- Ipoki: The idea of letting friends know where you are live on the map and following friends around yourself is a pretty seductive one. I’ve been using GMap-Track on this blog to update my whereabouts, but that application is not the only player in this geosocial application space. Now there is Spanish-origin Ipoki, newly relaunched (it used to be called hipoqih) and ready for the big time. Ipoki works as a small application on GPS-enabled phones, or you can also set your location manually from the website.
The functionality of Ipoki and GMap-Track is very similar: Both have privacy controls, people search and the ability to let you embed a live location map on your website. Ipoki has a few more Facebookish features, such as a “what you are doing” status line you can fill in and commenting features. Ipoki also lets you view your friends as a live KML network link, and lets you link to unique permalinked pages to track individual users (I am at www.ipoki.com/maps/belmeloro).
But GMap-Track’s phone application, Mobile Gmaps, hasn’t been standing still — the latest version allows you to load KML files direct from your memory card, which is a great way to take KML data into the field with you. (Extra tip: Use Gmap-Track’s public map to compare Yahoo, Microsoft and Google’s map offerings, as all are available to choose from.)
- Geoflock: Got Flock? It’s a newish, free social-networking savvy browser that appears to be having something of a resurgence. If you do, get Geoflock, a plugin that gives you a wealth of mapping tools within the browser. For example, it can
Create and save a sidebar map using the addresses or address links you find on web pages, or by manually adding locations. Show traffic Info, drag and drop kml files and geotag Flickr photos within the Flock photo uploader. There is a great deal of additional functionality which is hard to sum up, such as automatic geoURL/geotag discovery, support for Google Earth, Platial.com, getting directions; loc.alize.us…
Automatic discovery and viewing of maps relevant to a web site is a great bit of functionality, methinks.
- Ordnance Survey in Google Earth: Ah, finally, UK’s Ordnance Survey’s mapping tiles are put to use in a productive manner — as a dynamic overlay in Google Earth, thanks to Gavin Brock. No doubt this breaks all manner of EULA, but check it out in the meantime as an example of what the data could do it if it were open and freely accessible:
- GPS2KML: C-GPS2KML is not the first application to convert GPS logs to KML, but it does have an impressive feature set and a myriad of display options. It’s free, comes in Windows and Linux versions, has a detailed manual, and the screenshot eye candy is very enticing. Check it out. (The only competitor I can think of when it comes to similar customizable display options is the web-based app GPS Visualizer)
- Virual Earth dataset update: Microsoft Virtual Earth comes out with another mammoth dataset update, including 15,000 square kilometers of 3D urban landscapes (almost all of it in the US) and heaps of bird’s eye views, aerial and satellite imagery (a bit all over).
Reaffirming a previous observation: Microsoft’s data gathering priority is above all urban areas, and primarily the developed world, whereas Google’s collection is far more indiscriminate — but in a good way: If, as Thomas Friedman argues, “the world is flat”, this is in part because even out-of-the-way places can now finally get equal footing in the cartography stakes.
- Geology visualization: Frank at Google Earth Blog and Richard Treves at Google Earth Design write up a great new geology visualization technique using Google Earth by Declan De Poar of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, presented at the AGU’s annual conference last week.