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Monday, March 06, 2006

CityBloc was announced via a press release today:

What if you could go to one site and view information on more than 20,000 US cities, counties and towns? What if you could view an interactive map of that community and even view a zoom-able satellite image? How much time and energy could a site like that save?

And, that’s just about what you find. However, the mashup, at least for me, adds little to the combination of sources. The maps are from Google; the data from Wikipedia. The “nearest cities”? I’m not sure how those are determined. The ads are from all over. I was suprised to find the “about” menu pick was not available. I suspect it answers these questions.

This seems to be a site that wants to make money from ads. My sense is that there is not enough there to entice people back.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 06:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I mentioned the Virtual Earth development contest aligned with Virtual Earth Madness and Via Virtual Earth last week. The rules are posted - well, they are sort of posted. You can hear them (with slides) in SWF or WMV or download a PPT (zipped)... what ever happened to HTML? It’s a five minute clip with the word “fantastic” in it quite a lot.


Runs - Feb 28- April 1; Submit by midnight to Thom Robbins
Criteria - creativity, useful, imagination
Judges - from MS and commuity including Dr. Neil from Via Virtual Earth, “community directed contest” with prizes and will “get noticed”
Fine print - must register at Via Virtual Earth, participation in forum may yield “spot prizes,” no commercial apps, must submit all code (will eventually be shared)
Grand prize - Xbox360

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

Alan Glennon at Virtual Globes got the word from NGA that a new report is publicly available that lists the NGA’s research priorities.

It’s titled “Priorities for GEOINT Research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency” and is free from the National Academies Press.

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

The Office of Management and Budget in a memo dated March 3 (last Friday) will require major federal agencies to designate a senior official to oversee geospatail activities. (The memo was provided to GCN, which broke the story.) The hope is that having such individuals will help agencies take better advantage of geospatial investments and reduce costs.

The individuals may be CIOs and must be at least at the assistant secretary level. Further, the appointments must be made within 45 days. A similar position was required to oversee privacy issues.

Two things strike me about this move:

(1) What prompted it? Perhaps the situation at USGS? Perhaps the added funding for geospatial in the new budget? Maybe the framework recently designated for DHS?

(2) These individuals could be key in getting many of the federal programs to “work for them.” I say this considering how NSGIC (essentially a group of individuals doing this sort of work for their states) offers advice to its members and to the federal government. I’ll even go so far as to suggest NSGIC invite these individuals to see how it works.

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

In the interest of national security, I ask, where’s the beef? It seems that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is whoefully behind its Canadian bretheren in pushing cattle owners to place RFID tags on livestock. However, the USDA announced last Friday guidelines for the next phase of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The program is still voluntary and does not require RFID tags, at least not until 2008. Now, if there is anything that could threaten the security of every nation, it seems food, not to mention water, would be at the top of the list for funding. Even with our friends in the hamburger business, like McDonald’s, trying to steer (sic) things in the right direction, there’s no great urgency to prod the cattle owners to follow their herd.

by Joe Francica on 03/06 at 05:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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