Archive for April 2010
Google’s satnav killer – now released for the UK
In November 2009, it was the launch that satnav manufacturers were dreading; Google Maps Navigation, which effectively turned any mobile phone into a GPS navigation tool but with the familiar features and ease of use of Google Maps. And it’s also free.
You can read the story by following this link http://bit.ly/aIx3fC
For those with Android phones (1.6 and above) if you have the most recently updated Maps version you should be able to get directions from A to B and there will be an option to ‘Navigate’, click on this and away you go….
I’m not really sold on the idea that this is a satnav killer, sure it’s good and free (and worries people like Garmin and TomTom). However, it does however require you to have a good internet connection. That is great when you are in the more populated areas, but you trying using google maps in a GPRS only area! Or better yet somewhere with patchy mobile coverage i.e. the countryside.
Perhaps I should quote Google as well when I first click on Navigate:
Google Maps Navigation is in beta. Use caution.
Do not manipulate this application while driving. Traffic data is not real-time, and directions may be wrong dangerous, prohibited or involve ferries.
Keep your eyes on the road!
So why Google would I use it? It looks like this software for my phone may get me injured, arrested or on a ferry!
Don’t get me wrong I love Google Maps especially on my phone (I’ve used it when I need a location of a shop in town), but for navigation whilst driving an application like CoPilot Live is much better. For starters I don’t need an internet connection to find my way! Incidently
For more information on Google Maps and it’s navigation features goto http://www.google.com/mobile/navigation/
This is an interesting use of Google Maps, it looks like it is wrapped in Flash, but it uses nice transitions and has some good information.
Exploring streets in my area this morning I’ve noticed that we have a new button, 3D! Of course today is Friday for me so is this an April fools? I need some 3D glasses to figure that one out I think….
For those of you not in the know the UK’s Ordnance Survey have released some data to play with. I just thought a quick preview of what you can display would be in order. The following screen capture shows Strategi and Codepoint data together, codepoint is a csv file for each postcode area so I’ve added headings to the csv and then add them as XY data in arcgis. Okay I haven’t sorted the labelling out but I am just exploring at the moment….
The green lines are national park boundaries and yes I am aware of what the Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary near Sedbergh looks like…
Updated: The Twitterites inform that this is a faster download link:
Well it finally happened some nice big datasets are now available, visit these sites for more details:
I will hopefully have an opinion on what’s been released later but for the moment just enjoy the idea that you can easily (provided the server is not down) download (shapefiles and the like). Select the data you want (either as a DVD or download) then give them your email address, they will then send you a link for downloaded your fresh datasets.
I have downloaded the boundaryline dataset and opened it up in ArcGIS, it even has Parish boundaries…. now what do I do with it all?
Keep trying on the site as it obviously has been working very hard this morning to stay afloat! My suggestion is to wait until the evening (or a couple of days) to do the downloads.