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Monday, February 27, 2006

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

Friday, February 24, 2006

Must read is an overused topic, but if like me you write/think/talk about GPS, you must read Ron Bisio’s column in GeoWorld. It’s short, clear and will guide you in using the proper term for the soon to be three global navigation satellite systems, GNSSs.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 02:19 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I was struck again this morning by the power of blogs. I know if you’re reading this you probably already understand why blogs are important, but it’s still amazing what they can do:

—Get news out that the MSM (mainstream media) doesn’t care or won’t care about

—News aggregators like Planet Geospatial can gather together tons of GIS/cartography information that would otherwise be scattered (although there are so many it’s getting a bit unwieldy)

—Make an impact on the “real world” in so many ways

It’s probably this last one that may prove to make or break blogs. When the blogosphere first emerged in the early 2000s, it was colonized by mostly conservative blogs like Instapundit, but these have now been joined by popular liberal blogs such as Daily Kos (see Technorati listing here). There are now three identifiably political blogs in the top 10, eight in the top 30.

These blogs command amazing audiences—certainly many times bigger than most newspapers. Google Earth community for example has 375,000 members. Slashdot has over 900,000 registered members. These are not readers, these are people who’ve taken the time to register. Readership is no doubt in the millions per week. When the story came out about that soldier in Iraq who was billed $700 for his body army (which had been torn from his injured body but never receipted), a liberal blog raised $5,000 in two hours for him.

Blogs have widened the information available to us, and widened the political spectrum in ways the MSM is still vaguely grasping at (viz. the recent mishandling of comments on the Washington Post blog).

Newspapers/MSM don’t need to go away, any more than cartography has gone away now that GIS is here, but they will be transformed.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 08:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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