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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The map includes tweets about Libya.

- via twitter

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 05:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with eight states in a pilot program to map their safest roads. Says the CEO of the foundation: "You could get in a car, turn on the in-vehicle navigation and request not only the quickest way from point A to point B, but the safest way." 

- USA Today

To protect its IT infrastructure Altamonte Springs, Fla., moved equipment across the street to a renovated water tank. The structure had been used before to protect the computers and such during hurricanes, but they were innaccessible. Now, they have a permanent safe, home.

- GovTech

The Baltimore Sun is creating a crowdsourced map of tech businesses in the state. It uses Google Fusion tables. 

- Baltimore Sun Blog

The headline reads: "GPS to end mass copying in state" but so far as I can tell it's a problem GIS will actually solve.

To put a full stop to the malpractice of cheating, especially mass copying, in board exams in the state, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has decided to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to identify centres where use of unfair means has become the norm. The idea is to pinpoint centres that show a high demand among schools even when there are other centres that are much closer....

"In order to stop this process of 'jumping' exam centres, we are going to use GPS technology. We will conduct mapping of all schools and the respective nearest exam centres in the state," she [chairperson of the state board] said. "We will compare the distance from the school to the centre selected with the distance to the nearest exam centre, and if we find that schools have selected an exam centre that is inexplicably far off, then we will cancel the school's request and instead allot the nearest centre."


by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 05:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

SCVNGR Surpasses 1 Million Users. Foursquare is closing in on 7M for comparison.

- Mashable

EchoEcho apparently solves a problem with services like Foursquare: those services don't tell you where your friends are now.

With Echoecho, users can send a simple notification to any user on their phone's contact list. If that user has the app, they'll see a simple request asking "where are you now?" If they accept the request, the sender will see their exact location on the phone's mapping application.

If the recipient doesn't have Echoecho, they'll get a text message showing them where they can download the app.

Yep it sounds annoying, but apparently there's a "don't annoy" option.

- SF Gate

Grey Area, a small Finnish smartphone games developer, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Index Ventures, London Venture Partners and Initial Capital, TechCrunch has learned.

The game makes the local area a game board for a battle for power type game. It's expected to come to the U.S. before other areas of the world.

- TechCrunch

The Cincinnati Enquirer is trying to beat Foursquare with its own branded check-in app.

The paper is rolling out a location-based services (LBS) app, Porkappolis, that will understand the city in a way national competitors like Foursquare, Gowalla or Yelp can’t, according to’s Brian Butts.

...“Bacon” is the local factor that helps differentiate the homegrown Cincinnati effort from its national competitors. In Porkappolis “Bacon” is literally a tab within the app that provides relevant geo-targeted information to the user. Information, the paper believes, that is most effectively gathered and served by a trusted local source like the Enquirer.

...Porkappolis is a white label version of the DoubleDutch LBS app. Butts, the Director of Digital & Technology for Enquirer Media, told me last week they had been working with the app developer on the project since August 2010.

Good luck!


by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 05:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share


Mahindra Satyam, former Satyam Computer Services Ltd., said its business process outsourcing arm, Mahindra Satyam BPO, had renewed its existing contract with NAVTEQ, the global provider of digital map data, to provide wide portfolio of geospatial services for a further period of two years.

- RTT News

Ahmedabad is looking at a tree inventory based on GPS data collection and a GIS database.

Deputy municipal commissioner for parks and garden department, SK Langa said that the tree census would enable to get reliable scientific documentation of tree species which are rare in the city, define the number of trees per individual in city, a reliable indicator of climate change and C-stock and the greening efforts required for the city.

- DNA India

The Bombay high court on Monday acquitted map-makers Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed Shaikh of all charges in the 26/11 trial because of lack of corroborative evidence.

Still, the judge didn't believe their story regarding carrying hand drawn maps (since maps are available from Google, was the logic) nor is it likely they will be released from jail any time soon.

- Times of India


Ghana is celebrated its 6th Surveyors Week with a focus on how the discipline supports the oil and gas industry.

GBC Ghana


SK Telecom announced Tuesday that it launched Geovision, a business platform based on geographic information system (GIS). For 150,000 won, the platform provides the user with market analysis of the location in five minutes. If someone wants to open a café, he would want to know about the population, the number of passersby, their income level, rent, and competitors. Geovision provides around 30 kinds of detailed information, such as buying patterns of each age group or gender and real estate development. 

There are eight partners involved in the offering which is basically Business Analyst for Korea!

- Korea Times

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/24 at 04:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Esri has released a full Q & A at the ArcGIS Online Blog.  

--- update 2/20/11 ----

Update: Faridur Rahman Choudhury, a blogger, offers the text of the e-mail sent out. Matt Artz's GIS and Science blog (not an Esri blog, but he works there: "the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Esri’s positions, strategies, or opinions.") also has the text.  I am not on the e-mail list in question, it seems.

And, while the data access is free (much of the time), the APIs to access the datasets are not always free.

--- original post 2/19/11 ---

To quote the ArcGIS Online page:

ArcGIS Online map services are available at no cost regardless of use.

However it seems high volume users will still to pay some fees (FAQ):

Yes, ArcGIS Online map services are available at no cost to all users who use less than 50,000,000 transactions per year. High volume users, using over 50,000,000 transactions per year, will be required to purchase ArcGIS Data Appliance for on-premises use or contract with Esri Professional Services or their local Esri distributor for a managed services environment to support their volume consumption requirements. 

Back in 2009 I wrote in some detail about the "freeness" of the Esri APIs for the datasets and the datasets themselves.

This change means that now non-commercial use of the APIs is ok if you don’t own ArcGIS Server (whether you are a non-profit or commercial entity). You can use the APIs to hit the free ArcGIS Online data, per its licensing (most is free for non-commercial use, but there’s a fee for commercial use) but all users must pay for premium data. You can also use the APIs to hit any ArcGIS published data to which you have access. 

I learned of this via Pierre Crevoisier (@pcrevoisier) and Brian Timoney (@briantimoney) who offer these assessments respectively:

ESRI is changing its politic. ArcGIS Online #map services are available at no cost regardless of use. ...

ESRI freeing tiles a) response to competition--Mapquest, GeoCommons, et al b) cartography as competitive differentiator

It seems the news was dropped on Twitter by @martenhogeweg at 6pm EST on Friday night. It seems all "hot news" comes from Marten...I'm glad he joined the comm team.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/23 at 07:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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