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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The city offers a $1.99 iPhone app that allows locals to take pictures of graffiti and report them to the 311 system. Grafitti clean up is ideally the responsibility of the property owner, but if they don't clean it up, the city will do so - and then bill the property owner.

This is the first "for fee" crowdsourcing app I've seen for a municipality. It's not quite in the spirit of other similar efforts.

 - Blog.To via TechDirt

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 05:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Esri Australia GIS in Health specialist Jeremy Pytel said the audit [in the Australian state of Victoria]used GIS technology to map and analyse complex patient health care data and deliver an insight into mortality rates.

The press release does not share any such insights nor link to any maps.

- press release

An artilcle at HealthLeaders Media discusses the use of GIS for recruiting medical staff. One story of note:

For instance, when 885-bed Stanford University Medical Center decided to add more nurses to the 2,700 registered nurses it currently employs, Schutt used GIS to learn more about the nurses already working at organization as well as those in the area. Using the combined internal and external analytics on the workforce data, the leaders could see a dot-map of details about the staff. The map indicated where pools of nurses with the right skill set were located and it also showed the system's current nursing supply and licensure levels, and other key recruiting details such as employee commuting patterns and distance traveled to work. 

"The data showed us that on average nurses at Stanford lived within 12 miles of the hospital," says Schutt. "It also showed us that a large number of nurses would be nearing retirement."

Not only would the health system need to fill new openings but it may need to fill many more in the near future, explains Schutt, a 20-year human resources veteran who has worked for organizations such as Nortel, HP, and Kaiser Permanente. The GIS map included regional nurse geo-analytics, so HR could pinpoint where to look for new recruits. 

- HealthLeaders Media

Whittlesea in Victoria is more likely to see deaths form a heatwave than a fire.

Whittlesea council’s relief and recovery co-ordinator, Andrew Tierney, told a council-run workshop on community vulnerability and resilience that residents should take heat-related illnesses seriously.

‘‘Heatwave is far and away our greatest risk,’’ he said.

‘‘People don’t take it seriously; they think fire is more dangerous. But the five-day heatwave in 2009 killed 374 people statewide, far more than the Black Saturday fires.’’

Mr Tierney said geospatial mapping, which applies statistical analysis and other techniques to geographic data, had shown that Lalor and Thomastown were ‘‘heat sinks’’.

Those most suseptible to the heat? Older migrants for whom English is not a first language.
by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I spoke to Dan Adams, TomTom's vice president of the company's  Location and Live Service group about today's announcement for their new global geocoder. He told me that the new web service had been talked about since the company was known as Geographic Data Technology (GDT). Today, however, with improved bandwidth and  a better understanding why geocoding is so important for businesses, the service is a much more viable than it might have been in the past.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 04/24 at 02:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 23, 2012

Interact, a new geospatial social discovery application, is, first and foremost, about making connections.

To prove it, the application is scheduled to officially launch on Monday (4/23) and by Thursday Interact found Anthony Coombs, 32, will be giving away an iPad to the most connected college student out of five Philadelphia universities.

Yes, it's another of those "find people like me nearby" apps - but with "better" privacy. Top prize is an iPad.

- Tech Philly

Developer submitted nearly100 entries into New York City’s third annual Big Apps contest, which focuses on using public data for the public good.

NYCFacets, the project that won best overall application, looks to help Web developers grapple with the deluge of public data being released by city agencies. It can be difficult to find out what is contained within these data sets. So Joel Natividad and Sami Baig created NYC Facets, which identifies over a million facts about the data and creates ways for developers to search through it.

Yes, good metadata and search tools are key to use datasets. Second place was a "find me a" type of app - find me a public place to work. It's called Work+.

- NY Times

NASA announced a contest that launched Earth Day and runs until May 31.

To mark Earth Day 2012, we are for the second year in a row inviting you to create your own compelling video vision of NASA's exploration of Earth -- The Home Frontier. Submit your creation to us and a panel of judges will select the best submission, with a fitting award on the line.

The winner will receive behind-the-scenes access to the next rocket launch of a NASA Earth-observing satellite. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January 2013. LDCM will continue the longest-running satellite record of Earth observations. The first Landsat satellite launched in 1972. The winner of the video contest will get a guaranteed spot on the NASA Social tour and viewing of the launch. These spots are typically chosen by a lottery system.


by Adena Schutzberg on 04/23 at 04:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Recirculating Farm Coalition announced a of such farms for Earth Day. Too bad the press release didn't include a link to it. I found it though on the website. What's a recirculating farm? It uses no soil to grow plants or fish (or both) and is generally environmentally friendly.

- press release

The Chicago Tribune used Earth Day to highlight NASA updated Climage Change website which offers change detection pairs and their stories.

The images are part of a popular photo gallery that has been retooled and enhanced at NASA's Global Climate Change website.

- Chicago Tribune

The EPA is hosting a contest for photos taken on Earth Day around the globe. You have this week to submit them, but they must have been taken on Earth Day. The goal? A map of the moment.

- EPA Blog

The Federal Transit Administration has launched a new website for Earth Day (this Sunday), showcasing the agency’s efforts for livability and clean energy. It’s all good Earth Day reading, but what stands out is this useful map of sustainable transportation projects.

DC Streets Blog

Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep in Menlo Park, CA competed to see which school could get a higher percentage of students to use "alternative transport" to schoo. Menlo won, but I think Sacred Heart did ok, too.

Although Sacred Heart Schools lost this competition, Millie Lee, SHP’s director of communications, says the residual impacts of their efforts will be a positive thing for the environment.

“We will continue to encourage students to consider using these transportation modes afterwards and have created a map and tips to help students and parents find the best biking and walking paths to our school,” Lee said.  “We hope students will discover the rewards and benefits that these new ways to come to school will have for the environment.”

- Menlo Park Patch

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/23 at 03:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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