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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arlington National Cemetery on Monday made available to the public a massive electronic database detailing the gravesites of the roughly 400,000 people buried there. ...

It can be accessed through the cemetery’s website

When a name is called up, a viewer can see when the person was buried and the dates of their birth and death. Photos of the front and back of the headstone can also be viewed. Monuments and memorials that commemorate the service of specific military units are also included in the database.

The cost? Unknown as the app was developed in-house. Here's the link for the Web (ArcGIS for Flex) and mobile apps.

- AP

Fire stations are farther away from more people in Thomas County [GA] than previously thought. That could translate into higher insurance premiums for many homeowners.

"Through the GPS capability in some of the new mapping software, the companies or the underwriters are able to determine that they are within five miles of any of our current 16 locations or they are beyond the five miles," said Fire Chief Chris Jones.

It turns out in some cases putting in a new station is cheaper than a new road.
Pennsylvania earned an A-minus in the 2012 Center for Digital Government survey of use of digital technology in government. Among the projects that supported that grade is a paperless food inspection sysetms for the Dept of Agriculture:
The new system, PA Food Safety, helps food businesses by leading to greater consistency, higher quality and faster inspections. The state also now publishes inspection results on a new public portal and uses geographic information system (GIS) software to enable food analysts to visualize contamination and to track and trace it to its source.  
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/25 at 06:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The National Academy of Science’s Committee on Spatial Data Enabling USGS Strategic Science in the 21st Century released Advancing Strategic Science: A Spatial Data Infrastructure Road Map for the U.S. Geological Survey. What's it about? Basically, it discusses groundwork for an SDI.

Here's the summary:

Science is increasingly driven by data, and spatial data underpin the science directions laid out in the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Strategy. A robust framework of spatial data, metadata, tools, and a user community that is interactively connected to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way--known as a spatial data infrastructure (SDI)--must be available for scientists and managers to find, use, and share spatial data both within and beyond the USGS.
Over the last decade, the USGS has conducted breakthrough research that has overcome some of the challenges associated with implementing a large SDI. Advancing Strategic Science: A Spatial Data Infrastructure Roadmap for the U.S. Geological Survey is intended to ground those efforts by providing a practical roadmap to full implementation of an SDI to enable the USGS to conduct strategic science.
And, here are the key findings:
  • An optimal spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for the USGS would include data standards, modern data-management services, and a set of key application services that are essential for addressing scientific questions.
  • There are lessons to be learned from past efforts of several types of organizations, including USGS analogues in other countries, multinational organizations, U.S. public and private institutions, large discipline-specific organizations, and spatial data at the USGS.
  • Successful implementation of an SDI depends on an agency's roadmap and strategy, organizational leadership and culture, standardization, technical competence, funding and contracting, workforce competence, and cooperation and partnerships.
  • The development and maintenance of an SDI requires collaborative partnerships with cooperating agencies, research organizations, nonprofit organizations, private organizations, and the public.
  • Integration of multiple data sources to support analysis will be critical for an SDI and warrants high priority.
  • A roadmap for SDI implementation can be divided into three broad phases: (1) preparation and planning; (2) design, development, and testing; and (3) rollout and refinement. The committee proposes some general steps in each phase to assist the USGS in carrying out its task in implementing an effective SDI.
  • A series of organizational and technical considerations are necessary for following the roadmap. It is important that SDI implementation have high priority for USGS leadership.
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/25 at 06:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The service comes in response to legal issues Google has run into in Germany. The country memorably allowed individuals to "opt out" of Street View display of their homes/businesses.

Google and several other companies have joined together to launch the service

The joint-effort organization is called Verein Selbstregulierung Informationswirtschaft, which, according to ZDNet, means something akin to “The Association for Self-Regulation in IT.” The organization’s members include Google, NokiaMicrosoft, Panolife, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, and Encourage Directories. 

This is basically a crowdsourced approach. If a citizen finds something unprivate in an online mapping app (a license plate number, face, etc.) it can be reported at the website. The complaint is sent to the company behind the image and if approrpriate, it is blurred. Visitors can also query for images from these companies of their properties they may want to censor. The hope is this solution will prevent any future laws regarding privacy. Google has not driven Street View cars in Germany since 2011.

- SlashGear, ZDnet

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/25 at 04:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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