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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Associated Press covered the USGS report upholding the process used to select Denver as NGTOC. The article quotes Missouri Representative Jo Ann Emerson, who’s been vocal on the matter since the decision was made against Rolla, which falls in her district, as calling yesterday’s report “nothing less than incompetence.” She committed herself to continuing to try to reverse it.

An investigation by the inspector general is ongoing, but will not interfere with plans to move forward announced yesterday.

The Rolla Daily News, which has been following this story with teeth for some time, and named it local story of the year, has further input from Senators Bond and Talent as well as this clear summary from Emerson, “Rolla hasn’t gotten a fair deal yet, that I can see.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/11 at 07:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Someday, I may have to rely on a French satellite to convict an American citizen.”

Richard Edwards, the assistant U.S. Attorney in North Carolina on the failure of two Landsat satellites. Edwards uses data from them to prosecute farm insurance fraud. He was quoted in an AP article at Kansas.com.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/11 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

That’s means Denver stands as the location of the NGTOC and the A-76 competitive sourcing process, in time, revs back up.

The letter of transmittal (a nice summary of the longer report) from Acting Director of USGS Patrick Leahy to the Secretary of Water and Science is online as a PDF. In the letter, Leahy admits some communications weaknesses caused some concern for employees during the research work, but is confident these didn’t impact the process.

The final report (2 Mb pdf) is also available.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 04:42 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Hello everyone!

Adena has graciously allowed me to post my occasional thoughts on the APB blog. I first met Adena in grad school at Penn State and have much admired her work as a GIS editor. Thanks Adena!

So human tracking is a hot topic these days. Consider this:

Peter Morville: “We will use the Web to navigate a physical world that sparkles with embedded sensors and geospatial metadata” Ambient Findability, p. 13

The Mapping Hacks book also has a lot of this sort of stuff.

No doubt that this is all wonderful stuff. What I’m curious about are the social implications of such surveillance. Remember Mark Monmonier’s book Spying with Maps? He wondered if there was such a thing as locational privacy. And whether it was worth protecting.

One of the scariest features of geosurveillance, I’d say, is based on risk assessment and geoprofiling. This is the idea that we can control people or places according to their risk factor according to some kind of profile.

The point is that we’re monitored not because of something we’ve done, but because of something we might do! This is the thinking that allowed the FBI to compile a GIS database of mosques following 9/11.

By the way, a bunch of us are going to be talking about this at the AAAS conference next month.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 01:37 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

USGS confirms that Hank Garie’s Interagency Personnel Agreement (IPA), essentially an “exchange program” for state/local officials and others to work within the federal government, has expired. The State of New Jersey has a statute that prevents an extension, so Garie has returned to his post in the state.

At the end of his tenure at USGS, Garie served as chief of Geographic Information Integration and Analysis (GIIA) with the role of “overseeing and unifying The National Map, Geospatial One-Stop, EGIM (Enterprise Geographic Information Management), and the GEODE (Geologic Data Explorer) system.” GIAA falls within The National Geospatial Programs Office (NGPO) a component of the USGS Geospatial Information Office. Wendy A. Budd is now acting in that capacity, but a vacancy will be posted soon to permanently fill the position.

Finally, an announcement regarding the investigations into the Rolla decision is expected later today.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 12:22 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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