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Friday, December 16, 2011

The patents is titled, Transitioning a Mixed-mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode.


Disclosed are methods and devices for transitioning a mixed-mode autonomous vehicle from a human driven mode to an autonomously driven mode. Transitioning may include stopping a vehicle on a predefined landing strip and detecting a reference indicator. Based on the reference indicator, the vehicle may be able to know its exact position. Additionally, the vehicle may use the reference indictor to obtain an autonomous vehicle instruction via a URL. After the vehicle knows its precise location and has an autonomous vehicle instruction, it can operate in autonomous mode.

Experts confirm the patent is only for Google's specific method; it does not restrict development of rival self-driving cars.


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/16 at 06:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

There’s one big new feature in today’s global rollout of Facebook Timeline. Facebook has enhanced the Timeline Map with a wizard that lets you rapidly tag your existing photos with locations. You can also now type in a location and share rich stories about whether you’ve been, took a trip, or lived there. The Map feature could seriously advance Facebook’s “location as a layer” plan. By convincing users to append valuable geographic data to its massive collection of photos with this easy flow, Facebook could improve local ad targeting.

TechCrunch sees it as another tool to collect data and better target ads, but an engineer on the project says it's not.

- TechCrunch

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/16 at 05:50 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

To ensure the accuracy of the mapping system used by first central dispatch operators, Ionia County Board of Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding to apply for a sub-grant that will help improve the geographic information system (GIS) maps.

    The grant is the Michigan GIS Sub-Grant and Enhanced 911 Act Grant Program, which assists in making the necessary data improvements to the road centerline GIS layer for the 9-1-1 GIS mappings.

It used to be grants were for GIS software, now they are for data improvement. That's the sign of mature technology and a clearly focus on 911.

- Ionia Sentinel-Standard

It's all the rage to get excited about government agencies spending too much on useless reports. But TBD takes folks to task on the latest one from WMATA, the DC transit authority. The post titled Don't revolt over Metro's $200,000 report just yet, WMATA riders explains what the report says and how in fact it might be worth the cash. Among the things explored: 

"There was a major exercise that involved assembling and analyzing a giant data set of property taxes and property values," [Metro spokesman Dan] Stessel told me. "There were 1.2 million parcels analyzed across all jurisdictions. The parcels then had to be matched to their spatial location in GIS so that we could determine the distance of each parcel to Metrorail. The final step involved running a series of hedonic analyses on the data by the type of property with a number of variables (square footage, class of office space, leased rates, etc.)."

Also noteworthy:

Ethisphere has ranked AECOM, the support services company that helped prepare the report, one of the most ethical companies of 2011, for whatever that's worth. 

Good to know the high priced consultants can do some good. 


Sullivan County [TN] needs to “bite the bullet” and hire a full-time GIS, geographical information system, person, the county’s planning director said Wednesday.

The contractor is already heavily used and with redistricting demand for data and maps is very high. Sadly, funding such a position is challenging.


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/16 at 05:25 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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