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Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Esri Severe Weather Public Information Map is being offered to media outlets to use as part of their winter storm and nor’easter coverage. Users can explore live storm reports, precipitation, and weather warnings with geo-tagged social content from Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Media can customize the map by panning or zooming, and localize social content by changing the keywords or date ranges. I've embedded it I'm off for a run before the expected several feet of snow here in Boston!

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/07 at 03:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The blog points to the changing state of the news business as the reason for the shutdown on Feb 7, 2013.

It’s no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there’s an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been able to build an engaged community over the years, we’re faced with the decision to wrap things up. 

There were nearly 200 commnts when I post this at 1 pm Eastern on that date.

Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer of NBC News, which nows has full control of which acquired EveryBlock in 2009, gave the corporate perspective to

[EveryBlock] is a wonderful scrappy business but it wasn’t a strategic fit with our growth strategy and — like most hyperlocal businesses — was struggling with the business model.

- EveryBlock Website,  final blog post, via @bflood

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/07 at 09:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

To celebrate compiling all the numbers from 2012 waze released an infographic. I guess that's now a required communications tool.

Sone numbers:

  • 36 million drivers/users 

  • 90 million user reports 

  • 6 billion miles (9.66 billion kilometres) driven

  • 65,000 map editors 

  • 500 million map edits and updates

  • 110 countries

More interesting, perhaps are the underlying tools waze used to encourage and cajole its users to add more data and offer more edits to its maps:

  • a new map editor
  • meetups
  • tools (and the means to enhance the underlying data) for gas prices and avoiding toll roads

waze Blog via TNW

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/07 at 05:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Andover, MA has launched its new  Municipal Information Mapping Access Program (MIMAP) online GIS. It's hosted by the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. Users begin the search using a Google Map, but full details are provided in with further information provided by AppGeo's MapGeo  AppGeo's GPV technology. The intro webpage defining and explaining GIS references Esri. An AppGeo rep informs me that the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission "hosts GPV-based interactive mapping websites for all 15 towns in this vibrant region of Northeastern Massachusetts."  [updated 2/8/13]

- Andover Patch

Bartholomew County, Ohio is all set when it comes to GIS.

The county contracted with 39 Degrees North, a Bloomington company, for the service. The annual cost for the system is $55,000, which is split between the county surveyor, county highway, city engineering, city and county planning, metropolitan planning and city utility departments, said Jim Hartsook, the county’s director of information technology.

New data, included bus lines, are to be added soon to the 40 already in place in the one year old system.
In Licoln, MA a call for 40K to continue to support a GIS was denied. Lincoln is considered a wealthy town; I'm going hiking there this week. The GIS will be maintained by staff in other areas and volunteers.
by Adena Schutzberg on 02/07 at 05:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Cell towers send signals one to the next via microwaves. In dry conditions those signals drop off as distances get longer. But, when it rains, they drop off faster (and differently). That observation led Dutch researcher to try to use signal strength as a way to track rainfall in roughly real time.

There are roughly 8000 microwave links in the Netherlands, and the team was given access to data on about 2400 of those, with signal strength recorded every 15 minutes – enough to get a snapshot of rainfall across the whole country. By contrast, the meteorological institute has just 32 rain gauges that take a reading every 10 minutes.

The team mapped rainfall between June and September 2011 and found that readings derived from cellular data tended to agree with those from the traditional combination of rain gauges and radar.

This methodology might be very valuable in poorer countries where rainguages are few, but cell towers many.
by Adena Schutzberg on 02/07 at 05:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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