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Monday, February 13, 2006

Directions Media is aiding in a study by a graduate student, Eric Ma, at New York University, SCPS,  Management and Systems Graduate Program as part of the requirements for the Masters degree. He invites you to take part in a research study about the development and use of best practices and information technologies in businesses. The study deals specifically with the effectiveness of integrated geospatial data across GIS and enterprise-wide systems on strategic decision-making. Directions Magazine will publish his results in April.

by Joe Francica on 02/13 at 05:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 10, 2006

After the MapServer Technical Committee passed a Request for Comment on the matter, it was put to a vote of the wider community that ended today. The results: 74 in favor, 1 opposed.

The MapServer Project will now move to join the OSGeo, with the interm Foundation board figuring out as it goes, how do to that. Says Steve Lime in his post of the news, “To be sure, it will involve combing over the MapServer codebase to address any potential intellectual property or copyright issues.” There’s much discussion of that and other matters on Foundation discussion thread. If you are interested, that’s the place to hang out.

Another tidbit: the OSGeo website is up and running.

And, finally, Directions Magazine‘s open source columnist, Kevin Flanders, weighs in on the meeting in article titled, “A Meeting of the Minds.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/10 at 03:54 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

IMO, short for independant mobile, is a new store coming to a mall outside of Boston. It sells all the different cell phones and plans. The hook? The ability to compare them all, and buy them all, in a single place. One of the draws is a map.

[The store has] created a computerized map detailing coverage areas down to the street. The company says its workers drove 5,500 miles testing phones along the way to pinpoint dead spots.

That’s certainly a level of service beyond any cell phone store/carrier I’ve ever seen. Most instructive: the store figures if you are buying a cell phone around Boston, knowledge of dead spots locally will be very important. It’s all about local…geography still matters!

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/10 at 07:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Consider this quote from an article about using GPS to halt invasive weeds in Hawaii.

The GPS units collect information from satellites in space that are operated by the military. You can tease that map through a series of queries and you can find out what species are where, how much of the area is occupied,” said Mike Sibernagle, Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.

I suspect there’s a GIS somewhere in this process, but its interesting it’s not noted. Of coure, the article is about GPS…

Perhaps since the software that accompanies may GPSs offers basic queries its considered part of the GPS? Or perhaps the data is dumped into a simpler mapping/visualization program that doesn’t really qualify as a GIS?  Is this an indication that the technology really be “disappearing” into other apps as was predicted some years ago?

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/10 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
gps

I had the odd experience last night of having not one, but two women, both working on master’s degrees come up to me bubbling over with excitement about GIS. One had played with Zillow.com, she working on affordable housing issues in a section of Boston. The other had seen a GIS demo where a tool calculated the percentage of different minorities in an area, helping to figure where it was best to sample for certain types of people. She studying public health and taking a GIS course. Both had the same sorts of questions/issues: how can I get data, our project has no money, is there “GIS for dummies”, etc. We are having a “GIS breakfast” next week to get them started.

What floors me about this is these are two random people who just happen to be in my 400 person running club and are agog about GIS, which is great. Clearly, they both see the potential for GIS in their work. Here’s the part that scares me: they are in reputable programs but don’t seem to have the resources they need. On the other hand, with busy grad school lives, perhaps they simply haven’t been inspired enough to push a bit farther with their schools?

I was pleased this morning to read about a burgeoning GIS certificate program in Idaho. It’s grown considerably since inception in 2002 and may even begin offering day instead of night only classes. Even better news: some 25% of students have their way paid by employers. That suggests that employers “see the benefit.” The article even goes into such detail as to note, “Program credits also count toward professional GIS certification, which is awarded by the Park Ridge, Ill.-based Urban and Regional Information Systems Association.” I believe certification is conferred by GISCI.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/10 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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