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Friday, August 04, 2006

A PhD candidate at Australian National University using unclassified CORONA satellite images has found evidence of ancient human settlement in Syria.

Ms Mottram’s team aims to establish for the first time a record of human occupation in the area, from the first arrival of early human groups between 1 million and 700,000 years ago, to Ottoman times.

The CORONA program ran in the 1960s and the images were declassified in the 1990s. Recall that Corona films (yes, actual films) were dropped from the satellites to be caught by aircraft. Those that fell into the sea were designed to disintegrate in the salt water. (This was some of the coolest technology I read about in researching remote sensing!)

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/04 at 07:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 03, 2006

“Average folks are finding really surprising things on Google Earth because it’s accessible to the average Web surfer. It’s closer to curiosity than military advantage.”

Noah Shachtman, editor of Defense Tech, on the recently found Chinese model of the disputed border territory with India.

- ABC News

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/03 at 09:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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
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