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eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, July 04, 2005
Mapping is undergoing a rapid revolution. The past year has seen the general availability of mapping data increase exponentially, culminating in the technological wonder that is Google Earth (the result of the company acquiring a firm called Keyhole). Granted, some have criticised the application (currently in Beta) as little more than showboating, just as the basic Google Maps is fun for getting a new perspective on familiar places. However, the existence of professional editions and public toolkits for Google Earth promise an application of almost limitless power.

What happens next? Well, we can start with the gradual integration of the tens of thousands of existing data points, as set out in this me-fi post. What kind of data do you want to see on a map? The possibilities are limitless: Central London traffic cams, crime figures, house prices, real time weather data, noise mapping, even shipwrecks and snapshots (for example, see 'How to GPS Tag Photos: Flickr, Mappr, Google Earth....'), and so on and so on.

Taking the application to its logical conclusion: we will each have a little Google Earth spinning on our desktop (something like this), which expands full screen and becomes the front end for photo albums, address books, route-finding, etc? A PDA version will inevitably be available, putting the world in your pocket (and given ad executives the opportunity to write a 100 cheesy slogans). Imagine combining Google's data with that of the Ordnance Survey, for example (the OS guide their data very carefully, but their glossiest offerings look incredibly dated compared to what the basic Google application can do).

*

Elsewhere. The amazing Sacra di San Michele, north of Turin. According to Gridskipper ('an urban travel guide'), the cliff-top monastery was one of the inspirations behind Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Jean-Jacques Annaud's film of the book was actually shot on a vast set and on several locations, including in Germany. Art directed by husband and wife team of Dante Ferretti and Francesca LoSchiavo, now better known for their work on Martin Scorcese's recent films.

Staying in Turin, you can also take the Italian Job Tour. Apparently the (original) film is not very well known in the city in which it's set, partly because it spends a lot of time being very down on the Mafia (even though the Mafia got to drive beautiful Fiat Dino coupe. Related, architecture in film - modernist locations. Thanks to the joys of Google Maps, I reckon this is the Chemosphere. Related, the location of the garage in Ferris Bueller.

Selvedge magazine, on textiles and more / Played in Britain have a fine-looking book on British lidos on the way / do old computers underpin 90% of today's businesses? / I wrote a short review of The Incredibles for icon magazine / the advertising art of Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. So very, very French (via i like, of course).

Between Blank and Boring reminds us of The Peel Tapes. Kottke muses on death in the celebrity age. Some good points: Chances are in 15-20 years, someone famous whose work you enjoyed or whom you admired or who had a huge influence on who you are as a person will die each day. Imagine losing a John Peel every day / Largehearted Boy is collating links to the weekend's Live 8 performances / the hats of Ascot, via Philobiblion /

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