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Monday, November 07, 2011

Someone wrote to us asking about the recent acquisition of SpotOn Systems by Esri. So, let me give you my take. 

I think that Esri is simply covering all bases with this acquisition. SpotOn was a small BI company that leveraged Esri's platform. So many BI players are getting into geospatial analytics that this is a move to let customers know they have not forgotten about BI. If you look at all the major BI players, they are doing some kind of business intelligence that is integrated with geospatial information. Esri has for a long time had relationships with companies like InformationBuilders and others. The major player is still Oracle because they not only acquired several BI companies long ago, but their Fusion initiative that integrated Oracle Spatial with their BI solutions has now been completed. Also, the ability to get into big data is something that is also on Esri's mind.  Teradata showed up at the Esri UC this year and now that Netezza has been acquired by IBM, another close partner of Esri's, this is certainly an area of interest that Esri is watching. There's just too much unstructed data that needs to be integrated with structured geospatial data that Esri will have to address this with a big data partner like Teradata. However, big data is Oracle's sweet spot. But, companies like Teradata and Netezza may make a dent in Oracle's market share. So once again, Esri is trying to cover all bases.
by Joe Francica on 11/07 at 05:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Update 11/8/11: Videos are now on YouTube.

--- original post 11/7/11 ---

As I post at 7:52 am (EST) on Monday morning, there are 6631 letters documented as sent to Congress in support the Geography is Fundamental Act. The goal of a current challenge is 10,000 by November 18, the end of Geography Awareness Week. You can send letters directly to your senators and reps via this website.

And, if you are ready to help spread the word about this short term challenge and the longterm goal of passage of the Act (first introduced in 2005), there are some new goodies available on the challenge resources website inlcuding

- two short movies

- a number of Facebook friendly graphics including my favorite

Bad Geography Test

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 04:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The first time I ran the Boston Marathon the athlete tracking was so bad my nephew decided I had dropped out and he and his family went home instead of seeing me come by. That was 2006.

The past weekend I sat in my living room watching the New York City Marathon live on TV while tracking five friends running the event on a slick app on the race website. Not only did we get close to real time updates of peoples times at various points, there was also a map withe each of them represented by a different icon on a Google Map. One of my friends watching with me had bought the mobile app and was getting updates just about the same time as I got them on the computer (my app was free to use). Our first runner accross, in a substantial personal record was at 3:02. Go Sanjay!

The only glitch seemed to be with one of our slower runners - it took her a long time to show up as even on the course and she disappeared a few times, leading (again) some to believe she'd dropped out. That was not the case. 

These systems, even at these huge races, which huge numbers of people tracking multiple athletes, have come a long way. Another, who works at Akamai, suggested that company may have something to do with the system staying up.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In Suffolk County, NY, library budget allocations are tied to library card registrations, so it is important that residents (a) register and (b) do it in the right library. However, in Suffolk County, point "b" is not always so straightforward, because a library's service area is defined by school districts, township boundaries, and other confusing lines.

So, a federal libaray grant was used to develop a site to help people find their library and apply for a card. I'm so glad my city has a single library system (with three branches).

- Libaray Journal

Plows will have TomTom GPS devices, just like those sold in stores, programmed with each of the 217 snow plow routes, meaning all drivers will have to do is punch in the specific route number and just follow the voice commands. 

Keith Compton, the head of the county's [Montgomery County, MD] snow removal team, says the 300 or so TomToms were far less expensive than the automated vehicle locator system they contemplated buying: "These things are about $250 a piece. A full-blown AVL system is about $800,000."


The site will soon post more than 4,000 additional sets of data. Currently there are just several hundred sets.

The Illinois governor's office says it recently received federal government approval to post the new data that offers information related to Illinois compiled by several U.S. agencies.

Among the data are those from Census and EPA.

- WBEZ via @storm7

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/07 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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