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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Harare City Council is set to digitalise its operations through the Geographical Information System (GIS)...

The early benefits to the Zimbabweian city are expected to include upping the number of people in the city who pay for the water they receive. The donor of the project also provided eight computers and will support the city until 2014 when the project should be up and running.

- All Africa

Soon any place or building in Dubai can be located and reached on a digital map that will be available in different languages on smart mobiles, Tablet PCs, notebooks, and navigation devices.

The maps are more accurate than previous location finders as they will direct the user to the doorstep of the required location, describes Hussain Nassir Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality. 

"This will be achieved by creating a national coordinate grid on a digital map, developing applications and fixing plates that carries location information on all the buildings in Dubai," tells Abdul Hakim [Municipal GIS Director].

Garmin is behind the app and it appears businesses at least will need to pay for their own unique ID.

- Emirates 24/7

Stevens County, MN, is augmenting its investment in GIS with a staff GIS technician.

Up to this point, the county has invested about $128,000 into GIS technology, primarily to build a layered base to attach GIS data to and develop elevation and visual maps of the county. If the county chose not to move forward with hiring a GIS technician, this data and investment could have become obsolete.

The cost of the technician and related expenses:

The salary and benefits for the new GIS Technician are estimated at about $55,300 per year, and the county will need to make an initial investment of $8,000 for hardware and software. The cost to maintain the GIS software each year is about $1,500.

- Morris Sun Tribune

Montana CIO Dick Clark has announced his intention to retire from his position effective Dec. 31. Why is that important? He was a key player in multi-state initiatives:

Perhaps most notable is a multi-state GIS cloud storage project, aggregating data from Montana, Oregon, Utah and Colorado. Montana is also working with Oregon on a collaborative disaster recovery effort, and has recently entered into a mutual assistance agreement with the Idaho Tax Commission that would keep taxation functionality intact in the event of a natural disaster.

- GovTech

Clark get geo. Among his five suggestions for his replacement is a focus on geo:


4. Geospatial

Every data set should be geo-coded, Clark said, because it always comes back to a place, for the most part.

"In other words, ‘How much money did I spend on inoculations in downtown Helena versus downtown Billings?’ We already kind of know that, but I think that becomes a part of transparency efforts so that people can see where the issues are and how government reacted to them." And there will be people out there who won't like it. "i.e. ‘You spent more money there than you spent on us,’" he said. "That's really what it's all about is having that public policy debate and figuring out how to get better at it. I think all data sets need to be looked at for geo-spatial coding."

- GovTech

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/12 at 05:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In a paper titled, "Energy Efficient GPS Sensing with Cloud Offloading", Microsoft researchers propose a potential solution to this battery power and size dilemma. This paper describes cloud-offloaded GPS (CO-GPS), an innovative way to perform location sensing by using tiny embedded devices and the cloud to share the work of GPS signal acquisition and processing. By logging only a few milliseconds of raw GPS signals, the device can store enough information for resolving GPS-based location, and it consumes two to three orders of magnitude less energy than stand-alone or mobile phone GPS sensors. The signals are then sent to the cloud with sensor data to reconstruct the location and time that the samples are taken. In delay-tolerant, data acquisition applications—such as animal tracking, float sensor networks, participatory environmental sensing, and long-range time synchronization—CO-GPS is ideal for extending the battery life of mobile devices.

- Microsoft Research Connections Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/12 at 04:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
The Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) which had been asked to asked by [sic] the government to do GIS mapping of all primary health centres and suggest locations for new PHCs to cater to increase in population, has recommended that every industrial cluster like JDIC area should have primary health centres with special focus on occupational health. 
Revealing this to TOI, IIPH Director, Dileep Mavlankar says all the government medical colleges should also have at least one occupational health specialist each, who can be consulted for patients reporting in PHCs with occupational diseases or accidents.
So, in this case, the mapping project suggests more clinics are needed. I suspect that common in other countries, too.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Taiwan continually focuses on disease prevention, quarantine, and surveillance to meet the needs of disease control - in particular dengue fever.

In order to take control of the epidemic throughout the country, the project aims to help CDC develop an epidemic situation management system by means of sever GIS software, store information of the infected patients and locations where dengue fever occurred, understand epidemic situation in each district, and then clearly distinguish whether the dengue fever is mainly caused by vector mosquito habitats.

Details on the tech, if not the impact of it, are available from Super Geo Technologies, the tech provider.

- press release

Abstract submissions for URISA's GIS in Public Health Conference will be accepted until January 31, 2013.

- press release

Clostridium difficile, which was responsible for a spate of hospital deaths between 2003 and 2007 and infected more than 24,000 patients last year, is one of the most feared hospital bugs.

Now for the first time scientists have traced the epidemic to its outbreak using genetic techniques to reconstruct its path across the world.

The map, published in the journal Nature Genetics, shows how two strains originated in North America and were soon transmitted to Europe.

How did they do it? They used DNA samples of those afflicted worldside to track where the bug had become resistant to drugs. The technique may be used to track other outbreaks.

- The Telegraph

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/12 at 04:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share


The city has launched its brand new GIS application at Residents can use the app to see where Jolly Ol' Saint Nick will be on any given evening and even track his immediate location in real time.

Now through Dec. 21, Santa will be traveling neighborhood to neighborhood in an antique fire truck supplied by the Redmond Firefighters Union Local 2829.

This Santa is hoping residents will help fill his bag - contributions of food, presents and money will be shared via a local charity, Hopelink. The tech? No, not Microsoft, but Esri.

- Redmond Patch

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/12 at 04:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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