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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An oddly time press release on using Microsoft Live Meeting Web confernecing software, cause me to return to the NGA Hurricane Crisis Imagery website.

First off, I like that the site offers two tabs - one titled “general public” and one titled “GIS Analyst.” The former offers viewing and the latter downloading and more technical help and support.

But then, things get a bit murky. As a member of the general public do I use?

The online imagery viewer with the big Microsoft logo nearby? It’s actually built on technology from Microsoft partern IDV in Michigan.

The Google Earth one, with the Google logo nearby?

The Streaming Imagery Viewer, with the NGA logo nearby? That seems to use the ITT RAIV streaming viewer with technology from Idelix, but you will not find their logos anywhere.

Need help choosing which is right for you? I could not find any. But all other links push you to a SharePoint (a Microsoft collaboration tool) site for help, what’s new, etc. When I choose the “what’s new” link on the main page I learned that there did not seem to be a what’s new page and that the last posted announcement is from November 7. I wonder what will happen to this website?

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/18 at 08:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A blog post on MapPoint B2B confirms its time to move everyone to Live Local. Existing distinctly requested maps will automatically be sent to Live Local when the time comes. When’s that?

“When are we killing MSN Maps and Directions? Soon - like very soon.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/18 at 07:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

[update 1/18] A reviewer of the site writing in the Mercury News was not impressed:

“After I worked through the confusing process of locating, downloading and installing the browser, I found the 3-D interface slow and frustrating. When I want information on the Arctic, I don’t want to wait while a globe gradually turns toward the north.”

[Original post]

Digital Universe is a vision of Joe Firmage who got the idea from watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos a few decades back according to MSNBC. The online “galactic encyclopedia” pilot goes live today and is hoped to be the “PBS of the Web,” run by a non-profit. Funding will c ome from premium services but much of the content, rich 3D, will be free to all. For now it requires a specific browser (ManyOne’s customized version of the Mozilla Web) but later will be accessible in standard ones.

Firmage has a host of folks behind him including Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger and astrophysicist Bernard Haisch, NASA, ESRI and the National Council for Science and the Environment. Another GIS connection: “climate specialist Robert Corell, who presided over the National Science Foundation’s Earth sciences program for 13 years.” He was on the OGC board of directors for some time.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/17 at 07:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 16, 2006

It seems the little blue ad pins Google was testing last week have since been removed. So, if you didn’t see them last week, you’ll have to wait - since they are sure to show up in some form in the future. I read about the removal at Google Map Mania and confirmed it for myself for the area of New York where I saw them last.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 04:04 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A new wiki called Geospatial Standards for Free Software pushes just that. For now, GSFS, as it calls itself, is just an idea for a group to develop “clear, simple, easy-to-understand, and ‘open’ standards for geospatial data and free (as in ‘open source’) software.”

The FAQ points out that OGC:

- standards are not specifically designed for open source software
- membership runs $500 and up out of reach of many open source programmers/projects
- focusses on Web standards
- offers complex standards
- does not offer open source implementations of all its specs

The “group” (actually, I have no idea if its a group or who is behind it) hopes to work with the GeoAPI project (an OGC effort that “develops neutral, interface-only APIs derived from OGC/ISO Standards”). The first task for GSFS: development of the “OGD (Open Geospatial Database) Standard [that ] defines a format for the storage of geospatial information.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/16 at 07:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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