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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Certainly by now keen observers of Google have found out that it’s not just a very good search engine. It’s a dictionary, calculator, travel advisor, etc. I had to find out through Time Magazine that it actually did all these things. The February 20th issue has an interesting sidebar on how the company will improve search possibilities and other features. Have you tried these before? Type ‘Weather’ and your zip code and it will show you the forecast. Type "Define: [word]" and you will be returned the definition.

Now type, "Show me the traffic counts at 4th and Market Street San Francisco, CA". Oh? Nothing? How about, "Show me the zip code with the highest population of income earners having a median income greater than $75,000 within a radius of 25 miles of downtown Peoria"? Uuh? No, not yet? But why not?

Today, these queries will show you Google ads where you can find a company that will sell you traffic counts. But maybe Google is the next "information company" that will supply these to you…and maybe for free. Why not? They put an entire satellite image database online didn’t they?

These types of queries (aka The Semantic Web) are nirvana for a real estate agent looking to flip commercial property. I have to believe somebody is thinking about this at Google or Microsoft as the next wave of information to become free over the web…and with a map interface. Typically the purview of business geographic software like BusinessMap or Maptitude, Google Maps and friends could offer these data as another data type. And then look for companies who used to sell this data set for mega bucks to start wringing their hands.

by Joe Francica on 02/21 at 05:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 20, 2006

Slashdot discusses a possible alternative to PDF, Uniipage, that cruches a document into HTML, along with CSS, Flash, JavaScript. The recipeint then views the HTML in a browser. While I understand the need for PDF, I do get annoyed now and again when I have to crank up the old plug-in, or worse, clip text of out a PDF to publish as HTML.

With all this sort of support, I wonder if Unipage might be a good solution for sharing map documents? ArcReader hasn’t really caught on, now, has it?

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/20 at 12:26 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’m currently at the AAAS conference in Saint Louis, MO. It’s pretty cold here. We have a session on geosurveillance organised by Deborah Popper and Doug Sherman. Some of the other panelists are Jerry Dobson (President of the AGS) and Bill Herbert, a labor lawyer.

The AAAS selected our session for a press briefing yesterday and I must admit I’ve not done one of those before. It was very well organised. We sat up on a podium and gave a 3 minute spiel, then opened it up to the journos (Jerry said he counted about the same number of journalists as were at the briefing for the “1491” book). Afterwards we were taken out to a follow-up room where I gave two interviews for radio, one for the BBC and one for Robyn William’s science show on ABC! I screwed up one response though, so we’ll see if they use the stuff. All good practice though.

We have our actual paper session later this morning then it’s off home.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/20 at 08:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Computerworld (New Zealand) reports that Chris Stoltz, general manager for GITA Australia and New Zealand, thinks its Peter Batty, CTO at Intergraph. The magazine is touting his visit to that country next week to give the keynote at the GITA conference, where he’ll speak to how “businesses hugely underestimate the potential of such technologies for improving their bottom line and service to customers.”

To be fair, I think another respected individual in our industry is more like Mr. Gates. I’m not sure to whom I’d compare Batty, but someone important, for sure.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/20 at 07:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yes, it seems the folks in Pierceland, Saskatchewan, Canada have a map of Raleigh, North Carolina in their local phone books courtesy of Sprint. Accidents happen.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/20 at 07:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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