Friday, March 24, 2017

Keeping Touch... Maps of Position versus Relation?  

Share your trips and real-time location from Google Maps
Daniel Resnick

“Where are you now?” and “What's your ETA?” Whether you’re heading to a party or meeting up for dinner, you probably hear questions like this pretty often from family and friends. Soon Google Maps users worldwide will be able to answer those questions in just a few taps, without ever leaving the app. On both Android and iOS, you’ll be able to share your real-time location with anyone. And the people you share with will be able to see your location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and even desktop. Here’s how it works in a real-world scenario:

Location Sharing in Google Maps

Whenever you want to let someone know where you are, just open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are. Tap “Share location” and then select who to share with and how long to share—and you're done! You can share your real-time location with your Google contacts, or even share with friends and family by sending a link on your favorite messenger apps. When you’re sharing your location, the people you’ve chosen to share with will see you on their map. And you’ll see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you’re actively sharing your location. You can change your mind and stop sharing at any time—it’s entirely up to you.

Sharing Your Location

Next time you’re on your way or running late, you can share your real-time location and trip progress from navigation as well. During your next trip, tap the “More” button on the bottom on the navigation screen, and then tap “Share trip.” When you share your trip with people, they’ll see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head toward your destination. Sharing automatically ends when you arrive.

Sharing a Trip

Location sharing on Google Maps is rolling out soon worldwide, and you’ll be able to quickly let your friends and family know where you are and when you’ll get where you’re going. The answer to “where are you?” is only a tap away.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Planet - Your Daily Satellite Imaging Source 

Planet, the global imaging company that recently acquired Google’s Terra Bella satellite imaging business, is introducing a new tool called Planet Explorer Beta that allows its users to view how its image captures of Earth from space change over time. It’s available to the public without a login, which means petty much anyone can check out what a particular spot on the planet looked like over a monthly or quarterly period. 

Planet co-founder and CEO Will Marshall explains in a blog post that the company has noticed that, as it captures images of the same spots over time, almost all places undergo some visible change. Planet’s satellite network captures a lot more imagery than has typically been available, and on a more frequent basis — it can collect a new snapshot of every piece of land on Earth daily, via its network of 149 orbital satellites — and it says things change at least mostly almost invariably across the planet. 

This company recently launched a couple dozen of micro satelites that allow imaging evey day everywhere. Quite amazing... 

Great field management decisions depend on timely and accurate information, to identify problems before they impact yield. That's why Planet delivers data in near real time with a best-in-class automated pipeline, online tools, and easy-to-use formats. Now you can spend less time waiting for decision-making inputs, and more time taking action. 

Use Planet APIs to seamlessly integrate your applications and workflows with our data 
View your areas of interest multiple times during the growing season 
Instantly access archived imagery (since 2009), to analyze and predict trends 

Short Video of Montly Vegetative Index 

Planet for Agriculture.... This is Worldwide... Even on your Cellphone! 

There’s obviously a business aim with Planet’s decision to launch Explore Beta publicly with no login required — use of the resulting images is limited to non-commercial purposes, and Planet hopes this will drive free account sign-ups, which unlock access to not only monthly and quarterly change imagery, but also daily comparisons. And these hooks are likely to convert at least some users into paid subscribers, which allows them to use the available data for commercial use. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

500 Strong... Where to next?

Remember when quadcopter drones juggled balls and formed up into a Star Trek logo? That seems downright quaint compared to what we just saw at Lady Gaga's elaborately produced Super Bowl halftime show. During her first number, 300 Intel drones formed the shape of an American flag, punctuating the singer's wire-assisted fall to the stage below. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What is WebVR?

What is WebVR

In the past year, Google has focused on making virtual reality a better user experience. At Google I/O 2016 the company introduced Daydream VR mode in Android Nougat, which is a far better VR experience than Google Cardboard ever was. Google is continuing this trend by adding WebVR support to Chrome, arriving in Chrome 56 as an origin trial.

WebGL, a subset of OpenGL that allows web pages to render 3D graphics, has been around for years. With WebGL and WebVR, web pages can create immersive 3D environments at high frame rates (if you have a decent device, that is). 

Below is one of the demos, running at a smooth 60FPS on my Google Pixel once everything is loaded (the recording itself is not 60FPS).Viewing works equally well in all VR headsets - whether it's a Google Cardboard or a Daydream VR headset. Developers can also choose to use the Daydream controllers, Google Cardboard button, and other input devices as controllers.

While WebVR in Chrome 56 does not require enabling any flags in Chrome settings to use, the WebVR API is still under development, and as such the feature is marked as an origin trial. This means that websites have to whitelist themselves with Google to use the feature. If you have Chrome 56, you can try out some WebVR samples here.