a layer by the US National Park service, and expanded global content by the Discovery Channel." The same time, another ZDNet article tells us time tracking is now included in Google Earth 'Free' (yes, there is multiple version of Google Earth). From the article: "The feature in which a slider is used to scroll through time [...] now features a simplified interface. [...] showing how scientists, who had tracked the movements of a whale shark using GPS, had then mapped the creature's path using the application. Business uses could include fleet tracking or mapping the movements of transport infrastructure according to Google. Jones also described how the new version would enable users to track all of the geostationary satellites orbiting the earth.""
Lord Satri writes "Is there any open professional networking website or tool available? I was introduced to professional networking two weeks ago and found the system very interesting with one main caveat, it's a commercial tool. It might be free, but if you want advanced features, you must open your wallet. Money is not really the issue, but the fear of being locked-in is. I don't need a new job, but the website in question (name withheld for neutrality purposes) offers several interesting ways to look at my professional network. It allows me to browse my professional contacts by location, by job types, by qualifications, etc. I can search up to three levels away from me (contacts of contacts of contacts). I can learn more about who did what and who knows who. Is there such an open service? Search engines haven't provided any pertinent answers. Alternate question: which are your preferred professional networking tools? How do you, the self-employed, are keeping track of your network and use it to find contracts?"
Lord Satri writes "Sensors are getting everywhere and numerous. Very numerous. Standards comes to the rescue before the mess takes over. The Open Geospatial Consortium, a non-profit, international and voluntary consensus standards organization that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services, just released four new sensor-related specifications. Faily recently, Microsoft released its SenseWeb project and its SensorMap. From the SenseWeb site: "SenseWeb is a research portal that lets users visualize and query real-time data using a geographical interface such as Windows Live Local and allows data owners to easily publish their live data using a web service interface." The Geospatial Semantic Web Blog chimes in: "An important part of the SenseWeb portal design is the modeling of physical sensors, describing different classes of sensors and their respective properties. Interestingly, SenseWeb defines this model using the Web Ontology Language OWL." It's worthed to open SensorMap and zoom in to experience the interface. You may also read this GeoPlace article GML and WFS enabled SensorNet. From the article: "The use of WFS in wide-area sensor webs is a natural extension of GML, which can express a wide range of geographic information types, including conventional geographic features as well as coverages and observations. The ability to handle such data is a strength of WFS, because it minimizes the number of different interfaces and components in the sensor network.""