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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Update 3/10: Per DNA: “The government is planning to approach Internet giant Google and demand the masking of certain high-resolution imageries available on Google Earth, said Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan.”

In the continuing saga over Google Earth providing too much detail for some governements for their part of the world, officials from India shared their plan for censorship (New Kerala):

Government today told the Rajya Sabha that efforts were being made to mask certain areas of high resolution imagery from the Google Earth website that has caused security concerns in the country.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan said the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Defence Ministry were in touch with concerned agencies to see if certain areas can be masked from the website.

The short article suggests to me that officials intend to do the masking themselves, and not involve Google. That sounds complicated to me since Google holds the servers and individuals download the clients. Further, I have to believe if officials are successful, someone will post shareable KMZs of the areas of interest.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/09 at 08:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Earlier this week I noted that the Office of Management and Budget issued a statement that federal agencies would need to appoint a senior official to oversea geospatial. There are 27 agencies affected, including:

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Interior
Department of Justice Department of Labor
Department of State Department of Transportation
Department of Treasury
Department of Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Social Security Administration
Agency for International Development
General Services Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
National Science Foundation
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Personnel Management
Small Business Administration
Smithsonian Institution
Tennessee Valley Authority

The whole memo is online (pdf). Some of these organizations already have such an idividual (EPA has a GIO, for example) but others do not.

Via Fednews

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/09 at 08:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Live Science shows of the latest “anomoly” image of Turkey (never before seen by the public!) from DigtialGlobe in an article explaining why there is renewed interest in area thought to hide the ark. Warning: You’ll hit a “commercial” before actually seeing a detail version of the image.

Perhaps more interesting is the opportunity the article give GeoEye to tout the value of satellite imagery. Says Mark Brender, GeoEye Vice President for communications and marketing:

For explorers, imagery from GeoEye’s Ikonos satellite married with Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite data has become as indispensable as water and freeze dried food for any expedition. One does not want to leave home without it. ...It’s visual truth serum.

This article describes the 13 year quest of Porcher Taylor, an associate professor in paralegal studies at the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies in Virginia.
I wrote about another individual, Daniel McGivern, who wanted to mount an expedition to look for the Ark in recent years.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/09 at 07:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

HBO’s use of Google Maps to promote its upcoming season has received quite a lot of buzz, but David Hickley, writing for the New York Daily News, extended the idea a bit:

So why not inject a little life by integrating things that do exist with things that don’t?
What if a map of Essex County not only directed you to Thomas Edison’s birthplace but to Tony Soprano’s house or Artie Bucco’s restaurant?

What if a map gave you the choice of the real Pinelands or the faux Pinelands where Christopher and Paulie did or didn’t whack the Russian?

Suddenly there’s a new sense of adventure. This could make maps fun again.

It also would be a public service. Think how many people will be distraught this summer when they go all the way to Wyoming and discover it has no Brokeback Mountain.

If this idea catches on fast enough, there could be.

Hmm. Mixing fantasy and reality in online maps could make them “fun again.” Last year I profiled the “Sideways” Map. Using Google is just the natural extension, I guess.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/09 at 07:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The rural schools will be using GIS in a three year program to tackle local problems and document the sociology of their coastal and island communities. The grant goes to the Island Institute for the project called CREST (Community for Rural Education Stewardship and Technology). The Institute will work with Bowdoin College and the University of Maine at Machias. No word on which technology they will use.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/09 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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