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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Jo Walsh at Mapping Hacks requests those in the EU to consider signing a petition to encourage members of the European parliament to reject the INSPIRE initiative as it stands. She feels “Many European citizens and small businesses will be negatively affected by a license, copyright and protection oriented policy towards sharing geographic data inside Europe.”

The petition and further details are available at PublicGeodata.org.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Novariant Inc. named Herb Satterlee as its chief executive officer today and didn’t say what happened to its former CEO. Novariant, based in California, develops products that use GPS and other location technology to automatically steer equipment, map the landscape and land planes. Satterlee was most recently CEO at DigitalGlobe, and before that at Boeing and before that at Resource21. DigitalGlobe appointed a new CEO, Jill Smith in November. Last I knew Satterlee was still at the company.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 03:58 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Back in 2004 Digital Envoy, a company that offers geotargeting, that is location determination of computers on the Web, sued Google saying it had used its technology beyond the license. Google expanded its use to third-party sites in its AdSense program. Google countersued. Yesterday, a northern California district court dismissed the original complaint (c|net). The two companies no longer work together.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Declan McCullagh’s article at c|net is worth your time. It covers the latest rulings on allowing police access to cell phone user’s location information without a warrant. It also details how when a 1994 surveillance law was to be passed, then FBI Chief Louis Freeh said it would never be used to track cell phones, which is exactly what’s happening.

Bottom line:

Consider the implications. If you voluntarily transmit your exact GPS-derived location to a cellular provider—so you can get information returned about nearby restaurants or driving directions—the Justice Department apparently believes that your location should be available without a warrant.

That’s not what Louis Freeh promised, that’s not what Congress wrote, and that’s not what a majority of federal judges who have looked at this have decided. But for now, there’s nothing stopping prosecutors from shopping around and finding a sympathetic judge who will find some way to interpret the law in their favor next time.

But there’s more, and this is something many of us know, since we were trained in cartography: “[this situation] highlights one of the biggest problems with all of these data collection efforts—both governmental and in the private sector (yes, that means the search engines, too)—is that no matter what the intentions of those who set them up originally, sooner or later someone will abuse them and use the data for unintended purposes. ” That’s from Mike at TechDirt and he’s right on. Was the data in Goole Earth (and peers) designed to be used by terrorists to make trouble? No. Is it being used that way? Probably.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 13, 2006

Over at All CAD Access Ralph Grabowski notes this list from Evan Yares defining high end CAD.

Among the qualities from the list that perhaps translate over to high end GIS are:

No-holds-barred functionality.
Breadth and depth of applications.
Integration with enterprise applications.
Specialty design tools.
Large/complex-project management tools.
Continuous innovation.
A difficult-to-use user interface.

What else? I’ll offer:

CAD integration
Modelling tools
Advanced statistics

What else would you add?

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/13 at 03:30 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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