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Monday, January 23, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that police must obtain a search warrant prior to before attaching a global positioning system (GPS) device to a suspect's car. According to the Journal, "The government argued that attaching the tiny device to a car's undercarriage was too trivial a violation of property rights to matter." Also according to the Journal, "The decision upholds a federal appeals court in Washington, which voided a drug conviction because police obtained evidence by using the GPS tracker to follow the suspect's movements without a valid warrant."

According to the New York Times, "That ruling avoided many difficult questions, including how to treat information gathered from devices installed by the manufacturer and how to treat information held by third parties like cellphone companies." The Times also reported that, "Though the ruling was limited to physical intrusions, the opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad Fourth Amendment privacy principles unrelated to such intrusions to an array of modern technologies, including video surveillance in public places, automatic toll collection systems on highways, devices that allow motorists to signal for roadside assistance and records kept by online merchants."

Writing in a majority opinion and reported by the Times, Justice Antonin Scalia said, "We hold that the government’s installation of a G.P.S. device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search.'"

by Joe Francica on 01/23 at 02:12 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Here, we examine visually, through a series of maps, the association between obesity, diabetes, and sedentary transportation.

The maps are striking, but Anne Price and Ariel Godwin conclude:

... the relationship between sedentary travel and health outcomes can be misleading when additional contributing factors are not taken into account. While it is not our intent to claim a direct causal link between transportation modes and obesity rates, it is hard to deny the existence of some geographic patterns.

- Planetizen

Health Canada is drafting national guidelines for electricity-generating wind turbines that will establish a recommended minimum safe distance between the structures and homes. ...The Health Canada guidelines will deal with noise and shadow flicker, and will account for the power of the turbine, the size of the blade and local geography, [Dr. Moira] McKinnon [Saskatchewan's chief medical health office] said.

No doubt they'll need ot use GIS, once they figure out the details to manage noise and other impacts.

The Phoenix Star

The [second edition of the online] British Columbia Atlas of Wellness shows that northerners are more likely to smoke, eat unhealthy food and die sooner than their counterparts in Vancouver and Victoria.

- Times Colonist

Earlier this week, the Missouri Hospital Association launched www.MissouriHealthMatters.com. I recommend checking it out. The site contains quality of care and patient satisfaction data filtered through GIS technology with hospital specific information in a dashboard format. My thanks to David Dillon, MHA's VP of media relations, for giving me the heads-up on the website. I can attest to David's observation that the reports contain the same data as reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, "however the interface is much more user-friendly and locally-focused."

It uses ArcGIS Explorer Onilne, which took a while to load on my machine.

- Columbia Tribune

A RESEARCH OBSERVATORY based at NUI Maynooth [Kildare, Ireland] have unveiled a new online mapping tool that aims to show exactly how some parts of Ireland are covered by hospitals or schools.

The accessibility map, produced by the All-Island Research Observatory, highlights areas based on their proximity to facilities like hospitals, primary schools and secondary schools.

The map helps show diparities in services.

- The Journal.IE

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 05:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Finland

The publication late last week by the news magazine Suomen Kuvalehti of a map proposing that the number of municipalities in Finland should be reduced from 336 to about 70 has led to a flurry of explanations, e-mails, and stonewalling.
      The map is based on a plan being drawn up by a group of civil servants set up by Minister for Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen (Nat. Coalition Party). The plan was originally to have been made public in February.

Got to ask my exactly two Finnish friends about that!

- Helsingin Sonamat

Oman

The Ministry of Education (MoE) [Oman] will launch a school web mapping project under the auspices of H E Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed bin Nassir al Shibaniyah, Minister of Education on Wednesday.

During the inauguration ceremony, a film about the project and an exhibition explaining its application will be showcased. The project is one of the important programmes to be implemented by the ministry. It aims at building a digital geographic database of all educational institutions and linking it to the ministry's web portal.

I suspect many would be jealous of how much PR is being done before the project begins.

- Zawya

Belize

TBSL, Esri's distrbutor and Esri itself hosted the second Belize GIS Conference in January.

- 7 News Belize

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 05:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Google is open-sourcing Google Sky Map, an app created by employees at Google's Pittsburgh office who wanted to put the sensors in Android phones to the test. While the app has seen more than 20 million Android phone users since 2009, the app will now be used in student projects at Carnegie Mellon University.

A number of other apps and API are to be shut down entirely.

- eWeek

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has acquired from Thales Navigation the remaining 35 percent of Navigation Solutions, the operational arm behind its in-car global positioning systems, known as NeverLost.

- AP

The highlight of the [latest ChaCha] upgrade is the exciting all-new Real-Time Map feature, which allows users to see questions recently asked by others using the application. For the first time ever, ChaChees will visually see on a real-time map what questions are being asked where.

Why "visually see"? Why not just "see"?

- press release

Rentenna.com -- the free, groundbreaking rental tool that condenses everything a renter would want to know about a rental building into a single score -- releases its interactive "Rentenna Score Map" to the public today.
You can score and map anything now. The question is: which provide viable business models?
 
 
Local restaurant search tool "Ness" added maps in its new release.
 
by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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