31 October 2006

Compare Microsoft, Yahoo and Google Maps

Compare Microsoft, Yahoo and Google Maps on one Webpage

"Map Compare allows you to evaulate which mapping technologies is best. All three maps are locked together so panning, zooming and changing map types will effect all maps the same. You can also use the tab pane to try out various map features like; markers, popups as well. "

Compare Virtual Earth, Google, Yahoo Maps

Best Maps - Google (Carographically)
Best Aerial/Satellite - Virtual Earth (Higher Resolution more UK coverage)
Best Geocoder - Yahoo (percentage match returned but Live Local does Geocode UK addresses)

So a Mashup of Google Maps, Virtual Earth Aerial view and Yahoo Geocoding would be the ideal solution.

Nearest found is Flash Earth where is it easy to switch layers between mapping sources.
Does not support geocoding as yet.

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UK Mashups Roundup Part 5

The ever resourceful Google Maps Mania is on it's 5th Roundup of UK Mashups using Google Maps API.

More and more sites and ever sophisticated integration of third party datasets.

Google Maps Mania UK Roundup 5

More from the site....

look forward to roundups 6,7 & 8...

Hint: Find that post!
To search mapperz blog and google maps mania blog use the custom search bar located in the right hand panel.
(more map/gis/cartographic sites will be added)

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30 October 2006

Cartographic Respresentations (4 of 5)

"A method of illustrating data so it can be viewed and understood"

ArcGIS 9.2 Cartographic Respresentations - The Toolbar

Cartographic Respresentation Toolabar

Available through Tools>Customize >Representations Toolbar

The Main Tools Explained

Cartographic Respresentations Toolbar 2



Representations can add lines on the direction change to make it more visual and cartographically correct. Representations can be edited independantly or group selections or in whole feature classes.

Source: ESRI Desktop Help 9.2 (Draft)

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28 October 2006

GPS Phone

Finally a GPS phone worth investing into. Global coverage. Over 100 countries mapped. MP3 player, Wifi and even makes phone calls, shame it doesn't make the tea.

geek speak
uses the SiRF Star III GPS chipset, so will work inside.

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27 October 2006

Free UK Postcode Database Start Up

Out of Copyright Ordnance Survey Maps (from 1950's tiled together)
England and Wales to help produce Postcode Lite

Copyright Free Ordnance Survey Maps

Add your postcode to by clicking on the map to help produce a free postcode database.

3 done, only 1.8 million postcodes to go.
(and no cheating!)

update: from the Guardian

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26 October 2006

Where is the UK?

Just where is it?
World in Reverse
One in five British children under 14 cannot find the United Kingdom on a map of the world and one in 10 is unable to name any of the seven continents, a study has found.

(hint: The little Island above France)
It's still in the middle on most maps...

naked map Maps International
source:Google News

25 October 2006

Custom Cartographic Search

This site now has a custom search, located on the right hand panel 'custom search' and click mapperz search
This will search this site including archive posts and links.

Mapperz Custom Search

Other sites included on this search
Google Maps Mania (confirmed)
CCA (unconfirmed)
more to be added (its only a day old!)

If your site is GIS, Mapping or Cartographic related and would like to be included in the custom search. email mapperz@gmail.com (subject: cartographic custom search).

Custom Search Homepage or use the right panel >>>


Map2PDF is an alternative to ArcPublisher
and uses Arcobat Reader rather than ArcReader

A GeoPDF that supports Layers and is Georeferenced with the Acrobat Reader.
(though did struggle with the 1GB Tiff of the World -which was reprojected on the fly in ArcGIS)

Version 3 is now available
features are:-
* Support for multiple raster layers
* Support for transparent layers
* Compatibility with third party products such as DS Mapbook and PLTS for batch GeoPDF export
* Support for ArcServer and ArcEngine
* Visual Basic access to MAP2PDF functions
* Preservation of the ESRI grouped layer structure
* Expanded datum support
* Support of user-defined datums
* Saving of MAP2PDF parameters with the MXD file
* Map grid and map surrounds exported as separate layers
* Enhanced rasterization allowing additional PDF optimization. Raster imagery is now stored as x objects and thus can be compressed using Acrobat Pro’s Optimization or Reduce File Size command, significantly reducing the size and enhancing the performance of the PDF file.

