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GPS obsessed

Sunday
26 February 2017

GeoFeeling geolocates blogged emotions with Google Maps (Cool Mashups)

geofeeling GeoFeeling geolocates blogged emotions with Google Maps (Cool Mashups)

GeoFeeling is a visually enticing mashup that geolocates the emotions of bloggers around the globe.  Developed by 7oanna Labs, GeoFeeling uses the Google Maps API in combination with the We Feel Fine platform.  We Feel Fine is an “exploration in human emotion” put together by designers Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar.  It pulls data beginning with the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling” from blog platforms including MSN Spaces, LiveJournal, Blogger, Technorati and many others, and then analyses them to form a real-time emotional sentiment graph of people using the web.  GeoFeeling makes use of its API in order to help users visualize the data in a geographic fashion, and does a great job of it.

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Find My iPhone helps nab shady Walmart shoppers

find my iphone Find My iPhone helps nab shady Walmart shoppersNo matter how you feel about paying $99 per year for Apple’s MobileMe service, the included Find My iPhone feature has to have you feeling good.  It’s been pretty successful at helping iPhone owners retrieve lost and stolen devices from sticky-fingered thieves thus far.  Last week, a man was approached in Shadyside, in the Pittsburgh area, and robbed of his iPhone, credit cards and their accompanying PIN numbers.  Using Find My iPhone, the victim was able to steer police towards three men who were arrested after shopping at Walmart with the stolen credit cards.  A pellet gun and a variety of stolen property, including the iPhone, was recovered.

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TomTom iPhone car kit navigates through the FCC

fcc car kit TomTom iPhone car kit navigates through the FCC

TomTom’s iPhone car kit has passed through the FCC in the United States, hopefully confirming that the long-awaited hardware will join the TomTom iPhone application software that appeared in the App Store across the globe last week.

Along with the filing is a few details we didn’t know about before, including the type of GPS chip which will be built into the car kit for enhanced iPhone GPS reception.  The maker of the chip is SiRF and one of its SiRFStar variants will be used.  Not really a big surprise.  You can also check out the user manual and a whole bunch of test results while you’re waiting for an official release.

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Minna No Nabi what? GPS software for the PSP

minna no nabi Minna No Nabi what? GPS software for the PSP

Japanese company Zenrin is preparing to launch the Minna No Nabi, GPS software compatible with the PSP 1000/2000 and 3000, but unfortunately not the PSP Go.  The software, dubbed Everyone’s Maps in English, uses Sony Petamaps mapping application and can deduce location from Wi-Fi hotspots in area where GPS isn’t available.  Important to mention is the fact that the actual GPS hardware doesn’t come with the Minna No Nabi package.  Shipping November 5, Everyone’s GPS will sell in Japan for 8, 190 Yen, roughly US$97.

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Wikitude Drive is turn-by-turn directions in augmented reality for Android

Wikitude has changed quite a bit over the past year from a Wikipedia-powered POI generator for PNDs to a full-blown augmented reality service.  The latest innovation from Mobilizy, the creator of Wikitude, is Wikitude Drive, an Android application that provides turn-by-turn directions overlayed onto the road ahead as viewed through the camera viewfinder.  It’s not perfect; some would say it’s even a bit dangerous.  But it’s interesting because you’re actually looking at the same imagery you’d look at if you were looking through your vehicle’s windshield rather than the phone’s screen.  In my opinion, much cooler and way more innovative than the static, boring, computer-generated maps that most cellphone and PND navigation applications use.  Check out the video above to see Wikitude Drive in action.

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China Unicom grabs iPhone for 4th quarter

iphone 3g 150x118 China Unicom grabs iPhone for 4th quarterApple has finally reached an iPhone deal with China Unicom meaning the smartphone will now have an official presence in the world’s largest mobile market by subscription numbers.  The iPhone is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2009, though the price hasn’t been announced.  The New York Times is reporting that Bank of America and Merrill Lynch analysts believe the price will likely be between $99 and $299 with a 2-year contract agreement.

China Unicom and Apple will not be sharing revenues, with the wireless carrier instead buying the phones in batches and subsidizing them.  Revenue sharing has been behind the delay in a Chinese iPhone release.  Originally China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless provider, was negotiating with Apple to grab an exclusive on the iPhone, but neither party could agree on a revenue split.  Instead, China Mobile will try to pit Dell’s first smartphone, debuted as a prototype last week, against the iPhone.

Update: The China Unicom deal is not exclusive, according to Apple, though the company hasn’t said if any other Chinese carrier deals are in the works.

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Vexia Econav 435, 355 GPS navigators spin a green path to the UK

vexia econav 435 Vexia Econav 435, 355 GPS navigators spin a green path to the UK

Spanish GPS maker Vexia have announced plans to release two new portable navigation devices in the United Kingdom–the Econav 435 and Econav 355.  Vexia’s selling point for its two Econav units is that they help drivers choose the most economical and fuel efficient ways to drive, customized to the vehicle model, even notifying drivers which gear they should be driving in and if they are accelerating too fast.

