Skybox Announces Acquisition by Google

 

www.apb.directionsmag.com   Tuesday, June 10, 2014  Adena Schutzberg

On its blog Skybox announced today it was to be aquired by Google.

Skybox and Google share more than just a zip code. We both believe in making information (especially accurate geospatial information) accessible and useful. And to do this, we’re both willing to tackle problems head on — whether it’s building cars that drive themselves or designing our own satellites from scratch.

We are who we are because of the incredible customers, partners, & advisors who have given their time, wisdom, resources & encouragement over the years. To the people who believed in us before anyone else, you know who you are. Thank you.

In addition, we wouldn’t be here without the unwavering support of our friends and family. This has been an incredible journey, and we look forward to working with our new Google family and the world at­-large to write the next chapter.

We should point out that our agreement with Google, which is subject to customary approvals and closing conditions, hasn’t closed yet. So in the short term, it will continue to be business as usual at Skybox.

Google, in a press release, states the price was $500M and it will use it to keep Google Maps up-to-date

Autonomous camera drone lets you shoot your own action scenes

BY JON FINGAS  @JONFINGAS  JUNE 15TH 2014, AT 7:00:00 PM ET

If you want to record a bike ride or some other adventure by yourself, you typically have to wear an action camera. Going that route is fine for a first-person view, but what if you want some more dramatic shots? That’s where Hexoplus’ crowdfunded Hexo+ camera dronecomes into play. The robotic hexacopter captures aerial footage of your expeditions simply by detecting where you are (or rather, where your phone is) and following along — you only have to set a preferred distance. It’s fast (43MPH) and stabilized, too, so it should keep up even if you’re racing across hilly terrain.

Should you like the idea of starring in your own sports movie, you’ll need to pledge at least $499 if you want a Hexo+ and already have a GoPro camera on hand; $699 will get you both the craft and a camera. That’s a lot of money just to get yourself in the frame, but it might be worthwhile if it gives you the production quality you usually only see from a big studio. You’d better hope that the FAA gets its drone rules in order before Hexoplus’ planned May 2015 ship date, though. After all, you don’t want to get into a legal battle over your airborne magnum opus.

Learn to Use Esri ArcGIS Online Elevation Analysis Services

Esri.com/lts
June 5, 2014
9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (PDT)

You can analyze elevation and hydrologic data using the new Elevation Analysis services hosted in Esri ArcGIS Online. For example, you can find the slope of a road, calculate a viewshed, or discover where water flows to or from, using these services in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS for Desktop, or other web clients.

To familiarize yourself with how to use these analytical capabilities, tune in to the live training seminar Elevation Analysis with ArcGIS Online on June 5, 2014.

After viewing this seminar, you will understand how to

  • Use terrain analysis tools to explore elevations along a particular path; identify visible areas; and calculate elevation, slope, and aspect for features that you select.
  • Use hydrologic analysis tools to determine watersheds and the downstream path of water based on a point that you choose.
  • Build custom web applications using the ArcGIS Online elevation analysis REST API, which is included in your ArcGIS Online organizational subscription.

This seminar will be of interest to GIS analysts who need to visualize terrain and perform raster-based analysis. ArcGIS Online users who want to work with elevation and hydrologic data, and developers who want to build web applications that consume elevation analysis services will also want to attend this seminar.

A basic understanding of ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Online, and geoprocessing is recommended.

You will need a broadband Internet connection and an Esri Global Account to watch the live training seminar. Creating an Esri Global Account is easy and free: visit esri.com/lts, click Login, and register your name and address.

Copyright © 2014 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, ArcGIS, and esri.com are trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products or services mentioned herein may be trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of their respective mark owners.

Esri Sponsors Civic Day of Hacking Events in Four US Cities

www10.giscafe.com

Redlands, California May 29, 2014—As thousands of people come together for the National Day of Civic Hacking events, May 30 through June 1, Esri experts will offer support in Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, and New Orleans. Developers, non-profit organizations, and governments around the world use Esri’s ArcGIS Platform to  create location-based apps that solve problems for public safety, transportation, economic development, health care, and more.

“The National Civic Day of Hacking brings together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs,” said John Yaist, a technology evangelist for Esri. “Together we will collaborate and create new solutions to improve our communities and the governments that serve them. For example, we could build an app to address issues such as food distribution needs or to simply report potholes so they get fixed faster.”

Esri has a long-standing reputation for supporting civic solutions—both through its ArcGIS technology and through its efforts to help build more  resilient communities.

Anyone can get started with Esri technology for free and start building applications for web, mobile, and desktop. Esri offers cloud services, developer APIs, ready-to-use content, and self-hosted solutions. Discover more at  esri.com/developers.

You can’t drive a Google car off a cliff. Other than that, they’re fantastic

When net neutrality backfires: Chile just killed free access to Wikipedia and Facebook

www.qz.com  By Leo Mirani May 30, 2014

Net neutrality is a sore subject in the United States. Proponents argue that allowing big companies to pay for faster data transfers to their customers would disadvantage start-up business that cannot afford such payments. They also say consumers could be forced to pay more for access to data-hungry services such as Netflix. Opponents of net neutrality say that those who use the most bandwidth should also be the ones paying the most for it. After all, the tubes that ferry data around the world are not public utilities—they are private business concerns.

A surprising decision in Chile shows what happens when policies of neutrality are applied without nuance. This week, Santiago put an end to the practice, widespread in developing countries, of big companies “zero-rating” access to their services. As Quartz has reported, companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Wikipedia strike up deals with mobile operators around the world to offer a bare-bones version of their service without charging customers for the data.

It is not clear whether operators receive a fee from big companies, but it is clear why these deals are widespread. Internet giants like it because it encourages use of their services in places where consumers shy away from hefty data charges. Carriers like it because Facebook or Twitter serve as a gateway to the wider internet, introducing users to the wonders of the web and encouraging them to explore further afield—and to pay for data. And it’s not just commercial services that use the practice: Wikipedia has been an enthusiastic adopter of zero-rating as a way to spread its free, non-profit encyclopedia.

Designed to woo new users rather than those already connected to the internet, these free programs do not offer the full, whizz-bang version of the service in question. Facebook Zero is largely text-based; Google only provides access to a few of its services. And smartphones generally cannot access these sites. They are aimed squarely at poorer people with pre-paid connections and older phones.

But Chile’s Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones has decided (link in Spanish) that such promotions violate net neutrality laws and must end in two days, on June 1. According to the law (link in Spanish), internet service providers must “not arbitrarily distinguish content, applications or services, based on the source or ownership thereof” (translation by Google).

This is short-sighted. Chile’s mobile internet penetration is low by the standards of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as the chart below shows.  Click to continue.