UseGIS News Update 12-12-2011
December 12, 2011 Leave a comment
News, views and tidbits that have caught our eye at UseGIS over the last week.
Our latest project is a maps-based walking iPhone app for the Automobile Association (The AA). This will allow people to download and view over 1750 of the best walks in Britain, along with 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey mapping. Once downloaded, both the walks and the mapping will be stored on the iPhone so that they can be accessed even when the phone has no connectivity – ideal when you are out and about on a walk and have no signal! The App is due for release early in the New Year.
iPhone vs Android – which pays best?
While we are in the subject of smartphone apps, here is an interesting article by Rory Cellan-Jones on Android and the economics of apps. We also believe that there’s more chance of being able to charge for an iPhone app than an Android variation – the whole ethos of Apple is to give the user a fantastic experience and people who buy iPhones are more likely to pay for an app because they tend to have more disposable income. However, if you’re target audience tends to purchase Blackberrys, then there’s really no reason to develop an app for either the iPhone or an Android device – not initially anyway.
Have you noticed the latest version of Google Maps yet? Named “Google MapsGL”, Google have harnessed “the power of Web Graphics Library (WebGL) to create far richer visuals and animations.”
“WebGL is a new technology that brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser without additional installed software. With WebGL your maps experience is much better with 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery and the ability to instantly “swoop” into Street View without a plugin.”
Not all browsers or computers can handle WebGL at the moment, but we’re excited about the future possibilities for displaying maps over the internet. Kudos to Google for taking the step.
Last week saw our first Bath Spark event as we attended the Xmas Meetup. It was a great evening and we were impressed by the large number of people from such a varied range of tech industries. One of the most interesting topics of conversation was a proposed tech and creative co-working hub based at the Guild Hall in Bath. A dedicated place in the city where tech people can co-work and meet up is a great idea and certainly a project that we support.
Being located in both Bath and Exeter, we get to meet and mingle with two sets of tech communities. This week it’s the turn of the Exeter Web Developers to have their Xmas Meetup, so we’ll be popping along for more socialising and festive drinks…it’s tough, but someone’s got to do it!