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Category: mapping

remove line break characters

remove line break characters

preg_replace to get rid of those pesky line break characters.

Particularly for Google Maps bubble’s which take an aversion to non-ASCII chars so as to stop a map rendering altogether.

Non-ACSII characters
This piece of code should be applied when generating a Google Map using any quantity of user generated material.

function removelinebreaks($string)
return preg_replace(‘/[\r\n\t]/e’, ‘ ‘, $string);

Also make sure you trim your bubbles, and if you’re particularly nervous check the htmlentities and CDATA[ declarations also.

Makes for happier bubbles 🙂

RFID – Being aware

RFID – Being aware

I know evil doesn’t exist, except for in people(like me)’s imagination, but here’s a real excuse to believe everyone has good intentions.

It’s called RFID or Radio Frequency ID.
First employed during the second world war in allied bombing campaigns, the industry has seen some growth and is now worth $2 billion.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.

RFID opens all sorts of opportunities for companies to monitor our movements real time.
For example, you may not be aware of it, but if you are the owner of a bottle of Viagra, Pfizer may be monitoring you right now.
Think I’m joking.
I’m not.

They’re not the only ones, American Express have new card issues fitted with RFID chip. Procter and Gamble have filed patents and NCR are amongst other big names looking to muscle in on the act.

What’s it all about?

RFID Monitor using a semi-ductile, lightweight tag with a low cost.
When fitted to a product they relay information back to a receiver.
You may have seen them on new items of clothing or taped to new CD’s.

Any product fitted with RFID within range of a receiver would provide information; a geo-fix and product beacon. Leading to data on; when those products were bought, how long you’ve owned them, how much they cost, where you bought them from.
If you kept them on your person, when you returned to refresh your product. Where else you went in between.

Some RFID have more important information.
The AMEX RFID contains personal banking information on the card holder.

The worrying thing is, RFID information is gathered without regulation.
Information can be sold on without regulation.
No Data Protection act here.

FMCG Future
With reduction of tag implementation below 1p in the near future, support from heavyweight FMCG companies, Banking and technology institutions, multiple patents filed and industry screaming out for large quantities of qualitative marketing information.
The future looks set.

Expect these snazzy labels to be appearing near you soon, whether you believe it or not.

Copied and pasted from: BBC News Website.

Creating Google Maps Icon/Marker/Pushpin

Creating Google Maps Icon/Marker/Pushpin

Simple steps to create your own Google Maps pushpins.

Step 1) Create your image:

  • Ideally width to 32px.
  • PNG-24 fomat.
  • Transparent.
  • Non-aliased.

Step 2) Visit Shadowmaker.

  • Select the icon from your desktop. The program creates a 2D outline of your image.
  • Save the shadow.

If you like it you’re ready to go.

If you don’t like, you can try these stock Icons/Markers/Pushpins.

Google Labs: Google Maps Push Pins
Google Stock Pushpins: Google Maps Stock Icons

Creating a KMZ Polyline using Google Earth Pro

Creating a KMZ Polyline using Google Earth Pro

Brief: To download a GPS Track from a Garmin E-Trex GPS unit and create a Google Earth Polyline/Encoded Polyline KMZ.

Garmin EtreX GPS unit.
Serial port adapter.
Google Earth Pro.

  • Download Google Earth Pro – 7 Day free trial
  • Install/boot
  • TOOLS/GPS – Select your unit; In my case the GPS GARMIN.
  • IMPORT options. In my case I’m only interested in the polyline or TRACK information. You have options to import each placemark, also to annul altitude readings etc.
  • Plug in the GPS and turn it on.
  • A message appears – Importing data from COM1. When you’re done, a message appears 207 Active logs imported.
  • TRACK is displayed in the Temporary Places folder.
  • In the top left corner there’s a little marker with a CLOCK alongside.
    In the CLOCK, select the timerange you’re interested in presenting data from. In my case 1st Sept to 21st Sept.
  • Once the CLOCK is set the software will begin displaying the TRACK that lies within that timeframe.
  • This next part is manual. Select TRACK parts, (google calls them ACTIVE LOGS), which are not part of your timeframe and DELETE them.
  • When you’ve pared off the bogus ACTIVE LOG points and you’re happy with your track, you’re ready to save: TRACK/SAVE AS/KMZ.

IF YOU DON’T DELETE bogus active logs the software becomes confused when you try to do any kind of visualisation. So be sure to do that smartening up yourself.

Welcome to my world..
This is now your very own track you can open in any Google Earth pro, Google Maps or otherwise.
You can view it save it to your places and e-mail it to your friends.



Came up 7th on the Yahoo zeitgeist this weekend.

Was struck by the amount of sites there are in the UK. map.
Consists of navigating yourself to a hidden container write a log, leave a meaningful object, and plod on your weary path.

Travel Tracker Sports Mate – ttsm

Travel Tracker Sports Mate – ttsm

This guy sent me a link the other day.

Travel Tracker Sports Mate
The domain lets you upload a GPX file directly from your GPS unit.
(GPX Visualizer)

Visualization: options like ‘playback’ and heart rate against time/altitude.

Prove to your mates how fast you did a journey and lets THEM see areas where you slacked it off.

Real-time visualisation
They’re publishing a KML visualization of the Alp d’Huze race in France today in real-time to run on the site coincidentally with the racers undertaking the course.

As far as I know, this is an Internet first for real time visualisations.

Here’s the link.