Playing with my new toy – Motorola Milestone

The one thing that I have really enjoyed about my experience about working at Canpages is that they have been very focused on giving their employees the right equipment to to do their jobs. As soon as Telus announced that they launched the Motorola Milestone which is the GSM version of the Droid, I got my hands on one within the week.

Part of the reason why I wanted to get the Milestone was because it was touted to be the iPhone killer. Realistically speaking, there will be no such thing in 2010 or even 2011. The iPhone will be here for a while. For me, it will be more of the quest to replace my HTC Fuze. My one day’s worth of playing with the Milestone has been mixed but it’s trending positively. I will write more in subsequent entries.

Google Buzz creating too much noise?

There was an interesting Buzz going on started by Louis Grey, one of my favorite bloggers on the web where he’s talking about the noise that cross posting makes. I tried to submit a comment and I couldn’t so I opted to write this thought on my blog instead ๐Ÿ˜€

Historically speaking, there has been minimal overlap between my Twitter followers and my Facebook followers as I use both quite differently. Buzz is the first time where this problem is about to be an issue. I had originally started this comment with the thought that perhaps the answer is two-way response on Buzz but the solution really is much more intricate than that. It’s got to be automatic aggregation of posts ala Thoora as well. It’d be neat to post something and Buzz automatically recognizes that it already went to other feeds and not post it multiple times but just badge it to say that it was posted on Buzz, Twitter and Facebook for instance. That would make Buzz a much more powerful social tool indeed.

Changes coming to Canadian Maps from Waze

I was quite excited to receive this email from Waze yesterday. Waze has been one of my favorite mobile apps of late. My major complaint was of course that there were very no Canadian maps available. With new Canadian maps, this could very well be a killer navigation tool while still providing real time information that you’d have to pay for from other providers like Tom Tom for instance.

Hello Canadian mappers,
Some great news – we have acquired a base map for all of Canada (thank you Canadian government!) and we will start loading them to the cartouche.
While this change is great, we realize this brings a few concerns to all the hard work you’ve put into creating the waze maps so far, so we wanted to explain how this process will be carried out which is why we’re sending this email.

Before we start, you should know that you can take a break for the next 2 days. Any changes made after we start the process will not make it to the final version of the map, and we don’t want you to waste your time. We will also put a big red pop-up on the cartouche itself letting you know once we started our work.
The technical descriptions are below (and my apologies for sending such a long email… only read if you’re interested).
At the end of the process, Canadian maps will remain on www.waze.com/cartouche, and aerial images should be up and running in the background.
Thanks and please feel free to email us if you have any concerns or questions
Dror
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Technicalities:

So how will the maps be combined? I will refer to two maps – the GOVT (new base map from the Canadian Government) and USER (existing cartouche maps)

  • Since the GOVT has more segments, this will be the base for the new map.
  • Each segment from the USER maps will be checked for a matching segment from the GOVT. If there’s a match, the the GOVT segment will keep its shape, but the driving direction, street name and ownership will be changed to match the USER segment.
  • If there’s no match, the USER segment will be added to the new map with all characteristics (including shape).
  • We will run a process that automatically recognizes highways. This process connects the highways to ramps and opens the driving directions. In this case, any prior info from the USER maps will be kept (info will be added only on new segments).
  • We will run all the drives in Canada up to date; this will open driving directions on all segments that were not created until today and create routing connectivity (allowed turns).
  • As for connectivity; the GOVT maps come with physical connectivity (nodes and their connection to the segments) but without routing connectivity (allowed turns). Unfortunately, we cannot move the routing connectivity from the existing cartouche when a new segment is involved. The only case where connectivity is kept is where two segments were not recognized completely and copied as is from the USER maps (3rd bullet above).

What should you expect?

  1. First of all, great new maps that will make it a lot easier for you to complete the work on your area.
  2. But… also some problems. Most likely you’ll notice a few places where there are duplicates, in case that the USER and GOVT segments were not matched properly, and so both were created in the final map. This is where we will need your help in editing and deleting the extra roads, so if you are not an area manager yet please let us know and we’ll be happy to see if you can join the area managers community.
  3. Routing might not be optimal; even if you got the routes around your house on a good level, you will notice a decrease. This is because we cannot copy the existing routing connectivity (see last bullet above).

As mentioned before, we will put the pop-up on the cartouche once the work begins (most likely in the next couple of hours or by tomorrow the latest) which will be your cue to take a break. I will also post this on the forums.

waze support team
www.twitter.com/waze
[email protected]
Share your experiences on the road with other wazers – waze.com/user_blog