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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The crew at Microsoft announced two “lives” today: Windows Live, a series of services that can be integrated together and Office Live, an online version of office. Some suggest this is simply a renaming of Web 2.0 to “live.” In any case, Virtual Earth is part of Windows Live. Says the release:

For example, Richard Frost, founder of RE3W World Wide Ltd., an independent software developer specializing in applications related to commercial real estate, demonstrated today at the briefing how its software utilized Windows Live services, specifically Windows Live(TM) Virtual Earth(TM), to deliver an enhanced experience to commercial real estate professionals. Through the combination of software and services, the RE3W demonstration highlighted how an individual can search satellite images from Windows Live Local powered by Virtual Earth to identify prospective properties while simultaneously accessing and aggregating information from RE3W’s proprietary data and publicly available ownership records and parcel maps.

At this point, this sounds like a new marketing term for Virtual Earth, nothing more.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/02 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

At the session on Threats in a Era of Transformation at the GEOINT Conference in San Antonio, assistant secretary for information analysis at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Charles Allen, pointedly reminded the audience that we "need a shared means and a common understanding of information." Allen was making reference to the fact that there are often different interpretations from the same set of facts and this has contributed to poor vetting of information. Allen has only been in his position for one month and is trying to build a more unified intelligence infrastructure at DHS. But he warned that the United States faces a protracted battle with the current terrorists threats, similar to what the U.S. faced with Soviet-style Communism.

by Joe Francica on 11/01 at 08:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An article in the Boston Globe highlights the lack of updates in online and city websites regarding our now-famous Big Dig realignment. The writer contacted Tele Atlas, who confirmed “they continue to update their maps every 90 days in Boston and make no attempt to avoid the tunnels during the Big Dig’s $14.6 billion construction.” Google, which does not create its data and sources it from Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ reportedly updates maps “on average every 18 months.” The icing on the cake? Association of American Geographers Doug Richardson is the source of this statistic: “Nationwide, about one in 50 computer-generated directions goes wayward.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/01 at 07:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

While attending a panel session at GEOINT, I recognized one of the panel members and reviewed is bio prior to the session. It said that Jeff "Skunk" Baxter was a national security consulant and a "famous" musician. As an avid fan of The Doobie Brothers Band, I was surprised (that’s an understatement) to see the lead guitarist from the 70’s rock band on stage as a "security" consultant. Mr. Baxter is now also a music producer and it is not uncommon for the intelligence community to invite people from the outside to help them "think outside the box." In fact, Baxter mentioned that while playing with the Blues Brothers, he enlisted Dan Akroyd to attend a White House briefing to explain Akroyd’s new plan for homeland security. Truly this a a surreal moment at the conference. With blue suits and blue ties stairing at Baxter, I wonder what the 3-stars and high brass thought, but it was quite obvious that he was a respected member of this group. He too was dressed in the typical blue suit but he pony tail was still intact.

by Joe Francica on 11/01 at 07:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

UPI reports FEMA provided USA Today data on the locations of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. The paper published a map of the 18,700 ZIP Codes represented on Sept. 29 and many are looking for updates a full month later. At least three relief groups, who also want the data to help support those evacuees, claim they’ve not had access. US agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp have not received the data either. I guess FEMA has to work on other matters besides just the first response.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/01 at 07:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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