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Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Jan 8, 2013 a judge ruled on the Texas case where a student protested wearing an RFID-enable school ID on religious grounds:

A Texas school district can transfer a student who is citing religious reasons for her refusal to wear an identification card that is part of an electronic tracking system, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Basically,  U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia stated that Andrea Hernandez can agree to the accomodation by the magnet school (wearing a badge but one without an RFID chip) or be transfered to a school that does not use such badges (her local school).

But the case may go on:

John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil rights group that is representing Hernandez and her family in court, said his organization plans to appeal the judge's ruling.

Whitehead said he expects Hernandez and her family will not accept the school district's compromise of wearing a badge without the tracking chip.

- HuffPo

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 06:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Cornell researchers have created a method that uses geospatial algorithms, foodborne pathogen ecology and Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to predict hot spots where these pathogens may be present and spread on farms prior to harvest. Many of the recent outbreaks of foodborne pathogens have been linked to contamination on the farm.

The method, which can be applied to any farm, uses classification tree tools with remotely sensed data, such as topography, soil type, weather trends, proximity to various sources (water, forests) and more, to predict areas where pathogens are likely to be present.

The research was funded by USDA.

- Western Farm Press

Baltimore based firm Sickweather has claimed that members of the public tweeting and posting to Facebook about their illness allowed them to declare that flu had hit the U.S. on October 18th.

Even though the Centers for Disease Control warned that the outbreak was getting off to its earliest start on December 3rd, that was still six weeks after Sickweather.

The map provided uses Leaflet, OSM, Cloudmade.

- Daily Mail

A severe flu strain has hit the US and is spreading to start the year 2013.

As of Dec. 29, 2012 the CDC categorized the illness as "widespread" in 41 states (see the map above and the list of states below), and 7 other states are seeing regional activity.

You can find the map here.

- National Ledger

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 04:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Another motion was made to increase the GIS director’s salary by $1,500. That vote passed 3-1 with all three commissioners voting in favor and Scotto voting against.

There were several motions before that one, including the exact same one as I read it, but the GIS director of Clearfiled County, PA will get an added $1,500 on his 2012 salary of $38,460.

- Courier Express

The Maine Geolibrary Orthoimagery Program is working its magic in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties. With a buy in from Kennebec County all the towns therein get 2' imagery and buy up to 3" as they choose. Supporters point to the successful partnership with federal, state and local governments that make it possible.

- Portland Press Herald

Rutgers has partnered with Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Woolpert to perform LiDAR data capture for towns including Toms River, Lavallette and Seaside Heights, impacted by Sandy. The data is expected to be made public to governments, non-profits and perhaps homeowners. I'm not sure why the local paper could identify the technology more clearly.

The technology, called geospatial mapping, has been around for at least a decade, and used regularly to analyze roads when companies want to move wide loads or locate hindrances such as trees or overhead wires. But this is the first time this technology is being used in New Jersey to collect data on such a wide scale after a major storm, [Jie] Gong [ an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Engineering] said.

- NJ.com

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 03:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Topeka’s Bartlett & West is moving those records into the 21st century, in what the company called one of its largest projects ever. Over the next year, 100 temporary employees, most of them from eastern Kansas, will convert maps of 32,000 miles of BNSF Railway Co. track and the railroad’s land possessions along it into a geographic information system.

The company will run two shifts for the first time in its history to get the job done in one year. There will be a lot of conflation as scanned documents are merged. The project also means making deeds and other document digital.

Topeka Capitol Journal via longest time loyal contributor Gary Price of INFOdocket.com

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/10 at 03:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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