By way of Geology.com, the Wall Street Journal reports on some interesting news related to GPS and even our beloved Google Maps / Google Earth. Apparently there are only two games in town when it comes to data providers for online and digital mapping products that are used by the aformentioned software as well as your GPS navigation system: Netherlands-based Tele Atlas NV, and Chicago-based Navteq Corp. (Photo by Websteria)
In October, Nokia bought Navteq for …wait for it… $8.1 billion. They plan to use the technology as the basis for a business model involving selling advertising tied to your phone’s location. A month later TomTom, a maker of GPS products, beat out rival Garmin and bought Tele Atlas for $4.2 billion. Were either of these companies really worth that much money? It doesn’t appear like it. Thus concern has been raised that the new owners of the technology might be in a position to hurt competitors by raising prices. We will have to see how things pan out.
[Update 2009-01-12] The deadline for this contest has been extended to 11:59PM CST on January 31, 2009. Get your comments in to win the Space Navigator! [/Update]
Announcing the first of what I hope will be many giveaway contests at GeoPrac.net! The first prize up for grabs is the Space Navigator from 3D Connexicion. Use it to fly through 3D worlds such as Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, increase productivity in AutoDesk apps or just use it to play Second Life! How can you win? Leave a comment with a valid email address on any GeoNews blog post or Article…even old ones. See full rules and more info on the Space navigator after the break.
ESRI have a number of examples of what can be achieved using their new API. Examples and reference for the API can be found here. Using the API you can:
Display your own maps on top of a Google Maps base map.
Execute a GIS model and display the results in Google Maps.
Search for features in your GIS data and display the results on Google Maps.
Find addresses using your own address locator and display the result on Google Maps.
Display attributes from your GIS data on the map using the Google Chart API.
Allows others to add GIS functionality from your server as a Google Mapplet.
On the surface, it seems like this news would only be of interest to GIS professionals and geeks like me. But the truth as I see it is that this development for extending the popular ArcGIS platform to the internet will lead to a whole host of new online applications and mashups that will be both fun and useful. (Screenshot by way of Mapperz)