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Friday, October 24, 2014

During the last two weeks, there has been a flurry of news from the National Geospaial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) starting with new director Robert Cardill's intentions for the agency. Cardillo stated:

Our business has never been more complex. Our profession has never been more competitive. Our purpose has never been more important. We must embrace and engage the competition. In doing so, we will thrive because the depth and breadth of our analysis, expertise and customer service are unmatched.

I strongly encourage you to lean forward, take our analysis, expertise and customer service to new heights. If there are gaps in our understanding of any of these, we must close them. As we step out and step up, we will make honest mistakes. We will learn and grow from them.

My challenge to you is to build on what you have accomplished by seeing the mission, vision and strategy through a new lens — the lens of consequence. We must enable consequence for those we serve. Consequence is what the customer accomplishes with our work when our data and analysis are so persuasive that it can be applied to their mission at their decision points.

Read his full statement.

The NGA selected five companies to accelerate its Map of World:

  1. MapLarge Inc. was selected for its proposal to provide a unique, high-performance search, query and visualization engine that can dynamically render and visualize large high-resolution data sets.
  2. ImageMatters LLC was selected for its proposed linked-data strategy addressing the integration of object-based-intelligence with foundation geospatial intelligence.
  3. Boeing was selected for a proposal to demonstrate the workflows and processes for performing rapid data assessment.
  4. SRI International was awarded a contract based on its proposal to of a comprehensive user-generated content collection that demonstrates key modules and use cases for ingestion, analysis and dissemination framework.
  5. The DATA Inc. was selected for proposing a unique implementation approach of UGC to facilitate geospatial, temporal and thematic discovery through 3-D visualization that enhances end-user retention, recall and transfer of data.

The NGA released software to GitHub for gamification. According to the NGA:

The software gives awards or badges to users and operates as a standalone application or can be integrated with other Web-based applications to increase learning, processing and output. NGA’s gamification software also provides a customizable Web interface for displaying badges and a configurable rules engine that translates actions performed by users into awards, said Ray Bauer, an NGA information technology innovation lead.

Ebola

The agency made available public-facing website to assist U.S. and international relief efforts to combat the spread of the Ebola virus disease, providing unprecedented online access to its unclassified geospatial intelligence in support of lead federal agencies and partners.

by Joe Francica on 10/24 at 04:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MAP: Chikungunya in the CaribbeanAAG Tackles Mental Health

Spearheaded by Beverley Mullings, Kate Parizeau, and Linda Peake, a group of geographers organized a series of sessions at last year’s AAG meeting on mental health issues, established a listserv (MHGEOG-L [at] lists [dot] queensu [dot] ca), and are now proposing to establish a standing committee of the AAG. The proposed Committee on the Status of Mental Health in Geography will conduct research into the scope of the problem and assess the policies of other organization and institutions, provide professional guidance to the Council, the AAG, and geography departments in terms of protocols and ethical issues related to mental health, and engage in advocacy and awareness-raising within the AAG and academic institutions.

I'm not 100% clear if the research has a geographic focus, but I'd think so.

LBS for the Doctor's Office

SITO Mobile Ltd. (OTC BB: SITO), a leading mobile media solutions provider, and Health Media Network (HMN), one of the nation's fastest growing digital Point of Care media companies, today announced a partnership by which Health Media Network will leverage SITO Mobile's mobile media platform to power a national location-based advertising network within physician offices nationwide. HMN helps to improve the communication between doctor and patient, with the goal of improving healthcare outcomes.

Yes, it's what you think. Per Joe Petrosino, Chief Revenue Officer of Health Media Network:

"Our partnership with SITO enables HMN to deliver relevant health and wellness messaging to consumers on their personal devices during a critical window of time in their health journey – from the physician's office visit through the treatment, purchase and therapy activation process."

I for one will use the time to catch up on back issues of Runner's World - in print.

Geospatial Analysis on the Distributions of Tobacco Smoking and Alcohol Drinking in India

It turns out patterns are not seen when data is analyzed at the state level. A new study looked at distributions of smoking and drinking at the district and post code levels. And, they found patterns! Correlation of the two practices make mean it's worthwhile for public health organizations to consider that working on lowering one may well affect the other.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/24 at 04:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NACIS Student Winner Profiled

University of Cincinnati geography student Nate Wessel’s new map is a bike enthusiast’s best friend.

