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Thursday, July 27, 2006

This would be the first I’ve seen of this idea to help lost hikers and mountain bikers. In Highland Recreation Area, which covers 5,903 acres in Highland and White Lake townships in Michigan the plan is to put up signs with lat/lons for the lost to report when they call in for help.

The fire department is working with park officials to set up reflective signs marked with global positioning system (GPS) coordinates at various points along the trails. The signs will allow those lost in the park to provide an extremely accurate location to emergency responders. Crunk said the department hopes to begin installing the signs this year.

I guss it’s sort of the equivalent of motorist call boxes on the highway, but you must bring your own phone…or map…or GPS and know how to use it.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/27 at 07:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Greenpeace France has been told by a French court to remove a map from its website that shows the location of genetically modified (GMO) maize fields. The court says that only experimental field locations must be made public. Greenpeace will likely move the map to an internation website and maintains that EU laws state that all GMO field locations be made public. That legislation has not yet been adopted by the French government.

About half of all GMO test fields in France are destroyed each year.

Here’s Greenpeace’s response.

So today we have responded by carving a giant ‘X’ crop circle into one of the GE maize fields in question, marking the spot of the GE maize field that is now censored from Greenpeace Frances’ webpage.

via Reuters

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/27 at 07:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to awards in our realm. Some seem silly and in other cases, so many are given that they have no meaning. But, here’s one I think is valuable for our times. Westchester County New York has won seven National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards this year. The one of interest in our world:

The Department of Information Technology received an award for its participation in the GIS Data-Sharing Program. Prompted by the growing need of governments to access geographical data, this program has demonstrated a cost-saving method of sharing maps, community facility locations and other data among municipalities. This data-sharing effort has also expanded to the public, allowing community residents to use free online programs to obtain data such as aerial photography of county parks or locations or nearby hydrants.

Do any other organizations give out “sharing” awards, besides kindergarten classes? I think they should.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/27 at 07:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bentley is touting its #2 finish in Daratech’s recent guess at the order of players in the GIS marketplace in a press release. I say guess not to dimish Daratech’s efforts, but to remind readers that ESRI and Bentley, #1 and #2 in the sweepstakes, are privately held companies so data comparable to that of public companies is not necessarily available. (Bentley does offer an annual report, however.)

Still, it’s a big deal for a company that only got into “geoengineering” in 1995 to be ahead of long time players like Intergraph and MapInfo. Big, public Autodesk started in GIS in 1996 if I recall correctly. And, ideally, Autodesk had a larger base of AutoCAD users on which to build than Bentley had MicroStation users. What could account for the difference? I’m guessing here, but offer that it was easier for Bentley to sell geospatial into its bread and butter large clients, the state Departments of Transportation, than it was for Autodesk to move Map into its generally smaller seat holding clients in civil engineering. Moreover, in recent years Bentley has made more headway in integrating with ESRI at the enterprise level than Autodesk.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/26 at 09:19 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MapInfo Senior Product Manager Moshe Binyamin just let me know that the GeoRSS reader is available!   

As a follow-up to our on-going conversation, we are pleased to announce that the GeoRSS reader is now available from the MapInfo Web site.  You will find this and a couple of other applications that demonstrate how the XML/HTTP and FTP libraries that were added to MapBasic version 8.5 can be used. 

The applications include source code.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/26 at 05:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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