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Thursday, November 29, 2012

SpaceRef reports that NASA is establishing a federal advisory committee for applied sciences that includes geospatial informations. 

Section 313 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 directs that NASA establish a program of grants for competitively- awarded pilot projects to explore the integrated use of sources of remote sensing and other geospatial information to address State, local, regional and tribal agency needs. Section 314(a) of this Act requires that NASA establish an advisory committee to monitor the program established under Section 313.

 In 2008, NASA established the Applied Sciences Analysis Group (ASAG) as a task group under the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. The objective of this group was to advise and prioritize the work of NASA's Earth Sciences Division Applied Sciences Program. However, this year, NASA is rethinking how this committee functions. Again, according to SpaceRef:

During 2012, NASA has determined that the establishment of a separate independent Federal advisory committee known as the Applied Sciences Advisory Committee (ASAC) is more in line with the letter and spirit of the statutory requirement ... The ASAC's recommendations and analysis can be used to inform decisions on the programmatic scope and priorities, as well as the implementation of Applied Sciences programs. In addition, the ASAC will provide a regular forum for broad discussion of Earth science applications and the role of Applied Sciences within and outside of NASA. The ASAC will function solely as an advisory body and comply fully with the provisions of FACA.

NASA currently participates in the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and that body is "advised" by the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The FDGC is a federal governing body and looks to be similar ins scope to the aforementioned ASAC. While the ASAC is specific to advising NASA, is it necessary to have yet another geospatial advisory board and would it not make some sense to have the FDGC involved? Perhaps it will be but given the recent GAO report on Federal Geospatial Data Coordination doesn't this just sound like another federal committee that will do it's own thing? Maybe someone can enlighten us about why this couldn't be coordinated under one federal geospatial advisory group.

by Joe Francica on 11/29 at 08:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The winners of the first annual Geographic Travels Geo-Literacy Outreach Awards Winners are:

First Place - the Alexander Von Humboldt Prize :  Geo-literacy Project on Meghalaya, India
Second Place - the Isiah Bowman Prize:  Geo-Literacy Teacher Training Plan

- Geographic Travels

Canadian schools with grades 4-10 may register for the Geography Challenge. It's a sort of "geography bee" type competition that's 18 years old.
There are two levels of competition: 
Grades 4-6 (English & French) 
Grades 7-10 (English & French)
Challenge registration fees:
Level 1 - $25.00 
Level 2 - $35.00 
Level 1 & 2 - $45.00 
  • The chance to win scholarships and prizes valued at more than $6,000
  • Printable certificates to reward each student’s achievement
  • certificates and prizes for student winners at the school, provincial/territorial and national final
  • The opportunity to compete in the Provincial/Territorial Championships, and qualify for the National Finals
  • Complete, ready-to-play kit, including over 100 intriguing questions and answers

Most deadlines seem to be Feb 28 2013.

- Geography Challenge via @gletham

University of North Texas art students are involved in a contest for two $1000 scholarships provided by Track What Matters, a local fleet management frim. Huh?

During this Fall 2012 semester, the art students in Elaine Pawlowicz Drawing IIcourse have been experimenting with GPS technology as they come to understand Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space.

These students created two drawings. The inspired category is the result of the students taking their raw GPS drawings and incorporating their own interpretation of space, our homes, and how the world affect us.

One scholarship will be given based on popular vote, the other by expert decision.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 06:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Once upon a time reporters and those at the local paper wrote headlines just for their local paper. That paper didn't travel too far. But now, things have changed and those headlines and stories are available worldwide. That makes these headlines seem so quaint and ironically devoid of geographic context. 

County to Showcase GIS Capabilities at Event

GIS Event to Be Held Thursday

150 attend GIS conference

The headlines are not the problem, really. It's that these atomic bits are being stripped from their home websites by search engines without the metadata (aka location information such as "which county") they used to carry along. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 06:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Medicare uses geographic adjustments to pay more in areas deemed to have higher costs of providing care to seniors. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services employs a patchwork of 89 pay locales to set rates in a budget-neutral environment. As a result, a doctor treating a Medicare patient in midtown Manhattan receives more than a doctor providing the same service in rural West Virginia.

Several states and organizations have suggested its time to reform not only the regional boundaries, but perhaps the whole payment scheme. However, many factors impact what fee is paid in what location.

- American Medical News

A new study by Census Tract rather than county finds that California's Marin County, already known as a hot spot in the Bay Area, has company.

Researchers with the California Breast Cancer Mapping Project say they’ve also found a higher rate of breast cancer — defined as 10 to 20 percent above statewide average — in parts of Alameda, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa Counties.

Researchers are not discussing the "why" yet, just the where.

- Full Report (PDF)


The Leapfrog Group yesterday released its new Hospital Safety Scores based on 26 measures of data involving preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections for all of the nation’s general acute-care hospitals. For the first time, the group gave out grades of D and F.

New Jersey got no Fs. There's a Google thematic point map of the state data illustrating the article in NJ Spotlight, but no analysis is provided. I wonder why they were mapped? Because they could?

The organization provides state rankings and a search tool (hosptial name/ZIP Code)  but no maps. I'm sure someone will map these data - and try to analyze them.

via NJ Spotlight

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/29 at 05:57 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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