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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Despite the fact that many, many people think I went to journalism school or took some classes in it, I did not. I am not a journalist. I learned in college and grad school that I was not a great writer (thanks Pierce Lewis, who really disliked my writing; describing it as Germanic!). But I later found if I wrote about stuff I got jazzed about, my writing was better. That’s certainly what got me to this job (which I love, if I don’t say it enough).

And, while I still work on my writing I’m also trying to learn all I can about journalism, especially the “best practices” stuff. I love On the Media and Beat the Press and read stuff on Poynter.org. And, I listen with care to journalists I respect and see how they handle the “iffy” stories. Joe Francica reminds me regularly that we shouldn’t publish rumors. I confess, I do now and again feel some are worth noting (like Foursquare’s discussions with various potential suitors) but try to mark them as uncomfirmed/rumor. And, as I’m sure readers know, we source everything (hopefully to the more reliable sources on the ‘Net.)

I saw the Google “drone” story on Sunday night. Word was Google was going to use drones to capture high res imagery. It had bought such a craft from a company went the tale. It was in an odd blog that referenced a small story in German newspaper. I looked at who picked it up…no organization I’d heard of had done so. And, there was no comment from Google. So, I waiting and watched. The story popped up on Slashdot, then SlashGeo. Then I was surprised to hear it on Buzz Out Loud (C|net’s tech podcast) since so far as I could tell there’d still been no confirmation from Google and the small German company that makes the craft, well it sounded like it was possible there could have been some confusion.

My waiting paid off. Today, Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor and the author of What Would Google Do?, got a statement from Google, which he tweeted about 3 pm today: PR:“Google is not testing or using this technology. This was a purchase by a Google executive with an interest in robotics for personal use.”

I just wanted to share how my brain is working these days as we try to provide our readers with valuable information. That’s also why you are seeing more “Update: ...” type posts. Few stories end when they appear in this blog. If there’s significant follow up, we try to let you know “the rest of the story.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/10 at 03:56 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Director of Ovi Places, Gary Gale, spoke to GoMo News about the state of mobile navigation.

Of note:

On crowdsourced geodata: “It’s a benevolent technological anarchy – because there’s no formalised control over how you tag a place, a consumer has to accept that finding out how to use the data will take significant time and revenue investment.”

Main challenges to LBS: Privacy and LBS platforms not sharing data (such as POIs)

- GoMo News

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/10 at 06:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Geo Fact Finder is a reference app to show off Urban Mapping’s new platform, Mapfluence (and its data). And, it’s pretty sweet: select up to three themes to see together on a Bing Map. I chose temperature, public transit and election returns. You can control transparency, change the classifications and more. My chief issue: I could not figure out how to switch between legends for the three themes.

Welcome to Geo Fact Finder, a demonstration application from Urban Mapping. Geo Fact Finder is designed to illustrate capabilities of Mapfluence, our hosted mapping platform. Mapfluence is a web-based geoservices engine designed to push geo-intelligence to the browser. We also maintain a data catalog, providing immediate and queryable access to geographic data. This application is intended to visualize and explore geographic data; we’ve selected a subset of our 10,000+ variables and included them in different topic areas. You may select up to three topics at any one time. We look forward to your feedback and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. You can send email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

via VizWorld
- Urban Mapping a href=“http://urbanmapping.com/blog/index.php/2010/08/06/geo-fact-finder-infoviz-web-mapping-on-demand/”>blog post

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/10 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today [Aug 9]Ushahidi announced the launch of Crowdmap, a hosted service providing Ushahidi “out of the box with nothing to install.” Analogous perhaps to the difference between Wordpress.org (a downloadable version of WordPress that you run on your own server) and Wordpress.com (a Wordpress blog hosted on the Wordpress server), Crowdmap will provide a hosted version of the Ushahidi software.

From what I can tell using the hosted service is free.
- Just Means
- Announcement on Ushahidi blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/10 at 06:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The application for a smart bike reads like a description of a connected bike computer; that is, it collects the same data many inexpensive bike computers capture, but can share it among devices. Has Apple ever gotten into sport save with the product for runners, the Nike+ stuff that links to the iPod.  I can’t say many of my friends use that; we are all Garmin users. (I’m on my second Forerunner 201 after I lost the first one.)

- PC World

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/10 at 06:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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