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April 20, 2006

Track Cabs Live in San Francisco / Bay Area


Local San Franciscans Peter Richards and Susan Schwartzenberg have put together an interesting art project called CabSpotting. The site tracks the locations of GPS enabled taxi cabs in San Francisco, and updates their location on the map every minute or so.

As orders for pick ups come in over the phone, the addresses are automatically passed to drivers. The historical data then forms a series of lines on the map that shows the routes of the cabs. Not too sure what the practical application is here, but it’s a cool project nonetheless.

Looking for an open house? SFOpenHouseMap can help

Another day, another Google Map mash-up: SFOpenHouseMap finds open houses by time, area of San Francisco, and price range. Unfortunately, the site won’t help you figure out how to come up with the millions in cash you’ll need to buy anything in SF.

April 19, 2006

Forbes Says You Can Make Money From Online Maps!


News Flash: Forbes magazine has run the math and determined online mapping is big business.

TechCrunch Reviews Online Mapping Services


TechCrunch has done a fairly detailed review round-up of the major online mapping services, including Ask, Google, MapQuest, Windows Live, and Yahoo!

It's worth a read, but if you're too lazy, here's the bottom line: “Overall, Yahoo Maps was by far the best application tested.” Ok - sounds good to me. I'll stick with Yahoo Maps for now.

Introducing TV-GPS: GPS for dense urban areas.


This must be my lucky day or something: a company called Rosum has gone and combined my two favorite technologies, TV and GPS, into a new uber-technology called TV-GPS.

According to Rosum’s website: “GPS signals were designed for accurate tracking and location in open outdoor areas; however, indoors and in urban areas, the technology is not reliable.

In contrast, television signals were designed for indoor reception. Rosum TV-GPS uses commercial broadcast TV signals to provide reliable positioning indoors and in urban environments. By combining TV signals with GPS signals, Rosum can provide seamless indoor/outdoor coverage across all environments.’

New Yorker does GPS


The New Yorker has a nice write-up about the evolution of automotive GPS, and goes out in the field with mapping company Navteq to learn how maps are made.  Check out "The Science of Driving Directions".

April 15, 2006

Subaru Adds Optional Navigation Package to 2006 Legacy GT


Subaru has added a touch-screen Nav package as an option on the 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited. The GPS goodness will set you back an additional $2k, and it only available on automatic transmission models (add $1200), bringing the total price to $32,620.

Seems kinda pricey for a Subaru to me, but Subaru has been steadily increasing the price of their cars (remember when they were $15,000?) for the past 10 years and consumers seem to be willing to pay BMW-like prices for them.

TeleNav TeleNav Track for Blackberry


TeleNav has announced a new product for BlackBerry devices, TeleNavTrack. TeleNavTrack offers turn by turn directions with tracking capabilities. Managers can also use the TeleNavTrack service to locate employees or delivery / fleet vehicles.

According to their press release, “by combining the latest advances in location-based services, wireless communication and Web software applications, we are revolutionizing the mobile resource management market.”

The TeleNavTrack basic service costs $9.99 per month per device (plus an activation fee) and includes GPS tracking and location reporting services. There is also a TeleNavTrack Plus service which costs $12.99 per month and includes two way messaging. There are also more advanced plans called TeleNavTrack Enhanced and TeleNavTrack Premium which add things like wireless forms, barcode scanning, and audible/visaul turn by turn directions for up to $21.99 per month.


Sprint Launches Family Locator Service

Sprint has launched a new service called Family Locator that allows parents/guardians to locate family members on a map either via the ‘net or through their phone.

The paranoid / guilty need not worry too much, as the child is notified by text message when a parent is snooping on them. Reports can also be generated via Sprint’s website. I ‘spose ultimately it’ll be better for kids to get in a little trouble for being out too late rather than having parents totally freak out and worry their kids are missing.

The service will be $10 per month for up to 4 phones.

Google News + Google Maps + Yahoo! Traffic = Local News & Traffic by zip code

GoogleLocal+GoogleNews+YahooTraffic = Local News & Traffic by zip code

Virender Ajmani over at Mibazaar.com has created a cool mashup that lets you find local news based on your U.S. zip code.

It combines the following: Google Maps + Yahoo! Geocoding + Google RSS News Feeds + Yahoo! Traffic

To get started, simply enter your U.S. zip code to gather news headlines from Google News (Use 77058 if for an example). For most major cities there is a traffic map toggle that you can turn on that pulls in Yahoo! Traffic data. Once again Virender has created a great Google Maps mashup! Check out more of his creations linked from the left side of this map.