(image: Some rights reserved by benwatts)
I’ve added a page to this website on hot topics in the geospatial world. In the past few weeks the news has been covered with Apple’s new iOS6 and the maps application. The general consensus is that Apple’s maps will get better but slowly. Perhaps they need a method of getting back user feedback on poor quality areas e.g. like Tom Tom’s map share feature. To stay up to date with what’s going on click on the hot tab above or go here. And let us know what you think too!
AGI GeoCommunity 2012 starts this evening at EMCC, Nottingham, UK.
I’ve included tweets from the conference at this page.
You can also tweet using #TechSIG to include the AGI Technical SIG in your discussions
Happy #GeoCom to all!
Press release from MapAction………….Good luck to Ming for his run!
Prince Harry has invited disaster mapping charity MapAction to fly the flag for volunteering in the Olympic Torch Relay as it passes Buckingham Palace on 26 July, the day before the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic Torch relay organisers asked Prince Harry to choose a torchbearer from one of his charities to take part in the relay at Buckingham Palace.
Wai-Ming Lee (known as Ming), an active MapAction volunteer, has been given the honour of carrying the Olympic torch, where it will be viewed by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Ming was chosen to represent MapAction’s team of skilled volunteers, who fly to disaster zones to provide mapped information that guides life-saving aid to people in need: communities cut off by flood water, or even individuals still trapped in collapsed buildings. Ming first joined the charity in 2004 and deployed to such humanitarian emergencies as the Indian Ocean (“Boxing Day”) tsunami in 2004 and Pakistan floods of 2010. When he’s not flying out to disaster zones, he helps the charity develop its technical capabilities, so its operations are as streamlined and effective as possible.
Wai-Ming Lee says: “I am incredibly proud to carry the Olympic torch for MapAction. In doing so, I am representing the tireless work of some 60 volunteers who contribute their mapping skills, so that lives can be saved in humanitarian emergencies.”
Nigel Woof, MapAction’s chief executive says: “We would like to thank our patron Prince Harry and the Olympic Torch Relay organisers for asking MapAction to fly the flag for volunteering in the Olympic torch relay. Today is a celebration of the humanitarian motives, commitment and drive of MapAction’s very special volunteers. I am humbled by their selfless efforts that help get aid to where it’s needed most.”
MapAction has already deployed to six humanitarian crises in 2012, in Africa, Asia and South America, and is ready to help wherever and whenever its emergency mapping service is needed.
To support MapAction, people can text MAPS36 to 70070 and either £2, £5 or £10 (e.g. MAPS36 £5). The text message is free and all of the donation will be passed to MapAction. For more information, visit: justtextgiving.co.uk
Details of the route for the Olympic Torch Relay on Thursday 26 July can be found at: http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/General/01/25/70/89/Day69map_Neutral.pdf
The torch is scheduled to arrive at Buckingham Palace at 18:38 hrs.
(a guest post from the ShareMap.org team)………
Some time ago several articles about ShareMap.org were published on many important GIS related blogs and sites. Now ShareMap is slowly phasing out from beta stage. Feature set is almost complete and dozens of maps created with ShareMap enriches multiple Wikipedia articles .
There was two major and important features that was introduced recently
OpenStreetMap is enormous source for geospatial data. Implantation of import mechanism from OSM was one of first features of ShareMap. But sometimes OSM data is not enough, especially when we try to create historical map. For example if we want to create map of dismantled tramway system in Cleveland we cannot find information about track position at OSM. But we can reuse pre war map of system (with expired copyrights, so it is 100% comply with Creative Commons license). We can treat this old map as overlay to our interactive map, but first of all we have to calibrate it. In simple words calibration is just selecting of several calibration points on raster map (old one) and interactive map. After point selection the system warps. The well known open source GDAL library is used. In this video map calibration process is described in detail .
Animated maps (timeline)
Maps are not only latitude longitude and altitude of points. There is one more important factor – time. Some geospatial features exists only for limited timespan. Railway line to Ballachulish in scotland was build in 1904 and demolished in 1966. For viewer is very useful to see dynamics of processes – changes of routes, borders, points etc. . This is a key factor for creation of good historical maps. From map creator perspective adding timeline to existing map is very easy. Editor has just to fill the timespan fields of object on the map.
You can see example map (construction of tramways in Warsaw after WW II) here. . Screencast tutorial about animated map creation will be available soon.
Work still in progress:
Now we are focused on improvement of existing features, fixing bugs and writing documentation.
There are still some export features that are missing – animated SVG files, export to animated GIF’s , MP4 and YouTube. We are also working on mobile viewer for ShareMap maps. Old mobile alpha version is reworked and soon will be published for Android and iOS on app stores.
Waiting for your feedback:
We are waiting for your feedback – if you have any comments related to map creation process, user interface etc. let us know. If you have any feature request write. Just use the contact form 
I was recently involved in and helped set up the recent Interoperability Day 2012 (#interop12 on Twitter) at the Met Office in the UK. This was a joint event organised by the OGC and AGI.
It was a great day and good to meet so many new faces and learn more about open standards and how they can work for different organisations.
Some presentations from the day are available from the AGI website here
You can read more about the day in a post I wrote for the OGC blog here
Thanks to all who spoke, sponsored and attended. I’m looking forward to the next geo event already!
@red_baobab has created a map and reporting tool for the UEFA Euro 2012 Football (soccer for you Americans!) Championships. It’s based on the Ushahidi platform and like similar sites (which have been used for humanitarian purposes after major disasters e.g. Haiti EQ, Pakistan Floods, and also Libyan crisis), it aggregates reports from the mainstream media, and allows you to post stories and tweets to the map. Check out the map by clicking the image below!
I’ve now embedded a Lanyrd guide to geospatial events on this website. See the When tab above or click here. The events are taken from the Lanyrd guide “Geospatial Loveliness” compiled by @RolloHome and others. Please feel free to add more geospatial events to the list here. Looking forward to seeing you at a future geo-event!
Since I am in China for a few weeks I thought I’d make a list of websites which I can / can’t get on to!
Can get on…
– BBC (even Asia / China news section)
– Google (.com refreshes to .co.hk)
– Twitter! (but from my phone only – so probably the connection is bypassing the great firewall.)
Can’t get on…
– Facebook (not that I use it much anyway!)
– Any google maps applications on web