web analytics

— urbantick

Tag "software"

While living in the era of knowledge the visualisation of content has become ever so important. At least this is what current trends suggest. At the same time incredible and powerful tools are available to do so and synthesis new knowledge as a result. The spiral is turning fast especially in the field of digital or web based knowledge. However there are a few people out there that produces very high quality syntheses with intriguing visualisations. One of my favorit is BLPRNT.
Only recently BLPRNT has put online the visual comparison between two speeches by President Obama on the same topic. One speech was given in July 2009 in Cairo and the second one in Tokyo, during Obama’s far east trip in November 2009. It is all produced using processing 1.0 an open source tool. The project featured in an article on cluster.
It works on the basis of word comparison. The word in the centre is shared by both texts, the size of each word shows how often it is used and text snippets show the context of words or word groups.

Image by BLPRNT taken from cluster, more can be found on BLPRNT’s flickr page.

BLPRNT has earlier developed the tool to compare two texts on a different subject. For this project a clip demonstrate how the software works.

Two Sides of the Same Story: Laskas & Gladwell on CTE & the NFL from blprnt on Vimeo.

Read More

CoMob is an iPhone GPS tracking application developed at Edinburgh College of Art in collaboration with Edinburgh University. “The CoMob iPhone Application was developed as part of a research project exploring the creative use of collaborative GPS mapping.”
It is a simple tracking application that sends the location to a customisable server. It was designed for an art project presented at ISEA2009. Some images of the event can be seen on flickr here by jensouthern. The application determines the position and ends the information to a pre configured server. The update frequency is customisable as well as the server. You can change the server and for example send the location to your own server. It does not give you a visual feedback, all you can see is numbers. The interesting data is saved on the server.

Image from CoMob – Logos CoMob (red) and CoMob Net (blue)

The CoMob (in red) application has only recently received a sister application CoMob Net (in blue). It is built on the base of CoMob, but adds some group functionality and a visualisation using Google Maps. A group of iPhone users can use the application simultaneously and see the location of each group member on the screen. Locations are shown with a connection line between them producing shapes across the urban fabric. Usage is really simple, all you have to do is put in a user name and choose a name for the group. If joining an existing group simply type the name in the box provided and you’re linked up. Here too it is possible to customise the server to store the data.
So get your iPhone friends to come out into the streets and start mapping… Download CoMob or CoMob Net directly from iTunes here. You can then join our casa group by entering the name of the group to the settings page (lowercase and you have to hit return to verify the entry).

Image by urbanTick – Screenshots CoMob Net

Read More

TomTom announced its navigation software for the iPhone earlier this year at the WWDC. It was a blog post and it also was somehow exciting. It is only two and a half month later and the software is published but it is all not that exciting anymore. It might be a great software and with no doubt it works fine, but since the introduction of the 3GS at the same WWDC, so much has changed on the mobile gadget market. Only this month the introduction of the crowd sourced traffic platform WAZE was introduced in the United States and layar opened up AR layers for a broad range of uses. In fact AR has been the big topic for mobile phone platforms and Android is leading as an AR platform at the moment. TomTom has not yet announced anything for the Android platform.
Anyway, one software can not do everything we are well aware of this, but this now pushed the iPhone with its “can not run anything in the background” policy to its limit. If I ever will use the TomTom on my iPhone I want to have the WAZE live traffic update on top of it to give me up to date information and why not having some user generated stuff as AR blobs on the screen as well. For me all this fits together and will hopefully eventually merge into something I would more likely call a “navigation” software.

Augmented Reality Navigation from Robert Winters on Vimeo.

So navigation in the style of AR would be exciting, but the ever so normal (we now definitely got used to it) “after 200m turn right” TomTom is not exciting anymore, Nevertheless here is the latest TomTom clip to sweeten the waiting for the actual iPhone car kit.

The company has not yet announced the release date for this important element of in car navigation. In fact this is really funny but theoretically the software is somehow useless without the car kit. Of course some clever guys came up with a solution.

Found through GPSobsessed

Read More

Image by UrbanTick using Autodesk Map 3D

Following an earlier post about the UrbanDiary data in Autodesk Map 3D, I would like to talk about further development on this topic.
The plan was to generate the UrbanDiary maps using this software and with this move towards a more automated workflow from GPS data to map with maintaining the level of possible graphical intervention.
As described in the earlier post data from the database could be connected and be represented in the software including context data. Simple manipulations and representations of the data could be made easily in Map 3D and actually I grew a little bit fond of the software although I did not like AutoCAD when I last had to use it. So I was determent to stick to this and work it all through in this one application.
Unfortunately, too soon I seemed to exceed the capacity of the software.

Image by UrbanTick using Autodesk Map 3D

Following the processing of the UrbanDiary interviews the task is to develop a combination of interview/mental map data and the GPS/map data. The idea is to look at the work related spatial movement with a special focus on the mental map features.
It turned out that the number of recorded GPS points per participant combined with the building, street and land use information is too much for Map 3D to handle. It started to crash continuously; up to the state I was not possible to open a file.
The method I used was maybe not the most economic one but seem simple to me. From the GPS points I defined a buffer to establish a zone of “experience”, which I intersected with the base map to only be working with relevant information.

The issue in Map3D led to the move across to ArcGIS, which appeared to be comfortable with the data. It also turned out that the same steps of work are quite simple achievable, although a little less intuitive. This reaches down to the export for Illustrator. Map 3D translate much simpler into Illustrator with its native dxf format. In ArcGIS, I could not manage to produce a workable file that remained distinct in terms of features. So I had to rely on the map export using about 12000 dpi. Proper maps will follow as they are processed in Illustrator.

