Start-up hopes to bridge real, virtual worlds

LONDON--Micazook, a start-up trying to bring some real-world flavor to virtual worlds on the Net, plans to publicly launch an online realm it calls Project X for now.

"A beta will be out in the next few weeks," Michael Fotoohi, managing director and one of the prime programmers behind the project, said at the Image Sensors Europe conference here. By then, he said, Project X should have a real name instead of its present placeholder.

Project X attempts to overlay the free-wheeling style of Second Life over a model of the real world. The company has obtained high-resolution … Read more

Foursquare coming to Bing Maps

Microsoft's Bing Maps tool will soon feature tips and comments from location-based networking service Foursquare.

Don't panic: This won't broadcast your location to anyone hunting around on Bing Maps. It will, however, pull up the quick "tips" that Foursquare users can attach to a given business or other venue, like the one I saw when I "checked in" to a restaurant last night and was greeted with "Love, love, love the Brussels sprouts."

A new Silverlight-based tool will pull in the Foursquare features to Bing Maps. This and other Bing updates … Read more

Bing iPhone app update comes with a bang

Since its introduction late last year, Bing has been a worthy rival of the Google Mobile App on the iPhone and iPod Touch by combining a map, a browser, search app, and a few other nifty features into one. According to Microsoft, there have been more than a million downloads of the Bing app for iPhone so far.

The app just recently got even better with its 1.1 update, which was released on Friday. Apart from a number of stability fixes and usability tweaks, it also adds a few major features and improvements, including:

Bookmarks and improved Web browsing: … Read more

Google's latest Android widget has people Buzzing

In an effort to make it easier for you to share your thoughts, pictures, and general experiences, Google released an official widget application for Google Buzz last week.

The application gives users the capability to geotag their Buzz location information. For example: You just enjoyed a fantastic dinner and the dessert just arrived. Now you can snap a photo of the cheesecake and let your friends and followers know where they need to go if they want to try it for themselves. Using the built-in GPS feature found in Android phones, Google recognizes most establishments and adds the names for … Read more

Reporters' Roundtable: Maps and mapping (podcast)

Who doesn't love a good map? But maps aren't what they used to be. Today's "maps" do more than show us what's where: They tell us where we are and how to get where we want to go. Mapping is also now a privacy and security issue. Criminals are using public satellite imagery and street-view photos of structures to plot property crimes. We'll talk about these issues, plus how maps are made, and the as-yet unsolved challenges for map developers, in this week's show. Our guests are Peter Birch, product manager of Google Earth, and Nick Black, cofounder of Cloudmade, a company doing business around the OpenStreetMap project.

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Show notes and talking points… Read more

Make Google Maps your live Android wallpaper

There's something to be said for instant gratification, and if you're the sort who wants to know where you are without pausing to open a map app, one of the handful of changes to Google Maps for Android (version 4.1) has your name on it.

To turn your wallpaper into a live, real-time map that tracks your location, press and hold the home screen, choose Wallpaper, then pick Maps from the Live Wallpaper folder. Before setting the wallpaper, you'll be able to choose satellite, terrain, or line map mode and whether you want to show traffic. … Read more

Yahoo for maps

Yahoo's online maps combine many small, highly detailed images into larger views with interactive feature like the ability to zoom and rotate the image. Allallsoft's Yahoo Satellite Maps Downloader is a small but capable tool that you can use to select and download Yahoo satellite images and put them together into highly accurate, highly detailed interactive maps. Multithread technology downloads large geographical information files quickly, and it saves images to your hard drive or other destination for immediate use or to be used later to create other maps. It only downloads Yahoo satellite map images. For regular Yahoo … Read more

Bing Maps adds a telescopic lens

Bing Maps is getting star-struck.

On Wednesday, Microsoft is adding a star-gazing feature to its Bing Maps service, allowing users to "look up" and see what the stars look like from any point on earth. I'm not sure if it is enough to make Robert Scoble shed more tears, but the new move does allow one to see the stars above them even when it is daylight.

Microsoft's Blaise Aguera y Arcas showed off the concept, which draws on Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope project, at last month's TED conference.

The Worldwide Telescope was first made … Read more

Mashup mocks SXSWi's 'geo' obsession, gender imbalance

AUSTIN, Texas--It would be very clear to an uninitiated bystander at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) this week that the annual nerdstravaganza is full of people talking about a zillion location-based social-networking applications.

There are the various campaigns and tie-ins for rival check-in services Foursquare and Gowalla, the local-deals promo from iPhone app Whrrl, and the litany of "where is everyone?" mash-ups perhaps best personified by, an uber-aggregator of Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins from Austin as well as just about every other sort of social-media updates coming out of SXSWi. Developed by SimpleGeo, another … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1182: Where we're going, we don't need rails (podcast)

We've utterly given up the concept of "on-topic" today, as talk of Apple's Developer License Agreement suddenly turns into a conversation about patent law and nuclear arsenals and our one voicemail is a dirty anagram. What happened!? Also, some bad words.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1182

Facebook to allow users to share location

… And so does Twitter

Veil Lifts Slightly on Apple’s Secret Plan to Control … Read more