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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Perhaps you were watching? On ESPN’s Monday Night Football, when they mentioned that Tavarias Jackson, rookie quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, was telephoned that he would be drafted and he didn’t know where the Twin Cities was when the words appeared on his caller ID. I was appalled and then saddened. Here’s a college (though probably not a grad) student of Alabama State in Montgomery (I cringe that I have to mention my home state) who doesn’t know that the Twin Cities refers to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota! It’s a basic geography question as far as I’m concerned. I could almost understand it if he "maybe" didn’t know that the Crescent City refers to New Orleans or that the Music City was Nashville or certainly not that the Rocket City refers to something as close as Huntsville Alabama or that the Magic City is Birmingham. But the Twin Cities? How did the kid get through high school?

I’ve written previously about the lack of geographic literacy in our youth. I’m always amazed when I see statistics quoted about how most people couldn’t locate Iraq on a map; couldn’t find Africa if their life depended on it. If you bloggers or blog readers want to make a difference this year, go volunteer at your local elementary school and at the very least take a map of the world with you and then take the class for a spin on Google Earth or Microsoft Live Local. Please share your knowledge.

by Joe Francica on 08/15 at 08:25 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This time the lure in the Digital Trends article is some great pics of the hardware in the Tele Atlas van.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 08:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

From a c|net story about how London cabbies are for the most part turning downs offers of GPS navigation systems comes this enticing factoid about the test of “The Knowledge,” the routes of London, required to get a taxi license:

The test is so tough—it can take up 34 months of study, albeit part-time, to pass—that academic studies have shown part of the brain of successful applicants actually enlarges.

Scientists found London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with navigation, than other people.

 

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 08:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I watch the print magazine coverage of the geospatial pretty carefully. Until recently I knew of just one publication that had a subscription fee here in the U.S. But, when I received the latest issue of The American Surveyor, I learned that fee (a small one, just $25) had been dropped. Now the publication is free to qualified readers in the U.S.

I beleive that means that in the U.S. the only subscription publications are academic, or from professional organizations. In Europe and elsewhere, most publications have subscriptions fees.

Said another way, the U.S. geospatial online and print publications are dependent on advertising and other income (conferences, marketing extras) to fund their efforts.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 07:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

To get more action on its Google Maps (once Google Local) site, the company has enterred into an agreement with Valpack, the folks who put coupons for local stores in the mail. (Those work: my mom saves the one’s for haircuts and sporting goods for me.) Google will now provide such coupons in the Internet. The caveat? The coupons are only redeemable at brick and mortar stores.

So, the question is, will this bring more advertisers to Google (there is no charge for businesses or consumers for the coupons, though the advertiser must have a free local business listing on Google Maps)? And, will it bring more eyeballs to Google Maps?

via NPR

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 07:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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