Woody has put together a very compelling application, using worldKit and mapproxy. He has started a collaborative mapping project, mapping out kayaking way points in Chesapeake Bay. If you have any waypoints, data contributions are welcome there.
The multiple scales of USGS maps, combined with kayaking data, is really effective. It suggests future developments for worldKit, where maps at different scales and pans are loaded automatically.
Announcing a new experimental service. My Yahoo to RSS converts modules personalized at http://my.yahoo.com/ into RSS feeds. At the moment, Stock Quotes, Movie Listings, and Weather are available.
That’s all you really need to know, but here’s some more details for the curious. myy2rss is the result of a project for the course “Programming Techniques” at University of Sussex. It’s an application of a system using Finite State Machines to screen scraping. There’s a lengthy report on the code at http://brainoff.com/myy2rss/report.pdf.
This project is not affiliated with Yahoo Inc.
The mystery of the Nej vote of Sweden joining the Euro has been found. For the Ja campaign, back in the summer, some late night strategizing resulted in EURO LAGER!
Perhaps the only Currency themed beer around, it aims to appeal to all European drinkers, without any specific brewing culture reference. Like the non-existance bridges and buildings printed on the Euro notes, Euro Lager only suggests actual beer and merely achieves the lowest common denominator of beverage. It was probably perceived more as a threat, than an invitation.
Still the intoxication result is the same, and the price is low at the state run liquor stores, systembolaget.
Belated weblog congrats to Scott and Feedster for their latest Big Push. Scott is one of the hardest working men in blogbusiness, developing really great tools, and he’s really open to suggestions from the blogosphere at large. One result is Geographic Results on Feedster searches, using worldKit!
God Jul and Happy Holydays of dark Winter
We are back from far northern Sweden, and I am convinced Tomten do scramble about in the Night (which is all the time) cleaning, drinking milk, spooking horses, making sparks in fresh laundry. The wind comes straight from the Arctic, and that desolation rings in the very ancient rhythm of the dark Winter, drinking in coffee by the fire and chewing on an extra helping of reindeer.
With the addition of schnapps, an entire restaurant is convinced to run jacketless into -20C evening to dance around naked woman statues.
Some christmas numbers: 4 flights, 2 hours of sunlight, 7 bowls of rice porridge, 3 christmas tables, 2 santas, countless drinks, several pounds of extra post-fat. Already mentioned -20!
There have been rumors that Jews in England have celebrated the Christmas holiday for many years, un-secularly, unlike the super size Hanukkah of their American brethren. That’s as yet unverified. We did gather together nine candle holders for an improvised Svensk Hanukkah.
Recently aquired and recommended, Legowelt Classics and LFO: Sheath
England is not all high tech cutting edge culture of course. Castles, tea houses, and drafty windows. It’s just so CUTE for American tourists.
Still, there is no excuse for English sinks.
Look at that sink! It’s maybe ten years old, but still uses that Victorian Age technology. Yes, England, we have figured out how to merge the taps into One, with both Hot and Cold. Strangely, they’ve figured this out for the kitchen .. so it must be some sort of stubborn determination. Maybe one tap bathroom sinks are seen as “Continental”.
Anyway, this is often a pain. Lots of quick back and forth under the two streams, with cupped hands, to get the right temperature.
Christmas Number One
UK is cutting edge in many a way. Spatial Annotation Experiments is one. Christmas music is another. There hasn’t been a new Christmas song in the US since 1950, except for Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. American Christmas music is bland, traditional, and will drive you batty. Especially if you are Jewish, eating Chinese food and watching pre-VCR TV on Christmas Day with no presents or tree or anything else all your Gentile friends are revelling in!!
Ok, Anyway. Here in the UK, Christmas is a time of fierce battle on the airwaves, for the Christmas number one. And sometimes they’re decent enough to actually listen to without going on a shopping mall gun rampage. Slade, Paul McCartney, Band Aid. Indeed, there won’t be any snow in Africa this Christmastime!
Took part in the Urban Tapestries public authoring trial, last weekend in Bloomsbury. Lots of good fun to experience the concept of Space Annotation in action. I think I may have surprised them with how much I enjoyed it (in the feedback, I compared it to early aviation) considering that the prototype technology was really scruffy.
IPAQ (we snickered IRAQ) handheld, Flash MX based map, communicating XMLRPC over wireless to a database in Dallas, TX. It crawled and crashed, as the poor CPU couldn’t handle the amount of data in this Flash app. Also strange, every character input when authoring did a round trip to the server (in Dallas). I would’ve dropped the wireless aspect completely for the trial, instead just sync’ing up back at headquarters.
Despite that, it was tons of fun. It was amazing being out in the public, this device access to the unseen world of past moments. The sometimes anonymous city was thick with personality. For ourselves, it became a sort of conjuring device for memories. We’ve stayed in the area before. Remembered loading up a rental car with our luggage, in front of Bonnigtons Hotel, for the last leg of the move to Brighton. That rental car was a Golden Volvo, which we felt semi-lucky in tacky way to rent, until it later caught the attention of some very efficient car thieves! We also stayed for a night in the Generator Hostel a couple years ago. That marked the end of our hostel days. In Russell Square, on a classic day of wandering around London, we came across a wildlife display, a couple dozen trained owls and hawks, beautiful and fierce.
Urban Tapestries is a cultural research project. They’re funded for a year, by some big names, so maybe they’ll be developing a more robust system further on? They really were more culturally focused, than technologically, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The researcher on hand for our trial had also developed a weblog for London bus 73 (and received a three month research grant to do it!). I lent a hand with her moveabletype template.
One major problem that will need to be solved is spatial information organization and filtering. Metadata is even more key to making mobile tech useable than the web — you just don’t have enough bandwith to look and look.
World as an Aggregator
Another demo app — geo-visualize subscription lists. Feed in your RSS Subscriptions list, and read the news on the world.
Caveat: You’ll only see RSS feeds that have passed through World as a Blog.
Can you imagine always reading news like this? I can see this kind of visualization as one component of an RSS Aggregator.