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Thursday, July 07, 2011

In a letter (pdf) released Thursday (which includes a report dated June 14), The United States Departments of Transportation and Defense asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration advise the Federal Communications Commission to withhold approval for LightSquared's network.

In response to recent setback LightSquared today announced the Empower Rural America Initiative. The effort "will aim to resolve some of the interference issues and expand wireless coverage in underserved areas. Whose involved? Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., former Reps. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., and Charlie Stenholm, D-Texas are on the advisory board for the effort.

- The Hill Blog

- C|NET

- press release on letter to NTIA

- press release on Empower Rural America

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/07 at 02:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Among the updates at ArcGIS Online:

Drag-and-Drop Files

Support For OGC (WMS) Services

KML Support

Enhanced Group Item Management

Renaming Layers

Improved Feature Editing

ArcGIS Mobile

- Esri Support Blog via @ajhaddad

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/07 at 04:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

While Google touts new features in Google Maps 5.7 for Android (beta) related to better navigation in public transport (and notification about reaching a public transit stop) a la TravelNapp), tech pubs are all over a much requested feature: the ability to download maps for when cell service is unavailable. Yep, it's in there.

This new version of Google Maps adds the ability to download maps to the phone for navigation on short trips into areas without web connectivity. Before heading into the no service zone simply download the map for the area. Downloaded maps can also be used for offline searches in addition to navigation. Being in areas without connectivity gets a lot more bearable with these downloaded maps.

- ZDNet

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/07 at 03:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Guardian reports on new rules that took effect April 1 in the UK that move public health officials from primary care trusts  to local authorities. The concern: the good work done while in may not continue. 

But with expertise in geographical information systems (GIS) concentrated within public health departments of primary care trusts (PCTs), which are due to move from PCTs to local authorities, there is concern that GIS skills will be lost on the way.

The good news is, if there is any, is that local authority health users have free access to Ordnance Survey data. The bad news? Only 82 NHS organisations have signed up thus far.

- The Guardian

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released an interactive map to raise awareness about its campaign to end malaria.

- Gates Foundation via Mashable

Gambia is learning about epidemiology.

Five days International Training Course on “Spatial Epidemiology” methods and application in Global positioning system (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) was recently ended at the ITC in Kerr Serign. The training was organised by the US department of Agriculture in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture, Animal Health and Production Services Department. The training brought together participants in different countries in the sub-region, who deal with animal health and production services.

- Foroyaa

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/07 at 03:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An article at Internet Evolution about "geo-fences" shares this LBS example:

AT&T uses Placecast's geofencing platform, as do companies including The North Face, which specializes in outdoor clothing and accessories. The North Face's geofencing service, Summit Signals, not only sends information about product sales, but also information that's relevant to its customers. For example, one text message was:

TNF: You've trained. You're ready. The TNF Boulder Marathon is this Sunday, Sept 19. Run a 10K, a half or a full marathon. Register @http://bit.ly/DD3OK

I wonder what info they had on their customers who got this message? That they run? That they are in Colorado? In Boulder? Would I sign up for a marathon "this Sunday" if I got such a message? Unlikely. A shorter event? Perhaps.This reads like it was written by maketing folks, not folks who know about runners. If I'd signed on to get TNF's messages, something like this would encourage me to unsubscribe.

BTW, when even tiny marathons are selling out months in advance, it's interesting TNF had to use this sort of measure to fill the race the week before.

- Internet Evolution

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/07 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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