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Thursday, December 08, 2005

ABC News reports on a new take on the geography of breast cancer. “Deborah Winn, a scientist with the National Institutes of Health, states in the December issue of the journal Nature Reviews Cancer that the most likely reason that women in certain communities — such as Long Island or San Francisco — have increased breast cancer risk is that those areas are populated by wealthy women.” That wealth equates with waiting longer to have children and use of replacement hormone therapy. But of course its complicated since other lifestyle factors also enter into the picture. Tulane University environmental health professor Charles Miller suggest that Long Island may also have a higher proportion of Jewish women. He “would expect that a GIS plot (map) of the population density of Jewish women might correspond well to the patterns of excess breast cancer incidence shown in the national map.” Sorry no maps are offered with the story.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/08 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This caption accompanied a photo of Jim Reed, a GIS user in Jasper Oregon from the Register-Guard: “From a loft in his Jasper home, Jim Reed uses his four computers and the process of geographic information systems, or GIS, to make maps. One of his first commercial projects was a map detailing the running trails in the Eugene-Springfield area.” I suppose GIS is a process, though I’d not heard it referred to quite that way.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/08 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Update 12/8: While the developer toolkit for DWF is available, the source code for the plug-in is not open source.

After seeing the HTML (AJAX) client of “MapServer Enterprise” many times during the week, I finally asked to see the DWF plug-in version. They are as promised identical. Ok, there is one big difference: the HTML one has the blue scale/navigation tool (the blue exclamation point) and the plug-in version does not. However, you can hide the tool in the AJAX version by pushing it “off screen” if you like. (Apparently, many people like to do that since they find it ugly!)

I was not clear on is the status of the clients. They are “somewhat” open source. The core HTML viewer code is available but the DWF plug-in is not open source. (A developer toolkit is available.) Nor is the MapServer Enterprise Studio product which allows for the easy configuration of them. It basically “builds up” the XML that is fed into these apps to create the online page the user sees. In fact, I saw a demo of literally the same XML fed into each. They looked identical, save the blue exclamation point.

Why would a developer chose one over the other? DWF may be quicker with refreshes since the data is local, but has no extra functionality. It might be best used inside a company, where the download of a plug-in is no big deal. The HTML version requires no download and may be best used for consumer/citizen websites.

Both will in time be able to offer DWF files that can be taken into the field, though for now the HTML one does not have that functionality.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 08:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I tracked down the technical marketing manager for “Autodesk MapServer Enterprise” who explained the FDO technology in a way I could understand. He compared it to the power converters you use when you travel. You have this base and you plug-in different connectors based on the country you visit. The base is FDO, the connectors are the FDO providers. Both of these parts (save the providers for Oracle and SQL Server) are now open sourced by Autodesk.

The fact that Autodesk has open sourced this technology means that any developer can write a new provider. A provider accesses content. That content might be a file format (SHP) or a database (MySQL) or even another interface (WMS, WFS) or program (OGR, GDAL).

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 08:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Frost and Sullivan
, the market research firm, conducted a webinar yesterday in which they released projections of the location-based services market. Now, we’ve seen pie in the sky before so I caution you with the following numbers. That said, there is no question that there is a resurgence in the market. Other articles we have published in the past note this as well. But it is interesting to note that LBS for them includes online web mapping portals, not just wireless location services. So lets start with their Navigation/Mapping category:

Traffic to Internet map sites: 48.3M visitors per month; 62% growth rate with MapQuest accounting for 35M visitors. Yahoo Maps has 16.9M visitors with more than 100% growth rate and is gaining market share on MapQuest. Google is projected to become the #3 mapping portal based on initial explosive interest.

On the consumer side, in-vehicle navigation systems and wireless handset were the main focus. As such, NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas have combined revenues of $480M with a 42% growth rate; major revenues are from in-vehicle nav systems. While there are only 2.2M in-vehicle nav systems on the road, there is a 25% growth rate projected. Europe, though 4x the size of the US, has only 1/2 the growth rate.

At the enterprise level, mobile resource management applications were identified as the key to driving LBS adoption in the short term. No surprise there.

For telcom carriers, the main categories that will spur adoption were entertainment (LBS gaming, find-a-friend; social dating), information services (POI 411, navigation, traffic/weather alerts), and security (child locator, roadside resue). Bottom line: by 2008 F&S project over 17M (non-Internet) users of consumer LBS with revenues over $1.2 Billion.

by Joe Francica on 12/07 at 07:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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