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Thursday, August 03, 2006

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

I added a few corporate blogs to my personal aggregator mostly to be sure I read the “official” statement of new goodies from the companies represented. For the most part, these blogs are factual and only post when there’s something of value. Some post PRs and success stories and I can live with that. Today, Virtual Earth Blog got renamed to Spaces, actually, spaces.spaces.live.com (I kid you not!) There’s a post (Welcome!) and no explanation. I was annoyed earlier this week when the same blog posted about Photosynth only after I’d read it on Ralph Grabowski’s blog and on Slashdot!

Maybe I’m out of line here, but I expect corporate official blogs (and I thought that was one) to be more on the ball and even to be the first to break news. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Oh, right, I forgot, the real source of news is c|net…here’s its coverage of Spaces...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/02 at 05:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Last week Joe Francica noted some inconsistencies in press releases from Daratech and another from Bentley. Bentley claimed it was #2 in GIS software. Daratech said and that ESRI and Intergraph, comprised half of the market. Today, there’s an update. First, history.

The very first PR from Daratech this year (July 6) (all of which end with a link to an expensive report) stated:

Leading the market in software revenues were Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), Bentley Systems, Incorporated and Intergraph Corporation.

The first explanatory Daratech PR (July 27) noted:

Although the two largest players, ESRI and Intergraph, together account for nearly half of the total software revenue, there are roughly 20 companies that each account for more than one percent of total annual software revenues. In fact, new buyers and sellers have increasingly contributed to 80% of the market’s total in 2004.

Today’s release (Aug 1) states:

Although the three largest players, ESRI, Intergraph and Bentley, together account for nearly half of the total software revenue, there are roughly 20 companies that each account for more than one percent of total annual software revenues.

Francica did contact Daratech about the confusion and still has not heard back. But clearly, Daratech did change its tune. Still, I’m not sure from this whether Bentley is #2 or #3.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/01 at 06:04 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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