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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping yesterday posted maps of the county and the world on its website (Chinese only) in order to respond to a wealth of what might be called “bad maps.” A Bureau survey last fall found that of more than 1,000 map websites visited, 256 portals providing incorrect information.  I wonder if this will help correct those with errors?
via China Daily

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 10:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This just struck me as funny. The title of the press release from Modulo Security reads:

Modulo Security Launches New Compliance and Risk Management Solutions at Microsoft Event in Boston

But in the text it notes the product’s (Check-up Tool) new features:

Georeferenced View of Risks - Map providing a georeferenced view of risks (using Google Earth) to allow identification of risk indexes in geographically distributed organization units.



by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 10:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I get e-mails now and again asking for suggestions for interesting speakers for GIS conferences. Here’s a fellow, who I don’t know, but who I think would be really interesting as a speaker.

Pitt School of Information Sciences Research Professor Bob Regan just finished a book called The Bridges of Pittsburgh. He used GIS to map all the bridges and includes many photos of the bridges by Tim Fabian. Here’s the interesting part: it turns out that Pittburgh has more bridges (446) than Venice (443). Venice hold the title as“The City of Bridges.” And, the book asserts, that the city has the greatest variety of bridges including foot-bridges, beam, arch, and suspension bridges. The city does not have any drawbridges (the last shut down in since 1926) nor a toll bridge (about which residents are overjoyed, I’m sure!)

via Pitt Chronicle

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 09:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In a sponsored sales pitch for Gateway at Government Technology, is this curious quote about a SMART Board, from Gordon Eaken, director of Information Systems for the Village of Hoffman Estates, Ill.

We connect it [the SMART Board] to our network and project our GIS system onto it, so if there’s an incident in the village, we can get aerial photos of our village and drill down to look at the buildings on the SMART Board. The GIS also will snap pictures of the incident as people are deployed. You can capture those JPEGs so you essentially have a pictorial history of the event.

Ok, so there’s some confusion about what the GIS does, which is understandable. The SMART Board, is pretty cool, and isn’t from Gateway, but from a company called SMART Technologies. (Intel is an investor in SMART.) It’s a white board that hosts a laptop’s projected graphic output, and allows the operator to control the laptop by touching the board. I used one in a demo aimed at GIS in education some years ago. I think some members of the panel watching were more interested in the hardware than the software we were showing on it!

Also, I appreciate GovTech giving this byline to the “article.”

The Power to Do More
July 2006 Sponsored by Gateway


by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 09:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The New York Times highlights the vision for HP Services, the arm of the company offering services. It’s not raised much money since a single big contract with Proctor and Gamble. The vision for HP overall to make more money, says the article includes: selling more notebooks and handhelds to enterprises, selling more printers and services to the that group, and selling automated data centers, which it would build, to manage all that stuff with fewer people.

That sounds like a good plan to leverage the different parts of the company. Recall that this sort of offering was tried in GIS by Intergraph in past. As hardware for GIS became more of a commodity, the company moved out out of hardware, save its digital imaging offerings (DMC, for example). Other GIS companies used to partner with workstation hardware vendors (when I was at ESRI, our office had one of every box on which ArcInfo ran) but now the hardware partnerships seem to focus on mobile devices, especially GPS and survey instruments from what I see.

That makes sense considering the change in focus to these devices and the Web in recent years. It’s hard to imagine specialized GIS hardware and software being offered by a single consulting player in these days of “spatial is not special.” On the other hand, the partnerships of the past and special hardware deals they begat seem a thing of the past.

What is the new model for packaging hardware with GIS services, software and data? Who is taking it on?

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 09:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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