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Monday, June 14, 2010

A NOAA press person got back to me on some questions I had:

The site is was just announced as live this morning and it is no longer in pre-release.

The technology behind this site employs Open Source GIS.  We use PostGIS database, with MapServer and OpenLayers to render and visualize data layers.

He’s still working on my question about if this site links to the FGDC Initiative. I wonder why he was not at the briefing we had last week?

——update 6/14/10 9 am EST——

NOAA officially announces the launch of the site 6/14/10 with a press release. There’s no discussion that it is part of the FGDC Geospatial Platform Initiative.

The information tab still notes the site is in “pre-release.” There’s a PDF (dated 6/10/10) of the data layers. Further: “The data provided through this tool has been cleared for release through the Incident Command Structure’s Joint Information Command.”

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 12:08 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ken Spratlin, General Manager of Trimble’s GeoSpatial Division sent on link to a company FAQ (pdf) and shared this statement:

While Trimble and eCognition are definitely addressing both imagery and laser scanning, the acquisition is not motivated by laser scanning.  Imagery provides much more information content than laser scanning, and is much easier and less expensive to obtain than laser scanner data.  The challenge in using imagery in the industry continues to be the extraction of actionable information (“answers”) from imagery in a timely (today, not months from now) and accurate manner.  eCognition is part of the answer to that challenge.

—- original post 6/11/10——

Trimble and Definiens announced Trimble’s acquisition of Definiens’ Earth Sciences business assets and licensing of its software technology platform. It was an all cash deal, with no details on the price.  Definiens’ product of interest is eCognition used for features extraction from imagery. It’s very well regarded and an interesting choice for Trimble, which is moving slowly but surely from being a surveying product/services provider to being a geospatial product/service provider. It’s also had a number of acquisitions in recent months, related to fleet management and utilities (press releases), so clearly there’s money and interest. If I had to guess at the goal of the acquisition, I’d guess its to support expansion in LiDAR, the hot “new” remote sensing, both aerial and terrestrial.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 10:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GUINNESS is Geography Undergraduates Integrating Neo-geographies and Social Science. It’s “a project designed to advance ideas and thinking with regards to the spatial exploration of a city. The scheme, which is funded by the University of Leicester New Teaching Initiatives, encourages the use and evaluation of mediascape technology in association with fieldwork to engage students with more modern techniques of learning about space and place.”

- 24 Dash

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 09:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Dan Beyers (Editor of Capital Business, a new business weekly from the Washington Post) talks about meeting up with Dangermond. The meeting happened at the request of Dangermond’s staff and as Beyers notes, he’d never heard of the company (and the article transposes two of ESRI’s four letter acronym as further confirmation). Beyers describes Dangermond taking out the “gold medal he had just received from the Royal Geographical Society, the Patron’s medal for promoting geographical science” and concludes: “Here was an entrepreneur of the old school, one who shows the power of perseverance.”

- Washington Post

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 09:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Oswego County’s (New York) 911 system is getting an upgrade: the database will soon include “point locations” for driveways courtesy of students in the Hannibal Central School District. Says teacher Greg Bailey, at Kenney Middle School, who worked with the students “I wanted to experience what the kids were experiencing. It isn’t difficult but it is tedious.” Should Middle Schoolers be trusted on such tedious work?


The inaugural ArcGIS Summer Training Camp at West Virginia University in Morgantown, co-sponsored by the state Department of Education and the West Virginia Geographic Alliance is the first of its kind for West Virginia elementary and secondary educators. The camp is scheduled for July 26-30 and will give educators the opportunity to “master geographic information systems (GIS) technology.”

- Herald Dispatch

Members of the GeospatialLearning@PrimarySchool project recently returned from a successful “OLPC camp” in Kigali, Ruanda. During a 2 week period, they tested a learning module “Geo” for the XO laptop at the Kagugu Primary School. The “Geo” module is a simple framework which enables one to program spatial-related activities. The Geocaching and Geotagging functions were implemented and the objects of the testing. ...

52°North, the Institute for Geoinformatics and its education initiative GI@School, together with ESRI Germany initiated the GeospatialLearning@PrimarySchool project in September 2009. The project’s objective is to develop XO-Laptop applications which foster geospatial thinking by using novel Information Technologies. Primary schools, in particular the social science and geography classes, in Ruanda and Germany have been targeted to test the applications. The “geospatial” aspect plays an important role in the development of XO activities as a means to playfully learn basic concepts like position, direction, distance.

- via 52°North Newsletter

Michal Isaacson, a doctoral student working with Dr. Noam Shoval of the Geography Department at the Hebrew University, has been involved in developing new approaches to the use of advanced tracking technologies in order to provide valuable data collection and analysis for later study and application or even for on-the-spot, real-time application.

Her work has implications for understanding the activity of people in different settings, such as urban areas, shopping malls, theme parks, national parks and other tourist attractions. It has already been tested to evaluate crowd activity and flow at the Port Aventura theme park in Spain.

For her research, Isaacson has been named the first prize winner among students in this year’s competition for the Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University. The prizes were presented on June 9 at the university’s Board of Governors meeting. Her work in this field has resulted in a book that she coauthored together with Dr. Shoval and in several articles published in leading geographic journals. The first article she coauthored and that was published in The Professional Geographer was noted by the journal as one of the top five most cited articles in 2006-2007.

Isaccson attended our LI conference last year and unfortunately the interview I did with her was not of good enough quality to share.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 07:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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