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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The USGS Center for LIDAR Information Coordination and Knowledge, aka CLICK, will shut down its bulletin board May 9 due to securty mandates from the Deparment of Interior. You might remember CLICK had a near brush with death last fall (APB coverage).

- via LiDAR News

TerraServer, that great Microsoft Research Project to show off the power of SQL Server, has been shut down since its been overshadowed by Microsoft and other mapping services. As the annuncement makes clear, this service did a lot to move online mapping ahead:

The site was originally launched as Microsoft TerraServer on June 22, 1998 as a demonstration of the scalability of Microsoft SQL Server database product. At the time, it was the first web site to successfully host high resolution satellite and aerial data. Later we added USGS topographic maps (DRGs) and the USGS Urban Area natural color imagery. In addition to imagery, Microsoft Research Maps pioneered the use of SOAP/XML to build a mapping web service and deployed an OpenGIS compliant mapping service.

I recall seeing it used via WMS in an open source implementation way back in my GIS Monitor days. And, I recall the first time I heard Microsoft invite local govenrments to host their imagery on its site. We've come a long way. 

- Microsoft Research Maps via @howardbutler

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/01 at 12:43 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The AAG has announced

that the Association of American Geographers (AAG) will undertake one of the most ambitious and potentially far-reaching publication projects in the recent history of the fields of geography and GIScience. This will be a 15-volume work, to be published both in hard copy and online, tentatively entitledThe International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.

It'll be huge and the organization is looking for suggestions on experts to tap to edit and write various sections. The effort dates back more than three years.

- ArcNews


The Stamford Mercury in Britain has a campaign "Let's Clean Up!" to clean up the area. There's an interactive map of activity but to submit an area with a mess you can either tweet, use Facebook or old fashioned e-mail.

 - Stamford Mercury

Ready to map the moon? I've written about crowdsourced moom mapping before ("as good as experts"), but this is a new project - with a full moon challenge deadline of finding 1 million craters by May 5! is a group of astronomers, run by my friend Dr. Pamela Gay, who have created a series of projects where people like you can perform needed tasks that are real science… in this case, measuring craters on the Moon! Using MoonMappers, you can identify and measure craters using images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft currently circling our Moon and taking thousands of high-resolution pictures.

- DIscover Magazine Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/01 at 05:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to draw 11m visitors from around the world to the UK's capital for seven weeks, and 3m extra car journeys are anticipated on the busiest day.

The team of researchers [from the University of Leicester] will use their CityScan technology, which gathers scattered sunlight to scan whole cities and take readings of air quality, to investigate the impact of this extra  on pollution.

Rather than existing technology, which can only give an accurate reading for certain "hotspots," CityScan can show the air quality over every point of the city - including individual roads, playgrounds and other buildings.

It will also reveal the days and times when  are at their highest.

- Phys Org

This fall, the University of Florida department of urban and regional planning in the College of Design, Construction and Planning will launch a new online master’s degree in urban and regional planning with specializations in Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, and sustainability.

- Univ of Florida News

An online advanced certificate program offered by Long Island University (LIU) for mobile and Web GIS is up and running.

The one-year 12-credit Advanced Certificate in Mobile GIS Applications Development, approved by the New York State Education Department, trains students to create mobile applications for iOS and Android devices. Each class is offered online during a 10-week term, with classes limited to 20 students to ensure frequent and personal interaction among faculty and students. The two required courses are Introduction to GIS and Introduction to Computer Programming. Students learn the key concepts, technologies and skills at the intersection of these growing fields that they will later use to develop geospatial apps. Students complete the program by taking two of three elective courses, Mobile GIS Applications Development for iOS, Mobile GIS Applications Development for Android, and Geographic Web Application Development. In these courses, students will use iOS and Android software development kits to create their own apps.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/01 at 04:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M University have unveiled a new Web application that will forewarn residents when conditions are ripe for wildfire. The free application — dubbed TxWRAP — is designed to help homeowners and communities determine wildfire risk so they can act before a wildfire strikes. IT's Esri, Bing and DTS Agile based. The public viewer uses the term map themes along with map layers. Does the public know what a map theme is?

- Longview New-Journal

There was a good bit of buzz (at least on this blog) about Michigan signing on with Microsoft for aerial imagery in 2009. Now one county that submitted an intent to participate in year 3 (this year) is getting in on the deal.

Ogemaw County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) aerial photographs will be getting upgraded this year, but some townships’ aerial photos may not be revised.

The Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of aerial photography from Bing Maps during its April 26 meeting. The photography will be up to date, as the last aerial photos were taken 15 years ago, said Equalization Director John Awrey. Awrey added the new photography, scheduled for this spring, will have a much higher resolution.

Awrey said purchasing the upgraded files for the county’s GIS system costs $16,100, with eight townships providing a combined $4,600 for the files and the county paying the rest of the bill. 

- Ogemaw County Herald

Pinellas County (Florida) Commissioners unanimously approved a six-year $2.46 million contract April 24 with Esri. The county will consolidate and standardize on Esri products since the current system includes a mix of products, some of which are outdated and unsupported. There is bad news for resellers and other vendors per a report from Property Appraiser Pam Dubov, BTS Director Paul Alexander and Purchasing Manager Joe Lauro, all members of the EGIS committee.

Since the county invested heavily in this software product, it was prudent to leverage the established close working relationship with ESRI [sic] to negotiate directly on a non-competitive basis and bypass potential resellers of the product line.

From what I understand it's a four year deal where the county get "all you can eat." In the fourth year the county must inventory its licenses for use in determining how much it will pay for perpetual licensing.

- Tampa Bay Newspapers

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/01 at 04:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

On Friday, April 27, 2012, join Feeding America in Washington, D.C. as we unveil"Map the Meal Gap 2012", the second annual research study that provides estimates of food insecurity at the county and congressional district level. Food insecurity is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle for all household members. This study was supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Nielsen Company. ...

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report will be available at on Friday, April 27, 2012.

- press release

The BBC offers a world map of where you are most likely to die by different factors - shark attacks, falling off ladders, etc. The text is clear:  "... it shows you the country with the highest proportion of deaths per million people for a specific type of accident, illness or other cause." I'm not sure how valuable it is, but the data is available (via PDF!) for download.

- BBC has published the very first ebook format title for Geographer Dr. Neal Lineback. The ebook, currently available via the store and online book marketplace, draws on a specially selected collection of articles from the successful Geography in the News™ (GITN) series of weekly current events stories.

- press release

If you think Square, the hardware/software add-on for cell phones to take payment via credit card is cool, consider the implications of an add-on that will read blood samples, return positive or negative results for different diseases and send into and map results. It's in development at UCLA.

In the journal Lab on a Chip, the team of engineers describes the device as an RDT-reader attachment that clips onto a cell phone (they used iPhones and Android-based smartphones). At 65 grams, the attachment consists of an inexpensive lens, two AAA batteries, and three LED arrays.

The researchers say the attachment can read almost every type of RDT available; all the user does is insert the RDT strip into the attachment, which is then converted into a digital image via the phone's built-in camera.

An app then determines two things: whether the digital RTD is valid and whether the results are positive or negative. But the team didn't stop there. They have the reader transmit these results wirelessly to a server for processing, storage, and mapping via Google Maps to track the spread of specific conditions and diseases globally over time.

- C|net (includes video)

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/01 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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