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Friday, December 23, 2005

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

There’s much concern about Google Earth imagery in Korea, India and other countries. Ever wonder why Israel is not the in the fray? There’s an article in Globes that explains it.

Bottom line:

Israeli sources told “Globes” that Israel was very sensitive to exposure of strategic locations in satellite photographs. However, legal restrictions in the US and understandings between Israel and other countries are reducing Israel’s vulnerability to enlarged photos of locations liable to become targets of mega-terrorism.

An independent survey of the Google Earth site for satellite photographs shows that the search engine limits the resolution for available photos of Israel sites, whether strategic or civilian. This restriction does not exist for photographs of sites in other countries.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/23 at 10:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

If you missed it (and oddly I didn’t see it in my wanderings) some guy in the UK claims (in The Register) he found himself on Google Earth. It’s a fuzzy image and quite likely impossible to prove one way or another.

More interesting to me are load of critical responses to his claim. Note too in those letters, many corrections regarding coverage of GPS. Wow, the public is getting geosavvy! I’m impressed!

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/23 at 09:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I had a question regarding Earthcomber’s recent press release titled “Shopping Mavens Get High-Tech Reinforcement for Final Push to Christmas, Using Mobile Devices to Find Gifts in Nearby Shops”

The release said:

The Where to Wear “spot guide” downloads to Palm OS PDAs or smartphones. Using built-in maps and location awareness, a user can choose one or more items from a particular shopping list, and the device will scan through thousands of store listings to show which places have the item, and where they are on the map.

So I wondered, does that mean, which store carry the item or which have it in stock right now?

The answer from the company’s PR folks:

“Where to Wear reviews stores and lists the kinds of merchandise that you would be looking for, rather than specific inventory.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/22 at 02:18 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ken Sutherland, who lives in Florida, and is a geospatial professional, shared this Letter to the Editor he sent to the New York Times in response to this article, which I’ve noted in the blog in recent days.

Let’s hope that everyone in the world, as an international community, will observe all the places and activities shown on Google Earth.  One of the problems with maintenance of international treaties, the surveillance required.  Google Earth will improve our ability as world citizens to observe boundaries and activities in addition to our primary ability to virtually tour places which we may visit or know we’ll never have a chance to visit.
Understandably, the skills required of image interpreters can’t be marginalized as a defense requirement; however, how many times does a critical situation in a neighborhood get observed and reported by a citizen, i.e., E911?  Reason for everyone to know the game, the rules, and the resources (Google Earth), for our own protection as world citizens.
If former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, had the same quality imagery available on Google Earth, he would’ve “nailed” his presentation to the UN in 2003.  As presented, I’ve always maintained that the imagery of the WMD site wasn’t that clear to me, the before and after photo axis, film clarity, quality; the site wasn’t that obvious to me during his speech.
With Google Earth we now have some of the best available image resources Online and FREE!  We can also act more capably as the “eyes and ears” of our Homeland Security, one of the many goals of that agency to include everyone for our own protection; or we can just fly the coast line of Scotland or any other dream destination in the world, with Google Earth on our desktops.  Once someone opens a gateway ... always difficult to take back what we have been provided so freely.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/22 at 02:05 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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