Though ArcReader is Free - ArcPublisher is not, this has a cost but can be easy distributed using Arcobat Reader

24 October 2006

Locale Mapping

Some clever programming and integrating of API's to generate random days out with suggestions of things to do and see. Geotagging, directions, photographs, information about the area and a map using Microsoft Live Local

Locale random day out with map.

"I've created a mashup called Locale at http://www.randomdayout.co.uk which is a random day out generator! Virtual Earth is its key component though it uses a number of other APIs. Basically, you enter a postcode, when you want to go out and the type of things you like doing/eating. It then suggests your day out and you can get get local info/weather/geotagged photos of the each location. It was designed for (and works best in) the UK, but also works in Australia, the USA and Canada. It was designed for fun but could turn into something quite useful!
Paul Clarke

FireFox 2.0 Released - It's Faster for Maps

FireFox 2.0 Released
FireFox 2.0 is released..

Faster for browsing online maps...

(copy and paste)

Ordnance Survey to open up?

Ordnance Survey Logo
For non-commercial developers, the move will provide an alternative platform to Google Maps; Yahoo! Maps and others, which are apparently not as strong as the Ordnance Survey outside cities, according to attendees at the event

It said it is still mulling over the terms and conditions of the API, dubbed 'Open Spaces', but is looking for volunteers to take part in a three month closed trial.

For non-commercial developers, the move will provide an alternative platform to Google Maps; Yahoo! Maps and others, which are apparently not as strong as the Ordnance Survey outside cities, according to attendees at the event

“Our rationale here is to identify new and innovative uses of data; it’s not to replace existing partner products or services that are provided for commercial mapping.”
Andy Radburn Ordnance Survey

It has not been decided yet whether charities will be deemed as commercial (which will mean that they will also have to buy licences).

Source: E-consultancy

23 October 2006

Flash Earth - New Layers

New Layers available in Flash Earth

New Layers in Flash Earth
tip use the compass to rotate the earth.

New Layers are:
Yahoo Maps
Ask.com (Aerial and Physical)
Nasa Terra (Daily)

Original Layers
Google Maps
Microsoft Virtual Earth (now renamed Windows Live Local).

Peaceful England - Tranquillity Map

A Tranquillity Map of England...

Tranquillity Map England
Urban Sprawl vs Peaceful Rural Countryside

"It has become harder to experience tranquillity over the past few decades – and may get harder still. Tranquillity is threatened by the steadily increasing urbanised area, the development of the road network, the growth in road and air traffic and the expansion of energy infrastructure. "

England Regions available in PDF format on the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

Source: BBC News

22 October 2006


Find images from Google Earth, tag the pictures, and submit to the community

From the page, "Roll'n'zoom is a user driven placemarking site.
Every placemark, photo and story is submitted and voted on by the R'n'Z community.
Share, discover, bookmark, and promote the placemarks that are important for you!"

Roll'n'Zoom map pics

20 October 2006

ArcSound - Speak GIS

Fed up with Mouse clicking now talk to your ArcGIS Package... now you can use ArcSound (formerly GeoSound)

ArcSound is a prototype developed by the ESRI Aplication Prototype Lab to integrate sound and speech-recognition with ArcGIS.

ArcSound is comprised of following two features:
1) Store sound against Geodatabase Features
A tool is provided to record and play sound stored in a geodatabase. Sound is stored as BLOBs in a featureclass.
2) Speech Enabled Commands
ArcSound allows you to create speech enabled commands and tools. That is, execute commands or activate tools with your spoken voice. For example say "Add Data" to display the add data dialog or say "Page Right" to pan to the right.
1) Microsoft Windows XP SP1
2) Microsoft Windows XP SP2
3) Microsoft Windows 2003

1) Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
2) ESRI ArcGIS 9.1 or 9.2
3) ESRI .NET Assemblies

Well done to ESRI Prototype Labs including Richie Carmichael

Autumn Colour - UK Map

Interactive Map showing Autumn descending across the UK

"Join the gold rush. Foresters are watching for the awesome autumn shades in every corner of Britain so that you can relish this riot of colour."

Data 'scraped' from the Forestry Commission

19 October 2006

New BBC RSS Weather Feeds - Mapped

The BBC have now added RSS support with BBC Weather.

