Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finding you - Maps and map related mid-2006

Hi-Res Imagery Added to Yahoo! Maps - Cartography

Generally Yahoo Maps imagery is not as sharp but is usually brighter than Google Maps.

Meanwhile there is a new collection of Tiger/line shape files for MapInfo and ArcGIS users. MapPoint 2006 is also now available. Might be worth it to take a community college class to get the student discount version. Google Earth Pro is moving into this field. Microsoft with MapPoint is also beta-testing Virtual Earth, more here, which is a higher resolution Google Earth. Manifold is the other Esri, Arc alternative with much lower price, constant improvements and comprehensive features.

Once you have the mapping software Claritas provides the best data - except for household counts by zip or postal route if you can somehow get ADVO to part with their data. Claritas uses ADVO data but somehow it is both not updated as fast and has errors added.

When I worked at Oshman's, ADVO gave us household count data in connection to projects we were doing with them. (Oshman's acquired by Garts acquired by The Sports Authority and now private until next time.)

County growth 2000 to 2005.

I am looking for mapping software for elections. Software where I can import or add the precinct boundaries and voter and contact data and have or import underlying demographics at extremely low cost. The Texas Democratic Party is providing some of the needed capability, but no maps, at low cost via an internet database.

ADDED - a comparison of free internet mapping services.

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