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Monday, December 26, 2005

An article already tipping off Santa on what he wants for Christmas 2006, in the New Jersey Express Times. It’s from freelance auto writer, Scott Wasser.

Navigation systems that make life easier, not more difficult: I’m a huge fan of GPS-based navigation systems and their potential, but unfortunately too many of them are too difficult to use or just plain inefficient. I’ve tested very expensive vehicles in which the navigation system interfaces were so clumsy or the mapping software so incomplete that the systems weren’t worth using.

GPS technology is accurate enough to track a vehicle within a few feet of its actual location just about anywhere on the globe. GPS manufacturer Garmin makes portable units that sell for a few hundred bucks that are easy to operate, have up-to-date maps, and provide dead-on accuracy. The same is true of mapping company DeLorme, which sells a $100 software/hardware package (Street Atlas USA/Earthmate) that turns any current laptop into a similarly accurate and easy to use guidance system. So tell me Santa, would you happen to know why automakers can’t provide similarly effective navigation systems in their vehicles?

 

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/26 at 07:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
gps

ITAR-TASS the Russian news agency reports that Russian President Putin wants to see his country’s GLONASS satellite navigation systems up and running earlier than planned. The system was expected to be completed in 2008, says the article, but Putin put the challenge forward to finish in 2006 or 2007. He wants to see commercial revenue from the system which provides similar accuracy to GPS.

Even as Putin made the plea Russia celebrated the launch of three new satellites into orbit on Sunday. The AP published unconfirmed reports that two of the birds were not under control and offered that the system was not expected to be complete until 2010.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/26 at 07:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
gps

It appears the Associated Press is doing a series of articles on data collection for mapping. First off, “Four-wheeled cartographers make digital roads match reality” , an article similar to the dozens run in the past year about GPS-enabled NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas cars roaming around the U.S.

The next part (no idea how many are expected) covers: “How mapping companies make sense of the data - and seek out more for new features.”

Perhaps the timing on this reflects that many people recieved GPS devices for Christmas and explaining why the data are not perfect may cause fewer returns?

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/26 at 07:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, December 23, 2005

In one of his occaisonal blog posts, David Maguire, shares “this Q & A [that he did] for a GIS Magazine.” No idea what magazine, but it no longer has an exlusive, it seems!

Nothing earthshattering, but if you were concerned that ArcGIS Explorer would compete with Google Earth, don’t be. “Out the outset I should say that ESRI’s goal is not to compete in the consumer market with the excellent existing products. Rather, we want to provide the ability for GIS professionals to serve their own data to their own users, perhaps overlaid on top of data from other servers. We also plan to offer a range of more advanced services that we think will raise the bar in terms of user expectations. ” Nice that ESRI is planning to “stick to the knitting.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/23 at 10:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Update 12/24: Link fixed.

The latest from USGS Rolla via Rolla Daily News:

Kari Craun, chief of the USGS mapping center in Rolla, has accepted another position within the agency.

In January, she will become the USGS Supervisory Liaison for the central region. That position involves building partnerships with federal, state and local agencies, as well as with private contractors and universities, to ensure a basic set of national map data is available. She will be based at the Rolla USGS office.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/23 at 10:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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