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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update 10/22/08: I heard back from DOI’s Joan Moody yesterday responding to my question regarding how Karen Siderelis was selected. “Yes, that was an appointment because she had already been doing work for… um…through USGS on the geospatial so this will be an enlarged role for her and she’ll working through the department.”

Could it be the plan is simply to elevate Siderelis and FGDC up to Interior and remove it from its home in USGS? Recall that now “FGDC activities are administered through the FGDC Secretariat, hosted by the National Geospatial Programs Office (NGPO) of the U.S. Geological Survey. The NGPO oversees other geospatial programs of national importance including The National Map and the Geospatial One-Stop activity.”

—- update 1 10/10/08————

Update 10/10/08: No word back from DOI Communications team on the process used to select Siderelis, though I did leave a message. Also, it’s interesting to note that the appointment was shared with attendees at the MAPPS Washington Policy Forum Luncheon last month.

—- original post 10/8/08——

In a press release dated Monday the Department of Interior announced the appointment of Karen Siderelis as the first Geospatial Information Officer for the Dept. I found the release on the wire Tuesday afternoon, so perhaps there was a delay in distribution.

Recall that Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced the position to much excitement at the ESRI User Conference this past August. Rumors were afoot then but no one seemed to know how the job would be filled nor how long it would take. The fact that it wrapped up so fast suggests to me that they already had Ms. Siderelis in mind.

James Cason, associate deputy secretary of the Interior, offered his take: “Karen has a proven record of achievement establishing and managing geospatial programs. I am confident she will provide tremendous leadership in advancing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure through our national and international responsibilities and ensure coordination of GIS efforts in all nine Interior bureaus.”

Siderelis’ name most recently was associated with a consolidation effort at USGS that basically left two not one National Geospatial Technical Operations Center sites: Denver and Rolla.

I contacted the DOI for information on the selection process. I’ll update this post once I hear back.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

If I understand correctly, that’s what visitors are asked to do when visiting the new Birmingham (UK) island that will debut in Second Life tomorrow.

Although several other cities have a presence in Second Life, Birmingham Island’s showpiece attraction, b-scape, is the first to integrate other online applications such as Google Maps, video and RSS feeds to provide a whole new layer of collaboration.

b-scape is effectively a 3-D information area centred around an interactive screen, which focuses on a map of Birmingham’s physical city centre. It allows visitors to experience the city via an avatar (a virtual self), which are then able to interact and collaborate with other avatars in Second Life and control b-scape. Through the avatar, the user can navigate around Birmingham using Google Maps technology and discover information about key buildings in the city centre, play videos and access RSS data. Importantly, b-scape can be experienced collectively by many individuals at the same time, making it an ideal virtual environment for meetings and training sessions.

Sounds a bit like stepped through the looking glass to step through the looking glass…

- Public Technology

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 06:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This from Tom useby, managing partner at SeaPoint Ventures at the Mobile Northwest conference in Seattle on Monday.

Location-based applications are also looking interesting, although he had a word of caution to developers. No pitch that starts with “say you’re walking by a Starbucks,” is going to work, he joked. “Just eliminate that line,” he said. The example, usually in which someone walks by a Starbucks and automatically receives a coupon for discounted coffee to their phone, has been used for many years by companies as they try to jump start the location-based services market.

Words to live by!

- PC World

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

FCW followed up on the Vendor Day for the Geospatial Line of Business Initiative SmartBuy Multi-vendor Blanket Purchase Agreement that occurred yesterday. We noted it last week, when it was announced via press release.

Responses to the RFI are due Oct 31 and respondents must already be on the GSA schedule: “4. Provide a statement of capabilities and other areas of coverage provided under your current GSA FSS IT Schedule 70 agreements and any other comments you may have related to this Draft SOW. Describe any special conditions that GSA should consider regarding the access to commercial GIS software and data.” The press release about the multi-vendor Blanket Purchase Agreement did not make that clear.

How much savings can we expect from the coordination of buying power through this contract?

“We expect substantial savings,” Ivan DeLoatch, managing partner of the geospatial line of business for the Interior Department’s Federal Geographic Data Committee.

There are no real details in the article regarding the process, but there is a great quote:

Matt Leopard, chair of the common services work group for the Environmental Protection Agency, called SmartBuy the “Super Bowl of acquisitions.”

 

 

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Among the ten winners were Virtual Alabama (also be sure to check out the side bar explaining why a military-grade solutions was not selected) and the EPA’s GeoData Gateway and EPA Metadata Editor built on ESRI’s ArcCatalog and GIS Portal Toolkit. And be sure to read the sidebar on how the EPA team drew on code from the Idaho’s Coeur D’Alene tribe to customize the solutions to its needs.

- GCN

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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