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Mapping

senseFly's new eBee UAV

Three years ago, Swiss sensor manufacturer senseFly released its Swinglet CAM unmanned aerial vehicle. Priced around US$10,600, the little aircraft can follow a pre-programmed flight path or be piloted by remote control, and uses its built-in 12-megapixel camera to create aerial maps, or keep tabs on things like wildlife, crops and traffic. Now, based on its experiences with the Swinglet CAM, senseFly is about to release a new UAV known as the eBee.  Read More

MIT's wearable mapping device

A number of research institutions are currently developing systems in which autonomous robots could be sent into places such as burning buildings, to create a map of the floor plan for use by waiting emergency response teams. Unfortunately, for now, we still have to rely on humans to perform that sort of dangerous reconnaissance work. New technology being developed by MIT, however, kind of splits the difference. It’s a wearable device that creates a digital map in real time, as the person who’s wearing it walks through a building.  Read More

What are the changes ushered in with iOS 6?

The release of a new iPhone means two things. The first is obviously the new phone; but that hardware is also accompanied by a new version of iOS. Apple's mobile operating system has evolved from a relatively simple interface for using a few stock Apple apps (on 2007's debut iPhone) to an advanced system that is creeping ever closer to OS X. The annual iOS refresh is now an event in itself. Let's take a look at the decisions – and execution – that Apple ultimately took with this year's update.  Read More

Uploading of a home destination can be achieved with the use of custom-made mapping softwa...

British designer Dominic Wilcox has created a pair of prototype shoes which offer to guide the wearer home with built-in GPS navigation. The inspiration for the clever footwear derives from The Wizard of Oz character Dorothy’s red shoes, which famously transported her home with a click of her heels. Naturally, the GPS system within Wilcox’s shoes is also activated by clicking the heels together.  Read More

A new software system is able to determine the visual elements that are unique to a given ...

If you were an animator who was instructed to “Make a street that looks like it’s in Paris,” chances are you might not know what to do. Sure, you could occasionally put the Eiffel Tower in the background, but you couldn’t do that for every shot. If you were using a new data-mining system developed by Carnegie Mellon University and INRIA/École Normale Superiéure in Paris, however, it would show you what you should include. The software automatically looks through photos taken in various cities, and identifies the recurring visual features unique to each place.  Read More

The SUAVe system allows an unmanned aerial vehicle to create detailed aerial maps of arche...

If you were in Peru right now, at the long-abandoned Inca village of Mawchu, you might see something very modern flying over it – a Skate unmanned aerial vehicle. The aircraft is the key part of a system designed by a team from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. Once perfected, it should be able to accomplish in 10 to 15 minutes what would take an archeological team two to three field seasons to complete.  Read More

Buildings have unique spatial magnetic signatures that can be used for indoor positioning

While GPS tracking tends to be ineffective inside buildings, alternative indoor positioning solutions require the presence of Wi-Fi network access points or other beacons ... or at least, that was the case before a Finnish start-up called IndoorAtlas stepped onto the scene. Its software uses your phone’s built-in compass and measures the anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field to pinpoint your location in a building with the accuracy ranging from 0.1 meter to 2 meters (3.93 inches to 6.56 feet). If spiny lobsters can do it, so can we, the logic goes.  Read More

The Android-powered system is contained within a single backpack (Photo: Google)

Over the last few years, Google's specially-designed cars, trikes, trolleys and snowmobiles have brought interactive Street View technology to the cities and jungles of the world – but why stop there? The search giant recently unveiled the Street View Trekker, a hi-tech backpack-contained system that will bring Street View to those places that can only be reached on foot.  Read More

The FINIS Hydro Tracker GPS device allows open water swimmers to map their swims and recor...

For those of us who just swim lengths in pools, keeping track of where we’ve swum is pretty easy. When it comes to triathletes and other people who swim in lakes or the open ocean, however, there aren’t any lane markers to look back on. Instead, they can now use the Hydro Tracker GPS, made by California water sports tech company FINIS. The waterproof device attaches to the user’s goggle straps, then uses GPS technology to create a map of where they’ve been, while also recording performance data.  Read More

Pix4D is a program that creates 3D aerial images by combining hundreds of 2D photographs, ...

While Google Earth can be extremely useful - not to mention a lot of fun - it now has some competition in the form of Pix4D. Instead of satellites, the imaging system uses a small, relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to acquire several hundred 2D photographs of a given geographical area. Those photos are then merged into one image, which users can explore in three dimensions on a computer screen.  Read More

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