Selfridges London on Google Maps

If you have ever lost in a subway or a shopping mall, you know that indoor maps are indeed useful. I’m not the kind of person who wants to consult info points and -graphics every time looking for the right exit in the underground – but having a map in my phone that helps in these situations: that’s a real deal.

Selfridges London on Google Maps - by Richard Dancsi

I have read sometime in July that the indoor function of Google Maps will be available in the UK, but I didn’t pay too much attention: with my age I already know how to get around in shops and how to look for those signs that give me directions. What’s really great though, is the ease of use. No matter which section, floor or department you are at, the phone is always in your pocket – and you always know which way to go next.

A faster, more effective, happier way of getting around indoors.

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Timelapse layer for Google Earth

To celebrate Landsat’s 40th birthday, Google made available a bunch of timelapse videos about Earth’s surface. With that, can watch the globe change over the last decade: the growing Las Vegas, the deforestation of the Amazon or the Aral Sea drying out. Amazing pictures and some food for thought.

more info and videos on Google Earth Engine

Google Earth Engine brings together the world’s satellite imagery — trillions of scientific measurements dating back almost 40 years — and makes it available online with tools for scientists, independent researchers, and nations to mine this massive warehouse of data to detect changes, map trends and quantify differences on the Earth’s surface. Applications include: detecting deforestation, classifying land cover, estimating forest biomass and carbon, and mapping the world’s roadless areas.

via 9to5Google

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The future with Google Glasses

For the last ten years, if I want to see my inbox when on the road, I know to reach for my phone. This move for me is probably as natural, as it is for my father to check his watch for the time, or, for my future son, to check his whatever social network thing in his glasses. Yet, for me, for now, Internet in glasses is just proper craze.

If you give the task to engineers, to design a device that runs a distance between two points, they will most probably draw something with wheels. Similarly, if you want them to make something that’s connected to the Internet, you will get a screen of any size next to a modem in a soap shaped brick. Based on the proportions you will call it then a tablet or a phone or Galaxy Note.

And there are always those engineers out there who, with a twinkle in the eye, will keep developing those walking robots – until a point, when they are clever enough to actually be used. And then we have to get used to them.

I’m sure Google with the glasses is at this point now. These devices are so new that it’s almost impossible to imagine how we will get on with them: people still try to find out how the iPad fits into their lives, and that basically is just a big phone.

Hopefully by the time this new augmented reality and the non-stop connectivity arrives, we will be clever enough to know when to switch off and gain focus to things that actually matter. Otherwise, the network will have it’s greatest chance yet, to completely suck us in.

If you thought you are connected 24/7, now is time to think again.

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Getting rid of Google Maps

Being dependent on someone else’s technology feels bad. Especially if that someone can an does change it’s pricing from time to time – more so, if those changes could completely bail you out of business. That kind of fear builds mountains – or, for iOS 6 a new Maps service that replaces Google Maps.

Every time I design products where we need to use the Google Maps API, I have a certain feeling: the maps are great, we can estimate the short term costs, but the fact is that we are dependent on one vendor. I’m really glad to see that another player is entering the game now.

That’s the business perspective of course. As a user, I’m simply curious. The first screenshots of Maps are not that great (keep in mind that in Europe, we probably will receive that 3D sugar much much later than users in the US), but by doing my research, I’ve found a really promising fact: the new software is based on the services of C3 Technologies, which is a research lab of the SAAB group.

That means, at least in theory, with this technology creating those high resolution 3D maps might be closer than we think. “Since the high-resolution maps are accurately georeferenced, coordinates can be extracted and used for leading indirect fire such as artillery, as well as close air support targeting.”

And, of course, locating the nearest Starbucks.

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