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Friday, April 14, 2006

Readers of this blog, Directions Magazine and other publications poo-poo press releases now and again. I’m first to admit my mixed feelings about them and have gotten comfortable with our “post the release yourself subject to our approval” policy at Directions.

But, I have to be realistic, that’s how news gets made. Case in point: GOS wins an Excellence.Gov award.

That “news” was posted at this very blog on Feburary 16 based on information from a publication that covers government news, Public CIO. There actually was a press release on the five awards given on February 15, but that was not picked up the geo press.

On Wednesday of this week, ESRI, the technology company that put together the portal, put out a release on the award. The release is reprinted on several sites in the geospatial online press.

My point here is that if we the press only listen to what the PRs say, we the press miss a lot, and so do you, the readers.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/14 at 09:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

USA Today’s coverage of CTIA includes this tidbit about how the Luxor (that’s the pyramid one, right?) will use cell phones:

Under a deal Sprint announced with the Luxor Las Vegas Hotel, when you land in the city and turn on your cell phone, the Luxor can check you in before you exit the plane.

During your stay, you might get mobile coupons for discounted meals, show tickets and other offers. Using the phone’s GPS capabilities, the Luxor can see if you are off the hotel premises and tailor mobile promotions to lure you back.

I think this is wise all around. Sprint will be able to gently introduce those afraid of LBS or hesitant in a single location. When they go home, hopefully, the Luxor will leave them alone. “What happens in Vegas…”

The Luxor will, at least for now, have a unique offering and perhaps lure its guests to stay at the casino. On the other hand, another deal in Vegas, to allow phone purchases of Monorail tickets, may lure them away.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/14 at 08:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 13, 2006

CNN published maps today of Iraq’s population distribution. The maps are based on 2002 data from various sources such as the CIA World Fact Book, US Census International Database, Columbia University and others. The maps provide an encapsulated look at the general population but also the Kurdish population distribution and the distribution by religious affiliation (Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd) which shows where a certain majority of each occurs.

If you are looking for other sources, you might try the,, and the National Geographic’s MapMachine.


by Joe Francica on 04/13 at 02:43 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bentley Systems announced a new program for municipalities that would significantly reduce the cost of ownership for a suite of software solutions in geospatial technology. Based on population, a municipality can obtain the entire Bentley suite of software under a single licencing agreement called the Municipal Licensing Subscription (MLS). For example, a municipality of approximately 20,000 people can sign on to the MLS agreement for about $20K…again roughly $1 per person. For cities of 4.5 million or more, the fee is $425K. Bentley’s objective is to achieve better interoperability when a customer needs to step from design/build to asset management…said another way, from civil engineering and construction to geospatial applications of planning and asset management.

Styli Camateros, Bentley’s VP of product marketing said that "Municipalities are really owner assets of diverse assets…I think we have forgotten that we have created a lot of friction between those who design the assets and those who manage the assets. We should be creating software and creating models that can do facilities management from the same model." So, when a customer who is engaged in an engineering project now needs GIS technology, they can obtain the software without additional administrative licensing fees. The Bentley website has more information about the MLS program.


by Joe Francica on 04/13 at 12:09 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The trend of mapping site traffic going up continues, according to comScore Media Metrix. An article at iMedia details the trends including a full 19% increase in traffic to mapping sites this year over the same time last year. The order of the top players remains the same: MapQuest, Yahoo, Google, though the article notes some up and coming sites including with 400% increase of last year.

The only site in the top ten of which I’d never heard: HOMETOWNLOCATOR.COM. It offers: “HTL profiles include census, demographic and income data, parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, hotels, environmental conditions, local newspapers, media outlets, employment, maps, coordinates and aerial photos.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 08:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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