Image by UrbanTick using ArcGIS and exported to Illustrator

Read More

At yesterdays WWDC TomTom has announced to release their in car navigation for the iPhone (also for the new iPhone 3GS) including car kit for secure docking. The docking attaches to the windscreen and allows portrait and landscape mode.
The TomTom application including the latest maps will be available from the iTunes store soon they say.
Some first shots from the conference shown at engadget.

Lets hope soon, so that we can have a look at it. So far we have to enjoy the clip on Youtube:

See the TomTom announcement here.

Read More

Trailrunner is managing software for exercising. It supports a broad variety of exercising forms, ranging from manual records, pulse meters, shoe pods to GPS trackers. The software has been around for a few years and has evolved quite a bit. Especially now with the new 2.0 release that is available now as a beta release. The new feature that caught the attention is the integration of Open Street Map.
With Trailrunner you would always get a base map. Even in the early days you could choose from different free mapping services. For a free online available software this was something special. Although the maps and aerials have been crude and often in a low resolution it was something that differed Trailrunner from others.
Things have changed dramatically across the internet regarding free mapping services and very detailed and accurate information is available in different forms. Trailrunner managed to develop in sync with this and when you look at the product now, the map integration is probably still the best feature. With the integration of Open Street Map (OSM) the software allows access to the open source platform and ensures a certain independency from Google or Microsoft Virtual Earth. Both other services are available too, but to give the user the choice between the completely different projects is a big plus. Out there in the mapping community is a great divide, or better a number of divisions. Some swear on Google maps, other only use Microsoft and a third group would only go for open source projects such as OSM. Integrating all of them is a clever move and pleases a wider user group. It is even possible to manually ad your own maps.
But apart form this Trailrunner knows to please with a series of other features too. From the range of supported gadget, to the range of file formats and the detail of visualization and settings, all the way to the customization there is something for everyone.
The software supports directly the import from iPhone/iPod, the Nike Pod, LoadMyTracks, SonicLink and a variety of Garmin formats and software including the Ant Stick. Manually files can be imported from a GPX, TCX, HRM or KML file format.
The visualizations are on the map or as diagrams and include a nice playback feature. The tracks can be manipulated right in the software by splitting or merging and new tracks can be added also by drawing them directly on the map. For exporting there are options to choose from such as, GPX, TCX, KML, PDF or text available. There are lots to the Trailrunner and elements like dairy and exercise plan I haven’t discussed here. Compared to other similar services such as the online service Garmin Connect or Nokia’s Sports Tracker it demonstrates how much fun managing your exercises can be. For up to date news visit the Trailrunner blog. The latest software version of Trailrunner can be downloaded here.


Read More

CASA has recently been awarded “Centre of Excellence“ by Autodesk, and they provide their software packages. The software no is available in CASA and a few projects are taking shape on them. See a recent post by digitalUrban on the latest project using LandXplorer to map aerial images onto a 3d Lidar London model.
An other software of the Autodesk package is the Map 3D, a sort of AutoCAD GIS. On their website it is described as ”AutoCAD® Map 3D software enables engineers, planners, mapping technicians, surveyors, and GIS professionals to directly access, edit, visualize, and analyze a broad variety of CAD and spatial data in a familiar AutoCAD® software environment.“
With the experience from the previous mapping of the UrbanDiary data, this product looked as if it would be worth having a look at. The initial came from a link I came a cross on the web while searching for something related to a csv file. On map3d.wordpress.com I cam ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ a blog post on how to import a csv file into Map 3D and as the UrbanDiary data was available in csv I thought I just give it a go.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image by UrbanTick – Screenshots from Map 3D

Image by UrbanTick – Screenshots from Map 3D – attribute box

It is actually straightforward once I figured out that the data formats in the csv file have to be set to number rather than text. Anyway, the data can be linked in via the OCDB data base link. This will include all the attributes from the csv table.
So far so good the data is there and can be used. With the help of the attribute table, changes in the visualization are simple. The rule builder is easy to use and produces good results, including an automatically generated key

Image by UrbanTick – Screenshots from Map 3D – generated key

Image by UrbanTick – Screenshots from Map 3D – data displayed per week day including a label

So for not having used the software before I am quite satisfied with the result. Importing the data, sorting it according to the attribute table and apply visualization characteristics depending on features, not bad.
It appears that the program slows down quite quickly. The first run was with a subset o the UrbanDiary data, some 10’000 points and this was fine. Going up to 45’000 points used quite a lot of power and slowed down the machine drastically. Switching from 2D mode into 3D did not really work and it was a struggle to get back without quitting the program.
The next thing was the analyzing functions. Using the buffer worked ok, again on a subset of points, but the machine got slower again. Meaning it was not responding at times and I would get the funny message by Vista ”The program is currently not responding would you like to quit or wait for the program?“ Of course I want to wait for the program and eventually it would come back. The first crash was not far and after the importing some aerial imagery of London to give the points some context I gave up. But only for today, because I was impressed by the program’s user-friendly approach. Compared to other GIS that are very technical, Map 3D was a little bit intuitive to me. I am now telling myself that the performance problems are all down to me not being experienced enough and it will be all better next time.
The next thing to try is eventually to get the GPS data from Map 3D into Autodesk 3D Studio Max for visualization purposes. This would be the software way, people here in CASA are currently working on a programming solution for this.

Read More