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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I saw a mention of a “coming soon” interactive map that will accompany a long term investigation of how pharmacies in Indianapolis manage personal medical information in its garbage. Turns out, not so well. The map will show which pharmacies do a good and not so good job and protecting personal info in the trash. That got me to thinking that any good modern journalism degree should have at least a few class on onine mapping, and thus some basics of cartography.

I’m guessing most programs do. Evidence? This yearsnominees for the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism include online maps. Specifically, two of the seven honorees involve maps. was developed by the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune with the goal of minimizing hurricane and tropical storm damage upon the local communities. Using public records and a real-time weather alerts map, the Web site helps readers research which buildings are at risk in their community, and to report actual damages should they occur. Web site users can also access a database surveying the past 155 years of hurricane activity and the damage it wrought.

U.S. Congress Votes Database is a user-friendly Web site developed by Readers are able to track and research every recorded vote enacted by the houses of Congress since January 1991, and then sort the data according to several indicators, including particular legislators, states, and/or political parties. The site also contains an interactive map that monitors Congressional races, as well as a separate link to campaign finance information.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/26 at 10:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Mountain View Google Wi-Fi map shows not only where the nodes are, but where service is not available. (Google asks folks who want to host a node, to contact the company.) The map is of course built on Google Maps.

Google still needs to learn about legends (you don’t write Legend on the map! My cart professor would have your head!) and metadata (what’s the date of this map?) but I do give the company credit for eating its own dogfood (using its own technology) and being open about the state of Wi-Fi.

- via Network World Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/26 at 10:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share, a news service for the public sector in the UK highlights a new mapping tool that locates handicapped parking spots (Blue Badge) and accessible gas stations across the UK. The website offers an intuitive interface and this statement, clearly aimed at the geographically well-educated population.

On the largest scale map click on the icons to find:

number of spaces
any applicable restrictions and exceptions

I can’t tell the underlying technology, but the URLs do have service=WMS in them…and you can do live panning like in Google Maps. Very nice!

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/26 at 09:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here’s one definition from a column in the Belfast Telegraph about a possible nuclear facility in Pakistan seen via satellite images.

The pictures are the latest example of what could be termed the “Google Earth effect” – the way in which commercially available satellite photographs are making what were once state secrets open knowledge.

A Wired article from March uses the term this way.

DigitalGlobe’s Herring says more uses of imagery will be discovered in years to come.

He’s optimistic about the prospects in light of the “Google Earth effect”: The more people view geo-spatial imagery, the more they incorporate it into how they visualize their surroundings.

Is that the Google Earth effect? Is it something more? Is it different for different people, i.e., in the “eye of the beholder?” If so, what exactly is the Google Earth effect for us in the geospatial industry? Or, is not that important to what we do, such that we can dismiss it?

I was suprised to find just a handful of references the “effect” on the Web. Perhaps that’s not to be the name for this effect?

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/25 at 07:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“I wouldn’t be all that surprised if it turns out that there is no [comprehensive, digital] map of roads in [Russia].”

Vladimir Dolgov, the head of Google’s fledgling operation in Russia on the challenge of bringing all of Google’s products to Russia.

- Moscow Times via Russia Profile

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/25 at 06:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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