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Monday, February 27, 2006

An FCW article brings together a host of only somewhat related topics relating to mapping challenges and Katrina.

First off, the article intoduces Talbot Brooks, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, who headed up GISCorps efforts. He feels that we need to implement the National Grid, as a standard, from local through federal government, to insure all responders can easily share and use data. Richard Hogan, chief of geography operations at USGS “doesn’t require GPS devices or additional money.” Ok, sure.

Next up, USGS touting GOS as the answer.

USGS officials say the best solution lies in Geospatial One-Stop, a Web portal that combines thousands of geographic resources from federal, state, local and private entities.

And, of course ESRI needs a word, as the vendor operating GOS. See if this follows:

Geospatial One-Stop will just be an empty data bank unless the government makes it easy for users to submit information in multiple formats, said Pat Cummens, ESRI’s senior adviser for government projects who is involved in the project.

Formats? I thought this story was about a single grid system? (Perhaps this was a misquote? ESRI folks know the difference between formats and coordinate systems.) Is it me or is this a discussion of apples and oranges? And, why is there no mention of NSDI or The National Map?

Sean at import cartography noted the National Grid was covered on NPR recently.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 07:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The downloadable app works with a number of camera-enabled phones, which need not have GPS. The photo is tagged based on cell tower ids and a database being buit by Yahoo that links those ids to known locations. It seems that this is being built by those who upload images and confirm a geographic name or ZIP Code.

Via O’Reilly Radar

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Stefan at Ogle Earth pointed me to a post by Andrew Hudson-Smith who covers ESRI’s David Maguire demoing ArcGIS Explorer in London. Both of their takes are worth reading, BTW. Hudson-Smith notes this related to the presentation:

Google Earth’s current status was compared to the popularity of the now almost defunct Netscape Navigator which was quickly surpassed by Microsoft Explorer.

I’ll toss into the mix the idea that as ESRI matures its vision for ArcGIS Explorer, it’s also introducing this disruptive technology. It’s making many second guess their decision to implement Google Earth or MSN Virtual Earth or other offerings. This may not be so different from good old ArcCAD which ESRI tossed into the mix knowing that eventually Autodesk would introduce its own CAD-based GIS. ESRI did not prevent this product from emerging, but likely delayed it and kept up confusion in the market for a while. During that time ESRI matured its CAD plans, which involved moving more CAD-like funcationality into ArcView 3.x and now ArcGIS.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Good news for those involved in on-line geospatial education. Of the 38 respondents to our last poll nearly 75% have considered, taken, or received some kind of GIS certificate on-line.  Fully 50% had taken classes on-line (paid or free), 13% thought about taking one and 11% completed an on-line program for certification.  The bad news: 26% say they’d never take a class on-line.

Next up: conferences. As we head into spring conference season which conference would you pick? Complete the poll on the right hand side of our main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Is race real and should we use racial data in GIS analysis? Should the government stop collecting race data?

A lot of maps and GIS analyses use race data, collected from the census or other sources. The 2000 census form has two questions relating to ethnicity and race:

1. Is Person 1 Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/?
2. What is Person 1’s race?

Whenever we analyze spatial distributions using GIS we often throw this data in as an explanatory variable.

But many people are deeply disturbed by race data, and some professional organizations have issued warnings about using it, and have even called for the government to stop collecting it.

More on the flip.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/25 at 11:57 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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