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Monday, June 05, 2006

The Daily Sentinel (East Texas) reports that the Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center will be open and fully operational by the middle of this month. The center takes its name from the Columbia disaster. The then unnamed center Stephen F. Austin State University served as a key player in managing the locating and collecting of debris after the event in 2003. Government grants after the high exposure helped launch the center.

The center will serve as both a resource in times of natural distaster (it’s ready in time for the start of hurricane season) as well as an economic base in what has not been a high growth area of the state.

Dr. James Kroll, director of the Columbia Center expects there to be eight such centers across that state that are linked to provide support should one “go down.” Could this be part of a national model? Should FEMA or USGS be exploring how this works?

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/05 at 06:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’m getting ready for a road trip of about 1000 miles, so this weekend I was figuring out the route and picking hotels along the way. After working with trusty Google Maps for a while I realized I was using the wrong tool for the job and switched over to Ask.com’s maps.

Why? It’s one of those trips where I need to stop in five different places and try to scope out hotels just out of “big tourist” destinations to keep costs down. Ask.com really came through.

I could create a route to where I was headed and easily pick a town along the way as a potential stopping point. Hotels too expensive? I’d pick another town. It was a bit like using one of those sliding puzzles to get all the pieces correct, but I was master of the puzzle and Ask.com obediantly recalculated the route as I experimented. (Maybe you like an automated program or the travel folks to do this work. I frankly find this fun!) I also liked that I could bookmark the map right from the app, so I could come back to it later.

Maybe other folks like all the floating windows of other apps (Live Local, for example) but I like the simple, “stays put” interface of Ask’s maps. It’s hard to lose anything! If I had one wish for the Ask folks? I need a scale bar, please!

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

Amond those subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating connections between Representative Jerry Lewis and lobbying firm Copeland, Lowery & Jacquez are Riverside County, the Cal State San Bernardino Foundation, San Bernardino County and the city of Redlands reports the (Southern California) Press-Enterprise. The firm has been connected with former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Lewis has not been accused of any wrongdoing at this time.

Other organizations in the region are among the firm’s client list, including the University of Redlands, Loma Linda University Medical Center and ESRI. None of these organizations would say if they’d been served.

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

Bad news on the GeoRSS front, at least from our small sample of 49 respondents. Asked about “knowledge of GeoRSS” 41% had not heard of it, while 22% had. 27% claimed they understood it while just 6% say they use it. 4% noted their involvement in making it a standard. Fear not, there’ll be more on this topic to come.

On to the next poll: What’s the next “big thing” in Web mapping? Cast your vote on our homepage in the lower right corner.

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

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I want to point to a few valuable posts from “my CAD friends” about press releases and company reputation. These are folks who’ve been doing this a long time and are well respected. I urge you marketing folks to take heed.

First up, an analysis by Rachel Dalton-Taggart in her blog on an article highlighting the future of press releases. Read the comments, too!

Second, Evan Yares details of what appears to be an Autodesk created video that appeared, then disappeared from YouTube.com. Evan uses “fair use” to offer stills and tell the video’s story. I’m embarassed when I see respectable companies do this stuff. But then Autodesk has not admitted it created the video, nor did the new CEO, who appears in the video, seem to know about it.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/04 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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