Tag Archives | Mapping

MapQuest: It Lives!

I’m not the only person out there who used MapQuest incessantly for years, but stopped cold the moment Google Maps came along, right? Well, it’s time to revisit the mapping pioneer–it recently relaunched MapQuest.com, and has a new version of its free iPhone navigation app that does spoken turn-by-turn directions and can run in the background.


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C3’s Amazing 3D Cities

I’m at O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0 conference in San Jose. It’s a crowded and exciting confab on one of the hottest topics in tech: location-aware applications and services. There are a bunch of interesting demos going on, but the one that’s really knocked my socks off so far is one I’m watching right now, by a Swedish company called C3 Technologies. Mapping applications such as Google Earth include some painstakingly handcrafted 3D models of buildings, but C3 uses photos taken from aircraft to capture entire cities–buildings, trees, everything–and recreate them as photorealistic 3D models. We’re swooping through London, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and other locales, and it’s just stunning.

This video isn’t new, but it gives you a taste of what C3 does:

C3 says that its technologies requires no human intervention and can recreate an entire city in weeks. The company has recreated fifty cities to date. I can’t wait until stuff like this shows up in mapping programs, on GPS handhelds…everywhere there’s geography. Amazing stuff.


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Don’t Fear Pegman: New Google Maps Street View is a Winner

pegmanMcCracken’s Law of Software Mascots states definitively that they’re almost always a truly lousy idea. Most of the evidence has come in the form of grating, patronizing Microsoft characters, from Bob to Clippy to Rover, the miserable mutt who shows up in Windows XP’s search. So I was alarmed when I heard that Google Maps’ amazing Street View photographic imagery feature had been updated with a new interface involving a mascot. Named Pegman. Who, in an image in the Google Blog post announcing the news, seemed to be channeling Clippy:

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