Well done OS, you’ve done it again

As mentioned on, Digital Urban and Londonist, to name but two blogs, as well as the usual suspect, the Guardian covering the story. The Ordnance Survey have again shown their rather blinkered approach to public responsibility in favour of commercialisation by stopping a UCL CASA project to show air pollution in London within Google Earth using 3D buildings.

Since the 3D buildings are produced in part from OS MasterMap data the project is now only able to be used within government departments, as they have licenses to use the datasets already. The point of the UCL’s project was to allow the public to have a view of the situation.

The Londonist article describes the OS as the bank manager character from the Nationwide adverts, constantly going against normal thinking with ‘it doesn’t work like that’ answers. Some may think this is a bit harsh, but personally I’d say it was apt for:

The UCL’s own user interface is still available on their project site, but I don’t know how long that will last, it is, however, very impressive.

New Google Maps Feature – Mapplets

Lifehacker just reported a Mapplets feature on Google Maps, which is only available if you go to the Google Maps Preview site (which once you start using, is available to you on the normal maps address). It all looks pretty cool, being able to put layers of information on Google Maps itself, rather than having to go to the individual mash-up sites.

There will still be a place for mash-ups, since you can’t customise the UI too much, but as the map equivalent to iGoogle gadgets this looks great!

One of the more fascinating mapplets I’ve found so far is ‘Zürich Travel Time Visualization’. It shows how long it should take to get to parts of Zürich using a colour overlay.

The Lifehacker post also had a YouTube clip attached to it, so I’ll attach it here too for completeness :o)