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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In back to back presentations at the 2012 GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida, two key military intelligence officers echoed the same theme: Are we keeping pace with the demands of war and terrorism in the 21st Century?

Air Chief Marshall Sir Stuart Peach, Commander, Joint Forces Command for the United Kingdom, and Lt. General Mike Flynn, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) questioned whether we have the right culture, training and education to respond more quickly to threats that emanate from diverse theaters.

Peach said, "We have to move the GEOINT thinking beyond intelligence … outside the exhibit hall. We need to align policy with our capabilities."

Flynn asked, "Amid profound transition, do we understand what's happening? We are winding down direct combat roles; rebalancing to Asia; [combating] aspiring regional peer competitors, cyber operations,  the Arab Awakening;  and economic uncertainty."

Flynn said that communication via social media has created a new set of "social actors - super empowered individuals and even criminal networks" that are empowered by the wealth and an array of national and transnational contacts. Flynn emphasized that " the cloud and the crowd provide a voice to the voiceless … The network is the new weapon system; bandwidth is the new class of supply; and data is our new ammunition."

Peach seemed frustrated with the ability communicate the problems effectively. "I'm surrounded by people who like to make simple things complicated. [We] must do critical thinking of our work, simplify our language and understand the language we use. Stop trying to abbreviate everything into three letters!"

Flynn focused many of his comments on training a younger workforce and take advantage of their ability to approach challenges differently.  He emphasized that there is a need to train analysts to navigate and understand complex data and enhance integration and collaboration between the collectors and analysts of data. "We need to  deliver intelligence at the decision-makers speed, " said Flynn.

by Joe Francica on 10/10 at 02:41 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

On Wednesday, Google announced that they were launching the “More Than A Map” website in support of Google Maps. The site works almost as an API gallery showing examples of how developers have used the Google Maps API in a variety of applications.

- Programmable Web

Most of the world is just unhappy with the quality of Apple Maps, but the Taiwanese government is worried over the data it shares. Officials have asked that Apple blur its new $1.4 billion early warning radar station which is clearly visible. Per TNW there is some burring evident, but it's unclear if Apple did it as a result of the request.

- The Next Web

Contrary to popular perception, 68 percent of mobile internet access takes place in the home, according to research unveiled by AOL and BBDO at last week's Advertising Week 2012 conference in New York. Or as the companies put it: Joint Study From AOL And BBDO Turns Traditional View of Mobile Space on its Head.

In a US-based study conducted by InsightsNow, smartphone users kept a seven-day video diary, and Arbitron Mobile tracked their phone use for 30 days.

That means on only about 30% of the time are we ripe for location-based ads. Interesting!

- ZDnet

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/10 at 06:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) [at Tufts University, MA] this fall is offering its first exclusively undergraduate Introduction to Global Information Systems (GIS) course due to persistent academic interest and flexibility in the operating budget, according to Barbara Parmenter, a lecturer of GIS courses in the UEP.

Yes, I know, I contacted the paper. Another point about this course? No writing. How odd!

- Tufts Daily

Two William and Mary faculty members returned to Uganda, after a first visit their the year before.

One year later, they returned to Uganda with three undergraduate students and one graduate student from William & Mary. Their goals included refining their “on-the-ground” understanding of the forces they previously had witnessed as well as to help establish a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) center that had been identified as a pressing need by scientists working with Uganda’s National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI). GIS, a powerful means of representing and analyzing spatially explicit data, is a key tool for natural resource managers and scientists.

- William and Mary News

The University of Tennessee has new maps in its library.

Hodges now offers StackMap, a program that displays a map highlighting the shelf on which a desired book is stored during a search in the library catalog.

David Atkins, Head of Resource Sharing and Document Delivery at Hodges, is to thank for this program. He discovered the product at an American Library Association conference over a year ago and has been working with fellow librarians and staff to introduce it at UT. StackMap has been available for more than a month and early reports show that it is used in one out of every three searches in the library catalog to find a book.

And, there is more good news:

Atkins said that students will soon be able to look up books and get a map using their smartphones, not only using title, author or subject, but by call number as well. Atkins expects a usable prototype of the system sometime this week.

Yep, it's a cloud service; they set it up and there's an annual fee.

- UT Daily Beacon

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/10 at 03:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

OpenSignal (also known as OpenSignalMaps) is now offering an API to its data on mobile signal strength created from a "sniffer app" that runs on Android phones.

The API is for its NetworkRank product. It can recommend the best network in any location. This could be rolled into things like property search (e.g. check the best network for a potential new flat location) or in the ‘m2m’ space so companies can check they are on the best network before rolling out a fleet of connected devices.

Coming soon will be a cell tower API and a WiFi access point API. Finding the nearest WiFi points can be useful in consumer applications and they can both be used in e.g. providing location as a service (as they translate cell towers and WiFi points to actual co-ordinates).

TechCrunch via @byrne_tweets

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/10 at 02:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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