Thursday, 26 August 2010

Mscape now available on the HP website.

The Mscape software that many of have used is no longer available from the website as the site has been pulled down (forums and all!), users are now greeted with an error message. A particularly sad demise of a perfectly usable website and software, which had a very active user base. Fortunately the software can still be found on the Hewlett Packard Labs website, but with extremely limited information on building your own mediascape. At the time of writing this post, Create-A-Scape still provides users with their own method for creating mediascapes, though you will need to use the HP lab link to download the last version of MScape. So those of us with Windows Mobile GPS enabled PDAs can still continue to enjoy the software.

Some of the original Mscape software developers have now formed a company called Calvium. Currently the company has published a GPS Draw software for the iPhone.  There is indication that they are programming for the Android too, which is good news. I had heard through various sources that they were considering software 'similar' to Mscape, but of course due to copyrights etc, it will not be Mscape!

The main feature of Mscape which is particularly appealing, is the ability to use your own maps.  When building teaching and learning materials for remote fieldwork locations, you don't really want to be depending on your 3G networks, for two main reasons: cost and availability.  What does the future hold? There are applications coming out on the Android Market, such as MapDroyd, that allows users to down load a whole country or even the world, for free! This application of course uses the popular open source map Open Street Map, the very same map source functionality added to MScape not long before its demise. Here's looking forward to a greater wealth of mobile applications for teaching and learning!

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