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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

USGIF and OGC are committed to organizing a conference focused on place-based policy. However, after discussions with several of our respective members and sponsors, we have decided that the community would be better served if this event were rescheduled.

I know I was confused regarding the name, timing and other issues.

- OGC/USGIF statement on OGC website

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 03:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Lee Mitchell  owner of G.A.I.A. Professionals spoke about starting a new GIS business on the Jan 31 American Sentinel University Webinar. I learned during a detailed discussion of her work history that she worked in some capacity for American Sentinel University in curriculum development. That was not disclosed in the webinar marketing material and might have been made more clear in the presentation itself.

The webinar was very generic and covered the issues all business must deal with: office space, hardware, software, staff, insurance (errors and omissions insurance in particular, which she was not aware she needed, it costs $4000/year), lawyers, accountants, funding, etc. She spoke of getting clients via existing networks, social media, and government contracting. She did not mention blogging or writing for industry or professional journals or speaking at conferences, which have served me quite well in building my client base. She did suggest going to conferences.


I was most disappointed in the discussion of open source GIS software. That was highlighted in the title of the press release announcing the event “Learn How Open Source Software Benefits a Successful GIS Business.” The press release listed a half-dozen free and open source GIS packages, but these and other business related packages were simply mentioned in passing. These can save a new business money, Mitchell noted.


I was also disappointed, as a small business owner of 11 years, to learn that “sometimes you are working on a project for three months before you get paid anything.” That is not how my advisors suggested I structure my contracts and thankfully, I never had that happen. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 01:12 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

There are two promised updates to the Police UK map which covers England and Wales:

Today, crimes at, or near, public places will be added.

Come May, the map will include details of what happens after a crime has occurred - what the police did and the criminal justice outcome.

The site received quite a bit of traffic at launch of its feature to see crime based on address or postcode a year ago.


by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 05:54 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The National Land Survey of Finland will open its topographic data on May 1st.

- SDI Magazine via @Christophe_ESRI) 

The head of St. Joseph County’s Transportation Authority [Michigan] wanted its latest vehicle to stand out...

A “vehicle-wrap” that covers the van’s exterior features a large-scale map of St. Joseph County. Although not suitable for actual map use, the design features most communities in the county and many major roads.

The "wrap" cost about $1000 and is considered a good advertising investement. 

- Sturgis Journal

The city of Safford, Arizona

 has cut three full-time employees from its Geographic Informations Systems Department, including administrator Raymond Brunner, who was the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Association's Geospatial Professional of the Year for 2008. Safford is finalizing discussions with Graham County to disseminate information captured at the city's facility. A data collector was the only position retained in the city's GIS department.

The responsibilities will be merged into the county to save money.

[City Manager David] Kincaid said the GIS Department cost the city about $1.2 million over the past four years and $365,000 in the last year alone. The cost to keep systems running with only a data collector is estimated to be about $75,000, and the pending contract with the county is expected to be about $200,000 per year.

- East Arizona Courier

Oak Hill, West Virginia claims first in the county status on its planned GIS.

“This is the way of the future,” says [Town Manager Bill] Hannabass. “The county got on board with it a while back. I’m proud to follow them as the first municipality in the county, and one of the only ones in the state with GIS.”

The GIS administrator will be a police officer.

- Register Herald

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 05:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Geospatial Desktop might sound like a generic book about deskotp GIS. It's not. It's about open source desktop GIS. The subtitle "Open Source GIS and Mapping" provides the important distinguisher.

Furthermore it's a revision of the book originally titled Desktop GIS. I confess I'm not familiar with the first edition and changes in the second one seem to focus on updates in the software discussed, rather than any key new principles. The book is by Gary Sherman, founder of the Quantum GIS project. 

Per the publisher, the original sold out quickly (published 11/2008) and has been out of print for some time. The reviews of the original were quite good on Amazon. I find it interesting (1) that this book is still popular even as desktop GIS is, I think, diminishing in use in favor of apps on other platforms and (2) that print texts continue to be in demand.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 05:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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