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Friday, March 30, 2012

Google acquired reCAPTCHA in 2009. It's one of several services that help distinguish bots from real people when signing up for say e-mail accounts. It presents garbled, fuzzy or other hard to decipher text with the idea that humans are far better than machines at decoding it.

Google explained to TechCrunch it is now including house numbers, street signs and other graphics from Street View in reCAPTCHA as a to test if its a good way to get "double duty" from its purchase. 

I recall this sort of work being done via Amazon's Mechanical Turk in years past.

- TechCrunch

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/30 at 04:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

 Harrisburg University student Steve Cline is using a balloon to capture imagery of a local island. The big issue in using these kits: helium shortage. Maybe it's time for kites!

- Penn Live

A new Kindle book (the authors refer to it as a manual) titled Gaining Competency With GIS: How-to Manual for ArcGIS Desktop Version 10 [Kindle Edition] offers help in gaining competency with ArcGIS. It references the ArcGIS 10 docs and I gather provides step by step instructions for tools and extensions. It claims to be based on the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) but refers to the that document as "Geotechnical Competency Model" throughout. I wonder if that editing error is in part related to an English class cited in the acknowledgements.

via URISA Digest

Students with the Paragould High School EAST Lab Program [AR] are using their computer knowledge to help Paragould Police monitor sex offenders living in the city limits.

"They are updating our sex offender zoning map," said Captain Greg Trout with PPD.


The University of Redlands has received a $75,000 grant from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop a Spatial Decision Support (SDS) system that calculates and maps the potential impacts of energy projects on wildlife.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/30 at 04:55 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Here's the announcement on the White House blog. Many are are geo-related. Here are some examples. Full list is here (pdf).

From Dept of Defense:

The Insight program addresses key shortfalls in current intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Automation and integrated human-machine reasoning enable operators to analyze greater numbers of potential threats ahead of time-sensitive situations. The Insight program aims to develop a resource-management system to automatically identify threat networks and irregular warfare operations through the analysis of information from imaging and non-imaging sensors and other sources.

The Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT) program aims to develop a system to provide military imagery analysts with the capability to exploit the vast amount of overhead video content being collected. If successful, VIRAT will enable analysts to establish alerts for activities and events of interest as they occur. VIRAT also seeks to develop tools that would enable analysts to rapidly retrieve, with high precision and recall, video content from extremely large video libraries.

Dept of Homeland Security

The Center of Excellence on Visualization and Data Analytics (CVADA), a collaboration among researchers at Rutgers University and Purdue University (with three additional partner universities each) leads research efforts on large, heterogeneous data that First Responders could use to address issues ranging from manmade or natural disasters to terrorist incidents; law enforcement to border security concerns; and explosives to cyber threats.

Dept of Veterans Affairs

Protecting Warfighters using Algorithms for Text Processing to Capture Health Events (ProWatch): Efforts in the VA are underway to produce transparent, reproducible and reusable software for surveillance of various safety related events. ProWatch is a research-based surveillance program that relies on newly developed informatics resources to detect, track, and measure health conditions associated with military deployment.

Dept of Health and Human Services

Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

BioSense 2.0 is the first system to take into account the feasibility of regional and national coordination for public health situation awareness through an interoperable network of systems, built on existing state and local capabilities. BioSense 2.0 removes many of the costs associated with monolithic physical architecture, while still making the distributed aspects of the system transparent to end users, as well as making data accessible for appropriate analyses and reporting.

via @seangorman

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/29 at 09:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This is a DigitalGlobe 50cm resolution natural color image of the North Korean launch site at Tongchang-ri taken on March 28. (click for full resolution)

DigitalGlobe imagery taken today can confirm a higher level of activity within the overall facility and significant activity at the launch pad specifically. This activity appears consistent with preparations for a satellite launch. Providing a virtual presence is what DigitalGlobe does best, by rapidly delivering shareable, high-resolution imagery to provide up to date coverage of events on the ground.

Image (c) 2012 DigitalGlobe, Inc.

by Joe Francica on 03/29 at 07:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Austin Beutner is running for Mayor of Los Angeles Mayor. He's been critical of the Fire Dept's response rates and now offers  the LAFD Response Times Map (Google Map Mashup). You can read his plan to fix the issue at the Huffington Post.

- Hollywood Patch

The Bermuda Mapping Project commissioned by Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy means an update to island imagery that dates back to 2003. Some 1,200  new addresses have popped up since then. Project costs will run about $260,000. The public will be able to purchase the new data.

- Royal Gazette

The Michigan Department of Transportation has printed its annual map of road and bridge projects across the state. More up to date info is available online. I wonder how much longer they'll do a large run of these maps?



by Adena Schutzberg on 03/29 at 05:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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