Yearly Archives: 2008


Faulty Sat Nav causes mid air collision

When an employee of a well known global parcel delivery service was involved in a mid air collision with a passenger plane he claimed that he was following the sat nav instructions ……. A bit off topic but it is that time of year.  Seasons greetings to friends and colleagues. May your lights shine bright in 2009.


Tomorrow the world with Google

Brady Forest has a slightly disturbing article on O’Reilly Radar about the extent of Google’s investment and coverage in geodata. Google has been investing lots of money in geodata acquisition. Some of the money is being spent externally: they’ve inked an exclusive satellite imagery deal with GeoEye and a data sharing deal with Tele Atlas. And some is being spent internally with Mapmaker, Street View and the web. Mapmaker is apparently being used in 164 […]


Does a declining Royal Mail matter to UK Geo?

The review of the Royal Mail business is due to be announced tomorrow, options include a partial privatisation and the removal of the universal service obligation. Apparently postal volumes are currently declining by 6-7% per annum and that is before the impact of the current recession. At long last the switch to e-mail seems to be really gaining momentum backed by paperless billling initiatives and the declining effectiveness of mass mailshots however well targeted (aka […]


Recession and geo businesses

A few days ago Sean Gorman asked the question “Does the Geoweb need a bail out?” which seems very prescient when yesterday Piney Bowes MapInfo announced 128 layoffs. I doubt they will be the only company to be reducing costs over the next few weeks/months. Which companies will fare best or worst through this difficult period? I expect that those businesses that have a high proportion of their revenues from the public sector will out […]


StreetWire – what’s happenning here then?

StreetWire is a new service from the team who created PlanningAlerts which provides hyperlocal information including planning alerts, crime and public safety, traffic, local news and postings to FixMyStreet like this one that I particularly liked:  About 1 km away from FixMyStreet – Fixed, yesterday Large exentendable dining table has been dumped here. It looks in reasonable condition (so could be useful for someone), but in any case needs to be removed. You can also post details about […]


What happened here then?

INSPIRE mandates the cataloging and sharing of a wide range of environmental data sets. Hopefully in time we will have access to a geographically complete and broadly themed data resource across the EU. But to understand the impact of human activity on our environment or for that matter on other societal factors we need to have access to information on change and this implies a resource that includes historical data.  Jump back to what many […]


Smartphone sales flatten but iPhone soars

Gartner reports that smartphone sales are flattening out with growth of only 11.5% in Q3 ’08.  Market leader Nokia have actually seen a decline of 3% while Apple has soared with 327% growth into 3rd place still a bit behind 2nd placed Blackberry maker RIM.  If “maps on a mobile” is  a killer app then Apple’s interface to Google Maps complete with Street View and Traffic must be a factor.


AGI GeoCommunity ’09 starts here

’08 is only just over and we are already starting the planning for next year’s event. We have a new conference team with a comforting balance between experienced hands (including me) signed up for “just one more” and several new members who will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the third GeoCommunity event.  We have taken note of the feedback survey that delegates completed after the event plus the ideas of the team about what […]


Crime Mapping – not quite as simple as you might think

My old employers, MapInfo have just published a good Best Practice Guide on publishing crime maps. Sir Norman Bettison, from the UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPo), is quoted: “My own police authority in West Yorkshire started two years ago to make available crime mapping data to keep the public informed about local incidents and trends. This fulfils the key responsibility to give information to communities in order that they can see the real level of crime and help the police address […]


Business Intelligence and Location Intelligence – a mismatch?

Many in our space have been evangelising the benefits of location within Business Intelligence applications for a long time. To us it seems so obvious, a picture beats a 1000 words, a map beats a 1000 spreadsheet lines. So why is it taking so long for this opportunity/application to take off? Perhaps we need to step back a bit and question the ability of high volumes of BI users to gain any actionable “Intelligence” from […]


Why businesses should twitter

This morning I listened to a great podcast on how Directions Magazine and All points Blog are using twitter feeds to provide very “to the point and immediate” updates throughout the day to their readers. That prompted me to read Tim O’Reilly’s post on Why I love Twitter  Twitter need not be just an alternative social network to Facebook, it can be the basis for a business dialogue with clients. If you are a software […]


Place Matters – a fair start

Inevitably the recently published UK Location Strategy has disappointed some people. I think that some of that disappointment is based upon unrealistic expectations after all this is a strategy and not an implementation plan. It was also not the role of the strategy drafting group to seek to resolve the longstanding issues of Trading Funds, Derived Data and the like. This is a strategy for Government Geographic Information, there is little mention of the private […]