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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Some quotes from the State of the States Panel at NEGIS 2006

“We serve up the data via Open GIS standards for anyone who’s not using ESRI.”
Dan Walters, State of Maine (Alas, that’s quite correct. He did note that many towns in his state are in fact selecting other solutions.)

“Data is all that really matters.”
Christian Jacqz, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Indeed!)

“In our state Data Mapper we call the data layers ‘themes’ with apologies to xxx.”
Fay Rubin, State of NH (Can you fill in the blank? Why appologies? Does someone have a copyright on that term?)

“We use data standards we blantanly stole from MassGIS.”
John Stachelhaus, State of Rhode Island (“Only please to call it ‘research’!)

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/10 at 08:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Gary at Resource Shelf shares this latest route atlas from Amtrak:

“The Route Atlas is an interactive map that allows travelers to explore all the places Amtrak goes. Travelers can search by station or route; or by plotting custom routes to see the various options Amtrak offers between any two stations.” You’ll need Macromedia Flash to use the atlas.

I can’t tell the underlying technology, but am disappointed that once you find a route, you can’t book a reservation. Hopefully, that’s the next step. Macromedia called the site of day - for May 10. Amtrak was so proud they noted that on May 9!

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/10 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, May 08, 2006

General Michael Hayden was nominated today for the Director of the CIA by President Bush. Directions Magazine’s senior editor Hal Reid covered General Hayden’s remarks at the 2004 GEOINT Conference in New Orleans. He identifies some of the current problems of intelligence data gathering as "cultural, technological and existential."

by Joe Francica on 05/08 at 08:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

As has been the case for as long as I can recall, Pictometry gets all its PR done via editorial. It started in local papers, but now that its a big time company providing imagery to Microsoft, it can get the AP to tell its story. Among the tidbits in today’s installment:

The company now employs 105 people, is profitable and boasts a perennial doubling of sales that could top $100 million by 2008. It has been showered with calls from Wall Street this year about going public public.


Beginning in June, under a five-year licensing deal with Microsoft, visitors will be able to order Pictometry’s close-ups of individual homes for $3 each, neighbourhood-size tracts for $6 and square-mile panoramas for up to $25.

The article goes on to note that there are no details of the deal between Microsoft and Pictometry and references the “newly evolving ‘visual GPS’ category of online mapping.”

The article, save the additional facts on selling images, is strangely like one I noted in this blog published on April 1 of this year. I find that “interesting.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 05/08 at 07:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At last week’s press conference my colleague Hal Reid asked if the newly acquired Vexcel team would be working with the SQL Server team. The response was a less than stellar “oh we can have you speak to that team.” I suspect others on the call thought it an odd question. I didn’t.

I’m not sure if Reid was thinking of storage or image recognition issues, but he was 100% on target, as Barbara Darrow writes at CRN in her coverage of the Vexcel acquisition.

Last month, Paul Flessner, Microsoft’s senior vice president of data and storage platforms, said one priority is expanding the current data store and database functions to handle not just text and tables, but images and sounds.

One stumbling block thus far has been a weakness in pattern- and image- recognition algorithms. That is an area to be addressed by third parties, and/or by Microsoft itself, he noted.


Data stores and databases will have to be redesigned or retrofitted to handle these content-rich data types and make them searchable on more than text tags, observers said. In Microsoft’s case, the ability to handle that data and search it will come in the “Katmai” timeframe. Katmai is the next-gen SQL Server, expected by sources to debut in 2008.

Also note that just last week Overwatch acquired pattern recognition experts Visual Learning Systems. That’s the next frontier for folks like Microsoft to pursue. Look for more interest in companies with that sort of expertise.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/08 at 07:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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