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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Carbon Project, a group offering tools built on Open Geospatial Consortium’s (Full disclosure - I consult to that organization.)  OpenGIS standards just put out a press release. The release is about data available for the area in Australia struck by a cyclone on March 20.

It’s available in “free Geospatial Session Files (GSFs).” GSFs seem to be a type of “project file” (in the old ArcView sense, in that it points to servers) used by free Gaia, the company’s viewer. Says the website: “Please note that you’ll need version 2.0.5 of the free Gaia geospatial web browser to view these files.” The data was collected from “online OpenGIS® map servers accessing data from a variety of Australian and U.S. sources.” 

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 03:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Brian C. Norton notes in a comment at SlashGeo that not only both were acquired by Google, but also that they were funded by CIA via In-Q-Tel. He notes a few more Google might want: metacarta (natural language/document geocoding), spotfire (visual data mining), pixlogic (automated image exploitation, tagging, searching).

I’ll add a few more from the In-Q-Tel portfolio: IDELIX (in context zooming, I’m suprised they’ve not yet been acquired) and Rosum (location determination by TV signals).

It sure was nice for the CIA to fund these companies for Google to buy, isn’t it?

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 01:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The New Mexican has a somewhat rare article not about NAVTEQ capturing data, but rather about Tele Atlas capturing data. That process, at least for highways, involves vans with four cameras, automated image recognition, and direct updates to the database. The driver just drives and makes sure the cameras are not covered with bugs! The company is looking for summer interns to do some of that driving…

One issue that still puzzles me involves not how quickly the updates get from field to Tele Atlas, which is fast:

Comi said he used to make note of inaccuracies and someone would fix them later, but now the company’s system allows him to make changes immediately.

Rather, how are data providers doing in getting quicker updates to clients, say online mapping sites? Has that gotten faster, too?

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/21 at 07:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, March 20, 2006

A couple in New Orleans was arrested and charged with insurance fraud when satellite images revealed the damage to their house occurred after Katrina. The tip off to insurance investigators? The damage didn’t look like other damage, but looked man-made. That inspired a look at imagery at eventually the charge of fraud.

The article in the Times-Picayune does not say whose imagery was used but a statement referring to “patches of rooftop as small as 2 square feet” makes me think its DigitalGlobe imagery. The intersting piece of information from a geospatial business perspetive is that while insurance investigators can look at imagery before and after Katrina from many sources for free on the Internet (courtesy of the commercial satellite companies and government agencies) they must purchase hard copy prints to be used in court as evidence. So, there is some payback for the “good will” of the commercial players. Of course investigators need to look at the savings in terms of the cost to determine if such prosecutions will continue.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/20 at 08:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Google Earth is becoming a sort of home page for geospatial data and related files.”

Thomas Claburn, writing in InformationWeek, about Google Earth and recent developments such as Bentley’s KML out tools, the acquisition of SketchUp, etc. Does this mean Geospatial One-Stop is not that home page?

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/20 at 08:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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