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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Simon Poole explained the situation in a note on the talk@openstreetmap list on February 1. 

As you may have noticed we have removed all links displaying the Google geocoding service from the [OpenStreetMap] wiki. These changes are a consequence of a legal issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, USA. There are likely to be further related edits and changes both on the wiki and the help site. Please do not add such removed links back or undo any such edits. If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.

He goes on to say that the term is incidental to what OpenStreetMap does and asked that concerns be addresses to him directly, rather than publicly on the list.

That did not sit well with the OSM community, which responded publicly. Some asked for more information. Others suggest OSM fight whatever threat was made. Still others felt leaving that task to Google (with its piles of money) was the best course. Others suggest moving servers out the U.S. where the trademark is held. Some praise the Board of Directors for its decision; othersthreaten to leave work unfinished in protest of the decision.

The trademark is from 2005 and is currently assigned to Geocode, Inc. If I understand this "FIRST USE: 19990726. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20000726" correctly, the first use was July 26, 1999 and the first use in commerce was July 26, 2000. Geocode, Inc. seems to be out of Eau Claire Wisconsin and may be an 8A company, but I could not find an active website. There's also a location in Florida (a state which has excellent open data) so you can see the principles. The owner is a woman, supporting an 8A designation.

Interestingly, the GEOCODE GLOBAL trademark was held by Harvard Design and Mapping (I used to work out of their offices) and is now owned by CoreLogic.

Exaclty how this will play out at OSM is unclear. This may be a warning shot over the bow for the rest of the industry.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GIS Data Resources, Inc., based in San Rafael, Calif., will start working on a 10-month $4.4 million contract to develop a seamless GIS database including every address, fire hydrant, driveway, manhole cover and other roadway features in Shelby County, TN. 

GDR has has done similar projects in Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Contra Costa, Calif. 

- Commercial Appeal

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced the mapping of all financial access points across the country as part of efforts to drive its newly unveiled financial inclusion strategy. BusinessDay was informed that a research company, Brand Fusions Limited, has been contracted to conduct the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and is being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The goal is to find underserved areas and provide banking to them.

- Business Daily Online

Apparently New Mexico does not yet have a geodata clearinghouse. But that may change.

Map nerds rejoice: Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Santa Fe, an IT guy, will make map nerds everywhere cheer if his HB 493 to create a state digital geospatial data clearinghouse is approved. The bill creates a clearinghouse at The University of New Mexico to collect, inventory and maintain geospatial data, maps and photos. The clearinghouse would be accessible online and open to the public. The bill will be heard first in the House Energy and Natural Resources committee.

- Taos News

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The listing of certifications for public officials can recieve via the NM EDGE program at New Mexico State University is long. Among them is a GIS certificate which makes one a New Mexico Certified Geographic Information Service Specialist:

NM Certified Geographic Information Systems designation requires completion of 28 classes from a requirements list and a mini-portfolio demonstrating, through written and project work, the student's application of the competencies learned by participating in the classes.

Wow - 28 classes? Each one is just three hours of classroom instruction (not three credit hours) per this PDF checklist for the certificate. Courses range from vector input to ethics to presentation skills.


For newly enrolling students, there is an initial enrollment fee of $50. This is a one-time fee. From that point, the cost of each class is $75. Lower class fees are available by purchasing multiple class-units at a time either individually or through a group account. For many organizations, establishing a group account can assist in helping to defray the costs of our classes.

What is NM EDGE?

The NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is a program administered by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. ...

Originally established in 2003 as County College, a mutually beneficial project between the Extension Service and the New Mexico Association of Counties, the program has evolved and expanded into the NM EDGE under the leadership and guidance of Jon Boren, associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and Paul Gutierrez, executive director of the New Mexico Association of Counties.

I wonder how this meshes with current efforts to integrate GIS into community colleges and the GTCM? Or GISP? I wonder if it competes with more formal certificates? If other states offer such certificates?

via Deming Headlight which notes recent recipients of the GIS certification

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 04:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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