The Live Feeds update during the day and provide more information:

  • Min and Max Temperatures
  • Wind Speed and Direction
  • Visibility
  • Pressure
  • Humidity
  • UV Risk
  • Pollution
  • Sunrise and Sunset
5 day forecast covers most cities in the World.

BBC Feed for London Weather

Combined with the ACME GeoRSS you can overlay on a Google Map

ACME+London Feed

update: more info BBC Backstage (they want feedback)

Internet Explorer 7 Released

Microsoft have finally released out of beta and release candidate Internet Explorer 7.

This helps use this site in RSS mode...

and printing Shrink to Paper final works!

Don't worry FireFox 2.0 will be released soon (in RC3 now)

update: BBC News

update 2 : IE7 keyboard shortcuts (there is a few)

Data Lock Down - GEO DRM

DRM (Digital Rights Managment) of Geographic Data

What is GEO DRM (in simple terms)?
Similar to buying property and renting a property and having access to the key.
GeoDRM is the latter when the contract has ended over time the key is removed.

Debate: Is it worth locking down the digital data with DRM?

Ordnance Survey think it is.
"In my mind the GeoDRM work we are supporting as this point is more about the creation of standards based ways of defining, expressing and distributing the rights to access geospatial data - recognising the point that both commercial and non-commercial users may want to manage how their content is used." ED Parsons CTO Ordnance Survey

Zcologia thinks not
"Despite all the UML and fancy power-pointing, the GeoDRM business model is straight out of the 19th century. GeoDRM proponents do not see (or will not share) a way to make money other than by leasing virtual property"

GeoDRM Standards

mapperz thoughts?
remember Sony and DRM? (enough said)

Isn't it hard enough to get third party software to convert neutral data formats into useable formats adding DRM will only force more away from using geographic data and less revenue for Ordnance Survey.
Why not use winzip with 128-bit encryption with a strong password....

18 October 2006

ArcGIS 9.2 Cartographic Representations (part 3 of 5)

ArcGIS 9.2 Cartographic Representations (part 3 of 5)

The science for Cartographic Representations.

When Symbols are converted to Cartographic Representations this creates two new fields in the Geodatabase RuleID and Override. The RuleID is similiar to a Subtype containing a number. The Override field is a Blob (Binary Long Object) which contains all the represention information.

We have the Science now the technology is there to put the "Art" Back into Cartography
Users of Adobe Illustrator will familiar with the setup of the properties of CR.

The interesting and clever bit is that the real geometry is left untouched when using CR. It is like adding layers of graphics ontop of the feature classes. More than one CR can be applied to one feature class. This provides an excellent control at varing scales using the same features. Another example of the potentential is that the same features can be used for different types of mapping (tourist, motorist, walker maps etc.)

left:traditional un-symbolized GIS data. Right an example of CR in styling up features for a simple map at one scale.

ASH Maps - Flash

ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) have release new flash maps on smoking prevalence and deprivation across England to Ward Level.

The mapping has been created by Lovell Johns under the Maps International banner.

Cancer Research UK

BBC News
Time Online
Maps International (ASH Map)

17 October 2006

New 1TB Feature Datasets Geodatabases in ArcGIS 9.2

With the release of ESRI ArcGIS 9.2 there is a new type of Geodatabase becoming available.

The File Geodatabase breaks the 2GB limit a personal geodatabase (.mdb) has.
Compressing File Geodatabases
Compressing a file Geodatabase reduces file size upto 25%

This is important for small businesses that use ArcGIS but due to cost cannot afford ArcSDE software, licencing and the workers to administrate a DBMS.

Advantages on a File Geodatabase are:-
  • 1TB (TeraByte) for each dataset. Each file geodatabase can hold many datasets
    Each feature class can scale up to hundreds of millions of vector features per dataset.
  • Cross-platform on Operating Systems
  • Operating file system of security
  • Single user and small workgroups control, many readers (no lock file) one writer operator
  • Uses a very efficient data structure that is optimized for performance and storage
  • ESRI Recommend it over personal geodatabases.
  • ESRI Recommend compressing Feature Datasets after importing from personal geodatabases.
So is the Personal Geodatabase dead?

16 October 2006

Death of the Map? BBC News Magazine

BBC News reports on how maps have changed over 500 years...

The Map Gap
"As the world's oldest printed atlas sells for £2m, our impression of what the Earth looks like has changed almost beyond recognition. But even now, it's hard to find a truly accurate picture of our planet."

