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Monday, July 12, 2010

Carlos Salman Gonzalez, ESRI’s distributor in Mexico (among other passions) received the Lifetime Achievement Award and gave an entertaining talk about being happy and following your passions.

Gil Grosvenor of National Geographic introduced two members of the Cave Club and their teacher from Big Fork High School in Montana to discuss their mapping and conservation efforts on caves in Glacier National Park. Sound familiar? You may have read about their work right here on All Points Blog! In January I mused if the students had presented their work at a GIS conference. Now they have. The pair just returned from visiting President Obama and receiving the President’s Environmental Youth Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.

Grosvenor then gave the Alexander Graham Bell medal to both Roger Tomlinson and Jack Dangermond.

[If education news like this is important to you, follow Education Tidbits via this dedicated feed.]

The keynote from Richard Saul Wurman focused on this current project 19 20 21, aimed at making sense of the 19 cities that will have 20 million people in the 21st century. He, like many other smart people I know [he reminds me a lot of Vincent Virga, see my coverage of his talks at a geo event], is happiest exploring things about which they know little, in this case how cities are defined and the patterns within. He and his partners on the effort are using GIS to create new ways to find those patterns because he noted, “understanding precedes action.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 06:05 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“Developers can create a free 30 day account with DMP [Digital Map Products, providers of the parcels] to test it out and considering it takes all of 5 minutes to create an app…”

- Microsoft Bing Maps Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 03:23 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The ESRI UC 2010 Plenary was short on jaw-dropping announcements, but solid in message: ArcGIS is a complete system for GIS and you should use it!

The conference boasts its largest attendance ever, per Jack Dangermond, citing visitors from 6000 organizations from 134 countries. The rest of the early plenary included introductions, user submitted maps on the “regular topics” but peppered with newsworthy ones including the oil spill, earthquake and those addressing buzzwords like transparency, crowdsourcing and accountability.

Dangermond gave the Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi the “Making a Difference Award.” Dagermond noted not only the Emirate’s use of GIS but also it dedication to serving others - those in Haiti, Africa and Afghanistan. He also acknowledged the U.N. The City of Frisco, TX won the President’s Award for its SAFER, public safety application. It includes 1700 live video cameras to let public safety personnel look inside buildings.

The theme of “opening the work to everyone” reflected geography’s history in exploration and how computational geography (the mathematical revolution) advanced it to new forms of exploration. That new exploration involves exploring current challenges: population, climate change, livable cities, etc. Now that GIS allows us to organize our information, the next step is sharing that information.

That sharing was illustrated by a demo by CitySourced which offers mobile and Web-based reporting of local issues (potholes, graffiti, etc.). Of note for me was one of the demoers comments that analysis was possible (“85% of graffiti reported was within a mile of the freeway”) and how that was new and exciting to the company, one steeped in social media, not geography. Also noteworthy: their use of the term “routing” to mean moving a complain to the correct department, not physically route a vehicle. (I noted CitySourced back in June since you could follow reports via Twitter.)

Dangermond introduced ArcGIS 10 as a complete system and shared some highlights (that were illustrated in the second half by John Caulkins and colleagues). He and Bernie Szukalski showed of the Community Basemaps program sourcing data from professional GIS providers (was once just called Community Maps), and ArcGIS Explorer Online.

In the “announcements” category were:

- new global imagery and elevation services and downloadable data coming in 2 months
- Social and Community analyst - akin to Business Analyst - coming
- certification program - coming early next year - will “enhance your reputation and status”
- virtual classroom - online delivery of teacher led classes - already occurring (ESRI blog post)

The second half of the plenary was a rundown of highlights of ArcGIS 10 as the complete system. Scott Morehouse and Clint Brown compare the vision for ArcGIS to how we use music now. That is: it’s everywhere and you access it with whatever device you have at hand (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.)

We learned about productivity, field user, map automation using Python, the image server extension (massive, fast and accessible data), network analyst with new location/allocation tools, ArcLogistics Online, Business Analyst on iPhone, 3D GIS, time and space awareness.

For our response to this session, check out tomorrow’s podcast!

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 02:31 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

No idea on if there’s any research behind that number or why there’s an opinion piece in Computerworld about GIS by Bert Perkins. Perhaps this person is at ESRIUC?

Recently, I learned that 20 years ago specialists were asserting that 80% of all data contains geographical references. That sounded high, so I asked Stuart Hamilton, GIS program director at the College of William and Mary, to clarify. His estimate: 95% is more accurate today. New technology is partially responsible, including cell phones, GPS devices and electronic toll collectors.

- Computerworld

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 07:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Google Open Spot, the latest addition to Google Labs, is a new application for Android phones. The idea? To find open parking places in crowded areas.

These spots were placed by other users, who are supposed to hit the app’s ‘Mark a Spot’ button when they leave a crowded parking lot or happen to see an open spot as they walk by.

They are color-coded newly identified ones are red (quick get here before someone takes it!), yellow (could be gone since it was marked 10-20 minutes ago) and after 20 minutes, the spots are erased, assumed to be filled. Incentive to add spots? Karma points.

- TechCrunch

“URLs within Google Maps will now have an auto-shortened option that will use the shortener.”

- The Next Web

More LBS numbers are in: Loopt is up to 4 million users, propelled by iPhone 4, so it says.

- TechFreqNews

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/12 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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