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Thursday, July 27, 2006

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

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
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