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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PunchTab's "Mobile Tracking: Are Consumers Ready?" report surveyed 1,153 consumers about sharing their personal information, including locations, in return for deals and services. Fifty percent of participants did not want to be tracked and 27 percent said "maybe" it'd be ok, but only under certain circumstances. The rest did not care if they were tracked or not. The main reason the half that didn't want tracking? Privacy (at 51%), followed by too many message (13%), and irrelevant messages (8%).

Of the 27% of consumers who opted in to location tracking, 88% said that they would share data in exchange for a coupon or special offer. Shorter checkout times (72%), personalized alerts (69%) and checking the status of points and rewards (58%) were other top reasons to share.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/23 at 06:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Saginaw Alerts Landlords of Police/Fire Calls

When Saginaw police officers or firefighters respond to a call at one of Saginaw's nearly 5,000 registered rental properties, the landlord will be notified the following Monday. The new feature of the GIS goes live August 4.

California Company Charges $83 for Deeds; County just $5

Record Transfer Services of Westlake Village, Calif. is charging $83 for deed information available at the Crawford County Pennsylvania Courthouse for less than $5 for the average homeowner. Don't be fooled say county officials!

Washington Public Lands Map: Open Source

The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) today announced a new online, interactive map of natural resource and recreation lands owned by government agencies. I see Leaflet and OpenStreetMap in the map from a company called GeoEngineers. (image at right)

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/23 at 03:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yet again I found an article where GIS expanded as Global Information System.

Falkowski is a graduate of Valparaiso University in planning and building and with global information systems, or GIS. Falkowski worked for Lake County Planner Ned Kovackevich and had also been active in trades in building as a carpenter, a laborer and in construction.

This happens a lot in the "local papers" of the United States. Mostly, I think it occurs because writers or editors do a quick seach on GIS and Global Information System pops up and that sounds right in the context of the story. When I have the time I send a quick, respectful e-mail to suggest it's more likely to mean geographic information system, based on the context. I sometimes inlcude a link to In this case, the author did in fact know about our expansion of GIS and promised a correction.

So what exactly is a Global Information System? Wikipedia offers a few definitions:

  • A global information system (GLIS) is an information system which is developed and / or used in a global context.[1]
  • A global information system (GLIS) is any information system which attempts to deliver the totality of measurable data worldwide within a defined context.

So, in some cases, not in a small town however, a GIS may indeed be a GIS!

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/22 at 10:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Five years ago I wrote about Wayne Kocina who was building a solution that put the power of Business Analyst Online into the hands of the smaller business. Kocina did the work with his license and delivered the required maps and reports to the client at a reasonable price through his company, GeoWize. There are other scenarios in geospatial where an online services is not really scaled for the smaller user. I met Jean-Luc Miserez at the FME User Conference and he's trying to do the same sort of thing with FME.

His company, INSER, based in Switzerland, offers Geopol, a tool to access the power of FME, but geared more for the smaller or occasional user. FME is Safe Software's tool to extract, transform and load geospatial data. This is not exactly retailing geoprocessing, since most customers are probably organizations rather than individual citizens. Still, the launch of Geopol does suggest that even online services can be too big, too overwhelming and too complex for smaller players to figure out. That's why, like GeoWize, INSER believes there's money to be made is repackaging them.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/22 at 07:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, July 21, 2014

In the late 1980's, the book, The Clustering of America by Michael Weiss had an immense impact on my career. It was a fascinating look at how people migrate to neighborhoods of similar background, interest and socio-economic status. Today it might seem obvious but in the late 80's mapping technology hadn't yet revealed the spatial aspects and relationships of lifestyle segmentation or psychographics. In the book, readers could look up their zip code and find the dominant lifestyle class in that area. Class labels such as Furs and Station Wagons or Guns and Pickups didn't just spur the imagination, it hit the nail on the head as to what you might expect if you ventured into that zip. Weiss followed that book with The Clustered World in 2000.

Today, nearly every advertising agency and market research firm uses some form of psychographics and are presented with better tools for visualizing spatial relationship. Last week, Esri unveiled its latest version of its lifestyle segmentation system, Tapestry. The company released a Story Map (image at right) that gives just a sampling of the lifestyle clusters now available. Many clusters have changed based upon the huge economic upheaval experienced in the US in the last six years or so. According to Esri:

Trends being seen in the United States today include reduced incomes, lower home values, and an increasingly diverse population. A steady shift in household types from traditional to nontraditional families and an aging population are also portrayed.

If you are really fascinated with who your neighbors really are and perhaps what it says about you, then try the interactive map to find your zip code and hence your unique cluster. If you are like me, you'll spend a significant amount of time trying to debunk how accurate the demographic data is only to find that they are embarrasingly spot on! As I said, Weiss' first book on psychographics, while based upon a competing segementation system originally, was influential in articles I published on the business applications of mapping and GIS. They were also quite accurate in its depiction of neighborhoods and zip code classifications. Today, though I wonder how frequently these clusters could change. We are a more mobile society in the wake of such a devastating economic downturn. Many people have migrated back to cities. But in the wake of social media, we are probably more segmented then the 60 odd clusters in most segmentation systems. We can be more defined by our online social habits and more precisely "clustered" by big data analytics.

Regardless, have fun playing with your cluster.

by Joe Francica on 07/21 at 10:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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