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Thursday, May 18, 2006

“For that amount you could pay for every map from here to Tokyo.”

Councilor John O. Matson of Hopkinton, RI on the proposal to hire a “Graphic Information System (or GIS) director” at a cost of $15,120.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 06:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Public Technology notes that the BCS (“Established in 1957, the British Computer Society (BCS) is the leading body for those working in IT “) now has a “GIS” group called the BCS Geospatial Specialists Group.

I suppose that’s another indication of the growth of the field. Also interesting, this professional group is part of a larger IT organization. Here in the US we tend to have our own organizations (GITA, URISA, ASPRS), away from IT.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 06:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Inland Empire is that part of southern California that includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties, home of ESRI. The New York Times article profiles a few smaller businesses before it gets around to ESRI. The segment on the company concludes:

Now it is about to start what Mr. Dangermond calls its “biggest effort ever,” an interactive Internet edition of its geographic information systems. Customers, he says, “will post their specific applications on the global system, creating a cumulative, growing base of knowledge.”

First off, I have to appologize to those to whom I spoke this week at the Pennsylvania GIS conference. There I noted that you didn’t read about ESRI in that (or other) major papers. Second, I have to note that ESRI, even in these couched terms for the public, continues to push ArcGIS Explorer, which will sure be part of this new shared database of data and services. Third, it’s important to note that neither Google, nor Microsoft, nor any other new player is mentioned alongside ESRI suggesting its in another league, in addition to being in another geography.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 06:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"A bare knuckles brawl," is how Joe Astroth, vice president of Autodesk Location Services described the competition for location-based services (LBS) platform tools and services. But his division at Autodesk is winning business as it did just recently in securing Disney Mobile as a customer for its LocationLogic platform. Disney Mobile will begin to offer services in June 2006 and will operate as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) by licensing frequency spectrum from Sprint.

When asked why cellular operators have more recently started to launch LBS applications, Astroth said, "Carriers run in a herd." But he offered other reasons why the LBS marketplace is heating up. "In LBS, handsets had to be there, and it took a long time; graphics had to be appealing; keyboards and text entry had to get better…bigger than that is ubiquitous broadband," said Astroth. He mention that just as growth in the internet was the result of getting beyond the 56K download speeds, the same inflection point is occuring with LBS in that broadband availability can now support many LBS applications. In addition, Astroth feels there is a deeper understanding about location-smart devices that is creating consumer demand.

And Astroth confirmed that there is no truth to the rumor that Autodesk Location Services is going away anytime soon.

by Joe Francica on 05/17 at 03:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An Information Week blog notes that after Apple cut the price of iBooks for Maine public schools, Google jumped in to give goodies, too:

So Google, ever committed to organizing the world’s information, has decided to donate Google Earth and SketchUp Pro for installation on every public-school computer in the state.

The article notes how this would annoy Microsoft. Anyone else?


by Adena Schutzberg on 05/17 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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