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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daratech, based here in Cambridge, is known for its market reports on PLM, CAD/CAM, CAE, CDM, MPM and GIS. (If you don’t know the first few acronyms, don’t worry, the folks who do are not too savvy about GIS!) Today I see that Google will not only sponsor daratechPlant, an event focussed on “plant asset lifecycle management,” Aidan Chopra, Product Evangelist, Google SketchUp will give the keynote (press release).

Chopra will provide the daratechPLANT audience with an insider’s view on Google’s work in the 3D and geospatial arena, and what might be coming next. He will address how ideas like real-time collaboration, cloud computing and mobile access to information will affect the way companies deal with 3D data, some of the challenges involved in working with 3D information, and how they might be overcome.

So, it sounds like Google is delving further in 3D, beyond just 3D design into many of those acronyms introduced above. It’s been my experience that Daratech events are very much “pay to play” so I’d have to guess that Google paid to get this slot. That tells me its even more likely the company will have something to say.

The conference is February 23 – 25, at the Hilton Americas in Houston, so many of the oil and gas folks are within driving distance.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/30 at 08:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Many in the press saw and heard a presentation from Tele Atlas this week about how the company updates its data - now including TomTom satnav users’ input via MapShare. Those updates now enters Tele Atlas Map Insight program and eventually can end up in the latest datasets. I only saw the slides as there were technical difficulties. But I don’t think we were privy to this story Brady Forest tells at O’Reilly Radar that was shared by Patrick McDevitt’s talk at the Web 2.0 Expo Europe.

Map Insight is a work in progress and hasn’t always anticipated customer behavior. People like to play with their GPSs update features. Last December, right after Christmas, the Map Insight servers started receiving a large amount of block/unblock updates. It turns out people were blocking their street to confirm the feature worked and then correcting the data afterwards—not realizing the confusion it was causing at the Tele Atlas headquarters.

Clearly, there’s still lots to learn about crowdsourcing and human behavior. I suspect this holiday season the folks at Tele Atlas will be prepared for such antics. Alternatively, they might try to dissuade users from these activities, though I can’t think of a simple way to do that.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/30 at 07:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Rick Rashid of Microsoft Research hosted the final keynote of the event on Wednesday. Among the geographically related goodies he showed:

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/30 at 07:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Cities and counties put up interactive mapping websites all the time and most ask for feedback. Earlier this week I checked out the new mapping apps for Rockland County, NY after seeing this article. I was jazzed when one app “just worked” on Safari on my Mac as there were no warning about what browsers or operating systems were supported in the material I read. Unfortunately, the other app (built on the same platform by the same contractor, James Sewall) didn’t work. So, I shot off an e-mail.

I received an e-mail back (first noting how the recipient remembered me from my ArcCAD data days) and then saying they’d look into it. Today I received an e-mail saying it was fixed. And it was.

Good job Rockland County on both the app and your communications!

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/30 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I read that sentiment all the time when a municipality sets up any kind of emergency “war room.” Take the one for Niagra Falls, Ontario.

Formerly located at city hall, the Niagara Falls EOC is now housed in the former bunk room at the Morrison Street fire station.

In a matter of minutes, the empty room can be transformed into a state-of- the-art command centre complete with laptops, telephones, several large video display screens and an interactive touch board.

In the event of a major disaster, the secured site will be the headquarters for police, fire, paramedics and public works.

“We hope to not ever have to use it, however, the likelihood we will have to use the centre in the future is there,” said fire Chief Lee Smith.

If a large-scale emergency occurs, the centre will support response activities in the field and provide direction to the various agencies such as the Red Cross and the public health department.

The centre is already stocked with modern technology devices from Design Electronics. The huge screens can broadcast live feeds and are equipped for video conferencing.

The sentiment is fine, but my sense is that those who would be using such technologies in an emergency should be using them all the time! During an emergency is no time to learn how new hardware and software work.

An analogy: in prepping for long distance running newbies are told not to try anything “race day” they’ve not tried in training. That includes everything from not wearing new clothing to not drinking a different kind of sports drink. Why does it seem like “special” tools and software are used in emergencies that are not in use all the time?

- Niagra Falls Review

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/30 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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