The norwegian mapping authority to provide free map services

The norwegian mapping authority announced today they are (finally) going to provide free map services! This has been long awaiting in the mapping community. Release of the services will be December 1. 2009 – however they provide some information on what to expect:

There will be two main services, one full WMS service and one cached version of, probably, the most popular WMS-requests. Limits are 300 requests pr. user pr. 24 hour for the WMS and 10000 request pr. user pr. 24 hour for the cached version. It is not explicitly defined whether this constraint will reside on the client side or for the system – however I reckon they will put the constraint on the system and not the client – and probably increase the WMS constraint a bit, or provide cheap “WMS request plans”. [update] According to @paalkr the constraint is on client side.

The data released covers most of the general applicable data in full detail!

In sum this is great! Finally the mapping authority is part of the modernized mapping game!

More on this (Norwegian mostly)

XBox Natal – challenge to develop the first GIS app.

Microsoft recently launched their new controller for the XBox 360 called Natal. The idea is similar to the Wii’s eye and consists of movement tracking as interface to the XBox. The Natal looks pretty amazing, at least in the demo video. The software developer in my almost instantly thought of ideas to systems which could benefit from such interface, or at least be interesting to further examine. Map systems must be developed for this! Dragging, dropping, altering and jumping in Google Earth would be quite amazing. For more boring commercial application, the idea of a common (totally) virtual scribble board with the addition of a live video conference would be interesting to see.

I challenge thus, all developers which can, or have, got their hands on the XBox Natal and an application development kit to integrate (primarily) map systems and more advanced GIS’s – as well as making commercial applications for this! Are you up for the challenge? Is there even an SDK (or similar) for this?