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Monday, January 21, 2013

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/21 at 06:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Google and others have offered maps, resource lists, ways to find loved ones and other resources for those in natural and other disasters. Now Microsoft has an offering in the form of HelpBridge, a mobile phone app.

Available today [Jan 16] in the U.S. for Windows PhoneAndroid, and iOS, HelpBridge is designed to make it easy to connect with friends and family during a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake or a hurricane. It also enables users to give time, money and resources to support relief and rebuilding efforts. 

Users build a list of those they'd need to contact with an "I'm safe" or "I need help" type message in such situations. When they occur, a single tap sends the message via SMS or other method to the group. A location can be included, too, using GPS data from the phone. There does not seem to be a provision for finding government or other resources.

Those who can give can provide funds to selected organizations, find exactly what types of goods are needed where, and see lists of volunteer opportunities.

The app grew out of a need for a generic app instead of one-off responses.  Partners include  Aidmatrix, GuideStarMobile Giving Foundation,Network for Good and VolunteerMatch.The challenge, I suppose, is getting individuals to install and pre-load the app with contact information before a disaster hits.

- Microsoft

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/21 at 04:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Hernando County Property Appraiser's Office is seeking volunteer assistance with its Geographic Information System project. Those with computer experience, particularly with Arc GIS [sic], are preferred. Volunteers may contribute up to 30 hours per week, as their schedules permit.

- Tampa Bay Times

The Self-Defense Forces, police and the Japan Coast Guard's regional office in central Japan will use a common coordinate system to speed up the dispatch of relief units in emergencies, according to sources.

The winner? UTM. And, the good news? 

Responding to their move, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan is preparing to make a map with UTM Grid zones and publicize it on the Internet, according to the sources.

- Japan Times

Wabash County Illinois is trying to work with cities and utiliites to get the best deal on new imagery. The county's dates back to 2005. Two players discussed their services:

Also attending Tuesday’s special council meeting was Bruce Harris who projected a PowerPoint presentation while the meeting heard comments in teleconference with Mark Brooks and Jochen Floesser, all of Magnolia River Geospatial Capacities of Huntsville, Ala.

The Magnolia folks, per the paper, stated it "the firm has the only DMC II — 230 camera in the US. " I know the Z/I imaging sensors been sold to firms in Canada and Germany. 

Most interesting to me:

Mike Gill of LaMac Engineering said he believes Microsoft company may now be offering to pay for 75 percent of the flight for GIS mapping, if it is done through the computer software firm.

So few have heard about Microsoft's efforts, this is pretty interesting. I wrote about it some years ago (APB coverage).

- Daily Republican Register

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/21 at 04:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci) - http://ccpe.csulb.edu/splash/gis/. Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2013 cohort. Please let your students and/or alumni know about this opportunity.

- Esri Higher Ed List

Dr. Mary T. Dooley, Professor Emerita of Geography at Minnesota State University, Mankato, donated $200,000 to the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Geography. The funds will endow student scholarships and research needs in Geography, with 25 percent dedicated to developing collections of the University Map Library. ...To honor the long tradition of documenting change on maps, the Minnesota State Mankato Map Library was named in honor of Professor Dooley...

- AAG press release

Philadelphia University is launching a new M.S. in Geodesign, an innovative program that utilizes a sophisticated design framework and advanced technology for professionals to use in planning and designing sustainable built and natural environments....The M.S. in Geodesign is a 36-credit, full- or part-time graduate program with classes offered evenings and Saturdays. Students in PhilaU’s Landscape Architecture program can complete both their bachelor’s degree and M.S. in Geodesign in five years. The M.S. in Geodesign is designed primarily for professionals in the fields of landscape architecture, architecture and urban planning, although applicants with degrees in other fields will be considered for admission on an individual basis. All students must take an accelerated introductory course in ArcView GIS training, which will be offered in summer 2013.

I think the program starts this fall, but can't find that stated anywhere in the press release or program website.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/21 at 04:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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