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Thursday, March 05, 2009

On Monday the president of of Middle Tennessee State University presented the University Oversight Steering Committee
final report on “Positioning the University for the Future Initiative” to the school and worldwide community. In it some 20% of degrees were listed for possible elimination or consolidation. Among them was geography. Tough times mean tough times for universities, too.

I applaud the president for being forthright about the recommendations, posting the report prominently on the home page and asking for feedback. This is no doubt not the last school that will explore cutting programs, including geography.

via @kindaspatial

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 12:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

On March 3rd, the U. S. Geological Survey marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Landsat 5. The earth imaging satellite in a sun synchronous orbit with the Thematic Mapper (TM) payload offered both better spectral and spatial resolution than previous Landsat missions with the Multispectral Scanner (MSS). Editor in chief Joe Francica speaks with Dr. Tom Loveland, a USGS scientist at the EROS Data Center with over 30 years of experience with the Landsat mission.

Dr. Loveland was among the first to create continental and global-scale land cover data sets derived from remotely-sensed imagery. He currently leads a USGS research team that is developing a contemporary land cover history of the United States. In addition, Dr. Loveland is leading the Landsat Data Continuity Mission Science Team and is a member of the NASA National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project science team. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Land Use Sciences and has served in leadership roles in a number of national and international science organizations including the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Climate Change Science Program, and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Dr. Loveland has published almost 90 scientific papers and has received career achievement awards from the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Loveland has B.S. and M.S. degrees in geography from South Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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by Joe Francica on 03/05 at 09:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Some people think that we can track them with GPS. That’s not the case, but we are happy to let people think that.”

- Bob Love, chief ranger at Saguaro National Park on current efforts to tag theft-prone cacti with RFID chips as quote on MSNBC.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 07:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Photosynth blog reports one member of Microsoft’s Photosynth team built a map of the synths created by users. (Photosynth is Microsoft’s tool to map a series of photos of the same scene together, creating a quasi-3D effect.) There’s also a discussion of how to geotag a synth once it’s created.

via LiveSide

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 06:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In an interview with eWeek, Takai explains how she plans to reorganize California’s IT infrastructure. She also lists her top five priorities, including collaboration, which she illustrates by explaining the plan for GIS. Amusingly, the interview took place at CeBIT 2009 in Hannover, Germany. Takai, Governor Schwarzenegger and 50 Silicon Valley companies were “feted” by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German government.

California has been taking about naming a GIO for some time; perhaps it’s really imminent now?

3. “Collaboration. We need to be much more collaborative across state agencies, but it’s also our plan to reach out to the locals. For instance, we are just about to name a geographic information officer for all of our geographic information systems. The success of GIS is bringing in the information that the locals have as well as the information we have—which is particularly valuable for things like firefighting and the evacuation of personnel [in an emergency].”


by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 06:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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