Monday, April 25, 2011

Better Late than Never...

            Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has directed the concerning officials for identifying areas where the State could utilize the services of Mission Geospatial Applications (MGA) to give necessary fillip to the government endeavours for equitable development of all regions and sub-regions in the State.

            Taking brief on the usefulness and utility of Geospatial Applications at a presentation meeting, the Chief Minister said that the services of MGA (A Government of India Agency in the Science and Technology Ministry) could help the State to collect necessary data for various public service delivery sectors and strengthen the monitoring mechanism of checking and analyzing development schemes.

             Geospatial Applications and Remote Sensing would prove to be useful tools to give new dimension to the plan formulation and monitoring of works across the State. This news clearly goes to show that there is an increase in the awareness and know-how of Geospatial technology in India.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Map Collages


             Think these pieces were made from pencil, pen or paint? Think again. Artist Matthew Cusick cuts away pieces on maps, atlases, encyclopedias and school textbooks, to create crazy collages that look like drawings or paintings. "I like to catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it," he says.

            Cusick flips around road, river and transit lines, piecing them together to form everything from portraits to landscapes. While Cusick sometimes adds paint (like acrylic) to these pieces, by and large, the colors are taken from the maps' topography. Cusick explains how he got started with working with maps:

About nine years ago, frustrated with paint and brushes, I just started experimenting with some maps I had laying around the studio. I found that maps have all the properties of a brushstroke: nuance, density, line, movement, and color. Their palette is deliberate and symbolic, acting as a cognitive mechanism to help us internalize the external. And furthermore, since each map fragment is an index of a specific place and time, I could combine fragments from different maps and construct geographical timelines within my paintings.

            Browse the works of Matthew Cusick on his website.

            Now this is called creativity with maps! Anyone out there with such innovative map creativity?!?
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Loading over HTTPS...

            Do you have your application in which you are using HTTPS for security and so cannot use Google Maps Javascript API? Unhappy about that? You can now be relieved! You can now access the Google Maps JavaScript API over HTTPS, allowing you to utilize the API within your HTTPS secure application. Loading the Google Maps Javascript API V3 over HTTPS allows your application to use the Maps API within pages that are secured using HTTPS: the HTTP over the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

            Loading the Maps API over HTTPS is necessary in SSL applications to avoid security warnings in most browsers, and is recommended for applications that include sensitive user data, such as a user's location, in requests. To load the Google Maps JavaScript API Version 3 over HTTPS, load the API from the following URL:

<script src="https://maps-api-ssl.google.com/maps/api/js?sensor=true_or_false"
type="text/javascript"></script>
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reverse Geocoding

    The term geocoding generally refers to translating a human-readable address into a location on the map. The process of doing the converse, translating a location on the map into a human-readable address, is known as reverse geocoding. You can read more about geocoding here.

    The Geocoder in Google Maps API v3, supports reverse geocoding directly. While geocoding, we supply a textual address and that gets mapped as a location on the map. However, in reverse geocoding, instead of supplying the textual address, we will supply a comma- separated latitude- longitude pair and get a textual address as the result. You can have a look at the geocoding example here, before proceeding to the reverse geocoding example.

    The reverse geocoder often returns more than one result. Geocoding "addresses" are not just postal addresses, but any way to geographically name a location. For example, when geocoding a point in the city of Agra, India, the geocoded point may be labelled as a street address, as the city (Agra), as its state (Uttar Pradesh) or as a country (India). All are addresses to the geocoder. The reverse geocoder returns all of these results. Addresses are returned in the order of best to least matches.

    Before it gets too confusing, let us have a look at the following reverse geocoding example and based on the same we will discuss the addresses.



    The main thing that needs concentration in the above code is "results[]". The Google Maps API v3 returns 7 values in the descending order of accuracy of the textual address. In the above code, I have used "results[0]" which will return the most accurate result of reverse geocoding; i.e. the most accurate textual, human-understandable address will be returned.

         The output of the above code for results[0] is as seen below. Please see the details of the address in the info-window.


          For results[1] :


          For results[2] :


          For results[3] :


         For results[4] :


         For results[5] :


         For results[6] :



         As you can see that, the accuracy of the results[] geocoding keeps on decreasing. Now if you put results[7], then the output would be as seen in the image below. The geocoder finds no results to return.


    I hope the concept of reverse geocoding is now clear along with the results that are returned by the geocoder. Hope the images speak my words.If you have any further doubts or queries regarding this post then please feel free to drop a comment here.

    Till then...Happy mapping!
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mapping Festival...

         London will be hosting the London Mapping Festival which is slated to start from June 2011 and will run through December, 2012. The purpose of this festival is to highlight and create a greater awareness of how maps and geographic data is being used within the city. Such a festival will help demonstrate the vast extent to which mapping underpins our daily lives and will encourage people from all backgrounds to find out more about mapping, engage with industry professionals, explore the latest technologies and develop new skills.

         I personally think that such festivals should be organised in all cities and each city should celebrate maps! The spread of mapping knowledge is a must for several reasons.
  • Many graduating students do not know anything about GIS and mapping on the whole.
  • Students do not know of the career options available in mapping.
  • People do not understand the benefits of mapping.
  • People do not appreciate the worth of maps in various researches and surveys.
  • And so many more...
         Such festivals and other such events will help people from all walks of life to appreciate the importance of maps and understand the gravity of GIS as a technology. I hope some day such a mapping festival happens in Pune, India - my home town.

         Keeping my hopes high and signing off in positive attitude...Cheers....
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mumbai's public trasportation information now on Google Maps...

         Can anybody imagine life in Mumbai without the red BEST bus or the crowded local trains? It is difficult to imagine "aamchi Mumbai" without these buses and locals.

         Knowing that life in Mumbai revolves around these trains and buses, Google India has made information on Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Bus routes and Mumbai local train routes and schedule available on Google Maps. This information will now be available both on desktop and on mobile for millions of commuters in Mumbai, arguably the most used public transportation network in India.

         The easy access of this service will help commuters and tourists find their way seamlessly around the city using both trains and buses.
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