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Monday, July 12, 2010

MapSherpa began as a mapping tool for those who wanted to track their adventures in the Canadian outdoors. (APB coverage). Now an update as Version 2 of MapSherpa launches.

Key features include:

- Addition of US content
- Ability to share finished map products
- Ability to search and discover maps shared by others
- GPS Import capability

There’s also a partner program setup for premium content, allowing organizations like trail groups, expert hikers, etc.. to publish maps and earn sales royalties.

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

Now word that Google has been granted its Internet Content Provider license, but no word on the mapping ok.

- Mercury News

—- update 6/30/10—-

On Monday the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping updated the list of companies ok to provide online maps to 23 providers, with no sign of Google on the list. But that’s the least of Google woes. Even after it tweaked its Google China page to more respectfully redirect to, China may still not renew its Internet Content Provider license to operate in the country. Without it, Google would go dark in China.

- Economic Times

—- original post 6/24/10——

China has ok’d 18 smaller Chinese map providers to offer maps on the Internet. No internationals have been approved leaving Google and Nokia, who have both applied, in limbo. No word if Microsoft has applied for approval for Bing.

China Daily via The Next Web

Continue reading...

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

Michael Byrne, GIO, Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis, for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) spoke on the Broadband Mapping Initiative for the U.S. at the Esri Senior Executive Seminar. Byrne offered some statistics that showed that nearly 95% of Americasn have access to wireline broadband service, but only about 2/3 actually subscribe meaning that about 100 million citizens across the U.S. are without access at home.

He said that 60% of the U.S. has 3G coverage with over 77% of the U.S. population having access to three or more 3G providers. In 2009, 172 million mobile phones were sold in the U.S. and of these 27% were smart phones. “We’re seeing an exponential growth on availability of broadband,” said Byrne.

What’s the Broadband Plan from the FCC? Congress is calling to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability where it believes that broadband is the technology that allows the U.S. to keep its lead as the worldwide technology leader.

The goals of U.S. Broadband Plan call for at least 100 million U.S. homes to have affordable access to at least 100 mpbs download and at least 50 Mbps upload speed by 2020. And, that the U.S. should lead the world in mobile innovation. Further, every American should have access, means to afford and the skills to operate Internet access. Every community anchor institution should have gigbit service; every first responder should have access to a nationwide wireless interoperable network and every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage assets.

Recommendations of the plan:

  • Design policies to ensure robust competition and as a result maximize consumer welfare, innovation and investment
  • Ensure efficient allocation and management of assets government controls or influences to encourage network upgrades and competitive entry
  • Reform current universal service mechanisms to support development of broadband; boost adoption
  • Reform laws, policies, standards, and incentives to maximize benefits of broadband in key sectors

The Broadband Map
  • Allow us to measure progress and better manage the desired policy outcomes
  • Established under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), requires National Telecommunication and Information Adminstration (NTIA) to create and publish the National Broadband Map; the NTIA partnered with FCC to help
  • Requirements for the map are: on-line, searchable and interactive

The Map Elements
  • 56 Grant awardees
  • Collect twice a year
    • Availability by provider
    • Technology employed
    • Speed
    • Community anchor institutions
    • Infrastructure
  • Census Block level map
  • Assembled and published in on map
  • Data is publically available
  • Data is delivered to FCC; map will be produced by Feb 2011
  • As of Friday, 54 awardees data sets integrated into one spatial data container
  • So far the maps says so far:
    • Confirms that 95% availability at the lowest level technology
    • We are seeing block level data for the first time
    • Variation in speed and wireless spectrum is used
    • Struggling with delivering this volume of data

Byrne acknowledged the changing culture of the FCC, that the National Broadband Map provides a service and that search is really important to the end user.

by Joe Francica on 07/12 at 01:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Speaking at the Esri Senior Executive Seminar, Jerry Johnston, Geographic Information Officer (GIO) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that, “Data should be ‘one click away.’” Most of Johnson’s efforts are supporting where 270,194 geospatial data sets exist today.

But next on his priority list is “visualization for and considering the issue of “what data is mashable? He said that a basic problem is getting data from catalogs into a format that is readily viewable. The solution? Soon to be released will be’s Mapping Mashup Preview Capability that will be available in the next two or three weeks. The goal is to have a preview capability to see if users want to download the data or not.

And after the preview mashup is up and going, Johnson said that he will turn his attention to having spatial search as an integral part of with enhanced visualization tools and more integration of geospatial web services.

by Joe Francica on 07/12 at 01:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Click for larger imageMaurice Williamson, Minister for Land Information, Parliament, of New Zealand spoke with enormous passion about educating his fellow ministers about not only using GIS but managing all government entities with geospatial information. “I feel evangelical about this whole frontier,” said Williamson. “I have got the religion.” Williamson is focusing on developing a national spatial data infrastructure and raising awareness at senior levels within government that GIS is vitally important. But he faces a common problem. “One of the barriers of advancement [in GIS] is the lack of skills and quality of people in the marketplace,” he said. Williamson cited Eagle Technology that is developing a web based learning portal to make GIS software widely accessible to all schools in New Zealand.

Carlos Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, Governor of the State of Guerrero, Mexico
and the former mayor of Acapulco spoke of the poverty within his state. Demographic data he showed put his state near the bottom of most statistics in basic services. Most support comes from the federal government but by the time the state uses funds to pay for basic services and debt finance, little is left to support services for the people. The state of Guerrero is using GIS for land registry for property tax assessment as well as to inventory of public buildings such as schools, health centers, other government buildings. The gains his government has reaped by using GIS comes in the form of additional income which he has turned back into building new schools and health facilities.

Greg Scott, Group Leader for the National Mapping and information Group, Geospatial and Earth Monitoring Division for Geoscience Australia spoke about maturing Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) are driven by a specific business needs. He listed several initiatives that are working.

Business driven requirements for SDI include climate change and coastal vulnerability; disaster risk reduction; urban sustainability; environment; water security; and energy security. “We are seeing the requirement for the support of these activities becoming much more specific,” said Scott.
As an example, he mentioned projects for urban sustainability which are now part of the Super Science Initiative. The Australia Urban Research Infrastructure Network has received $20 million over 4 years with the intention to ensure cities have strong, transparent and long term plans in place to manage growth, climate change, housing and urban congestion to support greater sustainability.

In the area of energy security, a national assessment of the problem the government established the Clean Energy Initiative with $5.1 Billion in funding that included the Carbon Capture and Storage project, and the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy. It also includes the Solar Flagships Program, a $1.5 billion program to provide the foundation for large scale, grid connected, solar power generation and developing an energy spatial data infrastructure to support these efforts.

In the area of water security a program called Water for the Future received a $12.9 billion water investment program, which is a 10 year plan designed to secure water resources.

Scott said that SDI is in good shape but that the greatest barriers to a national, formal SDI is perceived cost and that “complexity and organizational and cultural issues” must be overcome.

Abdul Karim Al Raeisi, the GIS executive Manager, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre said that the Abu Dhabi government policy is focused on sustainable development. The government is looking at how people can collaborate using geospatial information. Abu Dhabi’s e-society initiative has a goal that by 2030 they want to achieve a spatially enabled e-government.

by Joe Francica on 07/12 at 01:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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