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    << September 2007 >>
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

At GIS in the Rockies, a panel session was convened to allow U.S. Federal agencies an opportunity to give the audience an update on what their efforts have produced. Some quick remarks (some of this may be old news to many):

Carol Giffin of the USGS/FEMA team offered that new updates for critical infrastructure data have been delivered to FEMA in May 2007 including updated locations of hospitals & schools:

Nearly 10,000 updated schools including 800 that were new;

Nearly 1000 updated hospitals including 100 new;
In progress are updated locations of fire stations, police headquarters and emergency operation centers.

U.S. Census
Jim Castagneri of the Census Bureau noted that many changes are ongoing:
The last TIGER/Line file was released Spring 2007
TIGER has been completely re-designed in-house to reside in an Oracle database; Geographic products are produced from a subset "product database." Prior to 2006,TIGER could not be modeled because of the lack of topology; TIGER/Line files are being replaced by TIGER Shape files in fall 2007
TIGER/GML – based on GML and intended to support the OGC standards for data exchange; sample data will be on the web soon.
WebTIGER – uses TIGER/GML; A WFS interface allowing requests for geographic features across the web using the XML-based GML for data exchange.

Castagneri also noted that the impact of these changes on Local Governments will include:
Fewer paper-based programs;
Easier to submit feature & boundary updates via digital files;
More positionally accurate TIGER data will ease demographic data integration into local GIS;
TIGER & National Map data (USGS) will more closely resemble GIS data.

National Geodetic Survey
Pam Fromhertz from the National Geodetic Survey informed attendees that part of their 10-year plan includes the modernization of the Continuously Operating Reference System (CORS), to improve gravity modeling, and the NAD 83 National Readjustment (a readjustment within the original NAD 83 framework).

Fifty-States Initiative
A NSGIC AND FDGC partnership to clearly define the authority that exists for statewide coordination of geospatial information and technology. A full-time paid coordinator position is designated and has the authority to implement the strategic plans. This person is authorized to coordinate with local governments, academia and private sector. The federal government will work through the statewide coordinating authority. In the past the local agencies have been able to work directly with the federal agencies. Now with this statewide coordinating body, the local governments have agreed to work through this council to coordinate GIS activities. [APB has covered this previously.]

by Joe Francica on 09/12 at 10:26 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Talk about your long diatribes! The question of the day at GIS in the Rockies was…"Do you agree that service oriented architecture (SOA) is the key to enterprise data integration and interoperability?" It was answered by six panelists and while I missed a few responses by the distinguished panel members, I was able to hear the answer given by Dr. Joe Berry. Now, to put it mildly, Dr. Berry exceeded his five minute limit. But fear not, because after reading his response he mentioned that is was posted online. So, while I certainly could not do justice with a few pithy outtakes, the web is at least good at allowing allows to see his ENTIRE response. It was quite good but it truly left the other panelists at a disadvantage by mesmerizing them with his response and putting them in a heavy, late afternoon daze. The shortened version is that while SOA is an important evolutionary step for managing spatial information, it is not "revolutionary." Dr. Bill Gail of Microsoft focused his answer on how SOA can offer a "paradigm shift in the way we search for information." He said that, "search is only 5% solved today," referring to the nascient stages of using geospatial technology as a platform for search.

by Joe Francica on 09/12 at 10:10 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

"Now is the time to be the last one out of the parking lot," said Jack Dangermond, president and founder of ESRI. Mr. Dangermond, in his keynote address to the attendees of the 20th GIS in the Rockies conference, suggested to the audience that what will make them successful geospatial professionals in helping to make a difference in creating a sustainable world is "persistence, dedication, and hard work."

"I have great hopes for you in making a real difference in the world," said Dangermond.

by Joe Francica on 09/12 at 09:54 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At GIS in the Rockies Conference today, an announcement was made by Jon Gottsegen, the Colorado State GIS Coordinator that, after much work, the state has finally opened its GIS Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is following guidelines established by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) with an emphasis on metadata search. In addition, the clearinghouse will offer an online "map bureau" through a web interface. At the same time, Michael Locatis, Colorado’s Chief Information Officer, announced that Gottsegen’s position was being elevated to that of a statewide Geographic Information Officer (GIO) that will report in through the Governor’s office. "The GIO function is something that really needs to be elevated into a strategic role," said Locatis.

by Joe Francica on 09/12 at 09:34 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order whereby cellular phone carriers must meet Phase II location accuracy requirements at the Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) level which states as follows:

• Fulfilling the Commission’s location accuracy requirements within each Economic Area in which a carrier operates by September 11, 2008;
• Satisfying the location accuracy requirements within each Metropolitan Statistical Area and Rural Service Area that the carrier serves; and demonstrating significant progress toward compliance at the PSAP-level, including achieving this requirement within at least 75 percent of the PSAPs the carrier serves, by September 11, 2010; and
• Achieving full compliance with the PSAP-level location accuracy requirements by September 11, 2012.

The CTIA, an industry organization, is objecting to these requirements. CTIA CEO, Steve Largent said in a statement, "I am concerned that the Commission’s action may lead to unrealistic – and potentially harmful - consumer expectations."


by Joe Francica on 09/12 at 09:23 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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