MyGuestmap, powered by Google Maps

What do you get when you cross an ordinary guestbook (who still uses them these days?) with Google Maps? You’ve guessed it, a guestmap!

See my guestmap in a popup. See it quick before the service crumbles under its own success. Or build your own guestmap. (Export to Google Earth included)

If inspired you may want to take a look at the Google Maps API Documentation. There you’ll find all the information on building your own Google Maps service like MyGuestmap, Tagzania, …

Via ComputerZen

Google Earth: Impact Structures

I’ve spent the better part of my sunday examining the network link feature of Google Earth. For those who don’t know. You can share your placemarks. And you can do it in a way, in case of an update, that everyone ‘subscribed’ will be automatically updated.

Google Earth Beta

Network links give you the power to serve content from a remote location. Network Links are commonly used to distribute data to large numbers of users. In this way, if the data needs to be amended, it has to be changed only at the source location, and all users receive the updated data automatically.

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Macromedia Studio 8

If you were camping out in Siberia for the past year you may have missed the Adobe & Macromedia merger. Well, it boils down to a 3.5 BILLION dollar transaction in which Adobe takes over Macromedia. That is, IF the stockholders agree on August 24 and the DOJ does not intervene.

Macromedia Studio 8 Anyway, it did not keep both companies from releasing their new updated application suites this year. CS2 was released somewhere around the news of the merger. And this week Macromedia happily announced its long due update to Studio MX 2004, dubbed Studio 8 (!!!!!! What the f@#$ happened to their much louded MX extension: “It sounds so fresh compared to a number-bump.”??? Right!)

So as a daily user of Dreamweaver, ever since version 1, I’m pretty keen on seeing what improvements have been made. But let’s take a look what we get with the new studio:

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RSS Statistical facts

While we’re on the subject of RSS. It appears that “only 2% of online adults and 5% of online teens in North America use RSS, according to Forrester.” They are also mainly male, spend more time online than non-RSS readers, technically interested, surf broadband and/or wireless, mainly read news, research products and publish/maintain blogs. (In summary… don’t you love aggregation? ;-))

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has some more interesting data (July 2005). When asked: “Please tell me if you have a good idea what the term means, or if you aren’t really sure what it means.“, and supplying the terms: “Spam, Internet cookies, Adware, Internet Phishing, Podcasting, Spyware, RSS feeds and Firewall”, the result was that RSS Feeds came in last with only 9% having a good idea, 65% not really sure and 26% never heard of it. What strikes me is that podcasting (13% has a good idea) is so much more familiar. See the report (PDF).

More info: Feeding on RSS at eMarketer, via Marketingfacts (Dutch)

RSS Ping

Here’s something interesting:

RSS Ping logoRSS Ping combines RSS item metadata with site update information. It enhances the current ping specification, adding information about exactly what has been updated or published, with the notification that something has been updated. RSS Ping reduces the need to revisit or work done by aggregators and search engines when revisiting the publisher site after being pinged, to provide truly real-time updates for information on the Web.

For what I can make of it, it’s meant to extend the current ping standard by letting the ping server collect a so-called ‘payload’. The payload is nothing more than a feed with a single item. Therefore eliminating the need to collect the originating page or complete feed.

Read more:

Apple iBook. First impressions.

Apple iBook 12" It has been a couple of days since I collected my iBook from the store. Mind you, it is my first personally owned Mac. And it has been fun exploring a new OS and fiddling with all the options on the machine. In fact it still is fun. 🙂

Everything I’ve thrown at it so far worked nicely, differently, but nicely. It’s just a matter of getting used to. And I’m already so used to it, that this morning I automatically went for Command+W to close a window on my Windows machine. 😉 (I find Mac OS X more keyboard centric, despite its GUI, than Windows)

But what struck me most was the reactions of family, friends and co-workers. Just a few quotes: “Apple? You weren’t into Mac before…”, “Cool! I want one too!”, “Aaaaaaahhh a Mac!?!?!?! Are you nuts?” and “Yay! He’s one of us now.” I don’t know why, but mentioning you’ve bought a Mac leads to some frowns in a Windows world. Not in a bad sense though. 😉

Anyway, let me clarify things. NO I DID NOT SWITCH!!! I have NOT left the M$ Windows world. Give me one good reason why I should?

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Pingoat – The stable of all pings

Pingoat is a new ping-service, since the 21st of July. Or as they put it:

What in the world is Pingoat! ?
Pingoat is a service that pings or notifies a number of services that keep track of weblogs and publish them. By pinging, you let the services know that your blog has been updated and hence, they crawl and index your site, publishing your blog contents, thus increasing your blog’s popularity.

I’m giving it a try because Pingomatic is down to often. So, as much as this is news, it’s a test. Let’s see how this one fares. 🙂
I’ve replaced the ping-option in WordPress with ‘http://pingoat.com/goat/RPC2’. See the Pingoat RPC help.

Google Sitemap creator

But wait, there’s more fun. For those who use blog software that can’t generate sitemaps they offer a Google Sitemap creator. Just enter your URL and Pingoat will create a sitemap. It even has the option of uploading the sitemap to your domain using FTP and pinging Google in the process. What more do you want?

Update: Well, I see the usual bots drop by and some I haven’t seen before. So the ping must have worked. 🙂

Small is better part 2

Apple iBook 12" Keeping my fingers crossed. The local Mac center is keeping aside a new generation 12″ iBook for me. So right after work it’s to the shop. Can’t wait… 🙂

Oh and the trusty work laptop returned from the lab. New screen, new HD, new Mobo. I think the only original part may be, well, the keyboard. 😉

So hopefully tonight I’ll be back in business. 1280×1024, 256Megs and 500MHz isn’t fun any longer.

Update: Small definitely is better! 🙂 (A review to follow soon)

Mozilla going Corporate

Firefox & Thunderbird Today the Mozilla Foundation announced that the non-profit organisation will spawn a for-profit Mozilla Corporation. Exactly how they will make a profit isn’t clear to me. Presumably by offering paid support(?). But, they promise that Firefox & Thunderbird will remain free, always.

The corporate domain has already been setup. But there’s not much to see yet. Learn more about the reorganisation.

Exploring the earth from your couch

I must admit I have somewhat of an addiction to Google Earth. Especially with all the user input from around the globe. There are literally thousands of eyes scouring the earth for interesting spots or as they are called, placemarks. Resulting in hours of hopping from placemark to placemark. And discovering some of your own (and bothering your friends with them). 🙂

It’s easy to forget that Google Earth wasn’t the first. There are other free tools around. Let’s see:

NASA World Wind

World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.

Or if you’re fed up with earth:

Celestia

The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

If you live in The Netherlands you may want to take a look at:

TerraExplorer

De TerraExplorer is een innovatieve uitbreiding van de Internetbrowser die uw PC verandert in een krachtig visualisatiemiddel. Internetbezoekers kunnen zo volledig interactief door fotorealistische, driedimensionale landschappen navigeren, de zogenaamde ‘digitale maquettes’. Met deze gebruikersvriendelijke, gratis ‘plug-in’ TerraExplorer heeft u toegang tot adembenemende visualisaties.