IsWhere Image and Videos - Under Deveopment


Geotagging Imagery and Video

IsWHERE is a log of my thoughts, reflections, and news/blog links on the emergence of image and video geospatial tagging. On May5th this year, I opened a second blog to deal with more detailed aspects of tools for FalconView and TalonView can be found at RouteScout. Trends I want to try and follow are the various disruptions resulting from spatial smart-phones, how many GPS devices are out there, smart-cameras, and other related news. And yes, I have a business interest in all of this. My company Red Hen has been pioneering this sort of geomedia for more than a decade.

So beyond a personal blog, I also provide a link to IsWHERE a shareware tool created by Red Hen Systems to readily place geoJPEG or geotagged imagery and soon GEM full motion media kept on your own computer(s) into Google Earth/Map from your File Manager media selection. Works great for geotagged images from Nikon, Ricoh, Sony, iPHONE, Android and all geo-smartphones that can create geotagged images. IsWhere - read about it

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Android Fragmentation - To B or not to B?

Entelligence: Is Android fragmented or is this the new rate of innovation?

I've written in the past about my concern that the Android platform is fragmenting much like desktop Linux has over the years, and the potential for the platform to turn into a patchwork of devices and vendor specific modifications that bear little relationship with each other. I've spent a lot of time thinking about my conversation with Andy, and I've rewritten this column more than a few times as a result.

Today, there are at least five different versions of Android on the market. Many of them are highly customized to allow for new features and device differentiation, but that same customization also makes it harder for vendors to update them to the latest versions. New releases and versions of Android are often outdated by newer versions in the span of just a few weeks. For example, the Nexus One when released was capable of running apps like Google Earth that devices such as the Droid could not, because it ran Android 2.0, not 2.1.Tablet vendors complain their Android offerings lack features such as Android Market because Google forbids them to install the marketplace app, forcing them to create proprietary alternatives. It would appear Android is indeed fragmenting -- but perhaps there are other forces at work..... 

The net result? A pace of innovation that shows no sign of slowing combined with even more reference hardware that keeps raising the stakes of what's possible. Keep up or don't -- what appears to be a fragmented market is merely the result of shortened cycles of innovation. Older devices seem obsolete faster than before, but this pace also brings speed new innovations to market faster. Google argues that the reason it doesn't permit tablet vendors access to Android Market just yet is to prevent devices that fail comparability tests from actually fragmenting the platform. The message? Keep up -- but don't try to jump ahead. 

I'd argue perhaps Android isn't fragmented, at least according to the classical definition, but that the practical result is the same. Devices going obsolete in months and new operating systems released on weekly cycles make it difficult for even Google's best partners to keep pace. Worse, users care onfronted with a dizzying array of devices, many of which are out of sync from a software perspective at the time of purchase -- causing some to delay purchases in fear of buyer's remorse or purchase a competing platform. 

The open nature of Android is what allows this to happen. Google won't control what partners do with Android, but by constantly raising the bar it controls the platform's pace as well as the vision. As with most things, in the end it will be Google's partners and their customers that will determine whether that pace is acceptable, and that will either become a competitive advantage or provide an opportunity for other platforms to succeed.

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