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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Not exactly, but a study suggest that different skin cells in the body “know where they are” based on cues in genes. So feet and leg cells are different than scalp and hand cells. This from a Stanford University study reported in Medical Research News.

Says John Rinn, PhD first author of the study published in the current issue of Public Library of Science-Genetics,  “Our skin is actively maintaining itself throughout our life, and these ‘address codes’ help the cells know how to respond appropriately.”

The analogy to GPS is a strech for me, but it certainly caught my attention.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/03 at 09:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
gps

Schaeffer’s Research offers Fil Zucchi (of Minyanville) on GPS companies. This is a nice complement to Joe Francica’s piece on the midyear earnings results.

Some good points on NAVTEQ:

It desperately needs lower price points for OEM products to get volume ramping again; meanwhile its R&D expenses don’t scale well when sales slow. It is in a really tough spot and its problems could last for a while. Not interested until the ‘teens.

And Garmin:

GRMN’s handheld business is smoking, and it does not have the drag of the auto-OEM problems.

And @Road:

It is a tiny, barely profitable company making inroads with some large customers, but it is so small that one has to wonder about its staying power.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/03 at 09:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
gps

This may not be what you think, but it’s worth the time to review. You may have seen the press release on this matter.

USGIF felt the need, based on industry input, to create a Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program. Now, unlike other certificate programs that individual schools put together (I’m most familiar with the one at Penn State), USGIF will accredit schools that want to offer the program. The Foundation is now asking for input on curriculum guidelines and accreditation standards. If you’ve not been involved with defining or evaluating “learning guidelines” or this sort of process, it’s rather interesting. I found my work on creating a degree program very educational and rewarding.

Here’s what understand of how this will work: USGIF defines a curriculum. An institution that wants to be accredited fills out a form document how it supports that curriculum (and will perhaps receive a site visit). If it gets the OK of USGIF…

Upon approval, the accredited program may be offered by the approved institution, and will be advertised through the USGIF website, and the institution will have permission to use the USGIF logo in marketing the program. Any student going through an accredited program will submit a record of their successful completion of the program to the USGIF Academy, which will award the USGIF Geospatial Intelligence Certificate to that student.

So, as I understand it, students may attend different institutions and take different classes but in the end, they learn the same material. The programs are expected to take one year full time or two years part time.

Input is due by September 15. If you, or the folks working for you, or your institution might someday want to participate in this program, now is your time to speak. And, if you are just interested in the health of our field, this is a good chance to chime in.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/03 at 06:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Here in Massachusetts the legislature overrode the governor’s veto to provide $400,000 for a new landuse map (Boston Globe). That last effort that covered the state was in 1999.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) (GovTech) will receive a $600,000 conservation innovation grant from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to support the conservation programs in the state. The joint submission was from the department and the Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University, and will include “a web-accessible interactive GIS tool, and is a prerequisite for precision conservation. It will be designed for use by field staff or landowners in four Michigan watersheds to target high-risk areas to reduce soil erosion and adverse levels of sediment loadings to receiving waters.”

In Pennsylvania it’s Wyoming county’s turn to take advantage of state/federal program that pays local jurisdictions for local data (Wyoming County Press Examiner). County commissioners received a $15,808 check ( $40 for data on each of its 397 square miles). “Since 2001, the state and federally-administered program, which is expected to last through 2008, has been documenting the state’s topography.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/03 at 06:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An article about a 4H grant from ESRI to Montezuma County Colorado includes this statement:

If the group’s work satisfies ESRI’s requirements for the grant, they can keep the GIS software.

I guess that’s the equivalent of adult grants from some vendors where you get the software, but must present a paper.

Another sign of the times, Kaytlyn Alexander, 13, of Cortez on how easy it was to learn to use GPS/GIS for a weed mapping program.

We’re teenagers; we’re fast.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/02 at 05:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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