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Monday, August 07, 2006

Jack Dangermond presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Larry Smarr, Director of the University of California San Diego’s Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. Smarr proceeded to discuss the relatively new field of environmental genomics, or adding the genetic diversity of life to geographic information systems. Smarr, who in the past worked with Marc Andressen to launch Mosaic, is now working on the National LambdaRail project which is comprised of a consortium of universities developing an advanced nationwide network infrastructure for streaming terrabytes of data to a single location. He envisions a time when high definition data will be streamed in to an elementary school classroom. He challenged the audience this way: "As you begin to tell us the nature of the planet of where you are, this is how collectively we are going to come to shepherd the planet."

by Joe Francica on 08/07 at 04:43 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

"Geography is increasingly at the center of a wide range of intellectual concerns." - Larry Summers, President of Harvard Univeristy in remarks made at the opening of Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis, in a video clip presented by Dr. Peter Bol, director of the new center.

"GIS is a technology and also a way of thinking."- Dr. Peter Bol, Harvard.

"As someone new to government, when I look at an overview of the city, I can’t understand how anyone operated without it." - John Hickenlooper, Mayor of the city and county of Denver, USA, speaking about the use of GIS in his organization.

"The “wow” factor for the average underwriter was the ability to show information on a map." Graham Heale, Underwriting General of the Royal & SunAlliance Insurance company,  United Kingdom.

"When I started in 2000, it was important that OS went through change. I was fortunate to be a customer of OS and had written them nine complaint letters… (It was) necessary to articulate to the entire staff why we are doing it (going through organizational change). "It’s about getting that vision to everybody." - Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and CEO, Ordance Survey, United Kingdom speaking about cultural change in an organization.

"Harvard is finally catching up! They feel that geography is important. That they have not been doing something for a long time is significant." Roger Tomlinson referring to the new Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard, recently opened in March.

by Joe Francica on 08/07 at 07:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In 2005, Time Magazine named John Hickenlooper one of the top five large city mayors in the United States. It is easy to see why from the vision he espouses in using GIS to manage city government, an endeavor he admits is a fundamentally geographic phenomenon. Presenting at the ESRI Senior Executive Seminar yesterday, [Denver Colorado Mayor] Hickelooper landed in government to find the proverbial islands of automation. He promptly hired a CIO, and proceded to create an enterprisewide geospatial database from which the islands became what he calls "centralized/de-centralized" or a means whereby city departments, responsible for their own needs, can share a central data store of geographic information. I had a chance to speak with Hickenlooper who admitted that it was easier for him to work with the various departments to deliver his vision because as a self-described "recovering geologist" they new of his appreciation for mapping technology. I asked him if he saw other mayors who understood the potential of managing a city with GIS and his unfortunate reply was that there weren’t many who did. Luckily there are a few like Hickenlooper who "get it" as their city’s will reap the benefits from a geospatial visionary.

by Joe Francica on 08/07 at 06:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Newsday has 10 ideas on how to keep kids busy (inexpensively) this summer. The last one, “make a map,” clearly needed a bit more research. The last step:

Show them how to use a GPS program like to fill in details.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

We asked about your use of mapping portals and Greg Sterling’s assertion that they are still used mainly for driving directions was upheld. Of the 31 respondents, 71% used them mostly for driving directions, 17% used them mostly for local search, 10% used them for “real work” (that is not for just getting directions for work)  and 6% used them mostly for entertainment. No one used them to find vacation destinations.

This week ESRI announced a new Java API for its ArcWeb Explorer. At the same time Tim O’Reilly noted the jump in demand for AJAX and Ruby programmers (Web 2.0 languages). What is the most valuable langauge for a programmer to have in geospatial these days? Vote on the lower right hand side of the main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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