Microsoft to threaten JPEG2000?

I stumbled upon an interesting article on Microsoft’s latest unveiling of their new Windows Media Photo image format specification. While the latest “format” is supposedly free (as in beer), the intention of Microsoft is clear for Vista … lets make our own *everything*. This is the latest sibling of Microsoft’s suite of standards for Vista which include XPM (PDF alternative), WMV/WMA (AVI,MPEG & MP3 alternative), XPS (alternative to OpenDoc) and now of course a rival to JPEG2000.

vista.gif

Some writeups of the event launch:

betanews.com
news.com.com
wired.com

In his presentation, Crow showed an image with 24:1 compression that visibly contained more detail in the Windows Media Photo format than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats compressed at the same level.

This may have interesting implications with GIS Imaging specialists and even the OGC, given the indepth focus given to JPEG2k specification. While there was mention of Crow’s “comparison”, i haven’t been able to find a copy of the example … in any case it will be interesting to see how support is recieved amongst vendors of imaging technologies.

If you’re in this space, i’d suggest having a read of the WMP specification which contains some technical information on how these compression rates are supposedly achieved.

Interesting stuff!If anyone knows any more detail in relevance to GIS/Spatial Sciences, please drop me a line

Google maps finally gets aus data

Seems as though Google Maps has finally integrated the PSMA dataset. Just had a quick look and the data seems to be fairly recent.

I feel sorry for the zoomin guys as no doubt their target audience has all but dissappeared over night (until of course businesses read googles licencing arrangements :)).

Has anyone been able to get routing working? Seems as though its not accepting any kind of local address i throw at it.

Overall i’m not too impressed, but maybe thats because i have access to this sort of data all the time. It certainly will be interesting to see what sort of local “mashups” (god i hate that word) are created.

via geblog

Game programmers facing similar problems to GIS imaging?

Stumbled upon an interesting article at gamerwithin.com which has an interview with iDSoftware guru John Carmack about their new “mega texture” technology. I have always predicted that at some stage gaming technoology will cross paths with spatial high-resolution and that time has seemingly arrived.

The following comment comes from the Slashdot article, and alot of them have similarities to GIS imaging compression technologies but for a gaming environment eg. for large outdoor terrain textures.

Do some elementary calculations kiddies.

32,000 x 32,000 is 1024 million pixels. (A gigapixel?)

Presuming 16 bits per pixel, that’s a couple of gigabytes. That’s not going to be sitting in texture memory. Think about it.

Sounds familiar :)

There is a very good article on “clipmap” technology which gives a good overview on one such implementation. Image pyramids, caching and compression issues are all mentioned.

mipmap.GIF

Of course i am not a game programmer and i know there are lots of other issues to consider such as line of sight calculations, alpha channels etc. If only it was as simple as drag and dropping MrSID, ECW or JPEG2000 compressed textures into your gaming environment

Still quite interesting nonetheless. If anyone has any high level articles i’d love to have a read.

GeaBios – Tiny WMS/WFS Client

Wow, i just keep finding neater and neater stuff!

After reading up on some new AJAX frameworks, i stumbled upon a press release from the Dojo Toolkit boys saying they were teaming up with OpenLaszlo

OpenLaszlo programs are written in XML and JavaScript and transparently compiled to Flash and soon DHTML. The OpenLaszlo APIs provide animation, layout, data binding, server communication, and declarative UI.

Flicking through the documentation, this framework definately warranted more attention (i can’t say i’ve heard much buzz on laszlo). I had been toying with the idea of making a functional, usable web based gis for a while now but just as i started dipping my toe in the water – someone already beat me to it!

GeaBios stands for Geo Enabled And Better Internet Oriented Services and from what i can gather, is a group of academics from Slovenia. Although usability could definately be improved, the core wms/wfs functionality is fantastic and integration with other XML sensor feeds is done really well.

geabios.JPG

The fact that no actionscript coding are needed for the whole app and i can choose which interface (flash/dhtml) has got me sold! Check it out