Yay, two more cool new GeoGames out there. The first is another take on Pac-Man, technically quite like the ARQuake project.
The other is called Glofun RayGun, and is planned to be released early 2005 by GloVentures.
To aim the raygun at a ghost, you must physically move toward it. The faster you walk/run, the higher the raygun’s range.' [near near future]
Oh and it uses the Nextel GPS phones, so you can beta test for free if you have the i710 or i730. By the way, I own the i860, and man is it sweet, if you don't mind the shitty outgoing plans. GPS and cameraphone. I love it.
By the way... kids, don't make prank phone calls to 911, especially with a GPS cellphone.
[from Rich Gibson's Photos]
A GeoWanker friend of mine, Mike Liebhold organized the New Geography confrence with the Institute for the Future. Tech writer, Howard Rheingold wrote up his take of the "locative experience" which included a psychogeographic walk using tablet PCs and Chris Goad's maps from his company Map Bureau.
Pictured to the right is one of the maps the group used, which is a really great example of what geotagging can bring out about the world around us.
[The Geoweb and Deep Place. Thanks Mike!]
Ever try using mapquest to get walking directions? A bit afraid to take their recommendation to use the freeway? Maybe you need better directions...
Whereas traditional journey planning services only offer one mode of transport, PEPTRAN is able to offer a journey based on driving, walking and public transport services. You might start your journey by driving to the edge of a city, where PEPTRAN will direct you to a car park which has vacant spaces. PEPTRAN will then tell you how to reach the nearest metro station or bus stop, and will tell you which line or service to take to reach your destination. To offer the best possible route from A to B, PEPTRAN knows what is happening out on the street. For example, if your bus is running late, maybe there's a better way?" [PEPTAN]
The service is only offered in Winchester and Hapshire in the UK, and Torino in Italy, but ideas like these don't generally stay so localized. Maybe some big map company will take the hint, and start including public transport information in their maps.
[Link via near near future]
Above photo is a montage of the road data + art installations, the lower right image is what it will likely look like on your GPS. I used the Mad Max photo since he looks pretty lost like I usually am.
If you're going to Burning Man, and you're taking a GPS, you might want to nab these files, which are waypoints for Burning Man. They look a bit old, as the playa changes slightly every year, but I'll make sure to get the skinny since I'm doing technomadics at Burning Man anyways.
[Link from bm.tribe.net]
My friend and mapmaker Jo Walsh (aka zool) writes:
Why is it that most cartographers are hopelessly lost? Maybe I'm speaking from experience, but it seems like mapping, despite being one of the oldest exploratory traditions, is still quite young. Some people seem to think the world has already been discovered by people like Columbus and Magellan, but I think they just scratched the surface.
so they're looking for a killer RDF app, like everyone else. i maintain that the solution and the problem are the same thing; not a killer app, but a thousand interlocking sub-apps, enhancing each other; the swarm of bots, propelling themselves about a fluid continuum."
Jo gets it. She knows the power of RDF coupled with geo technologies. Defining space is about the name space and semantics. Trying to get well established companies and government cartography institutions to open up is a bit like trying to get your cat to take a bath. Even in countries like the United States, where government maps are more open, they still aren't reliable enough to use for generic things like driving directions, and the only other option is to lease expensive geographic feeds from companies like Mapquest and ESRI.
In this writer's opinion, community and open-source developers will be the ones forging the emerging cartography world, not a business model or better PDAs. Jo is the smartest girl I know, and possibly the smartest geek I know. The Ordinance Survey could greatly benefit the people of Britian if they open up and listen to cartography pioneers like Jo Walsh, who are often all too eager to hack shit up in the name of progress.
[Link from www.zooleika.org.uk]
Near Near Future futurism fangirl Regine says "I just read that you have to write a paper about locative games: [elastic space › Mobile social software applications] (via the excellent "Pasta & Vinegar")". This is a "growing list of social applications that work in a mobile context", but often the social mobile networks are just as fun as the ones with fantasy and complicated scoring systems.
[Link. Photos from Asphalt-games]
Using ideas behind collaborative cartography, Elephant Paths attempts to find common routes by doing analysis on GPS tracklogs. The author, Mari Keski-Korsu calls it "a project that explores a geographical and social space by mapping paths.", and is generating simple flash maps that includes geo-referenced images and video links.
While the project is premature and doesn't yet scale, Elephant Paths is an interesting idea playing on community, space, and motivations, and definitely should be incorporated in larger collaborative mapping web sites.
[Link via we-make-money-not-art]
Accelerometers are tiny sensors that can detect small ammounts of movement, which has a lot of potential for location and geo based projects that require pinpoint precision instead of the 20-60ft range most GPS units provide.
Microsoft has been doing development into the relm of wearable computers with projects like the SenseCam. Lyndsay Williams' research with Microsoft has produced a small and potentially cheap device that uses accelerometers along with other sensors to track light, skin resistance, heart rate, and one's movement. Something that most hospitals would love to have for their patients, as well as at-home-patients and the elderly.
[Link via Paul from WearCentral]
After doing research on locative technology I found this tidbit about services like dodgeball and whoat (whoa-tee) that try to introduce people to each other by alerting them to people close to them geographically.
