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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As I was driving back to my hotel tonight from the GEOINT conference in Nashville, a short five mile drive, I used my NIM-powered VZNavigator to find my way from the Opryland Hotel. And it dawned on me…PNDs are like spell checkers…they give you permission not to think.

Back in the day…I would prepare for this kind of short journey by using a paper map,  look for street names and landmarks. Now, I just listen…rather, I’m told where to go. It’s like a spell checker; you don’t have to spell very well but that’s OK, your misspelled and sometimes horrible grammar get corrected. In this case, your navigation IQ can be amplified and generally you can "tune-out" to your environment. Such is the pity.

As we get more into connected nav devices and greater data streams allow for better navigation, we may (and I emphasize "may") lose local familiarity or the desire to navigate by landmarks. If you are looking for a business or other location and stop at a gas station, most locals will tell you to navigate by local landmarks…"Turn right at the McDonald’s and head toward the Big 10 Tire sign…it’ll be on your right…" or some such reference. I’d like to see if my next PND will navigate me by landmarks and POIs.

by Joe Francica on 10/28 at 08:45 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Rare is the opportunity that I get to hash out a vision for geospatial technology with a vendor.  Usually it’s all about product enhancements, features, and functionality, especially at a trade show. My conversation with Mladen Stojic, SVP of Product Mgmt. and Marketing for ERDAS was different and its important to know that there are some vendors that can offer clients forethought and direction. Stojic believes that, in a connected world, that spatial models and content can be married in a more coherent manner.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 10/28 at 02:48 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

We explored the (connected) PND vs smarthphone vs connected car battle in today’s podcast. Is it coincidence that today the price fell from the now-standard $300 to $200 for the day at Amazon? It probably is a coincidence, but as I noted in the podcast, the device’s buzz went to just about zero lately. That means few people are collecting and sharing traffic data, one of the supposed big selling points. This device highlights one of the challenges of “barrier to entry” crowdsourcing.

- Engadget

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/28 at 12:33 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

During the Q&A session at the GEOINT Symposium, Under Secretary of Defense, Lt. General (ret.) Jim Clapper, elaborated on the recently canceled BASIC (Broad Area Space-Based Imagery Collection) program, an effort by the National Reconnaisance Office (NRO) to obtain two earth observing remote sensing satellites. "Depending on your point of view, what happened to BASIC is either a strength or weakness of our form of government. There are many constituencies from which you must derive consensus. When we finally got consensus, we finally got signed for the purchase of two 1.1 meter satellites. But Congress decided that the sense of urgency no longer exists. It’s now over to the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) to decide the way ahead. The DNI has referred back to the NGA andi it will be up to Admiral Murrett, Director of the NGA to study. Clapper said in closing that "but this has been studied to death."

Listen to more of his remarks during his press briefing.  (to download, right click on the link at left and choose "save target as")

Missed any podcasts? Want to subscribe via iTunes, Yahoo, etc? Here’s the index with all the info.

by Joe Francica on 10/28 at 10:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Most of the plenary speakers at the opening session of the 2008 GEOINT conference in Nashville, Tennessee focused on the anticipated budget reductions that will ensue as the next administration takes office after next week’s U.S. presidential election. "I am quite concerned that this conference won’t be as big, because this community will go on a diet," said Rich Haver of Northrop Grumman, the master of ceremonies of the day’s activities. "I think the next three or four years will be a tough fight. We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that the next administration doesn’t, rebalance the budget on the back of the intelligence community."

Lt. General (ret.) Jim Clapper, the current Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) said that, "We are going to have to figure out a way to constrict. This will be a tremendous challenge for the next administration…we have gotten use to supplementary funding which has been as a result of the war. But if I were going to be around, I would try to champion a preservation of the capabilities even if they are shrunken a bit but to keep the expertise." He hoped the next administration will not entirely emasculate the capabilities that have been established during the years of the Iraq war.

Clapper also mentioned that in looking to the future, certain priorities must be considered. He said that integration and collaboration are very important, plus the melding and synthesis of the disciplines is the strength of geospatial intelligence. Clapper emphasized the need to adhere to standards and complimented Vice Admiral Murrett, the current NGA director on pushing this effort forward.

by Joe Francica on 10/28 at 10:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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