By Claire Heald
BBC News

What changes in the next 500 years?

1:1 - 4D predictive mapping with teleport to location... powered by google earth pro-dictive (free silver jump suit included).

UK Google Maps Roundup Part 4

The Excellent Google Maps Resource Google Maps Mania provides Roundup number 4 for the UK.

even a little unknown blog (mapperz) gets a link...

Part1 Part2 Part3 also available

mapperz looks forward to part 5 and 6.

Keep up the good work.

15 October 2006

UK Geocoding and Map Search Integration

Google Maps and Google AJAX Search API's brought together by Online Archaeology to produce a UK geocoding map.

A quote from Online Archaeology:

"Since it was pointed out to me that using the Yahoo! Geocoder was against Y! Terms of Use I looked at the Google Search API. I hadn’t thought about this till mapperz mentioned it on the Maps API group.

The Google Search API allows you to search for a location by passing in either postcode or town. Here’s the documentation and here’s the example I used to get it working.

I narrowed the search to Local only, but it can search for web, video, blogs and news."

The Map

AJAX results on the left, Map result on the right

Its nice to see a working integration of the search and mapping.

Well done Online Archaeology

contact mapperz (@gmail.com) if your site(s) run a similiar mapping search solution.

Reverse geocoding is simply the opposite of entering a town or postcode/zipcode, by just click on the map an address is returned.

An example of reverse geocoding is here (USA only) credit to maps.huge.info

13 October 2006

Traffic Eye Map

Traffic Eye map for the UK
Traffic Eye Map
A fast reference point for real-time UK traffic information
check the traffic situation before each journey.
Powered by Live Local and BBC Backstage

Google Maps for PDA

Google Map now supports PDA's (in particular the Palm Treo with these features...

Real-time traffic — See where the congestion is, and estimate delays. (USA only)

Detailed directions — Whether you plan to walk or drive, your route is displayed on the map itself, together with step-by-step directions.

Integrated search results — Local business locations and contact information appear all in one place, integrated on your map.

Easily movable maps — Interactive, draggable maps lets you zoom in or out, and move in all directions so you can orient yourself visually.

Satellite imagery — Get a bird's eye view of your desired location.

http://www.google.com/gmm/treo to download the PRC and Hotsync

source: Google Alerts

other links: Palm Wiki

update: Google Maps Mania has more

12 October 2006

ArcGIS 9.2 Cartographic Representations (part 2 of 5)

ESRI have done an excellent live seminar on Cartographic Representations (CR) presented by Peter Kasianchuk and Paul Hardy.

So why all this fuss on CR?

So using the same feature classes you can have more than one way to show (or represent) them. Think of it as set of layers (.lyr) or styles but attached to the feature class and can be edited directly like using Adobe Illustrator. More than one CR can be attached to the same feature class. So the same feature class can be vastly different but NOT affecting the geometry of that feature class.

Some questions answered

In addition, the following new functionality is available in ArcEditor and ArcInfo.

  • New cartographic editing and finishing capabilities
    • Ability to create and edit cartographic representations and symbols of features without modifying feature locations.
    • Ability to support offsetting graphic representations from the geometric location of a feature and storing these effects as part of the feature in the geodatabase.
    • Ability to alter the graphic elements that make up a particular symbol (i.e., add, delete, move, or reshape something such as a single dash or marsh symbol within a fill pattern). These altered graphic elements can also be saved as part of the cartographic representation for a feature.
  • Multiple cartographic representations
    • Ability to store alternative cartographic representations as part of a feature record (like any other attribute). Use these different representations to create different maps from the same feature database.
    • Cartographic representations will be "just another attribute" of a GIS feature.
Converting Symbology to Cartographic Representation

to be continued..

ArcGIS 9.2 - Geodatabase to Double Precision

ArcGIS 9.1 did not support double-precision in personal geodatabases nor does the common shapefile. Now in ArcGIS 9.2 it has returned to ESRI.

"The number of significant digits used to store numbers, particularly coordinate values. Precision is important for accurate feature representation, analysis, and mapping."

"The level of coordinate exactness based on the possible number of significant digits that can be stored for each coordinate. Datasets can be stored in either single or double precision. Double-precision geometries store up to 15 significant digits per coordinate (typically 13 to 14 significant digits), retaining the accuracy of much less than 1 meter at a global extent."

