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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Directions Media is collaborating with Autodesk in launching The MapGuide Open, a web mapping contest that utilizes Autodesk’s MapGuide Open Source software. The announcement of the contest was made today and the contest officially opens on March 16th. Using MapGuide Studio, contestants will enter in three categories: Government, Business, and Miscellaneous. Contestants can use their own data or download sample datasets provided by NAVTEQ. The contest ends on May 31st and three winners will be decided in each category by votes cast by vistors to the web map contest gallery of entries between June 1 and June 15, 2006. See the contest home page for the rules and other guidelines.

Those developers wishing to get a head start on the contest can take a workshop given by Autodesk (MapGuide Application Development Made Easy) at the Location Intelligence Conference, April 3-5 in San Francisco. Attendees will receive a $200 discount to the conference if they register using the code: e22196db—AND anyone who attends is entered in a random drawing for a Garmin StreetPilot c340 GPS Navigation Device!

by Joe Francica on 03/07 at 07:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tenlinks hosts a press release noting that the huge Canadian firm will buy assets of Michigan-based Taylor Technologies. Taylor is know in the geospatial arena as the folks behind mPower Integrator once known as Rapid Integration Toolkit which enables quick implementation of MapGuide or ArcIMS. The release suggests RAND is only interested in the civil and archetectural parts of Taylor Technologies. Taylor recently spun off its geospatial consulting business as mPower Technologies.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/07 at 07:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GCN interviewed Carol Bartz, CEO (soon to step down) of Autodesk, and asked that naive question. Bartz cleaned it up well.

GCN: Autodesk has increasingly incorporated GIS into its products. Is GIS some kind of next-generation killer app that could change the way organizations operate?
Bartz: GIS is not so much of a killer app, but a core technology component for federal agencies. Citizens and federal employees alike have a fundamental need to evaluate multiple data streams and sources in a world-referenced context. We are seeing this demand grow significantly in several key areas including net-centric warfare, where a fully integrated view of the theater of operation is required for decision superiority; disaster preparedness and recovery, where responder teams must rapidly compile location-based data, monitor assets, and make this information available when and where needed during a time of critical crisis; security and threat analysis; and physical property management.

It is no longer good enough for the government IT worker to have GIS data. They need that GIS data to be fully integrated with other types of precision data, such as building infrastructure, polygonal or even video data.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/07 at 07:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Phil Hochmuth, writing in Network World describes how Las Vegas Valley Water District integrates GIS, GPS, wireless to build what many would call an enterprise or integrated soution for managing it infrastructure. (If memory serves, I visited those folks on a site visit with Autodesk two years ago.)

Here’s the odd part, the title of the article is “Wireless mash-up keeps track of Vegas’ pipes.” Wireless mashup? In the text Hochmuth makes this leap:

The LVVWD also is combining its GIS data with its mapping software system, its site-inspection ticket request system and others. The result is similar to popular Web-based mash-ups that combine database, GIS data and mapping software (such as marrying a directory of pizza places with Google Maps).

This is similar in the sense that programmers are using APIs to link software products, but not in the same way that mashups, to my mind, are Web focused on and use Web services.

Webopedia agrees:

The term mash-up refers to a new breed of Web-based applications created by hackers and programmers (typically on a volunteer basis) to mix at least two different services from disparate, and even competing, Web sites.

Wikipedia, too.

A mashup is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/07 at 06:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Howard Butler runs the history of LizardTech from “very proprietary” to “very open.” He’s most happy about the change and sees the company’s choice to be involved with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation as a good sign.

In point of fact competitor ER Mapper started doing the open source dance earlier, but it’s fine if others see the benefit a bit later. Who will follow Autodesk?

I too applaud the company for listening to their developer community and taking a hard look at how they do things.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/07 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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