Saturday, February 03, 2007

Participatory GIS

Participatory GIS is the result of a spontaneous merger of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) methods with Geographic Information Technologies and Systems (GIT&S) to compose peoples’ spatial knowledge in the forms of virtual or physical, 2 or 3 dimensional maps used as interactive vehicles for discussion, information exchange, analysis and as support in advocacy, decision making and action taking. PGIS practice is usually geared towards community empowerment through measured, demand-driven, user-friendly and integrated applications of Geo-spatial Information Technologies and Systems (GIT&S), where maps become a major conduit in the process.

Participatory GIS and Community Mapping Literature

This online resource is the largest collection of carefully selected literature on participatory GIS, Public participation GIS and Community Mapping. Some documents are available for free. Extremely interesting for students and researchers dealing with participation and geo-spatial sciences.

Google SkectchUp 6

Design enthusiasts take note: there's a new version of Google SketchUp. This 3D modeling software tool is easy to learn, simple to use, and lets you place your models in Google Earth. One of the cool new features is Photo Match, with which you can trace a photo to create a 3D model of the photographed object or match an existing model with a background photo. To stylize your models, there are features for adding fog, creating sketched effects, watermarks, 3D text, and more. And now the integration between Google Earth, 3D Warehouse and SketchUp is seamless, so that you can easily share and reuse models from other 3D Warehouse users. And as noted above, Google Earth now has the "Best of 3D Warehouse" layer that showcases the highest quality models from SketchUp users.

Google Earth 4 released

Six months after it was first introduced as a beta product, Google Earth 4 is now out. Along with a new interface, we've added tons of multimedia content that's been created by online communities plus content from such established sources as Discovery Networks and National Geographic. Be it photo-sharing through Panaramio, hiking trails from Tracks4Africa, Wikipedia articles, or restaurant reviews from Yelp, you can explore all this information in Google Earth's 3D view. And it now also includes the highest-quality textured 3D models of buildings from the 3D Warehouse as a layer ("Best of 3D Warehouse"). For example, check out Canary Wharf in London, landmarks in Manhattan, or the entire Denver downtown.

Community mappers warned!

China restrains mapping by foreigners
China Daily, 27 January 2007
A new regulation restricting surveying and mapping by foreigners will be implemented in China on March 1 2007. "The regulation will strengthen China's management of surveying and mapping by foreign organizations and individuals, protect national security, and promote economic and scientific cooperation between China and other countries," said an official from the State Bureau of Survey and Mapping on Thursday. Foreign organizations and individuals who intend to engage in surveying and mapping must obtain approval from the central government and accept supervision from local governments, according to the regulation.

Collaborative search engine launched for PGIS/PPGIS practice and science)

Using Google Coop technology a collaborative project has been launched to develop a highly specialized customized search engine reflecting knowledge and interests in PGIS/PPGIS practice and science. Researchers and practitioners are invited to contribute to its development.