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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

@TimAyres noted the new site, so I checked it out, mostly to see if there was anything new and different.

The disclaimer was routine:

DISCLAIMER:  This map is an unofficial document of the District of Sooke and is consolidated from a variety of sources for convenience purposes only and is not to be relied upon in making financial decisions or other commitments. The District of Sooke does not warrant the accuracy of information on this map nor will it accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The District of Sooke reserves the right to alter or update this information without notice. This map should not be used for navigational purposes.

But what followed was a nice touch: “Please contact the District of Sooke Planning Department before making decisions based on this map.”

I looked over the help, which seemed to come right out of the generic files that come with the software. The graphic, for example, that highlights different parts of the interface is not that of Sooke, but of the U.S.

The FAQ included answers only helpful to those who know the software behind the app:

In Results from an identify or query, when I check a feature to highlight it on the map, the feature does not get highlighted.

The administrator of the site may have disabled this ability. If the map uses ArcIMS software and returning geometry is disabled, then the website won’t highlight features.

@TimAyres notes the app is up-to-date, but I could find no metadata on the layers provided.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/30 at 01:04 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s nearly time for the the sixth annual Inman News Real Estate Connect event in New York City in January 2010. The speakers and topics make it sound like any generic tech conference - but with a location focus. Among the speakers are leaders from:

Craig’s List
Outside.In (hyperlocal news)
Foursquare (LBS social game)
Zillow (map-based property price/sales tool and API)

Bing Maps and Zillow are Gold Sponsors, as is just “regular” Google. Policy Map is a Broze sponsor.

- Inman News

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/30 at 07:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Jeff Bertolucci, writing in a PC World blog pens an article titled: Why Aren’t GPS Navigation Systems More Reliable? In it he recounts the latest story of drivers getting stuck in snow based on following their GPS. The good news? GPS enabled phones allowed researchers to find the lost couple in the wilds of Oregon. His conclusion: “The best advice, of course, is to carry a backup (yes, a printed) map, but that’s not always practical, particularly if you’re on a long road trip with multiple destinations.” He goes on to note that if you want to buy a satnav get one that has frequent data updates and to use common sense. I can’t really argue with any of that but it begs one question - that of common sense about GPS devices and their data.

The common sense (based on what I observe) is that somehow all the data on the Web and on any nav devices are up to date! Thus it’s common sense to follow and trust those devices. GPS providers don’t go out of their way to detail exactly how up to date their data are for specific areas, but they do offer enough warnings to cover themselves legally. Interestingly,  Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom were contacted fro Bertolucci’s stories and didn’t get back to him before press time.

We need to change common sense (a tough thing, I know) - at least until all data are in fact up to date. One idea: we need to start a “if you think it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” in regard to satnav. That slogan did quite a lot of good protecting consumers against fraud.

- PC World

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/30 at 07:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Detailed land use plans for Connecticut’s 169 towns from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research via Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online.

Besides data, there are two different viewers, data services and geoprocessing services (coming soon). There are detailed steps to use the data services in ArcGIS, but users with AutoCad, MapInfo, MicroStation and GeoMedia are told (in the FAQ) to consult their software for version compatibility. I’m not really sure what that means…since I’m not clear about what services are available besides ArcGIS Server ones. I may have to wait for the promised upcoming webinar to learn more.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/29 at 06:13 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I was just looking at the new Pennsylvania Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources trail finder ExplorePATrails site. It’s built on Google Maps and “powered by you.” I was thinking every state should have such a site. While it’s not as “social media” as some sites, you can provide updates and post events.

- Pittsburgh Live

A moment later I see that GlobalMotion Media, the folks behind EveryTrail, a membership trail site, has raised $1 million from private investors via the Band of Angels group. EveryTrail is a powerful site (one of my students reviewed it a few semesters ago) but an iPhone and mobile apps make uploading trips even easier.

- TechCrunch

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/29 at 08:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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