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Monday, June 19, 2006

FCW.com covers the Center for Disease Control’s BioSense program to gain insight into federal use of data mining. Among the issues are privacy and the nature of the term data mining.

GAO defines data mining as the application of database technology and techniques to uncover hidden patterns and subtle relationships in data and infer rules that allow for the prediction of future results. [Linda] Koontz [information management issues director at the Government Accountability Offices] said she doesn’t understand why data mining has a negative connotation. “Analysis is not evil,” she said.

I suppose this strong reaction to “data mining” is worth noting. GIS practitioners, in my experience, use the term “anaysis” far more than “data mining.”

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

The timing is right to highlight the new Canadian stamp to be unveiled at the end of the month at GeoTec. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of The Atlas of Canada, which is now available online. If you missed it, a recent Directions article highlighted Canada’s contributions to open source GIS.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/19 at 07:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

FCW.com reports on FEMA’s use of IT for allocating funds after Katrina. While some IT checks helped weed fraud, others didn’t quite work out. Case in point, alas, GIS.

The agency’s poor use of IT included over-reliance in some cases and failure to use it at all in others. In one instance that GAO documented, FEMA relied on geospatial mapping to support a claim of $4,706 in rental assistance to undercover GAO inspectors who listed their address as a vacant lot. In that case, FEMA could have sent someone to the site to verify the authenticity of the claim, GAO concluded.

I supposed this is simply a reminder that technology in and of itself is not good or bad, but can be used well or misused. FEMA condemned this and other errors and has stated its new system will prevent them in the future.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/19 at 07:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Herald Journal bends over backwards to report on E. coli concentrations in White County, Indiana. The good news: none will shut down summer swimming and boating areas. The bad news: concentrations vary quite a bit and narrative description is difficult to understand. The good news: the county has a GIS and working on identifying problem sewage areas.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/19 at 06:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The headline “County to share mapping with state” in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review speaks to Armstrong County in Pennsylvania agreeing to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Topographic and Geological Survey to continue the development of PAMAP.

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