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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The LA Times reports on a situation where a car stolen with a baby inside has prompted local officials to try to prevent future Sprint cell towers going up in Riverside County, California. When the child’s mother contacted Sprint to get the location of her husband’s GPS-enabled cell phone which was in the car, the company representative refused. When a county detective called, a representative insisted on a subpoena and a $25 payment. The police found the car and baby safe without help from the carrier. Sprint officials report that this was an isolated incident and that in an emergency, such requests go through more quickly.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 07:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A press release from Forest Issues Group confirms that On December 19, 2005, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service must provide “Geospatial Information Systems” data free of charge or at a reduced rate to members of the public who are eligible for a fee waiver under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). That overturned a federal district court opinion to the contrary.

The issue here was not that the groups in question (FIG and Environmental Protection Information Center, EPIC) were not eligible for the reduced rate/free data, but rather whether the data fell under the provision. Says the release: “To qualify for a fee waiver under FOIA, a requester must show that ‘disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requestor.’”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’m a sucker for press releases that include the term GIS for no particular reason. Case in point: a release about a new tool to find a local vet. It’s offered by a company offering pet health care insurance. I immediately clicked through to the locator page to see what technology was used (frankly, I expected Google Local). But no, I knew immediately: the sample address/ZIP Code near the input boxes reads:  Your address (optional): (e.g., 380 New York St) City, State, and/or ZIP: (e.g., Redlands, CA, or 92373).

No further research required! I suppose that’s a type of subtle advertising since if folks put that in, they will see where ESRI is located, even if it’s not labeled on the map.  By the way, there were five vets listed in ESRI’s ZIP Code.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

NPR’s Morning Edition (audio available 10 am EST) covers how to get there from here with input from senior staff from NAVTEQ and Yahoo Maps (Jeremy Krietler who spoke at our conference last year). Bottom line in the exercise in San Francisco? A limitation in the data from NAVTEQ.

My question: will NAVTEQ (and perhaps Tele Atlas, if it too makes the same error) rush out to fix this glitch since it’s been on national radio?

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 09, 2006

I like it when I get to integrate that CAD stuff with our GIS stuff. Ralph Grabowski at WorldCAD Access describes a tool to get CIS/2 data (that’s “CIMSteel Integration Standards (CIS/2) ...the product model and electronic data exchange format (file format) for structural steel project information. “) into Google Earth. See, everyone wants their data in Google Earth!

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/09 at 03:46 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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