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Monday, December 04, 2006

I run marathons. I train using a GPS. It’s great.

Now, for those who prefer more aggressive sports comes news that GPS is helping make those sports safer. GPSs carried on rugby and soccer players that track speed and acceleration show that players are going faster and slamming into each other with significant force. How to reduce injuries?

Training now needed to be targeted to mimic the actions players needed to perform during games and, in some cases, the rules also needed to be changed to slow them down.

“It reinforces to us the link between slowing the game down and slowing players down and reducing the chance of acute injuries during that game, particularly high speed collision injuries,” he [Professor Kevin Norton of sports educational institution Sports Knowledge Australia] said.

The results of Norton’s study will be shared at a seminar in Sydney this week.

- The West Australian

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 08:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I have to admit that had I not heard several reports from the BBC, I’d not have known last Friday was World AIDS Day. GIS it turns out is in the mix of tools to treat those infected.

In countries like Tanzania, DHS [Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) project, with primary funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)] staff is using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to help plan the location of HIV prevention and care programs. Researchers use GIS to map where HIV positive people live in relation to health care services, national borders, major highways, and trucking routes. This detailed picture contributes to a better understanding of the epidemic, and how to slow its spread.

This is good to know. I spent too many years listening to Peter Gould (one of my professors at Penn State) lament that, back in the 1980s he couldn’t get detailed enough data (due to reporting and privacy rules) to model the spread in detail. What he did acquire was key to his book, The Slow Plague.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share offers up a perspective on CAD outsourcing from a Filipino architect named Joel Francisco (yes, I did a double take there) based in Hawaii. In short, he likes it - it’s 1/3 the cost of U.S. practioners. The piece goes on quote Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk VP of ISD, who raised the workforce issue at Autodesk University last week.

“There is a lack of qualified personnel in the industry, so the private and public sectors are outsourcing more and more. There is a baby boomer problem among qualified engineers who use Autodesk, and that problem is not going away. The Autodesk baby boomer users are retiring and Asia is filling in the jobs.”

That means rising sales for Autodesk in the region. The article goes on:

However, Autodesk laments that many users are still stuck with simple CAD processes instead of integrating them with geographic information systems (GIS). Traditionally, users have two data sets for both CAD and GIS and Autodesk is showing the market how to integrate the two.

AutoCAD Map was announced, if memory serves, in 1995. It’s nearly 2007. MGE, Intergraph’s CAD-based GIS dates back further. Integrating CAD and GIS is not easy, but today’s products are far easier to use than the earlier versions. Uptake, based on the quote above, is still a work in progress.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Eagle Tribune reports that Andover, a town north of Boston known for big homes and green lawns, expects to begin charging $75 per CD of GIS data, $100 for a DVD, something local towns typically do not do. The main requests for data, considered to be from “the most extensive” GIS in the region, with aerial imagery from 1998(!), come from “physical engineers,” says the article. By law towns can’t make money off the data, but many charge to cover the cost of creating the CDs. For example:

Chelsea $50 to $100
Newton $50 to $100
Weymouth $50 to $100
Andover $75 (proposed)
Cambridge $75
Amherst $50
Wellesley $50
Concord $35
Falmouth $35
Natick $25
Reading $25
Wayland $25
Newburyport $3

Out in the western part fo the state, in Amherst, news of an $80,000 grant from ESRI and Stratus have GIS updates plans in motion. Amherst will received one of 10 grants from the program, which offered a total of $814,000. The Republican reports, “the money will pay for computer software and hardware that will take the town’s Web-based GIS to the next level, allowing for Web-based data editing and advanced analysis.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ask today launches AskCity, its local search solution which ties its other properties by geography. Those properties include,, and others. Ask is currently #4 in the search wars, but I like that it’s taken its time adding on features even as it reinvents itself, sans butler Jeeves. It’s mapping is respectable, though rarely noted in GIS circles maybe due to lack of API? (I was told some time ago one would come.)

In any case AskCity has a few things going for it. First, it’s not called Ask Local. I think AskCity is a good way to get the geographic idea in there without being too geeky. Second, it launches after many have tried Microsoft, Google and Yahoo’s offerings. Today some 10% of searches are considered local searches.

Early reviews are positive especially for the multi-pane interface that puts maps, listings and more on a single page. Visitors can annote and share maps with friends. Those maps can include driving and walking directions.

- New York Times

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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