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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Even if your data is in the cloud, it’s still housed somewhere," says Audrey Watters writing in ReadWriteCloud. Watters was reporting on how Turnkey Linux is using Django’s GeoIP to help map the location of the closest data center as a means of improving performance. Turnkey is creating an index of each country and US states, and associating the index to Amazon’s server facilities. The objective is to create a reference map of server farm coordinates.

So, even in the cloud, location will often determine how requrests are routed and data stored.

And that brings up another issue: Cybersecurity. Does location matter to cyber-thiefs? Would you hack the nearest data center if you knew where it was. Intuitively, you would think not but it doesn’t take too much thought to suggest why location matters even in cybersecurity.

The question also came to my mind today as I participated in a news conference with Huntsville, Alabama mayor Tommy Battle. Battle is looking to make Huntsville a center of excellence in cybersecurity. Battle believes that the city has the expertise, the workforce, the educational facilities and the government contracts to make this a reality. Battle is forming a committee to explore this initiative that will include the city’s business and government leaders. He made the comments a few days ago as reported in the Huntsville Times and reiterated this iniative at the Space and Missile Defense Conference (SMDC) today.

by Joe Francica on 08/17 at 04:29 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I spent the afternoon at the Space and Missile Defense Conference (SMDC) here in the "Rocket City" where you can see on display any number of simulators, battlefield vehicles and yes, rockets and missiles from myriad defense contractors like Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing and others all in the name of national security. Now, these missiles don’t go very far without location technology playing a major roll in where the warheads land. And this group of technology providers is not really represented at a conference like GEOINT where it primarily focuses on remotely sensed geospatial technology such as mapping with full motion video surveillance, tactical battlefield management and applications such as "blue force" tracking.

The companies at SMDC engaged in location technology include navigation vendors like Spirent or systems integrators like those mentioned above as well "hybrid" defense contractors like Analytical Graphics Inc., AEgis and smaller companies like Decisive Analytics. So, what’s this size of the market? I get asked that question more often these days, as I did a few weeks ago by the technology editor for the Boston Globe, and it is always an interesting conversation because no one can truly evaluate the size as there are so many factors (data, software, consulting) at play and so many companies are private in our business.

SMDC is about twice the size of GEOINT in terms of attendees but about the same in number of exhibitors. If you take Daratech’s numbers that the size of the public GIS marketplace is about $1 Billion (and I use that number with some reservation given Daratech’s ability to accurately identify the true market), my estimate is that $500 Million of that is local and state government while the other 50% is federal. Of the federal percentage, let’s say that half of that is defense related or about $250 Million. Where does missile defense fall out of this number. It’s hard to say because so much of this business is "black." However, my best guess is that $50 to $100 Million maybe tied up in missile defense.

Your opinions and WAGs are welcome.

by Joe Francica on 08/17 at 03:20 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Regarding geo:

Maps, Geo, and Local

Location-based services are an essential element in web app development. We will be evaluating all our Geo, Maps, and Local APIs—updating or shutting down some of them, and working with our strategic partner, Nokia, on others. We will work with our developer community to ensure a smooth transition in all instances and we will share more details about these decisions in September.

- Yahoo Developer Network Blog via @reventazon who RTd @twbell:

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/17 at 01:24 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

CNBC explains how one company uses satellite imagery of parking lots to determine Wal-Mart profits. Also note worthy:  “Spying for Profits,” will run all day Tuesday, August 17 on CNBC from DigitalGlobe headquarters in Colorado.

- CNBC

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/17 at 08:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This at one time was to be a topic for my “trends in geospatial” course. Wired offers up a nice comparison table for those pondering which way to go for their next geospatial offering for a mobile device.

- Wired

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/17 at 08:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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