I am a big fan of temporal map visualizations, and today I came across this beauty:
It is amazing to see how the map of Europe has changed over the last thousand years and even in my own lifetime! The freaky part is that the majority of border changes were accompanied by wars, genocide, displacement of people and other nasty stuff. In that context, the map is quite scary and what’s worse, there is no reason to expect that there won’t be any border changes in the future. The only hope is that those changes will be more peaceful than what happened between 4:40-5:01.
In an effort to make traffic maps more social, Yandex added an ability to append real time messages directly on to the mobile traffic map. So if you are stuck in traffic with nothing to do you can at least share your frustration with other drivers.
Frustrated by notorious traffic, the service was immediately embraced by Moscow drivers who used it to call out to Moscow’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin: Sobyanin Help! On the second day after the release the service counted several hundreds of those messages. If this becomes a long-term trend, Yandex might need to add a an extra “Blame the mayor” button to simplify the whole process.
Geogeeks rejoice – the second annual WhereCamp5280 is less than three weeks away! Same as last year, the conference is FREE to attend but you need to book a ticket. The conference will be held on the 19th of November at the University of Colorado Denver in downtown Denver.
I really enjoyed the event last year, and as James Fee noted, the quality and focus of presentations were excellent, not to mention the after party. That being said, this time around Steve Coast is organizing things – you can be sure that he is going to take it one step further. And yes, the after party is also happening!
One more thing, FortiusOne (the awesome company I work for) is sponsoring the event along with MapQuest, Google, ESRI, Waze and many others. See you at Wherecamp5280.
I’ve seen a number of cool custom maps but the map of Kerch, a tiny city in eastern Crimea, has got to be one of the better ones. If you’ve ever wondered what a Farmville-style map of a city would look like, wonder no more.
The cool base map aside, the application has a ton of useful features and interesting UI solutions. You can add points, events, perform a fully-featured spatial search, comment on places and more. As for UI, I really like the extended functionality of the navigator control and the list of POIs across the bottom of the screen. All in all, it is a great project.
Having been to Kerch several times times I can attest that the map makes the city look at lot more interesting.
Whew, the last few months have been busy… Now that I am finally settled (not sure if ‘settled’ can be applied to GeoCommons) into my new awesome job, it is time to resurrect this blog with a few changes.
New Name – GeoComrade. With the new name the scope of the blog will be a bit different – less personal stuff, more geo. Although I still plan to write extensively about the eastern-European geo-technologies (hence the name) it won’t be the exclusive focus.
It is true, I’ve joined Fortiusone and am thrilled about it! I will be heading the visualization side of the GeoIQ platform, working alongside some of the smartest people in geo. If you have ever met anyone from the company or seen any of their projects, you will no doubt share my excitement.
FortiusOne combines a disruptive technology with a strong business model, making it one of the most interesting companies in the geo space. I feel as though the dynamic work environment, talented team and challenging projects will provide the perfect environment for my personal growth. Also, the opportunity to build on my experience with UMapper is something I just could not pass up.
Russia’s biggest social network Vkontakte (translated “In Contact”) added check-in capabilities to its mobile clients. The new “Places” feature makes it easy to discover trendy places, see where your friends are and append location to your status updates. The core functionality is very similar to Foursquare and Gowalla. Once checked in, your location is appended to all status updates and your friends know where you are.
I wasn’t able to test the application live since Vkontakte does not have a Places database for the US. As of right now, only Russia and Ukraine are supported. Here are some screenshots:
The release announcement is here, log-in required.
Vkontakte is often claimed to be a Facebook clone for its similar design, functionality and business model. It is indeed very similar, and therefore it is interesting to see Vkontakte release the location feature before Facebook. I wonder if Facebook’s recent investor and Vkontakte’s board member Yuri Milner had to do anything with this.
With at least 212,506 acres burning nationwide and new fires popping up each hour, it is safe to say that Russia is on fire. You know it is bad when the wall of fire is clearly visible on a satellite image. To make sense of the disaster, GeoMixer released a nifty app that tracks fires in real time. GeoMixer injects data from various sources and displays hot-bed locations over the latest satellite imagery mixed with current temperatures and wind directions.
Friends, I’ve made the decision to step down as UMapper CEO and end my active involvement in the company’s day-to-day operations. Needless to say, this has been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but I feel it is the right one.
From now on the company will be lead by UMapper co-founder Antoine Toffa. Please connect with Antoine on LinkedIn, shoot him an email, or ping me for an introduction.
Since founding the company back in 2005, I feel very fortunate to have worked with the best and the most talented people in the industry (you know who you are) who transformed UMapper from a concept into a service used by thousands of individuals and companies. It is hard to believe that today UMapper serves millions of maps on some of the biggest media websites.
Also, I want to say how grateful I am to all UMapper partners and customers who have contributed a great deal to the company’s growth and continue to use its services and support its efforts. THANK YOU!
I wish UMapper all the best, and I will continue to support the company as a board member and shareholder. Cheers!
Update: I resigned from UMapper’s Board of Directors on 8/4/2010