Google


nine.nine.nine 1

Last week the BBC published this “article” on what3words usage in emergency services. I use the word article with some hesitation as the whole piece reads like a press release from the very PR savvy w3w rather than any form of journalism. Regulars followers will know that I am skeptical about w3w to say the least, they have done a good job of marketing their version of location codes as a way of verbally communicating […]


Google Maps to settle Afghanistan/Pakistan border dispute – Oh, really?

Last week this article appeared on The Guardian website suggesting that Google Maps were going to help settle the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over their shared border. Pakistan and Afghanistan plan to use Google Maps to help settle a border dispute that led to deadly clashes last week, officials from both sides have said. “Oh really?” I thought. Maybe the key word here is ‘help’ – maps and GPS might be a tool to […]


When politics meets maps – the movie

Last year, I wrote about some of the challenges of mapping political border disputes and mused on how things have changed with the advent of digital mapping. I have been busy doing some further research on the topic which included a couple of hours with Tom Harper at the British Library and presented on the topic at last week’s FOSS4G in Bonn. Spoiler warning: If you are attending the British Cartographic Society conference on 7th […]


When politics meet maps there is no right 1

Old atlases are fun Old school atlases are fascinating, they reflect the ways we learned geography and how we were taught political geography. They are probably the reason that I hated geography at school and dropped it at the first opportunity only to rediscover a love for the digital version much later in life. When I was a kid a lot of the world was coloured pink, for my non Brit readers this was the colour […]


Google vs Siri, search vs access

I’ve been trying out Siri a bit more recently, she (or he) is a strange being, sometimes the results are just what you want and others leaving you scratching your head mumbling “what the ****?”. The other day I wanted to call a restaurant called La Rugoletta (a nice little Italian place in East Finchley, worth a try) so I tried asking Siri to “call La Rugoletta”, the results were hysterical including Rude Goal Letter, Lauren […]


Wrong, wrong, wrong or the Purcell Street Problem (cont) 1

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Purcell Street Problem and why I disagreed with Charles Arthur’s assessment in his article “Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won“. Charles weighed in with a couple of comments and then we let it drop although I still thought that there was something that didn’t feel right about the usage stats. A couple of days ago Charles published another article “How Apple […]


The Purcell Street problem – maybe Google haven’t lost (yet) 3

It’s odd how things come together sometimes. This morning I was reading Charles Arthur’s article on the Guardian “Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won“. The article is based upon a ComScore report which suggests that usage of the standalone Google Maps app on US iPhones has fallen off sharply as users switch to using the default Apple Maps app which is now the default within iOS 6 and 7. The article […]


Steve Jobs wouldn’t have let this happen

If they have a web connection in the afterlife Steve Jobs must be fuming about the gaffes in Apple Maps and thinking “This would never have happened on my watch” By now you have probably read about the catalogue of errors, incorrect data, wrong routes etc in the new Apple Maps app released with iOS 6, if not you can see some of the funniest here or here for some UK specifics, oh and here for some […]


Why are we so keen to distrust Google (and Apple)? 2

This morning I woke up to a piece on Radio 4 mentioning a Daily Mail piece about Google and Apple putting spy planes in the sky that would capture 10cm resolution images and be able to see into our homes. At least this piece was in the Science section and explored or (rehashed) the much discussed issues of privacy – however in the world of technophobes and DM readers this so called news (how long […]


The beginning of the end of Free? 5

Over the holidays there was a flurry of excitement, particularly among OpenStreetMap fans, prompted by Ed Freyfogle’s announcement that Nestoria were switching from using the Google Maps API to using an OpenStreetMap tile service provided by MapQuest. The switch was prompted by Google’s announcement in April of last year that they would be introducing some volume limits on the usage of the free Maps API: “We are also introducing transaction limits on the number of maps […]


The return of #W3G the unconference 2

For the 2nd year AGI’s GeoCommunity kicked off with an informal preconference unconference day, W3G. I had a lot of fun at this event last year but this one topped it. The morning started with a small panic as @MadProf (aka Jonathan Raper) had not appeared by 9.45, Gary Gale and Rollo Home are starting to reorganise the schedule when Jonathan strolls in wearing full evening dress and muttering about people thinking he was on […]


Between a rock and a hard place 2

On Tuesday I went to the Google Geospatial Summit at the Science Museum with the guys from geo.me who had a booth at the event.   The event was pretty plush with the background of the Science Museum and the auditorium was the IMax cinema which was impressive, particularly if you were sitting high up! The main focus of the event was to launch Google Earth Builder in the UK. GEB follows on from Google […]