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Friday, December 31, 2010

Sean Gorman of FortiusOne wrote and article for Mashable titled: Open Data: Why the Crowd Can Be Your Best Analytics Tool

The premise is that the crowd will be key in analyzing big datasets. His example is not a “toss the data out there and ask for an interpretation” or “toss a challenge out to public” with which the geospatial community is familiar. The former is what the Steve Fossett crowdsourcing effort, the latter is along the lines of OpenSreetMap. Rather Gorman uses a linear vision of crowdsourcing specifically for deep analysis. In his example, John does something with the data and post his results openly. Then Kate does something with that. Then…Bill, then Lauren.

While I have no reason to believe this sort of thing couldn’t happen now or in the near future, I do not believe this is how things are working right now.

The data may well be public. In his example Gorman uses public tweets.

But, the tools to do this sort of work are fairly complex and may or may be accessible to the key executives. I know FortiusOne and others are working to democratize those tools.

Another challenge: How are John, Kate, Bill and Lauren connected? Do all these people all work for Walmart? In the same department? How do they learn about each other’s data? The social and communications aspects of this type of crowdsourcing are significant.

I agree with Gorman that there is power in the open data and open sharing of analyses of those data. I just want to point out that crowdsourcing these analytical efforts will be far more complex than the data gathering and simple analyses that came before.  Further, I’ll suggest that one of the key enablers of this sort of workflow will be those who work in the various communications roles within and between departments and organizations.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/31 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pike County, IL will get new aerial imagery after the board approved a $99,000 contract with Sidwell Corporation. Not big news, but this is interesting: “A $25 GIS document fee should generate enough to cover the contract cost within 18 months. Board members approved the fee, but still need to adopt an ordinance to put the fee in place.” That may not be a bad idea as the GIS folks suggested imagery be taken every four years. The last imagery was taken in 1998! Or, maybe that’s another reason for Imagery for the Nation?

- Quincy Herald

York County, NY was looking for a surveyor, typically an elected position. But no one ran. So, they put the part time job up for bid and received eight proposals including one from the current surveyor. Some members of the board felt it best to stay with the same person, but the other firm reps raised some interesting responses:

Marsh, representing Kirkham Michael, was in attendance and asked to address the board.

“I want to remind you that Kirkham Michael is in business in York County, we have an office in York,” Marsh said. “Surveying and engineering is our business, we don’t do it on the side. Our people work in York County, our vehicles are serviced in York County. Maybe the cost is a little higher but that’s also because we carry liability insurance. This isn’t a part-time job for us.”

“I think that Rex (Heiden) [current surveyor] has done a good job over the years,” Bolte said, “but I also see the face of surveying changing,” with the use of more complex mapping, technology, use of GIS, etc. “Also, how are you handling liability issues now?”

No immediate selection was made.

- York News Times

On Wednesday, the city of Lawrence, KS launched a beta of its interactive map to extend access to data to the public. But how does the ArcGIS Server powered site compare to Google Maps?

“If you need to get driving (or) transit directions, or the location of a particular business, stick with Google or Bing maps,” said Micah Seybold, the city’s GIS coordinator, in a blog posted at the city’s website, “The city map is going to have city of Lawrence information too detailed and specific for the big commercial maps.

- Lawrence Journal World

The Janesville Wisconsin Police Department is launching a website, with a map, that publicly identifies repeat drunken drivers (five or more convictions) in Janesville. Right now there are 192 dots on the map. “The department said it’s the first agency in the United States to launch Project Sober Streets.” The idea is that mapping the offenders will help stop drunk driving. The data in use is all public. The technology? GeoCortex. My experience: “Geocortex Essentials Application Error The ArcGIS Server Local map service ‘OverviewMap’ with definition ‘(default)@OVMap’ is invalid or currently unavailable. Underlying cause: Exception of type ‘System.OutOfMemoryException’ was thrown.”


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/30 at 07:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apparently training for taking the Esri Tech Certification will be available:

“@daskiles: Front Range Community College will offer an ESRI certification boot camp summer 2011”

The college offers a certificate and other courses. Mr. Skiles, who teaches there, tweeted the message.

via @daskiles

About 10,000 copies of “Treasures of Redlands,” a new tourism guide, will be available in local businesses and hotels today. The project was spearheaded by University of Redlands vice president and dean of student life Char Burgess and Esri employee and community volunteer Shelli Stockton.

- Redlands Daily Facts

Back in November Esri announced a newsletter for its Community Maps Program. At the time it was only available via e-mail. I didn’t think that made any sense and noted it in a blog post. Now I see that the newsletter is both in the Esri Newsletter Library and at the Community Maps Blog. Thanks for listening! Now, about making the license agreement public… smile

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/29 at 09:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The vision as told by Dr Helbing, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is of a hardware/software/data slution that collides “different branches of knowledge to reveal the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century.”

Hardware? Nope, not yet. Software. Nope, not yet. Data?

More than 70 online data sources have already been identified by the team. Wikipedia, Google Maps and the UK government’s data repository are just some of them.

- Sify

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/29 at 07:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

From the MAPPS Blog Post 12/17/10:

On December 1, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff issued a report on privacy. While the news media has focused on the proposed, voluntary “Do Not Track” program for web browsers (similar to the “Do Not Call” list for telemarketers), what has gone relatively unnoticed is the fact that the FTC is also proposing regulations and policies that will shut down the geospatial community. Please peruse the FTC news release and the full text of the FTC report. On page 61 it reads, “The Commission staff has supported affirmative express consent where companies collect sensitive information for online behavioral advertising and continues to believe that certain types of sensitive information warrant special protection, such as information about children, financial and medical information, and precise geolocation data. Thus, before any of this data is collected, used, or shared, staff believes that companies should seek affirmative express consent.”

MAPPS is “on the case” and looking for community support and examples the sorts of geospatial work the proposed policies will prohibit.

- MAPPS Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/29 at 07:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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