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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Photos from the Map World Forum can be viewed on Flickr. The images are geotagged as well.

by Joe Francica on 01/23 at 12:28 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Satellite image data is free because we get it for free on Google Earth, right? Wrong. We pay with our attention, so says Michael Blakemore of the University of Durham in the UK. He views this as an indirect payment system because our attention is diverted to see advertising.

This is fine with Matt O’Connell, CEO of GeoEye who says that, "A more compelling issue should be that imagery should be more freely available." O’Connell is trying to figure out how to crack the huge Indian market for satellite imagery. "The demand is high because India has a high familiarity with geospatial information." And when GeoEye-1 is launched this summer yielding .41meter panchromatic and with accuracy within three meters without ground control points, the satellite will be collecting over 700,000 square miles per day. GeoEye will have to outsource the production capability because their existing facilities do not have enough capacity even with their combined facilities from Space Imaging that now include St. Louis, Washington DC, and Denver. GeoEye is in discussion with companies in India to acquire more capacity.

And Michael Jones, CTO of Google Earth?" To Google, geography is simply better context to foster human understanding. But in the Indian marketplace, they’ve run into some sensitive issues. There are certain security concerns. Yet the country badly needs freedom to access image data. "India is forced to deal with reality; it doesn’t have time to wait for style," says Jones. "Our job is not to display the world’s geographic information; it is to display the world’s information and use geography as a context."

But neither is Google waiting for the Indian government to grant them permission to display data. Have you checked out the road network for Hyderbad or the rest of India? Go to and type in this lat/long: 17.47320°N 78.37330°E. It doesn’t come from the Indian government. "I can’t tell you how we did it…but we did it," says Jones.

by Joe Francica on 01/23 at 12:02 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Update 1/23/07: Microsoft is in on the fun, too with its own website for Australia Day and a contest involving data captured images.

More than that, it’s a chance to be noticed doing something big – a chance to stand out with your crowd and be photographed by our satellite and high tech planes!

Ok, so it doesn’t have a satellite, but it commissioned one. (“We’ve commissioned a satellite and high tech planes to fly over Australia and take photos of Australia’s most celebrated day of the year. “)

- original post

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s mashup blog reports that Google will be flying above the city on Australia day (Friday) to take high resolution images that may appear on Google Maps/Earth. And, it may not be a “one off.”

And it may not be one-off. According to Rasmussen, if this takes off, they plan to do it again for events like national holidays in other countries. So we’re the guinea pigs.

Recall that Google Maps technology was acquired by Rasmussen’s Australian company. Is Google getting into data acquisition in a new way?

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 11:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

What we now see is that the "G" is fading out and becoming mainstream in many systems…The whole of GIS now centers around and enterprise architecture. We also believe that the value is in data; data accuracy and data completeness as we move forward…Enterprises face a greater need to understand location. GIS is therefore is no longer a complex technology of domain specialists…GIS is now demonstrating its value across the enterprise," says Mr. B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Chairman, Infotech Enterprises Ltd. one of the largest geospatial outsourcing companies in the world (and traded on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Stock Exchange, Mumbai).

Reddy had an interesting perspective on GIS. I’m paraphrasing but he said that in the 80’s the "geographic" and "system" aspects of GIS were most prominent referring to an emphasis on the marriage of hardware to software. In the 90’s, geographic information was key as organizations looked to capture and process data; and now in the 2000’s, geography is being de-emphasized and replaced by "information systems" as location technology becomes better integrated with mainstream IT. I couldn’t agree more.

Reddy says that "GIS is becoming a service because of these standards and interoperability." Others at the conference believe that it is inevitable that GIS will transition to become purely a web service.

by Joe Francica on 01/23 at 11:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Let’s not mince words…we are facing a shortage of trained, expert geospatial professional for the short and long term. We’ve discussed this issue before in our briefings from GEOINT. The same problem is being reiterated at the Map World Forum by people like Stig Enemark, president of FIG (The International Federation of Surveyors) and Martien Molenaar, president of ITC (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation). An entire session at the Map World Forum was dedicated to "Capacity Building" a nice euphemism for an educational infrastructure that will support the training and development of geospatial professionals. This issue is also being addressed by a joint board of geospatial information agencies. Molenaar has come up with a rather complicated equation that says we must offer 1000 geospatial course each year and we must educate some 6000 professionals per year to serve the world’s requirement for geospatial needs. A board was established among these agencies to support capacity building in Africa, for example.

by Joe Francica on 01/23 at 11:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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