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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ESPN has a free locate the schools in the bracket game. You were warned. [Link updated per comment.]

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 06:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

DeSoto County, MS [corrected per comment] is gearing up for the Census but there are concerns looking ahead:

Some supervisors questioned whether the county’s GIS department could handle all the Census data, once it returns next year.

Officials decided to get estimates to see how much a planning consultant would charge to help analyze the data for the county’s redistricting plan.

- The Commercial Appeal

The word from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is that Census awareness and expected participation is up since January based on a poll of among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines during the second week of March. 77% vs. 49% in January said they’d heard something about it recently. 87% now say they definitely or probably will fill out and return their forms, or have already done so, a six-point increase in likely participation since January. There’s age and education breakdowns, but nothing geographic.

- Pew

The word from Las Vegas, in an poll by Fox5 is that the letter saying that the census forms were coming was a waste of money. 93 percent of respondents to a Web poll told a FOX5 Web poll it was unnecessary to mail out notifications telling people they would soon be receiving their census forms in the mail. Fox did not report how many respondents there were.

- Fox 5

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s been nine years since the West Virginia Addressing and Mapping Board was created to convert addresses from rural to city-style addressing to aid in public safety, among other things. To date, 13 of 55 counties have been converted.

- Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram

There’s disagreement in Winona County, MN as to whether view shed analysis should be required in its zoning regulations because of concerns it won’t be consistently used.

County leaders have batted around the idea to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programming to help identify the blufftops and areas that would be most visible from below to assist in protecting those views. Called a viewshed analysis, the tool can help determine from where a proposed development site could be seen, thereby assisting county planners and landowners in finding the least visible building sites.

But there has been disagreement among both the County Board and county planning staff about how objective the tool could be, and whether its use would provide data that could be fairly applied to all bluff building proposals. After the board debated its use and county planners claimed they didn’t yet have a formula to use the programming in an objective way, board members voted earlier this month to pull language about viewshed analysis use from the proposed zoning ordinance.

Instead, the board asked that staff study the mapping tools at a later date, then present the board with the information within three months of the zoning ordinance final adoption.

- Winona Post

Lincoln, Nebraska received a number of grants from the Woods Charitable Fund. Among them, one to the University of Nebraska Department of Community and Regional Planning for $25,000. The Enhancing Citizen Engagement in Community Assessment with Innovative GIS Technology project, in collaboration with NeighborWorks Lincoln and the City of Lincoln Urban Development Department, will use the funds to involve residents of two of the city’s vulnerable neighborhoods in a neighborhood-wide property assessment to help set goals for improvement.

- The Journal Star

This article in the Philadelphia Inquirer got coverage at BusinessJournalism.org for its use of GIS in tackling unemployment in Phildelphia. “Jane says the story started as a look at unemployment in a different area, but changed direction once graphics editor John Duchneskie mapped the data using ArcView software. For a step-by-step look at how he did that, view this PDF.”

- Business Journalism

The City of Fernley, NV will be updating some existing addresses for commercial and residential parcels. It turns out owners/users of those parcels are using different addresses than those on file in the official city database. The change will be to the ones in use.

According to a staff report prepared by Jennifer Derley, GIS coordinator, “Staff has discovered a disparity between the City’s official addresses and what businesses are using for 15 commercial parcels located on east and west Main Street”»Staff has also discovered a disparity between the City’s official addresses and what property owners are using for 18 residential parcels within Fernley.”

The change is anticipated to occur on ore before July 1, 2010.

The changes are expected to cause no grief for owners/users and enhance 911 response. I wonder how/if that will impact geocoding databases?

- Reno Journal-Gazette

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 05:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence, the GeoTech Center, is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Advanced Technology Education (ATE) center that was started in 2008. Directions Media’s Editor in Chief, Joe Francica, interviews Dr. Phillip Davis, the center’s director, about the center and its involvement in developing the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) for the U.S. Department of Labor. The GTCM is an effort to define the core competencies of the geospatial professional to support curriculum development at colleges and universities, and to promote workforce development. The GeoTech Center, then, is a vital link in helping prepare students to become the next generation of geospatial professionals and to meet the demands of a growing industry in geospatial technology.

by Joe Francica on 03/17 at 05:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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