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Friday, May 18, 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle rekindles the discussion after remarks last week by the head of NGA on censorship of imagery. Quote of note:

Google has engaged, and will continue to engage, in substantive dialogue with recognized security experts and relevant agencies worldwide. While we’re unable to provide details of these discussions, the dialog may, in some rare cases, result in a change of imagery availability.

- John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Maps

There’s also a discussion with my state’s GIS coordinator, Christian Jacqz, director of Massachusetts Geographic Information System. He notes the state worked with the state police to blur out potentially dangerous targets. That data is suppled to Google Earth, though Jacqz is aware unblurred data is out there.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 09:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The protest, dated April 15, revolves around inquires from the Rolla USGS office, which is also bidding on the chance to be winner and be home of the National Geospaital Technical Operations Center. Remember that the private sector is bidding, too. This is the first I’d heard of a protest.

The protest, from Craig Skalet, the agency tender official of the Denver NGTOC is about those questions and the reintroduction of Rolla in the bidding process. Recall that Denver “won” the first round where USGS itself picked a home and Rolla was to be shut down. The plan was to then host A-76 procedure to pit Denver against the private sector, but disputes over the selection of Denver got Rolla back in the running.

Representative Jo Ann Emerson, who along with Missouri Senators has been championing Rolla, said it was best for Rolla to continue its work on the proposal due June 18 despite the protest. She, along with out state lawmakers, did have a meeting, requested earlier this month, with Dr. Mark Myers, Director of the USGS. Apparently nothing has changed, but Myers’ door is open, per USGS Communications Director Barbara Wainman.

- Rolla Daily News

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 08:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Journalism.co.uk reports on a BBC project called Geo-stories that gave students GPS-enabled phones along with still cameras, audio recorders and video tools and sent them out to create news stories. The project was a collaboration between the BBC, University of Brighton, Nokia and Ymogen, a mobile marketing firm and aims to explore a new type of citizen journalism/story telling. The results are what I’d call animated slide shows, linked to Google Maps that include audio produced by photography students at the university. The one I watched was on Guerilla Gardening. (You need to click the “play story” button under the map to launch the story.)

The topic was fine, the images ok, but the format didn’t work for me. Each image had a “headline” but nothing more. The music was pleasant background but added little. Most disconcerting though, from a geographic standpoint, the movement of the background map from place to place in London, didn’t provide me, as one who doesn’t know that area of London with much context. That’s because the map in the video used only imagery. The page for the story uses just the street map and you can click on icons to see the images. I do like that you can “experience” the story in two ways - passively via the “play” button and actively, by clicking on the icons on a static map and reading the author’s “blurb” about their topic.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 06:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The New Scientist Blog offers up the brainchild of German designer Martin Frey: shoes that indicate how to arrive at your destination. The information from a navigation device uses Bluetooth to communicate with the shoes which have a moshable sole that reforms to indicate left or right. Images and video are available.

via Wired Gadget Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/18 at 06:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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