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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Just like the rest of the media, Wired is running a whole series of articles listing the top this and that of 2005. Most are fun to read, I admit. Here I want to pull out a few points that relate to the geospatial world.

1) Among the Best and Worst Pundutry Wired notes that IDC predicted “the PC market would grow by 10 percent in 2005 (which appears on track, thanks to strong notebook sales) and that RFID deployments would accelerate (true, though not as quickly as many industry analysts expected).”

2) Among the Most Predictable Stories of 2005 Wired finds Google Maps.

Google Maps: In retrospect, how did anyone bear using MapQuest’s clunky interface, and why didn’t we all realize that dragging a map would feel so good?

Of course, the geniuses at Google recognized that every American’s birthright includes not only a search engine that works, but also online maps complete with Ajax goodness, satellite views and adorable pushpins.

There are bunch of Microsoft lists out there, but I have yet to find Virtual Earth/Live Local on any of them. Hmmm.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/28 at 12:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Stefan at Ogle Earth is having a field day correcting an article describing how Google (as opposed to its suppliers) decides which imagery of Israel is sharing. An article by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times (she’s behind a paid wall that I guess I get past since I do pay the Times some money each year, if you pay, you can read it here) notes that after the whole snooping discussion last week, readers wrote to explain how Google changed imagery from showing Washington buildings to those that hide them. The Times later ran a correction noting that the original imagery had not been changed and in particular that Dick Cheney’s house was still not visible.

There’s sure a lot of FUD on the Google Earth front. Will is lessen its popularity? Nope, rather it will increase it!

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/28 at 08:54 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Smithosonian Magazine (reprinted in OCRegister, free registration required, and here with no registration needed from AP) has an interesting article on landscape archaeology, “one of the field’s hottest disciplines, combining satellite imagery (including declassified spy photos from the 1960s) with Global Positioning System data to tease out a landscape’s hidden details, such as long-buried roads and canal systems.”

One of the challenges? Getting permission to get the low level aerial imagery required.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/28 at 08:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In Arkansas, Girls Going Global (Guard), a 4-H program will focus on teaching girls 13-19 about GIS and GPS. Grant money is from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.

[Program designer] Williams said it’s important for girls to learn how to use GPS and GIS for a variety of reasons. “GPS and GIS technologies are rapidly growing innovations,” Williams said. “Both of these technologies are currently incorporated in our cards, telephones and our general way of life. For girls to be prepared for the workforce, they need to know how to use these technologies.”

I have no problem with this sort of program, but note that boys need to learn this stuff too!

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/28 at 07:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Mike at TechDirt (which I’m growing to like more and more on the time, and you’ll learn why below) addresses issues raised by Om Malik on his blog material being lifted and reprinted on other blogs. Bottom line says Mike, “fuggettaboutit.” As a person who writes for a living I have a strong feeling about copyright misuse, but blogs are to me anyway a new world. In fact, an entire post of mine was reprinted yesterday and I really didn’t care.

What Mike brought out for me was that blogs that reprint or consolidate blog enties (like SlashGeo) are a different animal than those that find/create/add value to content. He explains in response to the argument that those who do reprint are “taking money” from the original sites: “The people who would find such content interesting almost definitely are reading the original sources, and will know immediately that the site in question is ripping people off. ” I’d perhaps say it this way: those who are seriously into a topic read the top blogs in that industry. Those who have cursory interest read aggregated ones. (That’s likely true of in depth analytical writing and headline sites, too.) Only the “good” aggregators stay in business, because they add value as good filters (I got my start in Web writing at such a site, tenlinks.com). Core blogs (that “find/create/add value to content”) get most of their traffic/best comments/most referals from the hard core readers.

Let me use myself as an example. I’m a GIS weenie. I read lots of GIS blogs. I don’t spend much time reading the aggregators (SlashGeo/Planet Geospatial) because I’ve already culled out the best blogs for me and don’t need their help. I’m not a general technology weenie so I read but two tech blogs - Slashdot and TechDirt. I count on them to fish out the stuff I need to know and if they miss something, I’m ok with that. I have to believe there are those only vaguely interested in GIS who read the geo aggregators and might eventually get to APB that way.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/28 at 07:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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