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Thursday, May 10, 2007

With broadband 4G technologies such as WiMax, Mobility (i.e. Connectivity & Location) finds its way into every product and service and thereby makes those products and services more valuable—according to McGuire’s Law.  Products that increase in value through Mobility might include portable PCs, ultra mobile PCs, personal media players, mp3 players, digital cameras, digital video recorders, PC cards, PNDs, PDAs, Smartphone’s, mobile phones, and any other electronic device that benefits from broadband connectivity and Location derived context-awareness.  The services atop these devices similarly increase in value with both the number of devices they are able to support, and the more creatively they fuse information, entertainment, and communications experiences.  This fusion assumes user-identification uniformity across all devices and services, but currently, network-based location derived context is confined to mobile phones and their associated phone number identities.  This is the problem… 

Existing mobile location network API standards request and retrieve Location data based on a phone number—the cellular world’s identity-management primary key.  But PCs have media access control (MAC) addresses, mp3 players have serial numbers, other devices may have some other unique semantic ID specific to a manufacturing practice or perhaps even an application service married to a dedicated device.  In tomorrow’s converged 4G world, the lack of a uniform user-ID common to all devices requires rewriting or inventing new Location API standards to support holistic service experiences that run across multiple devices.  In addition to a consistent cross-device user ID framework, cross-application user identity aliasing and federated repositories are also needed to support fused service interoperability.  Where will these new standards live?  W3C, the IEEE, OMA, the WiMax Forum, the OGC, or a new focus group not yet formed?     

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/10 at 10:42 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Al Qaeda is gone; its infrastructure does not exist anymore. The new threat is from home grown terrorists like the Sunni extremists who carried out the London bombings in 2005 and those arrested in the Fort Dix conspiracy last week….this according to Simon Sole, CEO of Exclusive Analysis, a company engaged in modeling the risk of terrorist attack.

Sole’s company monitors several hundred global jihad events that occur daily to build a Terror Risk Map. Any news that might affect a change to the risk associated to a certain geography (from zip codes to an individual building) is recorded and assigned risk rating. For example, when the Supreme Court issued their ruling on Partial Birth abortion, it affected the risk associated with abortion clinic buildings.

The methodology for the risk ratings combines previous attack data, with the analytical forecast of the severity of terrorism in the next year in each country, plus intelligence inputs of thwarted plots, arrests and terrorist targeting priorities. The risk ratings are on a 0-10 scale that factors propensity as well as severity. The risk rating at targets represents the likely upper threshold for violence at the target over the next year. Exclusive Analysis is working with MapInfo to integrate its data for use with solutions for the insurance industry.

by Joe Francica on 05/10 at 10:30 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Update 5/10: We’ve contacted Microsoft on this matter, but in the mean time the Virtual Earth guys share what’s shareable (below). Interestingly, they note it was announced today; it was announced yesterday, according to our sources and the press release.

There are Community Preview and early alpha builds being tested outside of Microsoft right now, but if you aren’t testing there is limited information that has been made public. Here are a few bullets that are OK to share at this point -

Spatial will be supported in the next release of SQL Server (code named Katmai) as system data types
Katmai is scheduled to ship in 2008 and will most likely be called SQL Server 2008
Katmai spatial will support two models: a “Flat Earth” planar data type and a “Round Earth” geodetic data type
The Flat Earth data type (GEOMETRY) will support the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Simple Features for SQL Specification with support for approximately 70 spatial methods/functions
There will be spatial indexes for both planar and geodetic data types

—original post—5/9/07

Some news is beginning to filter out about the next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code named "Katmai." It’s expected in 2008. In a press release today, Microsoft specifically indicated that geographic information would be supported. Not much additional information was released but the news about support for geospatial data types is long overdue. See more information about the other SQL Server functionality at the Katmai homepage.


by Joe Francica on 05/10 at 03:58 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An article in the Rolla Daily News offers up the story, but the letter itself (pdf) makes it clear Representative Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri will not be standing by as the A-76 process to choose a Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) continues. (Denver was selected, then the process found flawed, then an A-76 to pit Denver, Rolla and the private sector in competition began.)

The letter dated May 8 (Tuesday) to USGS Director Mark Myers makes two key points and requests a meeting as soon as possible. The two points:

(1) The cost criteria of the A-76 does not follow current law. Current law requires that cost be at least 1/2 the consideration. However, the scope of work states that “costs of facilities and equipment shall be considered equal for all bidders.” Emerson urges Meyers in “the strongest possible terms” to either revamp the A-76 to take true costs into consideration (which would mean further delays) or simply drop the A-76 and put both Rolla and Denver back to work. She notes too that litigation around this issue could cost lots of tax dollars.

(2) Mr. Bob Doyle, a Meyers appontee will make the final decision on who “wins” the A-76. Doyle has already made clear his preference for Denver. Emerson states he’s not really impartial. Those invovled in the previous decision were not be involved in the A-76; I’m not sure of Doyle’s role, if any, in previous discussions about the NGTOC.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/10 at 10:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

David A. Utter at WebPro news attributes GeoWeb to Google and then quotes John Hanke, writing in a new Google geoblog, as saying:

I expect the “it” will evolve substantially over the next few months and years as we (the geo ecosystem on the web) collectively figure out how “earth browsers,” embedded maps, local search, geo-tagged photos, blogs, the traditional GIS world, wikis, and other user-generated geo content all interrelate.

I don’t know the origin of the term but for now it means a conference to me. Michael Jones is doing the keynote;  maybe he can help out here.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/10 at 08:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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