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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google apparently is going to offer an online spreadsheet program (NYT). My first thought: another tool to provide data for mashups.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/06 at 05:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 05, 2006

We recieved an e-mail today touting availability of PublicRoutes.com, a site to map and get around NYC on public and other transit. (It’s build on MapTuit, so far as I can tell.)

A very quick look was disappointing (it’s not multi-modal and doesn’t even support busses yet) but had one highlight: the map data had this copyright notice: “© 2006 Tele Atlas,Rel. 05/2006”

Does that mean, as I suspect “data from Tele Atlas released as of 5/2006”? Does it mean I’ll know when the data is updated again? The notice is linked but alas only gives the terms of use. I hoped for more metadata. Still, this is a start and is the first such note I’ve seen in the wild!

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/05 at 09:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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
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