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Monday, November 29, 2010

If you are working toward transparency on your local municipality website, the Illinois Policy Institute offers 10 guidelines to help cover the bases. Clearly these are needed because the top players that were audited in the state got only about 50 out of 100 points!

- (Downer’s Grove, Illinois)

To help navigate this terrain, staff members in the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) developed NYCityMap, a Web-based interactive mapping application that offers a one-stop information shop for those on the prowl. And the cost to utilize this tool? Nada, zip, zilch — it’s free.

It uses GeoServer and Dojo.

- DigitalCommunities

John Morgan III, a professor in the Towson (Maryland) department of geography and environmental planning, has introduced a new map to provide information on the cause of a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergencies. Maryland safeMAP, a graphical interface map will provide the public with relevant geographical information for use in the case of an emergency. Next up? Expanding it beyond Maryland.

- The Tower Light

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 07:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Chris Tucker argues at the Huffington Post that the President’s Daily Brief, a small packet of well vetted information should be updated to an interactive product. In particular, the new Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper should insure an interactive map supports all the topics.

We are at an inflection point in how intelligence could and should be conveyed. We could abandon the outmoded and inadequate PDB framework for informing the President and his national security principals. We could embrace a new metaphor. Not a short paper brief—but, rather, an interactive digital mapping interface that is integrated into all of the datastores in the national security community. The President’s Map. And, we happen to have the right DNI, James R. Clapper, to make this happen.

- HuffPo

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“I admit that using a GPS has hurt my sense of direction. It’s just part of the effect of technology making things easier and more convenient.”

- Jessica Myers, media relations manager at GPS giant Garmin in an article in the Star Tribune about GPS devices replacing maps.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A local paper in Virginia profiles the new electronic topos the USGS now offers. The program is referred to as US Topo. The article concludes with one individual’s concerns:

While response has been positive in emergency response circles, the man in charge of a set of maps in wide use locally is far from happy, saying that while on-demand maps made by assimilating existing data offer convenience, a complete shift in that direction risks losing the fine details and pinpoint accuracy for which the USGS is known.

Quads are already sub-par for trail use in many cases, said Thomas Kaye, the maps chairman for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Some trails, such as the Appalachian Trail, are listed on such maps. But groups such as the PATC make specialty maps that show a more useful set of trails for the average hiker. Quads remain perhaps the best way to navigate across unknown country.

Kaye worries that the new maps, which can be updated simply by acquiring new sets of data, will lead to fewer features being routinely updated.

“Essentially, what you’re going to have updated is roads at the end of the day, and maybe some rivers and lakes, but it’s not going to be the USGS quads that we know and have come to trust,” he said.

- Daily Progress

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A small BC company bumped up the number of paid gigs with its UAV based imagery collection from 10 in 2008 to 35 in 2009. The hand launchable UAV carries its own GIS (per the article) and produces 8 in pixel imagery.

- Salmon Arm Observer

...Thomson Reuters for the first time this season will incorporate satellite imagery of mall parking lots when making its calculations of shopper traffic and holiday-sales volumes. The company is using images provided by Remote Sensing Metrics of parking lots at more than 200 U.S. malls to count the number of occupied and empty spaces.

Thomson Reuters used the images to determine that shopper traffic at those malls was 5.8% higher last Saturday than it was in the same Saturday in November 2009 and 11.8% higher than the same Saturday in 2008.

- Wall Street Journal
- more details at Smart Money

Bill McKibben helped launch 350 EARTH, the first global art show for the climate. Some great imagery and an intro by the artist at Alternet. The effort includes “major public art installations in over a dozen locations across the planet that will be photographed by satellites 400 miles above the Earth’s surface starting today and through November 27 as part of a planetary scale art project.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 11/24 at 06:32 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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