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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan, according to the Wall Street Journal. The case centers on the use of 2000 census data for a 2003 redistricting plan that Texas Democrats claim to be unconstitutional. The high court will review four issues central to the complaint:

  1. Did Texas violate the one person, one vote rule?
  2. Is mid-decade redistricting valid now since no current data accounts for population mobility (When Texas completed a new 2004 redistricting map Georgia did as well and other states may now consider updating congressional district maps)?
  3. Does the Texas map violate the Voting Rights Act?
  4. Gerrymanding: Should partisan politics enter into the redistricting process?
Oral arguments to the court will heard on March 1, 2006. Directions Magazine recently covered the issue of redistricing and the political process in an article by Dr. Ben Forest of Dartmouth College.
by Joe Francica on 12/14 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

SmartMobs explains that ” engineers at University College London,a Berkshire firm called Innovision, a group in France,another in Greece,an airport in Hungary and a few others” want to put tags in boarding passes and use sensors in the airport to help track down those who check baggage but fail to get on the plane. At first I thought this was silly – those folks should miss the plane! Then I recalled that the bags and people must match in these post 9/11 times and not having the folks on board would mean delaying the flight to get the baggage removed. So, maybe this is a good idea after all. The whole story is in the Guardian.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ever wonder how the use of geospatial data is affecting libraries? Wonder no more. Gary at Resource Shelf notes a new report from Association of Research Libraries that looks into just that.

There are more details here about the study and the table of contents and executive summary are available in PDF. The full report is $45 for non-members.

“This SPEC Kit examines how library patrons’ use of spatial data has changed since 1999 and what effect this has had on library staffing, collections, budget, and services. The publication provides a snapshot of how ARL member libraries are handling the challenges associated with spatial data 15 years after geographic information systems (GIS) and digital mapping first appeared on campus.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sprint tried to do good but got flummoxed by what GPS stands for in a press release:

“Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced the donation of 11 Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) enabled handsets, taking DC Central Kitchen’s meal transportation and delivery system high-tech. DC Central Kitchen distributes approximately 4,000 meals per day to roughly 100 nonprofit agencies in the District, northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland. GPS technology will help streamline this vital distribution process to better serve the community.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

According to Government Computer News which references an ESRI press release, the Department of Homeland Security is giving away “geospatial information-sharing software and other commercial IT to local jurisdictions through its Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). ” The program is a way to get smaller communities which did not get grants the tools they need. ESRI has a DHS contract that makes the software available.

Apparently recipients get “ArcGIS ArcView 9.x, ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, ArcGIS Network Analyst and ArcGIS Publisher, as well as three related Virtual Campus training courses. “

Want to get your own free ESRI software? The next round of giving ends January 7. For details and sample text to help get the goodies, visit this ESRI web page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/13 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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