Links: Ancient Rome redux, Xenia, Where 2.0 2009, Google Maps API terms

The Ancient Rome links:

  • Rome Reborn 2.0 website launched: The most recent iteration of the Ancient Rome dataset, Rome Reborn 2.0, gets its own website with photo galleries, project news and associated scholarly papers. How do I know? Because the project’s director of 3D modelling, Kim Dylla, told us so on her own LiveJournal page.
  • Virtual Byzantium: Google talks about Rome circia 320 AD in Google Earth as the “first” such project. What other cities might follow? One obvious candidate: Byzantium circa 1200 AD.
  • Classics don’s mixed review: Cambridge professor of classics and Times of London blogger Mary Beard gives Ancient Rome for Google Earth a mixed review. For one, she found it impossible to load on her new Mac laptop (and so have I. Is this a problem with Google Earth for Mac for others too? The KML files start loading but then crawl to a halt.) She’s also got a question about how authoritative the layer is. Perhaps someone can answer her?

The rest:

  • Xenia: Marine sensor web specialist and ObsKML creator Jeremy Cothran is now developing the open-source Xenia, “a relational database schema which can be used for various geospatial observation oriented efforts.” The idea is to start putting sensor data into a schema as early as possible, to avoid the manual labor involved in standardizing gathered info. Jeremy writes:
    What I am trying to share and develop interest in are very lightweight development approaches to do some interesting things regarding observations data collection and sharing. The code shared at the project site is perl and the relational database (if implemented for longer term storage of datasets) is sqlite using the same schema across multiple sqlite db files which are time separated by julian week. I have no problem if other developers wish to re-develop or develop new functionality with the language or database of their choice – the goal of what I’m going for is more to support some basic/default level of functionality or package that folks collecting data can adopt/plug into using SQL, XML and their programming language of choice without having to be a file format, database or web services expert on the available output products end.

  • Where 2.0 2009 Call for Participation: The call is now open. Submit by December 2 for the May 19-21 event.
  • Where’s metered mapping? James Fee starts an interesting discussion on the internal mapping needs of small businesses — their needs appear to fall between to chairs, with “illegal” free maps on the one hand and $10,000+ licenses on the other.
  • UK OS licensing & Google Maps API: Meanwhile, UK’s Ordnance Survey tells local government agencies that OS data licensing terms do no allow them to post OS-derived data on top of Google Maps via the Google Maps API because the API licensing terms grant Google broad usage rights to the data. This prompts Google to rewrite and clarify its terms, as mentioned by Google’s Ed Parsons.
  • New $3500 graphics card: Can’t wait for the future, when the power of the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 graphics card fits into my laptop and costs $200. Imagine what virtual globes and worlds will look like then. How many years will the wait be, do you think?

Update: Oops, almost forgot: Pictures from my trip to Alexandria this past weekend:


View Larger Map

And, Apple confirms that the Egypt iPhone is GPS-crippled. But this too is interesting:

- Any iPhone used while roaming in Egypt does not have GPS enabled

- An unlocked iPhone used with an Egyptian carrier’s SIM does not have GPS enabled

I haven’t been using my iPhone’s GPS here in Egypt as my Swedish roaming dataplan is prohibitively expensive. But my Nokia N95 with a local sim card has not had any such Egyptian carrier-induced constraints on its A-GPS, as you can see from my updated location on the map in the top-right corner of this web page.

3 thoughts on “Links: Ancient Rome redux, Xenia, Where 2.0 2009, Google Maps API terms”

  1. Regarding the question on metered mapping, there is a web serviced based platform called Envinsa Online Services (EOLS) offered by Pitney Bowes MapInfo. Background maps, WMS compiant, and also services like geocoding, route requests (including drivtime regions), directory services and more.

    This has been developed to provide exactly the metered mapping that is required here, where you pay per transaction. Of course there is a starting point, you can’t purchase just 10 bucks of transactions, but it is definitely lower than what is mentioned here.

  2. Regarding the iPhone’s use of GPS in Egypt — I’m not sure of the specifics regarding what carriers/SIM cards they are using, but we have seen a number of Earthscape iPhone users taking geotagged photos in the country, for example Nano (Be sure to check out the Google Earth KML link as well)

    –Tom

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