Interview: Online mapping guru Ed Parsons

 Ed Parsons is the former chief technology officer of the Ordnance Survey, and one of the most knowledgeable people in the UK’s geospatial industry.

Before his much talked about departure last month, he was one of the central figures in the debate over the Ordnance Survey’s licensing regime – i.e., whether it should offer low cost access to mapping data to encourage the development of applications and mash-ups. He had also been pushing for the organisation to launch an API for non-commercial services and to adopt an open source model in some of its projects.

I caught up with him last week to find out more about internet mapping and his plans for the future…


AOL bids $900m for Tradedoubler

AOL could be set to pay almost $1bn for Swedish online ad group Tradedoubler in a bid to increase its ad revenues in Europe.

The internet giant said Tradedoubler’s board had recommended that its shareholders accept the bid, which at $900m (£450m) represents a 20% premium on the average price of the firm’s shares in the last 90 days.


Wal-Mart ads 'keep Pirate Bay afloat'

Asda parent Wal-Mart is reportedly placing banner ads on under-fire BitTorrent trading site The Pirate Bay.

Sweden-based The Pirate Bay grew into the world's largest torrent tracker last year, doing a roaring trade in illegally shared TV shows, movies and more. Law enforcers shut the site down in May, but it resurfaced, more popular than ever, just days later to torment the entertainment industry again.


Beckham's US move sparks domain name frenzy

With the recent news that David Beckham is to head to the footballing backwater that is the US Major Soccer League, opportunists have been snapping up domain names related to the news.

According to domain name management firm NetNames, cyber-squatters started buying up every conceivable combination of the words 'Beckham' and 'Galaxy' as soon as the news broke. Within an hour, most variations were registered.


AOL to use Napster for music subscription service

AOL has announced that Napster will become the exclusive subscription provider for AOL Music, replacing AOL Music Now, which has about 350,000 paying subscribers.

Existing AOL Music Now customers will have their accounts, including music libraries and playlists, migrated over to Napster unless they choose to opt out.


Tips on optimising your blog for SEO and readers

Jennifer Slegg at Search Engine Land has some useful tips on optimising your blog, for the benefit of both your readers and the search engines. 

Jennifer presents some tips for increasing your visibility on search engines, others, including tips on fonts and descriptive titles, to make your blog more accessible and easy to read.  

Here is a small selection of tips:


High street retailers make gains online

High street retailers that have developed a strong online presence received a major payback this Christmas, according to traffic figures from Hitwise.

The measurement group's Heather Hopkins has published a review of her pre-Christmas online retail predictions, including some useful information on traffic to UK retail sites over the festive period.

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iWant strikes again

Once again, Apple has started a new year by announcing a plethora of exciting goodies for technophiles, with the long anticipated iPhone taking centre stage.

As a fairly committed early adopter (I have not used a paper diary since 21st December 1996 – yes I do know the date exactly, because my latest Palm based PDA has all my diary entries since then), I am already drooling.


Google in ad deal with Friendster - report

Google looks set for another ad partnership with a social networking site – although this one's not on the same scale as the huge, £500m deal it struck with Myspace last year.

Bambi Francisco reports that the search giant has tied up an agreement with Friendster, one of the first social networking ventures, but one that has since fallen way behind the likes of Myspace and Bebo.

0 comments aims for slice of gadget market

British magazine publisher Future has launched a new website to serve the appetites of technology and gadget lovers - .

The site uses content and writers from existing and mothballed titles including Digital Home, PC Plus, Mac Format and What Home Cinema.

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StubHub sold to eBay for $310 million

Online auction giant eBay has acquired StubHub, an internet tickets marketplace, which deals in tickets for sports and entertainment events. The deal is worth $310 million.

Launched in 2000 and based in San Francisco, StubHub's site managed $400m (£206m) in ticket sales site last year, earning a profit of around $10m (£5m). The secondary ticket market in the US is estimated to have a turnover of $10bn per year.

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Newspapers team up to tempt advertisers

America's top three newspaper publishing companies are looking to team up to offer advertisers a one-stop clearinghouse for buying online adverts.

Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune want to form a single gateway, codenamed "Open Network", with the intention of challenging the big three portals - Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft - which command the greater share of advertisers' spend.