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Thursday, February 09, 2006

RF Micro Devices is offering a software based GPS solution to some of its customers with full distribution expected this summer. The vendor expects that a software solution will increase use of GPS since it does not require the expense of a dedicated chip.

On the other hand, the company will have to charge something for the software. That’s not besing discussed just now. Further, it will be interesting to see how well the solution works in comparison to chip-based systems. One other factor, if it can use an antenna, that will continue to be a hardware cost. So, we are not out of the hardware woods just yet…but maybe soon.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/09 at 07:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Studies show that drive-time-to-workout is a key factor in determining whether a person actually uses that gym membership card. “

The South Bend Tribune explains why is includes a map in its 2006 Fitness Center Directory. We can’t seem to get around that principle of least effort as it relates to geography…

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/09 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GCN reports on which agencies will get more funding in 2007 and which will get less. In the details are how specific geospatial efforts will be funded.

One of the programs slated for an increase is the Geological Survey’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission, which would receive an additional $16 million to build a system to process data from the Landsat 8 satellite set to be launched in 2010. The remote-sensing satellite gathers data important for business, land management and scientific purposes, Interior said.

Also for USGS, the budget proposes creation of a multihazards pilot to merge information on various risk areas into consolidated form to support department planning.

[...]

But the administration seeks to slow down spending on the National Information Exchange program, a gateway for electronic links to EPA’s data, from $19.4 million in 2006 to $17.5 million next year.

So, Landsat 8 is funded. Good!

Now, what’s this about a multihazards pilot? Didn’t we do something like this already? I wrote a lot about the OGC’s multiharzard mapping initiative in my first years with the organization and have heard little since. The website is down as I write.

I do recall hearing about the NIE from EPA, which was another thing that sounded like a good place to use standards. Too bad funding is down for that effort.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/09 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Like many other bloggers I seek out interesting geospatial tidbits for this blog. I try hard to keep my skeptic hat on because I think that’s what’s needed in these times (and perhaps that’s part of why the nice people at Directions pay me…)

Tuesday I ran into this article at Telematics Update about MapPoint Web Service 4.1. I read the text, dated 2/7/06, searched news sites for other mentions and tried to remember if I’d covered that announcement here or at Directions Magazine. I found a lack of other coverage in the U.S. (example, MP2K Magazine), but a bit from the international press (example, European news site). After checking (Google searching!) this blog I found that I did note it, on January 24.

So I dug further. One blog posted 4.1 going live on January 23. Our GIS world’s James Fee noted it on the 24th citing the Virtual Earth Blog, which I too cited. The MapPoint Development Center on MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) has two posts 1/18 and 1/19. I didn’t find anything on the Press Pass section of Microsoft’s site. That’s the part for journalists.

So, what’s going on? Nothing, really. No one did anything wrong. We just forgot about geography!

There was no press release on MapPoint 4.1 in the U.S. Instead, it was announced on MSDN and via a blog. That’s not a problem; I applaud companies that don’t do a press release when one is not necessary. (Google’s a pro at this.)

But, there was a press release for Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) launched yesterday. And, Telematics Update, being a worldwide publication picked it up. Telematics Update’s website doesn’t scream “this is a worldwide publication” and you might not even notice unless you note that it hosts “World News” “Africa News” and “America News” on its main page. So, no shame on MP2K on picking up the news and linking to the article.

Even though the Web can flatten geography/time/space/news, we do need to respect that worldwide companies may still wish to do different things in different geographies. Moreover, press releases are simply not the only way “news” gets out.

Special thanks to Rob Carter (UK) and Ashley Johnson (US) at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (Worldwide - get it?) for their help on this matter.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/09 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I’m not sure what this really means, but Fed Sources reports that there are three new lines of business in the President’s IT budget:

There are three new “Lines of Business” (LOBs) (IT Infrastructure, Geospatial and Budgeting). The six existing LOBs are Case Management, Federal Health Architecture, Financial Management, Human Resources Management, Grants Management and Information System Security.

Can someone more savvy in budget issues explain the significance, or lack thereof, of this addition?

Update 2/8 am:

This from a Q & A with White House on Director of Office Management and Budget, Joshua Bolton:

Q Your budget proposes three new line of business programs in IT infrastructure, geospatial and budget formulation. Can you go into some detail about that, and what you expect?

DIRECTOR BOLTEN: Clay, is that something you want to take?

Q The question is, the three new lines of business—IT infrastructure, geospatial and budget formulation, how they ́ll bring benefits or what they ́ll require.

MR. JOHNSON: All three of those programs are—deal with matters that are common across many agencies. And so we looked to come up with government-wide solutions to government-wide opportunities or problems. Geospatial—there are a number of agencies that use geospatial information. And rather than each of them have been trying to come up with separate mechanisms for collecting this information and having accurate resources to turn to, we ́re coming up with a resource that all agencies can tap into.

The other two were?

Q IT infrastructure and budget formulation.

MR. JOHNSON: Well, by budget formulation, they ́re looking for common—developing common expenditure codes that all agencies can use that will allow us to pull up data by expense type much more—with a much more productive fashion, so we can have better information, better diagnostic information about our expenditures.

Q And then IT infrastructure?

MR. JOHNSON: IT infrastructure is there are a number of common infrastructure expenditures that every agency faces—IT security, IT training, a help desk and so forth. And we ́re looking for coming up with government-wide solutions to those common needs that every agency has.

I’m guessing they are speaking of Geospatial One-Stop? Perhaps its matured enough to have its own line of business? Again, input from those who understand this process would be appreciated!

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/08 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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