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Monday, January 16, 2006

It seems the little blue ad pins Google was testing last week have since been removed. So, if you didn’t see them last week, you’ll have to wait - since they are sure to show up in some form in the future. I read about the removal at Google Map Mania and confirmed it for myself for the area of New York where I saw them last.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 04:04 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A new wiki called Geospatial Standards for Free Software pushes just that. For now, GSFS, as it calls itself, is just an idea for a group to develop “clear, simple, easy-to-understand, and ‘open’ standards for geospatial data and free (as in ‘open source’) software.”

The FAQ points out that OGC:

- standards are not specifically designed for open source software
- membership runs $500 and up out of reach of many open source programmers/projects
- focusses on Web standards
- offers complex standards
- does not offer open source implementations of all its specs

The “group” (actually, I have no idea if its a group or who is behind it) hopes to work with the GeoAPI project (an OGC effort that “develops neutral, interface-only APIs derived from OGC/ISO Standards”). The first task for GSFS: development of the “OGD (Open Geospatial Database) Standard [that ] defines a format for the storage of geospatial information.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 07:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The press in India is doing good job picking up this press release the folks behind Map India. Unfortunately, it includes two different definitions of GIS and GPS!

According to Dr M.P.Naraynan, president, CSDMS, with advancement in computer technology world wide, mapping technology has increased its utilisation manifold. The delegates attending the conference will discuss latest uses of Geographical Information Services (GIS) and Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS) in the field of disaster management, defense, industrial planning, urban development, telecom, police, power, road transportation, mining, natural resource management, sales networking and tourism promotion.

And:

Presently mapping is not limited to traditional flat representation of the earth surface, it is related to technologies like Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Remote sensing, which are new subjects for the business and technology schools in India, they have immense potential and their application is not limited to environment and forests as in the earlier days. It is being used for various utility managements including telecom, business application, infrastructure management, defense, natural resource and disaster management, forestry conservation, power and financial services.

Unfortunately, most articles I saw written around the PR (like this one) only include the “top” definition. The articles also chose not to include the term “utilisation manifold” found above.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 07:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Of the 33 folks who responded to our last poll regarding Microsoft’s intention in buying GeoTango, the vast majority, a full two-thirds, felt it was done simply to keep pace with Google Earth. Stephen Lawlor of Microsoft was amused when I shared that with him last week.

On to this week. Let’s talk foo. Check out the poll question on the lower right hand side of the main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 15, 2006

In the latest “Wow mapping is hot!” article from the Associated Press, users and executives note their policies regarding chaning imagery.

On Amazon:

Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum says such images can potentially be used to track people who are vulnerable.

She said A9 removed images of shelters upon her request and now gives people the option to removing their personal information from its directories.

On Microsoft:

[Justin] Osmer [product manager at Microsoft] said Microsoft has altered some of its images, such as those of the White House, to address security concerns. None, he said, is close enough that you can recognize faces.

On Google:

[John] Hanke [product director at Google] said the company has fielded concerns raised by some governments, but has not altered any images.

This is nice to know. I’ll push further: Can the companies please state their policies on this matter clearly on their respective websites?

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/15 at 04:39 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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