Archive for September, 2006
Just came across a project to develop an open source mapping application for PDA’s. MapTools has the following objective.
Mobile GIS is an Open Source project aimed at providing various GIS solutions for a variety of mobile devices. Currently Mobile GIS is in the initial planning phase.
The UK is going to make some more funding available for Galileo – around 31 million pounds! It sounds as though Galileo is being driven more and more by commercial interests though.
Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said Galileo has real potential to develop “groundbreaking” technology leading to more accurate in-car navigation and new systems for the emergency services to locate missing or injured people.
The beta version of Google Earth 4 was released a few days ago. Key improvements appear to be…
- Simpler user interface
- Improved 3d buildings – not sure if it is much use here in NZ yet
- Improvements to KML
The Yosemite KML example looks interesting. I wonder if it is possible to stream your own images and have them display over the Earth model?
The unified digital map DB central center will be linking each data centers in providence, county, city levels to link Web servers, DB servers, administrator servers and GIS servers using Redhat#039s enterprises Linux 4.0 version.
The GIS engine #039IntraMap/Web#039 by KSIC was picked for its open source software. This shows the administration#039s intent to spread open source software and to apply it to other public access projects in the future. This kind of project can be an ideal showcase for the open source and foundation to overseas ventures for the domestic firms.
I think it is excellent to see these open source projects being picked up by Governments – hopefully we will see more of this occurring in New Zealand. Hint hint.
A new research centre has been announced in Christchurch that will focus on geospatial research for business and research purposes.
The Geospatial Research Centre will include a focus on technologies associated with gathering geospatial data, complementing New Zealandâ€™s existing strengths in the analysis and use of such information. Geospatial technology has potential applications in activities as diverse as surveying, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture and global positioning systems.
Trevor Mallard had this to says on the benefits it would provide.
Geospatial technology involves the gathering, storage, processing and use of data that is referenced to geographical location, and has many applications in New Zealand. Some of our companies are already developing world-class capability in this area. Research at the new centre will help increase revenues, reduce costs, and enhance productivity in a variety of industries, delivering an estimated net economic benefit of $63 million over 10 years
Not likely to affect us here in New Zealand, but it appears that the Americans are going to have their government funding for National Differential GPS cut entirely. It sounds as though WAAS is the reason for the budget cut. There is discussion on Slashdot here. Perhaps one day we’ll have WAAS in the southern hemipshere…
There have been a number of discussions on the forums recently about new cachers, archiving caches and the growth of the sport. In this editorial I suggest one option that can be used to ensure there are enough spots left to place caches for everyone.
I’ve had a couple of discussions with other geocachers recently about the increasing numbers of geocaches being placed in New Zealand, and what this means for current and new geocachers when it comes to placing new geocaches.
When I started caching there were probably only 20 geocaches in the South Island. I had an almost free reign to choose where I wanted to place new caches. As of today, there are 508 listed on geocaching.com and my home-town of Christchurch is swimming in caches!
Whilst New Zealand is a large country and there are plenty of opportunities to place caches, there are vast swathes of land that are private property and cannot be used for placing caches. This means that there will always be a certain limit to the number of caches than can be placed.
What does this mean for current geocachers?
The more caches that are placed by ‘older’ geocachers, the less opportunities will remain for the new geocachers coming onto the scene. But we cannot ask nor expect those that have been geocaching for longer to stop placing caches. But if we keep on as we are, it will become harder and harder for new geocachers to make a valuable contribution to geocaching in New Zealand.
What I intend to do
Naturally, we can’t stop people placing caches, nor would we want to. But I’ve come up with a plan that I think will achieve a good compromise and I want to share with you here what I intend to do.
Firstly, I’m reviewing all of my existing geocaches. with a view to archiving some of them. I’m actively archiving most of the caches that are further away from where I live, so as to free up potential spots for cachers that live closer to place their own caches and to maintain them. This should be done in consultation with other cachers, as they may identify caches that should remain.
I used to think that there was no reason for archiving a cache in a good location, but I had the realisation that because of the increasing density of caches, as soon as one cache is archived in an area, it is highly likely that someone will come along and place a new cache in that spot. This has the added benefit for ‘older’ cachers that they will have newer caches to hunt.
Secondly, I’m holding back from releasing newer caches. As much as I’d like to place many more, I’m trying to be very selective in those I release. In this way space will be left for newer cachers to come along and start placing.
In summary, I don’t think these techniques are a silver bullet to deal with the increasing number of geocaches and cache density in New Zealand. But I think they will play a useful role in making opportunities for new cachers to be able to make placements of their own and maintain their interest in caching.
I came across some news recently that may breathe some life into GLONASS – the Russian GPS that many thought may be near death due to lack of
Under the space co-operation agreements signed during President Vladimir Putin’s India visit, both countries will jointly develop new generation GLONASS-K satellite for the GLONASS global positioning system, which will function parallelly with the American GPS. Under the Indo-Russian agreements some of the current Russian GLONASS-M satellites would be launched from the Indian soil with the help of Indian launch vehicles.
All I can say is that the more systems and satellites the merrier, especially if handhelds are able to utilise multiple systems.