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Monday, November 07, 2005

Update: 11/8 The Associated Press who reported the offered a clarification today: “The story should have made clear that the GPS function isn’t available yet.”

Google today announced a downloadable tool to enhance the use of Google Maps on mobile phones. It cuts steps by doing things like using GPS, if available, to determine your location. The USA Today version of the story is here. It’s not so great, according to this review from the Mercury News.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 06:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GITA’s online convention has been online since October 1. It runs until December 31, so you still have time to visit. I spoke with someone today who said they’d registered, but not yet attended. I seriously wondered if they actually would attend. That’s one of the challenges with online 24x7 access, you never get around to going. (GITA reported in a press release that 650 people had registered in the first month. No word on how many converted to attendees.) For a real conference you have to get on a plane (or in your car or on the train) to actually “go there” and then are hopefully “not so” distracted by work at home that you attend sessions, visit with vendors, etc. Sitting at your computer its very easy to be distracted by e-mail, the latest project, games, gossip, etc.

I did attend the conference since one of my colleagues “hoped” I’d “join.” I was disappointed that I could not hear the four speakers. I twiddled with my sound tools on the computer but could barely hear any of them. I was also disappointed that only two of the four speakers providing slides. Perhaps their talks didn’t need slides; I couldn’t tell. New speakers will be introduced on November 15. I hope the sound issues are tamed by then. I also found the booths disappointing. Basically, they were links to the companies’ websites. There was nothing to draw me to those websites, no lures of information or the ability to speak with representatives. Real show floor booths, I like to think, lure attendees in with promises of information (and trinkets) and ultimately allow conversations with knowledgeable staffers.

I had one other challenge. Once I registered I could not find the URL for the actual event – only the place where you register! For those with the same problem, the event is online here.

I do give GITA credit for trying new ways to educate and inform and carry out its mission. I think there’s still some maturation of the online conference vision to come.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 06:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A brave soul has started a blog about “Rumors, rants, and a little actual information about happenings in the USGS national mapping program.” It’s “unofficial” and the writer/editor warns folks not to post to it from government computers.


by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 06:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I guess it had to happen: here’s a mashup of Google Maps and Yahoo Traffic…Officially, says the app, there’s some weather. “Inspired by John Resig. Traffic data by Yahoo! (thanks!), icons by Yahoo!, maps by Google, original glue by Phil, weather data by by way of Chris Heathcote.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 06:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, November 04, 2005

GPS and laser measuring devices may be used in golf tournaments at the discretion of the organizers. That’s the word from the United States Golf Association (USGA). I suppose that opens the door to more endorsements and advertising during TV coverage.

In my sport of running there are no limitations on using GPS during a race, so far as I know. One fellow even had a device that sent out an audible beep each time he was to take a step. He ran alone for the entire 26.2 miles I suspect.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/04 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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