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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

During the Esri Federal GIS conference in Washington DC this week, the analysis of social media data was the topic of several presentations and demonstrations on the exhibit floor.

Andrew Turner and Sean Gorman, formerly of GeoIQ which was acquired by Esri, gave a presentation on how data derived from social media can be aggregated to provide relevant information in near real-time. They demonstrated how by simply showing the location of geotagged flickr photos (estimated now to be over 1 billion) that new types of geographic boundaries can be discerned, such as those areas that may be relevant to tourists versus that which may be significant to locals. Using the search API from Twitter, they looked at other trends but cautioned that using this alone may not be giving you a random sample in order to qualify something, such as consumer sentiment, as a "trend."
However, using the streaming API might allow for the identification of real-time events. They demonstrated how a user can analyze data within certaiin temporal and spatial constraints. As such, it is possible to set alerts based on parameters set by the user. One of the goals that Gorman and Turner are trying to reach is to detect patterns without having an analysts constantly monitoring the streaming data. Their objective is to have social media patterns reveal themselves. They want to be able to look at all the conversations on Twitter and find the relevant conversations on a specific topic during a particular time period. Would a certain keyword show up more than normal and thus reveal an anomalous event? If so, they are looking at ways to set alert to send text messages to analysts.
Their team at Esri is looking to work with companies such as Topsy to better discern the validity of streaming social media. Topsy was an exhibitor at the conference.
Another exhibitor, TerraGo Technologies was demonstrating a recently announced application for analyzing unstructured data. Using their GeoXray product the company will geographically display the locations of blogs, news feeds, Twitter, etc. and filter by place, topic or temporal constraints. The interface can use Bing or Google maps. The objective, according to Rick Cobb, CEO, is to provide better situational awareness to its clients. It has applications in defense but could also be applied to commercial uses for companies who likewise need better visibility regarding situations that may result from natural disasters in order to support merchandising and logistics. (Image below courtesy of TerraGo)
by Joe Francica on 02/27 at 08:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The ArcGIS for Developers page is long list of events meant to draw existing and potential developers to its new platform to be released in March.

New platform?

Yes, it'll be easier than before to use and include 

  • Geocoding and Place Search
  • Directions and Routing
  • Mapping and Visualization tools
  • A New Monthly Subscription Plan


There will be a hackathon (batlle?) March 24, the day before the dev summit for visitors to get hands on experience with the new platform. Teams (in person and remote participants are ok) will build apps and present them for prizes the next day

Esri will have a house at SXSW (apparently a trolley ride away from downtown) for the week of the event in Austin.


Esri will have a house at SXSW! The Esri Lavahouse will be putting on events and hackathons throughout SXSW, and we'll have bunch of space with food, powerstrips for hacking and hanging out. The Esri Lavahouse will be open and free to the public from 8am-5pm starting Friday, March 8th to Monday March 11. Catch a trolley from the convention center to Lavahouse every day!

Esri is dropping a good deal of money on this house, I'm sure. Esri is making good on its promise to court developers.

- Esri ArcGIS for Developers Page

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 07:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Waze yesterday won  “Best Overall Mobile App” at the 2013 Global Mobile Awards, an awards program in its 18th year. (No, I never heard of it either!) It run in connection with Mobile World Congress, which runs this week in Barcelona.

To select the nominees for the 2013 awards, more than 160 independent analysts, journalists, academics and subject matter experts throughout the world participated in the judging process. In addition, the chief technology officers of 14 mobile operators took part in judging the ‘ Outstanding Overall Mobile Technology’ award, including CTOs from 3, Etisalat, KT, M1, Movistar, MTN, NTT DoCoMo, Optus, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile, VimpelCom and Vodafone.

2013 Global Mobile Awards sponsors include: McAfee (Apps of the Year), Myriad (Social & Economic Development) and Telmap (Connected Life Awards and Best Mobile Services). Market data for the ‘Best Mobile App for Consumers’ and ‘Best Mobile App for Enterprise’ categories was provided by Distimo.

And, today, the company announced version 3.6 with an important new feature: the ability to close roads in real time.

We’re very excited to announce that as of today, Wazers now have the ability to report and close roads on the map in real-time!

Enter Waze 3.6, introducing the first real-time crowdsourced solution to helping drivers navigate around road closures and get where they need to be.

An algorithm makes sure a closure is not an error and will automatically open roads when cars are driving on it again. In the meantime, routing will avoide the road in question.

- Waze Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 07:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The new affordable care act limits how insurance companies can offer differential rates. One way that's still in the mix is geography.

The federal government has proposed that a state should not create more than seven geographic rating areas to prevent insurers from charging excessively high premiums in certain areas.

To accommodate California’s size and diversity, the state’s health exchange is proceeding with 19 regions with the understanding that its plan eventually will receive federal approval.

But there are differences of opinion about how many ratings area there should be and how they'll be defined. The nineteen are either area code groups for LA, individual counties or groups of counties.

- Insurance Journal

Two Middlebury geography grads are using IndieGoGo to fund a startup that uses open source mapping tools to help enhance health care distribution in developing areas. Have a look and see if you want to fund Broad Street Maps.

via NCGE on Facebook

This may be the first time Chinese official have ok'd the suggestion that there's a link between cancer and pollution. It starts with a map.

As David Wertime writes over at Tea Leaf Nation, the Weibo account of Global Times, a Communist Party-owned newspaper, recently shared a map of so-called “cancer villages,” the colloquial term for towns where cancer rates have spiked in recent years.

The text accompanying the maps cites a government report with the connection.

- WaPo

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 04:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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