Sunday, February 22, 2009

Google Maps now with Vietnam Street Maps


The news spreaded today about the fact, that Google integrated now street names into the Vietnam Google Map. I was waiting long for this feature, although there was a mapmakermap already, for some features I desperately needed Google Maps. So, now it's out, unfortunantly not on iPhone and Google Maps for Mobile (maybe just a matter of time).

What is nice that Google integrated Panoramio, a photo sharing service, whose geotagged pictures appear as a special layer on Google Maps. The same is for Youtube Videos and Wikipedia information.

In a time where Diadiem seems to be in trouble, Google Maps could be a major step forward to GIS-Products.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mobile Map and Navigation System in Vietnam Part II: PGuider

Thanks to Khanh I got a link to a website of a company called PyDod. They are specialized in mobile GIS software and just developed a nice piece of software called PGuider. It runs on Symbian and Windows Mobile and is a map as well as a navigations system.

It's not really public right now and still a beta and under development, but here you can see how it looks like.

Depending on your mobile phone you can download the installation files and data directly or you have to ask for the installaton file and the key (that's what I did, and got a response the following day).

For those who are not that much familiar with Vietnamese and how to install software on a Nokia E 71, here some advice (again, thx to khanh for the help).

1. Download the PyPod-Files as well as the .sis-file you got when you ask for it with this form
The fields are:
- Email
- Your Name
- Your IMEI Nummber (press *#06# on you phone)
- The model you are using
- Comments

After you unpacked the files, transfer the to you Nokia Phone. I did it on my Mac with Bluetooth to my SD-Card. Make sure that the .sis file is in the root directory. The PyPod-Folder needs to be in root as well.

Then go on your Nokia to Office-File mgr. ans select the .sis file. The installing will start automatically.

Once your application is running, you can set the language to Vietnamese or English. What I like is that even if you type street names without tones the directory understands it.

PGuider is easy to use, just play arround. Zomming in the Map is 1 and 3, if you need help, there is a help menu. Try the simulation modus once you selected a route - its cool.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vietnam and Saigon map for GPS and Nokia E71

So its seems to be a challenge: I have my brand new Nokia E71 and one of the reasons to buy it was the GPS feature. I think Location Based Services are the next big thing in the net, so I want to be at least technically be prepared.
The problem is: There is Vietmap available, what I did not manage to install yet. You can buy this software for 70 USD, sometimes the reduce it to 35 USD if you buy it with a new phone.

So I searched around and found Free Garmin. Someone said they might have the best maps for Vietnam. Might be, but when it comes to the cities, look at that list:
Hoi An
Can Tho
Hanoi (with Street names)
Vung Tau
Mai Chau

No Ho Chi MinhCity ????

Ok, next search result leads me to again Garmin based, with now downloads to offer and not one single word about City Maps.

Lonely planet has a discussion about GPS and maps in Vietnam.
I found a nice workaround there:
I have a PDA based GPS but to get maps I've been scanning paper maps then using the Pathaway software:
to calibrate them and give me a moving map.

There are some maps on, free for volunteers and internationl organizaions, made with a mapscanner. You need the software for this.

so, it seems only Vietmap is a sufficient solution. As their website is only in Vietnamese, I need offline help to go through. Will post my further experiences here...

.. to be continued

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Phuc 2

Phuc 2
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
No comment :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Do we need gatekeepers?

One of the most reasons why journalists are think they are important is their role of a gatekeeper. They kind of filter information, but also analyse and in another sense make complicated things more understandable.

In the western world governments think that we people don't understand complicated topics and that's why we need journalists. That worked, because publishing companies also hat the power of printing machines.
This changed with the internet. Now everyone has access to the original source. That also mean, we need to know how to estimate the source.

That give us a lot of self-responsibility. Are we ready for that?

Look at the new google latitude service. It's great, you can see where your friends are. And they can track you. But do you want to be tracked? Sometimes yes. If a have free time, people can know where I am and join me at the Coffee Shop. But sometimes I don't. Then I have to switch that service off.

When we start to blame the service for being Big Brother and call for government action, then we give up our self responsibility.
Its just a stupid computer, and we decide what to do and what not.

Same for watching TV. It's not the fault of the TV stations if our kids watching to much TV. It's us, who have to switch it off and play with our kids.

Just some thoughts

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the brave new world

REad this:

OLYMPIA — Suspects arrested in cases as minor as shoplifting would have to give a DNA sample before they are even charged with a crime if a controversial proposal is approved by the Legislature.

Hello? DNA from shoplifters? Why not from newborn babies? Or just everyone. It's getting dangerous. There is no moral nor ethics anymore. Politicians going nuts just because they don't want commit to whats part of the human nature: That some people are good and some are bad.

These control freaks lead us directly into the police state, and that will force us to build up a resistance. Wow. I feel like in a movie now. and it doesn't feel good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lipstick and High-Heels against the economic crisis


Just found this:
Yesterday, it was revealed that female Bank of England economists attended a socalled ‘Dress for Success’ summit at their City headquarters where they were lectured on what exactly they should wear to the office...Image consultants told female staff that lipstick and high heels are essential for success.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's a blog's content? Why might be a new way of content creation

Why blogging is more distribution than evoltion of subjects and how may be a way out

Ok blogging is cool, and I recently translated Blogging for Dummies into German language. But to be honest: What is the main content of blogs? It's mainly comments about something people read in the mainstream media (I count techcrunch and Gizmodo as mainstream now).

I still remember the times when blogs where more about exchange: People posted useful links. Geeks were posting links to the latest update of a mainboard bios and stuff like that. Or to a picture they found on a website. In these old times the links were pointing to the original source.

Today, blog content is more recycling. People are blogging about twitter because it's cool and they look close to there stats if a google friendly and provocative headline like "Twitter is for stupid bloggers" gains enough traffic.

Ironicly that's actually what makes Twitter so succesful: It's back to the roots. 140 Letters are enough for a link, or a remark. The reply is the comment, so you don't need much more.

When blogs where growing some said the advantage was, that because of linking and comments, the content (or the topic) is growing. Let's say you start a conversation about how to plant roses, then people will comment, will give you tips, other gardeners will refer to your side and after a while the content about planting roses is getting big.

But that's not the fact anymore, in general. You will read the same story at so many pages, instead of evolution it"s just distribution.

One way out could be the concept of If you want to know something about the latest conspiracy stories, then go to Since Mr. Podcast Adam Curry turned into the Hero Number 1 who saves the world people are posting conspiracy stories like crazy.

It doesn't matter who is posting, there isn't even a field for Name and Emailadress. And its blocked from search engines. So it's pure content, related to the subject, no eye on search result ranking, popularity or Alexa.

If you like, send me stuff at