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Thursday, June 22, 2006

GCN offers up a detailed account of the state of DHS, FEMA and online mapping. Quoted are reps from NSGIC, URISA and other organizations. NSDI is even mentioned. Still, details are few and the overall vision is not clear to me.

Though some experts say the two terms [disaster response and hazard mitigation] have become almost synonymous, geospatial technology is generally regarded as going beyond the now-familiar marriage of electronic maps and data of geographic information systems by adding more sophisticated analysis.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/22 at 09:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The debate in Huntsville Texas over whether to get a new flyover for $190,000 is perhaps indicative of the challenges facing aerial imagery and GIS companies. Consider this statement from the mayor:

We have three surveying crews that work 40 hours a week, and we have access to other options. We have other options, so why not explore those other options.

I’m all for exploring other options, including one suggesting the area may have already been flown in recent years. I’m also pleased the paper published comments from both sides. These will help all of us in the industry better understand how to position our offerings. The motion to fund the contract did pass 5-4.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/21 at 06:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The local TV station touts MapWindow, free GIS software written by Idaho State grad students. The description of MapWindow is forward-looking: “The software is called MapWindow GIS, it is part of the world wide Geographic Information System.” I love the idea that one day we’ll have a single world wide system of systems (GSDI).

Map Windows G-I-S started as an alternative for people who were interested in this technology, but who didn’t want to pay for expensive software.

The software had its 10,000 download in April and is described by a student as offering “the ability to do scientific analysis on a map.” The desktop software/control and other tools are open source and supported, by among others, NOAA.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/21 at 05:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An article in the Georgetown Kentucky paper reports that while most schools do not have enough up to date computers to meet student/computer ration requirements, students are doing many technology projects. Among the technologies mentioned: GIS, GPS, creation of virtual tours, podcasts. That’s good news for the growth of the geospatial workforce. Other good news: “the approval of a $50 million bond dedicated to updating schools’ technology.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/21 at 05:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two “lab” stories this week prompt me to add to my list of “must do’s” for those offering new Web 2.0 APIs.

The first requirement is to have a contest. I was being a bit flippant about this in the past since I thought it was being over done. I have to be honest; it’s not a bad idea. And, one which got SRC some quick press with a 15 minute mashup (or should I say Dashup) contest recently.

The second is to have a lab. Google has a Lab where new experimental project boil and gurgle until they come out in beta for some or all to see. MetaCarta announced its lab recently. James Fee respectfully asks if ESRI will soon have a lab. And, Search Engine Watch today notes Zillow.com’s new Zillow Lab.

The lab idea works very well in the context of one of Tim O’Reilly’s rules of Web 2.0. Recall this one: experiment. I hope we’ll see more labs opening soon. Gee, even Web publications should have labs for experimental stuff…

Update:6/21/06 Just read about Autodesk Labs!

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/20 at 09:01 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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