The company claims that if drivers follow its guidance, they can save 15 to 30 percent on their fuel bill depending on the number of miles driven and driving style.  Vexia says these numbers have been the result of studying 16, 000 Vexia users in Spain.

The two Econav 435 models, one with UK & Ireland maps and one with full European coverage, will both have 4.3-inch displays, a pre-loaded speed camera database, voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, Windows CE Core 5.0 OS, and a normal driving mode without the eco-features.  The 435 UK and 435 Europe will ship in September for £169 and £219.

The Econav 355 UK and Econav 355 Europe will have the same features as the Econav 435 but sport a smaller 3.5-inch display.  The 355 line will ship in October for £135 for the UK model and £169 for the European version.

While the green twist is a nice marketing gimmick in a world that’s becoming ever more aware of its impact on the environment, a review of the 435 UK model by CNET indicates that the Vexia Econav line might not be such a worthy buy.  You can read the full review here.

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Loch Ness Monster revealed by Google Earth

googleearth lochness Loch Ness Monster revealed by Google Earth

An obviously-bored security guard named Jason Locke claims to have spotted the mythical (or not?) Loch Ness monster in Google Earth.  The picture above is a 65 foot oblong object with five tendrils emerging from the rear.  Some may call it a boat…which it probably is!  In any case, you can see it for yourself using the coordinates Latitude 57°12′52.13″N, Longitude 4°34′14.16″W.

Google Earth, while a useful tool for education and widely used by non-profit organizations, has joined Google Street View as a popular entertainment platform as well.  People have been caught puking, peeing, even murdering, by Google’s cameras.  We’ve also seen the claimed Lost City of Atlantis (which was debunked) and now Nessie.  What’s nextAn obviously-bored security guard named Jason Locke claims to have spotted the mythical (or not?) Loch Ness monster in Google Earth. The picture above is a 65 foot oblong object with five tendrils emerging from the rear. Some may call it a boat…which it probably is! In any case, you can see it for yourself using the coordinates Latitude 57°12′52.13″N, Longitude 4°34′14.16″W.

Google Earth, while a useful tool for education and widely used by non-profit organizations, has joined Google Street View as a popular entertainment platform as well. People have been caught puking, peeing, even murdering, by Google’s cameras. We’ve also seen the claimed Lost City of Atlantis (which was debunked) and now Nessie. What’s next?

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Quick reads: Nokia Money, Poynt, Skyhook, Zoombak and more

More partners for Skyhook: Geodelic’s Sherpa and Tie Your Money grab Skyhook Wireless’ XPS positioning technology for Android applications.

Zoombak GPS devices upgraded: 90-day historical tracking, bigger maps, Firefox and Safari support have all be added to Zoombak’s GPS tracker family.  Now users can analyze and improve their stalking patterns. :)

uLocate and T-Mobile partner: T-Mobile has added the popular location-based application WHERE, from uLocate Communications, to its web2go platform.  It will cost $2.99 per month.

NAVTEQ and Nextar also Partner: Nextar has incorporated NAVTEQ’s LocationPoint advertising platform into its 43LT GPS navigation device in order to support free-for-lifetime real-time traffic updates.  The ad support enables Nextar to keep the 43LT price mainstream at $169.

Nokia Money to launch next year: Nokia Money, to be built on top of Obopay’s mobile payment platform, will enable mobile phone users to exchange money with others, pay bills, pay for goods and services, and top up SIM cards by making a voice call or using SMS.

Poynt helps you find food
: Location-based search application Poynt has added restaurant search capabilities to its Blackberry application.  Users can search by location, type of food, read reviews and book reservations from their mobile phone.

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Patent reveals location-based, dynamically changing iPhone home screen

iphone screen locatioin 215x300 Patent reveals location based, dynamically changing iPhone home screenJudging by the huge amount of money Apple collects every month from iPhone application sales, it stands to reason that a lot of iPhone and iPod Touch owners suffer from icon clutter on their home screens.  But what if there’s an automatic way to solve this problem?  There just may be sometime in the future.

AppleInsider has revealed an Apple patent application dated February 21, 2008 and titled “Traditional Data Sets”.  The patent describes a process by which home screen applications dynamically change based on variables such as location.  For instance, if I have an iPhone and live in Winnipeg, a weather app would automatically display my local weather forecast.  And should I head to San Francisco, my iPhone’s weather icon would automatically adjust based on the change in location.

Perhaps an even better result of this reliance on location is the organization of contacts.  This might not mean much to the average user, but for a business user with a packed address book, having only local contacts to sort through in each town or city is probably going to be a huge timesaver.  For all the details, check out AppleInsider.

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