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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

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

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ok, that title is a bit misleading but so is the one on the artilce I read: “An RFID solution to rush hour headaches?” In fact the reduction is due to fees; how they are paid may or may not have anything to do with it.

Drivers are encouraged to put an RFID chip on their windshield so to automatically pay when travelling on city roads during peak hours. Those without the chip have their license plates captured by cameras and are sent bills that can be paid on the Internet on at 7-Eleven. I guess they are ubiquitous in Sweden? And, wow, that’s a good gig to get. Gotta believe folks will grab a coffee, soda or whatever when paying their bills.

I’ve always been a proponent of a slightly different tactic - make gasoline really, really expensive.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 12:55 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Last Thursday night Microsoft began the announced move to “turn off” its “old” Maps and Directions website, aka, MapPoint. Users to that URL (http://mappoint.msn.com/) are now redirected to Live Local. But, if they want, users can still use the old interface for a while. Says the new welcome message:

What Happened to Maps & Directions?
You’ve been redirected to our new maps site, Windows Live Local. From here, getting driving directions and searching for addresses or local information is easy.

Not ready to switch to the new maps and enhanced printing options? You can still use the old MSN Maps and Directions Web site.

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