ESRI acquired GeoIQ – true marriage with love
ESRI – the largest geospatial enterprise in the universe (and as well the largest privately held software company in the world) has announced to acquire GeoIQ owner of GeoCommons. GeoCommons was a very interesting project launched in 2007. It was and still is the internet service where users can share, transform, visualize and mash-up geographical information. According to GeoIQ today the project has over 50,000 users, who have contributed over 125,000 open data sets, which have been shared 20 million times. Pretty impressive. Based on those tools GeoCommons transformed into GeoIQ – targeted to B2B sector. I don’t know how successful they were, but it seems that ESRI got interested… 😉
ESRI from the other side is different story – the most advanced desktop GIS ever, used by more than 300,000 organizations worldwide and is running on more than one million desktops and Web applications servers. From several years there trying to popularize cloud-based services ArcGIS online. Although it’s one of the best web mapping platform, I know from reliable sources that its uphill struggle, and it goes much slower than ESRI anticipated. I guess that investment in GeoIQ is about to change it.
Good news, Google launches walking direction-enabled Maps for about 44 African Countries: Now, the question is ”how current are these maps?”
Google Lat Long blog says ”Google Maps for Africa gets better”, how better is this better?. Oh!, walking directions launched!. That sounds like a good news, but the question is, how current are these maps?
I have discussed this with folks, that Google map for my city Abuja-Nigeria hasn’t been helpful in getting driving directions and now we are talking about walking directions. The issue is that, the maps Google has in most of these countries in Africa are not current.
Since 2010 when Google announced the availability of driving directions in most African countries, lots of things have changed in the maps. Many new roads and streets have been constructed, street names have changed, infrastructures changed and added etc. So how confident can one be of getting reliable directions with these out-of-date Google maps in these countries.
At least I can say for sure, that Google map of Abuja city where I currently live is as outdated as 2009. I can’t even recall when Google-Nigeria ever embarked on any mapping project as done by their colleagues in some other countries.
I suggest that Google could make this development, a welcome and useful one by getting these maps current. Embarking on massive crowd-sourced mapping projects in many of these cities could be a way out. On the other hand acquiring current data from other geospatial data providers, even from Open Street Map could also be the way.
If these maps are made current, then these developments in driving and walking directions, frankly would be awesome developements for the African people. At least the instructions on the map below look cool 🙂