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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Associated Press and Google are rewriting the book this year on how to provide fast, accurate election results, and the theme of the latest chapter is cooperation.

Tuesday night, news outlets that pay AP for election results for particular states will be able to embed Google Maps of the results on their sites.

- Poynter

Time Magazine is offering some special content to Foursquare users who check in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August or the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Users who unlock the Time-Foursquare badge get “access to a curated list of must-attend venues and events,” plus convention tips from Time reporters—like historical facts from past conventions and 2012 campaign tips about the nominees and delegates.

- Paid Content

Two fascinating and useful studies of California’s political landscape have been published in recent days, one mapping the geographic variations of attitudes and the other creating and applying a scientific measure of communities’ ideologies.

“California’s Political Geography” by Eric McGhee and Daniel Krimm of the Public Policy Institute of California, matches California counties by residents’ party identification, 2008 presidential vote and by responses to two social and two fiscal survey questions with what McGhee calls “clear liberal or conservative dimensions.” ...

“The California Political Precinct Index” by David Latterman at the University of San Francisco, is a powerful tool for assessing counties and electoral districts according to actual precinct votes on nine ballot measures that are “easily interpretable” as liberal or conservative.

- CalBuzz

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 05:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yandex, one of Russia's top Internet portals, announced on March 5 that it has integrated maps of some 40 cities in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan created by its users to Yandex.Maps. If "professional" maps of an area are not avaiable, the Pubilc Maps are returned instead. In other areas, where both maps are available, the user can select which layer to view. Users can also edit and submit new data to the Public Map.

Is the the "lifecycle" of a mapping portal? Start with commercial data, then mix in user generated (sometimes open, but not always) data, then perhaps go 100% crowdsourced data? Google, MapQuest, Microsoft and now Yandex are heading along something like that trajectory.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 05:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Azavea's first "Summer of Maps" is inspired by the Google Summer of Code. The program will offer stipends to student GIS analysts to perform geographic data analysis for non-profit organizations.  Azavea will match up non-profit organizations that have spatial analysis needs with talented students to implement projects over a three-month period during the summer.  

 
Timeline:
 
 * Feb 28 – Mar 16 – Non-profit organizations can submit brief proposals for spatial analysis projects to Azavea
 * Mar 17 – 20, – Azavea will review organizations
 * Mar 21 – April 2 – Students submit proposals and applications
 * April 2 – 13 – Top candidates are interviewed in Philadelphia
 * April 16 – Azavea announces successful Summer of Maps fellows
 * May 14 – August 31 – Summer of Maps fellows work on spatial analysis projects
 
Azavea is looking for:
 
Non-Profit Organizations
 
 * Combine your data with other demographic and geographic data
 * Get high quality maps that can be used to make a case to funders or support new initiatives
 * We want good analytical projects that ask challenging spatial data analysis questions - we're trying to avoid projects where we're just putting dots on a map.  Some examples might be:
  -> Arts - analyze geographic location of ticket sales and donations to both identify existing clusters and untapped markets
  -> Environment - develop fund-raising plan based on geographic prioritization
  -> Food - identify three potential sites for a new soup kitchen and perform a market analysis to determine how each will affect existing sites
  -> Housing - analyze housing needs to determine the best site for a new low income housing development
  -> News - Combine several data sets to show patterns in a city government's expenditures
  -> Land and water - develop green infrastructure plan that maximizes impact of stormwater interception
  -> Transportation - identify the next 10 streets for the addition of bike lanes by scoring all street segments based on a variety of geographic criteria
 
 * Those who are interested or know an org that is can apply via a Google Doc by March 16.
 
Students
 
 * We want people who are either living or can live locally in Philadelphia for the summer
 * Work on a spatial analysis project that supports the social mission of a non-profit organization
 * Work with Azavea staff to improve your GIS skills
 * Receive a monthly stipend
 * Gain work experience implementing a GIS project 
 * Applications will be made available in mid-March
 
On a personal note, I met the Azavea folks at a business GIS event years ago where they showcased their pro-bono work for a local non-profit arts organization. They've impressed me with their commitment to education and service ever since. 
 
by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 04:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, March 05, 2012

LightSquared requested and recieved an extension for comments on the matter. The Coalition to Save our GPS was of course against a long extesion, but it was ok with a short one. This one is "in between."

The comment period was extended from March 1 until March 16; additional reply comments may be filed by March 30.

- Southeast Farm Press

--- original post 2/14/12 ----

The FCC released its final decision stating LightSquared's current foray into 4G should be shelved as there is no way to mitigate interference with GPS. The FCC basically rescinded its conditional approval of LightSquared's plan. The FCC relied on the NTIA's conclusions, sent to the FCC in a letter Tueday afternoon. The FCC ruled late Tuesday.

The next step per the FCC is for it to propose barring near-term deployment of the LightSquared system. The FCC is expected issue a request for public comment on the proposed action on Wednesday.

LightSquared continues to argue the testing was flawed and released a press release stating it intention to work out a solution. The Coalitiion to Save Our GPS stated its support for the NTIA's evaluation in a press release.

- New York Times

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 05:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
How Maps Change Things: A Conversation About the Maps We Choose and the World We Want by Ward Kaiser is being released on March 5th, the 500th birthday of famous map-maker Gerhard Kremer, aka Mercator. The book is available as a free download for the full month of March, 2012 as a PDF, [and mobi and epub] for iPhones and Kindle. The book examines maps as change agents, reflecting intentions and setting agendas, revealing who has power and resources, and who has not. It helps to explain the messages maps send.
 
The gift is from New Internationalist Magazine and ODTmaps.com and several academis and geospatial folks like Joe Kerski of Esri are quoted noting the book's value.
 
by Adena Schutzberg on 03/05 at 05:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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