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Monday, June 26, 2006

Perhaps the BBC’s advertising company, BBDO New York, wanted to take advantage of the recent interest in maps and therefore added a BBC World Map to editions of NewsDay and The Financial Times. If I have my geography right, the former is in New York, the latter, London.

NewsDay notes some confusion from its readership. The map, of which I can’t find an image, apparently had photographs pushed into the shapes of countries. The paper reports:

Seema Kotecha, head of marketing for BBC World, said the map has nothing to do with geography and is actually images relating to world news issues, shaped in the form of countries. On one side of Thursday’s map, she said, is a worker carrying chickens with bird flu. The other side is an image of rioters, which reflects the recent Paris student uprising.

New Yorkers called the paper to ask about the point of the ad. Others thought they’d stolen the map, not realizing it was an ad tucked into the paper. The goal?

The purpose of the map - which carried the slogan “news beyond your borders” - was to convey BBC World’s goal of providing international news.

If nothing else, the BBC is getting extra free advertising from the confusion!

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/26 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 23, 2006

Democratic New York Attorney-General Eliot Spitzer is running for governor of that state. A recent ad shows images of the state, including Niagara Falls. Alas, the images are of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. One opponent did significant geographic research and determined the Falls in question are indeed in Canada. So, to have a good laugh, opponent in the Democratic primary Thomas Suozzi’s staff wrote a song about the incident: O Candidate based on, that’s right, O Canada.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/23 at 07:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A seenteen year old from Massachusetts won a recent business plan competition with his work on Speed-Demon. Jonathan “Jon” Fischer, from Lunenburg, Mass will be a senior come fall and offered a product/service that uses a small dashboard black box to track teen drivers. The portable device can then be plugged into a computer for mapping via Google’s mapping tools (I suspect Google Maps, but the press release doesn’t say). Savvy marketer Fischer puts success as a business first (he’s already got a patent pending) but notes the device is also aimed at opening a dialog between parents and teens.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/23 at 07:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This quote from underwater archaeologist Clive Cussler describes how he hopes to find the Bonhomme Richard, the battleship that sank under John Paul Jones.

Coupling a drift model technology with what’s called geographical information systems, the charts, wreck lists, snags and hangs, and being able to put everything together into one computer program enables you to better recognize patterns.

Stories like this highlight that “just putting dots on a map” is not the be all and end all of geographic analysis. And, I have to say there’s been a bit of a run on stories on GIS in archeology of late in one the Web and in the blogosphere.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/23 at 07:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Christian Science Monitor offers an article highlighting the use of before and after satellite imagery to document, and in the future, ideally to prevent, human rights abuses.

A foundation grant and technical help from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington could speed its use. The effort has been under way since this past December, when the MacArthur Foundation handed the AAAS a $110,000 check to help human rights groups use commercial satellite images to document abuses.

The article notes work in Chad, Zimbabwe, India and Burma. This is not whiz bang fly around for fun work; this is saving lives type of work. I was pleased to see the projects are “using archived images that a pair of companies are making available for free.” How else might the geospatial community help? Is this something GIS Corps or other philanthropic groups could address?

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/22 at 01:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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