Open Data in the Netherlands – BAG

The BAG Viewer (in Beta) allows access to the Basisregistratie Addressen en Gebouwen (BAG) database of addresses and buildings maintained by Kadester, the Dutch organization responsible for national mapping. Information for each structure includes square meters, type of object and age, plus parcel data for each address within a structure.

Open Data in the Netherlands – PDOK

The PDOK Viewer released to the public in September 2013 makes it possible to see all open datasets currently available. To download a dataset, search in the Nationaal Georegister.

(Update 12/1/2019: New PDOC viewer available.)

Driveway Decisions

I parked this car (and changed its color) in my neighborhood, with the Driveway Decision Maker (Updatge 12/1/2019: No longer available.)This nice google maps hack was created by Hyundai marketing guys Innocean for an Elantra model launch. I learned about it, and another nice spot-the-VW map hack, on PSFK website. Wouldn’t it be cool if this advertisement/app were released for the general public, so you could pick a car you REALLY want.
Updatge 12/1/2019: PSFK site is now members only.

Magic Planet

An exciting approach to understanding the Earth is offered by Global Imagination based in Santa Clara CA. This article in the New York Times describes applications in schools, museums, industry and government. Magic Planet globes range in size from 40 cm to 3 meters with a projection system which is either built into the base or external, and software for showing or creating custom geography-based stories. China is a booming market, and worldwide the education technology market is expected to grow from 31 billion to 60 billion during the next five years.

Onion on Apple

The Onion, as always, brilliant.

Who Owns the North Pole

Just watched a wonderful BBC documentary series, “Mapping the World“, which focuses on the use of maps throughout history for national power.  The last segment focuses on the current amazing new competition to claim the rapidly melting arctic region because of its enormous oil and gas reserves.  This has been in the news for some time, especially since the Russians planted a titanium flag on the sea floor directly below the North Pole in August 2007.  This map was designed by cartographers at Durham University, updated in 2010 to include negotiated boundaries between Norway and Russia, in attempt to make agreements before the free-for-all which could result from competing national interests as the area is explored.

Nautical Overlay

This website from GeoGarage layers nautical maps geo-rectified to fit Google’s brand of Mercator. The slider control allows you to adjust the transparency. First you must acknowledge that you can’t trust these maps for actual navigation! They are designed for planning and analyzing. Nice little routing tool allows you to plot a course including distances, and export to a Garmin GPS devise. Seems like huge potential here.

Amsterdam Dutch Elm City

On the subject of trees, here’s another reason to love Amsterdam. A green city, it is. This interactive map is in development, along with others like this one showing green roofs. The inspiring collection is here.

North American Environment on the Map

A nice site for easily and intuitively viewing environmental data, perhaps aimed mostly at children, but with a nice feature for integrating with Google Earth, and for downloading the data. (The US and Canada are still far ahead in making it all free!) The site was created by another interesting organization, Greeninfo Network.  Among other US and California-oriented projects, they have a nicely-designed online  crowdsourcing tool, MapCollaborator.

Tree Maps now Open

This open source software is designed to help cities catalog their trees through crowdsourcing. The San Diego version has more than 331,000 trees shown on the map with details about their species, size, and economic impact. The Grand Rapids treemap has over 17,000 trees pinpointed. Clearly these were cities with extensive tree databases in the first place who have brought this data into the opentreemap system so that it can be updated and maintained, and most importantly shared with the citizens. Very interesting concept! The Opentreemap software is available from an innovative GIS application and software design company Azavea.