Thursday, November 12, 2009

MashupAustralia highlights Pt 2

These are the last days of the competition so the number of submission is growing rapidly. Today just a few more examples of the most interesting entries. Again, applications using maps to present the information are dominating so, I will focus specifically on those.

The first application I would like to mention is another creation in Silverlight and Bing: GeoDemo (from the author of previously featured CrimeFinder). I must admit, I am very impressing with vector handling capabilities of Bing Map, even in FireFox browser! And I like the concept of changing boundaries to more detailed as the user zooms in closer and closer. Installing Silverlight is really no trouble but unfortunately not an easy task for institutional users (especially those in the public service) so, that may explain low popularity of this application. But there is a JavaScript version available as well and it also performs surprisingly fast (shown below)

There are also two new entries dealing with bushfires. Victoria: Fire Ready depicts locations of Fire Brigades and Police Stations in the vicinity of a chosen address. Distance circles of 10, 25 and 45km from the address are marked to allow users discern how quickly aid can arrive in case of emergency. The application also plots incidents reported by Victorian Country Fire Authority as well as current weather and wind conditions from the Bureau of Meteorology. Source information is very similar to what I use in my Bushfire Incidents map but the concept of the application and presentation is totally different. And much more popular judging by the number of votes!

Firemash is an attempt to match official announcements from NSW Rural Fire Services with incidents reported by a community via Twitter. Users can plot location of their houses on the map and if any incidents are reported in the vicinity, the application will retweet the information to alert the user. Interesting concept although its usefulness will be difficult to demonstrate at the moment because there are no fires reported in the entire NSW!

I will continue with more tomorrow…

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