Links: GUIs, Flickr hearts KML, Yahoo Pipes does JSON

Playing catchup after a wonderful Alpine interlude. Here’s a first batch. More after a night on Stockholm town (possibly with slightly worse spelling:-).

  • Future GUI-fest: Andrew Hudson-Smith collects a smorgasbord of cool 3D GUIs potentially useful for GIS work. Here’s one that’s 2D but wonderful in a completely different way: Pico, “an interactive tabletop surface that can track the positon of specially marked pucks”, with an array of magnets that can also steer the pucks, making GIS optimisation problems a cinch. Very tactile, and very cool to watch (Via StumbleUpon. Thanks Giasen!)
  • Yahoo embraces KML: Flickr’s Dan Catt adds GeoRSS and KML links to georeferenced photos, grouped by user, group and tag. More on this soon (wherein I use Dan’s update as an excuse to foist my holiday snaps on my unsuspecting blog readership.)
  • Yahoo Pipes goes RESTful (almost): Yahoo Pipes gets an update, with new tools that have potential for geospatial mashups. Writes Yahoo’s Daniel Raffel:
    1. Today Pipes added a Web Service module that allows developers who can write their own web service with the capability of extending Pipes functionality beyond what we offer.

      This module provides developers with a way to start writing their own modules for Pipes!

      There’s a post about it here containing some more details.

      And an example using it here.

      [“This module POSTs the items in a pipe in JSON format to an external web service. This allows developers to extend the Pipes functionality to do whatever they need. The original items are replaced by the web services JSON or RSS response.”]

    2. We also added a new module called Yahoo! Shortcuts that can do entity detection. (Note: we also updated the existing Location Extractor module to use the Y! Shortcuts API too!)

      The Y! Shortcuts module can analyze the input string for popular entities (for example: person, place, concept, organization, etc). If any entities are discovered additional information about each entity is returned (an example of the data returned could include geodata if the entity detected is a place).

      There’s a post about these, and some other updates, here

      And an example using the Y! Shortcuts module here.

    So, use the entity detector to find placenames, then use the web service module to get coordinates for it, for example, or turn RSS into GeoRSS. The main limitation of entity detectors is that they can’t detect Turkey from turkey (when at the start of a sentence) or tell one Springfield from another just from the context.

  • NASA World Wind is hiring: They’re looking for a software engineer who is “deeply experienced in Java and OpenGL.” (Via the Earth is Square)
  • Sydney loses it? Mainstream Australian media (i.e. the Sydney Morning Herald) entertains a conspiracy theory about why the most recent imagery update saw parts of Sydney lose resolution. Was it because there is an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit coming up in September, and Google’s been told to censor? Google says No:

    “This has nothing whatsoever to do with APEC,” Google Australian spokesman Rob Shilikin told Fairfax. “We’re re-sourcing our imagery for parts of Sydney as a result of a commercial issue with one of our suppliers, so some of the highest-res images have been temporarily replaced.”

    Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence.

  • New blog GeoChalkboard is producing some solid tutorials on Google Earth that go beyond the introductory level.