And, the map [right] won first place in the student come petition at NACIS. Wessel is profiled in a university news article.

AAG Tackles Mental Health

Spearheaded by Beverley Mullings, Kate Parizeau, and Linda Peake, a group of geographers organized a series of sessions at last year’s AAG meeting on mental health issues, established a listserv (MHGEOG-L [at] lists [dot] queensu [dot] ca), and are now proposing to establish a standing committee of the AAG. The proposed Committee on the Status of Mental Health in Geography will conduct research into the scope of the problem and assess the policies of other organization and institutions, provide professional guidance to the Council, the AAG, and geography departments in terms of protocols and ethical issues related to mental health, and engage in advocacy and awareness-raising within the AAG and academic institutions.

I'm not 100% clear if the research has a geographic focus, but I'd think so.

More Green Near Schools, Students do Better

A new study led by Chih-Da Wu, a scientist at the National Chiayi University in Taiwan and a visiting scientist at Harvard's Department of Environmental Health, suggests that the kids at schools surrounded by greenery tend to do better in language arts and math.

 The study used NVDI data and focused on students in Massachusetts. And yes, other factors were accounted for, apparently.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/23 at 10:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

San Diego Geographer Looking for Influential Tweeters to get Emergency News Out

Official emergency messages from the county of San Diego in the future might be spread by the region’s most influential “tweeters,” San Diego State University announced Monday.

Ming-Hsiang Tsou, an SDSU geography professor, is compiling a list of 1,000 influential Twitter accounts based in San Diego, so emergency messages about evacuations, road closures and the like can be spread faster or targeted more closely to certain locations.

Top tweeters will be those who retweet the most news from the official city account and local news outlets.

“If we have 1,000 highly influential volunteers retweeting these messages, almost everybody in San Diego will get the message,” Tsou said.

I'm not sure I buy it. Who says the followers of these people are necessarily in San Diego? Perhaps Tsou is also looking at that with her NSF funding.

DigitalGlobe Helps Map Mongolia, Along with Mapbox

DigitalGlobe, a leading provider of global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information, recently granted The Asia Foundation high-resolution satellite imagery for tracing in OSM. The new imagery is more recent and of higher quality than anything previously available to OSM editors, who will use it as a guide: adding roads, buildings, rivers, railways, and other features to OSM’s map of Ulaanbaatar. Mapbox, which provides a powerful and diverse platform for the creation of custom online maps, has processed the raw satellite imagery to prepare it for use in OSM and is hosting the resulting map tiles.

At right: Khan-Uul district shows a dense neighborhood butting up against the Tuul River. © 2014 DigitalGlobe

When Water Districts Collide

So, best I can tell, there was deal between a water district and a public utilities district that allowed them to share an Esri enterprise license. But then the deal was terminated, so each would have to pay it's own $27K. But, maybe a new deal will be made and the merger will again share a single license. The whole thing is going on in California...during a drought.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 03:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's with deep sadness that I learned of the passing (obituary) of Dr. David Huff, formerly a professor of business administration at the University of Texas, Austin. Huff passed away on August 30th.

David Huff, for those that have studied retail geography and market analysis, knew him best as the individual who developed the model for forecasting market share and retail attractiveness in 1964. The Huff Model has been widely applied since to locate convenience stores, shopping malls, and other types retail establishments. It is used today still by those doing sales forecasting and has been incorporated into GIS systems.

The photo above was taken with me in 2007 at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. David had consulted with Esri and supported the development of modeling for Business Analyst.

As many who knew him will recall, David would remind us that his model was NOT a gravity model. In fact, distance decay was only one factor of many that could be used in his model of attractiveness as were other non-spatial factors.

I can't say that I new David well, and surely his students would have many memories of his incredible intellect, but I can say that he was one of the greater influences in my career as I looked to study and write about retail geography and GIS. I first met him in 1989 at the Applied Geography Conference and would speak with him at conferences or by phone to discuss how to convey the integration of his theory with today's GIS. David was always willing to offer great counsel and I always felt honored to speak with him on matters both technical and personal.

During my career, I've had the pleasure of interviewing notable individuals, from politicians to writers to technologists. David Huff is at the top of this list. He will be greatly missed.

by Joe Francica on 10/20 at 04:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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