ESRI 9.2 Products
Double Precision—The entire GIS stack (ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Server, the geodatabase, and ArcSDE) now stores and processes data using double-precision mathematics (technically 53 bits). This allows a single spatial domain to be used for the whole globe, which greatly simplifies the creation and definition of spatial datasets in a geodatabase.

Now we can load in our Arc/Info Coverages into Geodatabases without losing what was Double-Precision

ArcMap Editors in the ArcGIS versions (8 - 9.1) notice that there is a shift in data when using the editing tools,editor menu - clipping, intersecting etc. This is because it uses the single precision of the data frame rather than that of your dataset.
Source: Data Shift

So the question is now is the DATA FRAME now in Double-Precision??

notice the page is missing on the ArcGIS 9.2 online draft? why?

other links:

11 October 2006

Nature on the Map - England

View information on

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
International Sites
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats
Geological Sites and Targeting and Planning Map

(more information on theses on the Nature on the Map website)

Cartographic Representations in ArcGIS 9.2 (part 1 of 5)

Mapperz looking into the big changes in ArcGIS 9.2

Generalization requires geoprocessing algorithms and problem solving, which are performed at the topology level before feature symbolization. Tools that can be applied to the most common generalization tasks are currently underway for the following:

  • Simplify polygon.

    click to enlarge

    Removes small fluctuations and extraneous bends while preserving the essential feature shape

  • Simplify building.
    click to enlarge
Removes or simplifies building footprint boundaries while preserving the essential shape and size

  • Aggregate polygon.
    click to enlargeCombines disjoint and adjacent polygons into new area features based on a specified tolerance distance

  • Collapse dual lines to centerlines.
    Derives centerlines, or single lines, from dual-line features, such as road casings, based on a width toleranceclick to enlarge

  • Simplify line.
    click to enlarge

    Now includes an automatic tolerance reduction to prevent geometric errors while removing small fluctuations and extraneous bends

    Using these tools with the ModelBuilder will allow an automated environment for the cartographer.


    Look out for... Cartographic Representations Seminar - Thursday 12th October 2006 (check link for times.)

    Edited and published with Google Writer (beta)

    Some mis-formating and multiple blog postings in draft of the same post, other than that it works...

    update: cleaned up in blogger

    09 October 2006

    Proximity Maps UK

    Proximity maps for
    Canada, USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand

    Proximity Map

    its like Google Local and MapQuest but for travelers

    06 October 2006

    Parish Mapper and Church Finder for England

    Need to find a parishes or churches in England
    Parish and Church Finder
    A very functional and very fast mapping soultion for finding Parish and Churches in England.

    QThe Church of England has licensed the Royal Mail/OS postcode data, so we use that for the initial positioning of the map; the user then clicks their exact position and the system will find the parish containing the click. And if details of local churches have been input, then there are links to those too. I have to confess I was rather pleased with the database design which allows the system to find which of 43000 polygons throughout England contains the clicked location, and within two seconds."

    Because of the real postcode data, you're limited to 12 postcode searches from any one IP address in any 24 hours. There are unlimited clicks on the map available.

    Thanks to Andrew Leach

    This shows how verstile mapping themes in google maps can be. A very fast site. Good work
    Proves that good Database Design is worth the investment.

    05 October 2006

    Mapperz AJAX Map Search Integration

    Mapperz AJAX Map SearchNow you can search using the Google AJAX Map API on this site without leaving this blog.

    Thanks to Google for making it possible.

    Update: Internet Explorer users can now use the Map search. Available in the right hand panel >>>

    Largest 3D Map of the Local Universe

    Astronomers have produced their biggest 3D map yet of the "local" Universe.

    Cosmos at a Scale of 1:13 million light years.

    source BBC News

    03 October 2006

    Walk It Map - London

    Save time and fuel and the environment.

    This Map that works out your times, calories and Co2 emissions saved

    Transport for London - Traffic News Live Map

    Traffic News is a unique traffic management tool that will provide real time details of road works, streetworks, public events, accidents and incidents that may affect road journeys in London, allowing road users to make informed decisions about their routes before they travel.

    Traffic News Map

    Live Traffic Info
    Live CCTV images
    Auto-update function