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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Regret the is a website that covers corrections in the media. Monday it offered a discussion about a quote with which I was not familiar, attributed to Albert Einstein.

As a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working in the Customs Office, I thought deeply about the matter and concluded that it was far too difficult a subject. With some reluctance, I then turned to physics as an alternative.

The quote was used in a story in the Toronto Star about a local cabbie who quizzed patrons about geography. The retraction from the paper’s public editor details that the fake quote was written by Duane Marble, then a young geograher, as a joke. It was later debunked by Jerome Dobson in GeoWorld.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/25 at 06:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Flint (Michigan) Journal had a good time with a police officer who lead runner in a 5 kilometer race the wrong way:

Map: $5 GPS: $200 Skills needed to use either: Priceless

It’s not clear if indeed the officer had a GPS, but the car in fact lead runners on the 10 kilometer course instead of the 5k one. One experienced runner, fifty-six year old Mark Bauman, noted the error and lead some folks the correct way. He went on the win the race. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/24 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A fellow created a software program to route visitors through amusement parks.

Winters, a software engineer, released the first version of the program in 2001, covering California’s Disneyland. Last spring, he expanded the program’s coverage to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The program combines meticulous surveys of wait times with complex math to come up with the optimum order in which to visit attractions.

This comes from an article about using technology to plan a vacation from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. From the description, I was curious; how good could such a predictor be without real time information? The product website for RideMax suggests to me it’s a routing program that uses historical information to provide a route, nothing more. The user inputs what rides are of interest, time of the visit, when to eat, etc. and the package provides a route incuding when to use FASTPASS (the “no wait timed tickets”). The software’s “goal is to minimize the amount of waiting and walking someone does at Disney’s theme parks.”

OK, so when will Disney offer real time wait info, just like traffic info for the highway? Folks pay $18.95 for RideMax, what would they pay for real time info?

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/24 at 06:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The New York Times reports that NASA changed its mission statement back in February to remove this clause: “To understand and protect our home planet.” It now reads: “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.” Suggestions have been made that it was changed to reflect the current administration’s interest in manned space flight and its interest in moving away from the global warming issue.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/24 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Two weeks ago we asked about the time readers spend in a virtual 3D environment, for work or play. Forty two responses broke down this way:

7%  >10 hours
14%  5-10 hours
16%  some minutes to 5 hours
63%  none at all

This week on to how we, as GIS professionals, use mapping portals. The latest thought, from Greg Sterling, is that most end users go to the big mapping portals only for directions, not for local search or other tools. Is that true of us geofolks? Vote on the lower right hand side of the main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/24 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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