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Friday, November 09, 2007

The Wall Street Journal goes on about tracking abuse, but Tramigo, the product it introduces is just another GPS-based tracking tool. The difference is that Arto Tiitinen’s tracked information does not come in lat/lon that’s popped onto a map. Instead, it’s delivered via SMS (your carrier’s rates apply) and described based on landmarks. So, when you get a location for the phone-sizded device (on car, boat or child) it may say: “Parked, 0.25 km north of Mobil Pasir Panjang, Queenstown, Singapore.” The idea: no maps, but more intuitive explanations of location. You need a database of landmarks for the country in which you use it (updated twice a year per article, no such notation on the company website) and can add your own landmarks (home, school, the gym, etc.)

As you might expect it’s used to track parked cars, kids, etc. in 80 countries (the company offers data for 220 GSM-using countries). It’s $400 with no contract fees, save those of your cell carrier for SMS. I suppose there’s no reason any tracking device could not deliver location informatoin this way so long as a reasonable database/algorithm was available. Is there demand for this type of presentation in leiu of maps or geocoded addresses? Apparently; the company is seven years old, though this is the first I’ve heard of it.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/09 at 07:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Commerce and Defense have released a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft PEIS) proposing designation of energy transport corridors on Federal lands in 11 Western States. Basically, “the proposed corridors are agency-preferred locations for siting of future pipelines and transmission lines.” The proposal is now out for public comment.

What I want to talk about however are the maps. The press release from mulitple agencies has an editors note:

Volume 3 of the Draft is an atlas of maps showing the locations of the proposed corridors.  The most powerful and flexible version of the map data is available on the project Web site within a geographic information system (GIS) database that allows users to merge, enlarge, and view multiple map data layers.  Software and instructions to use the GIS data are available for free download from the Web site, which may be accessed from Internet-capable home or office computers, computers at public libraries, and from BLM and Forest Service public reading rooms.

The maps page on the PEIS site offers up:

- lots of PDFs
- Interactive ArcReader Map with GIS Database (187 Mb download, requires more than one GB of hard disk space and at least one GB of RAM.)
- Corridor GIS Files (2.3 Mb of shape files/geodatabase/metadata, “Intended for use by GIS professionals. Requires commercial GIS software.”)
- Interactive Map in KML Format (11.4 Mb, “Requires free Google Earth or ArcGIS Explorer software, and active Internet connection while viewing maps.”)

That’s quite an array of options and I’m pleased to see it. I wonder why there is no online interactive or non-interactive map?

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/09 at 06:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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