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Thursday, March 09, 2006

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

Platial is doing its thing at the Emerging Techologies Conference. (Everyone calls it ETech, but that’s the name of my first GIS boss Erich’s company, at least to me…) Recall that Platial is a Google Maps based “social bookmark sharing” site. One question about folks folks posting information to its maps: privacy.

Diane Eisner met with the press, who learned that for now the only “policing” is done by other visitors who can “flag” “innaccurate” data. It’s later reviewed by an editor. From the description at C|net it sounds more like flagging “innapproriate” material, not correcting data in the sense of “this is in the wrong place.” The company hopes the site will become “self policing.” Sure they do; that’s the least work for them. To be fair, it does, in time, tend to work.

The hottest data on Platial? The best street food vendors in New York City.

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

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clickz notes another map-based marketing effort, this time from General Mills Nature Valley (think granola) brand. Visitors are encouraged to locate their favorite places in nature and describe them on the “Where’s Yours?” website. Clickz describes users tagging “their favorite outdoor spots and submit reviews on a Google Map-like interface.”

Yes, it’s Google Maps-like. What is it? ESRI ArcWeb Explorer, so far as I can tell. It’s got Flash and an ESRI copyright on the data, which to me says ArcWeb services. If I’m right, ESRI needs to think about better branding so it’s not just lumped in as “Google Maps-like.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 08:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Interactive Ware AG is showing off its “wearable electronics” at CeBIT this week. Says the CEO:

In this way – together with our technology partners – we optimize, for instance, sensors, keypads, MP3 players, video cameras, GPS systems, speakers, microphones, power supplies and many other components to meet the special requirements of textile integration. ...The overall system that has been integrated into the garment has been miniaturized and is up to 30% lighter than standalone solutions. It can be worn comfortably and unpretentiously, and it is easy to operate, protected, and safe (which makes it less susceptible to problems) – and it is practically “impossible to lose.”

Of most interest to our community is the Know Where jacket (get it?). The jacket includes “a cellular phone, an mp3 player, headphones, a microphone and a water-tight and impact-resistant sleeve keypad as well as an emergency call button, all the electronics have been integrated for a terminal that is referred to as a “GPS eye,” which is used for determining and transmitting positional data.” The company touts that it can use “GPSoverIP” (new one on me!) to locate individuals indoors. The company sees the jacket used in sports, safety and medical apps.

The other two products described include embedded video cameras (capture that downhill ski run) and video projectors (show the airline mechanic how to replace that bolt). These are indeed interesting times.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 08:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Dowagiac is a small town in Indiana. Recently it hired MapInfo (Thompson) to do a market study on the area. The report said, among other things, that the town could expect to see a big box retailer, like Wal-Mart, want to locate there in the near term. That, the report went on, could be seen as opportunity or threat. In fact, on Monday, for the first time, officials acknowledged that Wal-Mart had in fact optioned a 25 arce parcel in 2005, before the deal was terminated (South Bend Tribune). What brought out the revelation? Apparently, the report.

I’d say the $20,000 report was worth the money!

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/08 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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