Interesting. What these services seem to lack is passive locative signaling. It's one thing to be punching into your cellphone "I'm at the corner of 1st and Main St" verses your cellphone broadcasting the information to a server which controls who is able to access your information, which is much more close to a GPS service.
Cellphones likely will become the new GPS, with embedded GPS chips, and more sophisticated management of your tracklogs, geo-images, and social network. While locative technology is cool, I agree with mobile-blog's assertion that these two services are a waste of energy, because it assumes that:
[Link from mobile-weblog]
Leicestershire county in England is trying out a keen idea that delves into texting and geolocationing.
"...mobile phone users can send a text message containing a six-digit code unique to their bus stop to a local bus company.
Within 30 seconds a text message is sent back giving the location of the bus."
This is pretty interesting as the issue of finding oneself can be pretty daunting as Chris Heathcote explained in his ETech presentation earlier this year entitled "35 Ways To Find Your Location", which touched on using bus and taxi stops as a way to help find your location since they often use similar unique identifiers. In any case I'm still bothering my phone company to stop archiving my text messages for johnny law, and start allowing their customers to figure out where they are since they already know anyways.
I'm currently working on a hack for an upcomming book called "Mapping Hacks" for O'Reilly Books, so this hack from Digital Photography Hacks really caught my attention. David suggests using TopoVision to create the images, but my friend Schuyler has a perl hack which links albums to GPS tracklogs as well if you're not a Windows user. In addition, Anselm and I (Tom Longson), are working on a way to streamline this process by autolinking photos to tracklogs with just a web browser. If you're interested in getting started, this article is sure to help.
The Associated Press has a review of the Garmin Forerunner 201 (pictured to right) and the Timex’s Bodylink System (pictured below), both wrist mounted GPS units for runners. Each unit has specialized functions for specifically for runners.
For example, the Garmin allows you to run with a virtual runner on the display who runs at your specified pace. One could imagine Garmin or Timex building future units to allow Olympic runners to against AI virtual rivals to better their game based on their performance.
The AP article says the timex tranciever is superior in GPS performance, but the Garmin comes with the ability to transfer data out of the box, and records elevation and incline information. While Timex is silly to not include something so basic as altitude, unlike the Garmin, you may have to purchase an add-on to get a heart rate monitor for $36. The Garmin comes with the ability to save running data, and software to make graphs of your performance, while the Timex needs an add-on (which comes with the data cables), for $50.
Another feature the Garmin has that the Timex doesn't software to encourage you to try new trails while giving you directions to get back, which sounds really neat to me, but the reporter says that on average the Garmin took longer to get a satellite lock, and also lost it's signal more often, especially around tall buildings.
Garmin Forerunner 201: $130,
2.8 ounces, better for rural areas, better features.
Timex’s Bodylink System (with heart rate monitor): $232
~6 ounces, better for citites, expect to pay $282 to record data.
I think Sony's 'Navi' in car systems just got launched in Japan, but even if they haven't, the article over at Linux Devices really makes the geo-geek in me drool. These pictures appeal to my visual side, my video gaming side, and my where-the-fuck-am-i?! side.
"The 3D mapping interface shows actual buildings, and knows street addresses, enabling it to identify destination addresses. In the picture at right, it has identified a gas station belonging to a promotional partner. Advertising for many other businesses, such as fast food outlets, appears to be built into the maps."
What really makes me wonder about this technology is the level of detail these maps seem to sport. Anyone in locative field knows how hard it can be to maintain realistic road maps, let alone map the position of safty hazzard cones. I get the feeling I need to impress upon Dave Coleman's girlfriend, Mie to interview the Navi guys.
Engadget just gave some interesting information about some GPS units which act a bit differently. These were originally spotted by the Inquirer at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week.
BT-318...a Bluetooth GPS module from GlobalSat which has an optional GPRS modem that’ll let you get online with your PDA or laptop (as long as they have Bluetooth, too). The other is Aqik’s new GPS locator for automobiles, which comes with a built-in GSM cellphone so that if your car gets stolen all you have to do is send the locator a text message and you’ll instantly get a message back with its exact location. And since it’s also a phone you can even secretly call it up and listen in on the thieves enjoying your automobile.
Cameraphones are becoming more of a wearable device than a phone these days. A new product in this vein is SpotCode, a barcode system for pointing and clicking on various devices, such as vending machines or computers. This is done by using a cameraphone with bluetooth to relay "selections" based on barcodes on displays or signs.
Another application of cameraphones and barcodes came up during the ETech conference in San Diego. Chris Heathcote presented "35 ways to Find Your Location", which touched on using barcodes, cameraphones, and sticker printers to coat a city with locative barcodes to help people find where they are. Another use for this technology are "hidden" messages, and "barcode tagging".
Schuyler Erle who is currently working on a Geo Hacks book for O'Reilly, has produced the first open source, completely free, geocoder, called "geocoder.us". This means that you can use his code and the US TIGER database to translate American addresses into a longitude and latitude.
[Link. Thanks Schuyler!]