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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New York City had until last Thursday to meet the first deadline set in its now year-old open data law by making data already published on nyc.gov available in machine-readable format, rather than in PDF format.

According to a city press release, there are now over 1,000 data sets available on New York City's Open Data platform. The platform launched in October of 2011 with 750 data sets, 250 of which were new at the time. Since the law was signed in March of last year, New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been working with agencies to add 350 new data sets to the platform and worked to add regularly updated feeds to existing data sets.

Not all agencies have met the deadline, but there is progress. The data platform also includes a tool where those who are intrested can request that specific datasets be made available. Among the requests: sewer outfalls and hydrants for a Code for America project.

- Tech President

WORCESTERSHIRE County (UK) Council's Cabinet has made changes related to which students attend school where. In particular, the Cabinet is changing how distance to school is measured.

When a community or voluntary controlled school is oversubscribed, home to school distance is used as the final criterion to determine priority.

The council currently uses a walking route measurement using a Geographical Information System (GIS). It has now been agreed that the council will move to a straight-line measurement, similar to the system used by neighbouring authorities. The straight line measurement is more accurate, easier to explain to parents and removes concern that routes to schools have been calculated incorrectly.

- Worcester News

Tasmania is the last Australian state to pass legislation about dual langauge naming on maps and signs.

Under the policy, significant landmarks may feature both the Aboriginal name and existing official names, with the potential to rename landmarks with the Aboriginal name if community support exists.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/13 at 04:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bit late this week...

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/13 at 03:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Earlier this year Pictometry merged with EagleView. While most people in geospatial technologies were well aware of the Pictometry brand, EagleView is not a familiar name. I spoke with Gina Piendel, Marketing Manager to get an update on the merger, as well as the current and future plans for the expanded company. 

First off, we in geospatial are likely to forget that Pictometry has a commercial arm, one that deals with development, construction, roofing and the like. The company offers tools for estimating costs and putting together required reports for materials and the like. The EagleView merger is at least at the outside, a merger with "that side of the house." Before the acquisition EagleView software crunched numbers based on other company's imagery to serve its construction and insurance clients. With the merger, that imagery, ideally more up-to-date and with higher resolution, comes from Pictometry. Further, Plendel, explained, it's clear that the EagleView reporting offerings are stronger than Pictometry's and will in time be the company's solution.

Over on the imagery side, where most customers are federal, state or county agencies, for the short term at least, everything is the same. Pictometry continues to collect imagery and serve the one third of all U.S. counties it counts as clients in the assessment and public safety areas. But, as indicated by the CEO in the last two years, the future is in providing not just products (imagery) but more valuable solutions to users. What's the nature of those solutions? Plendel is not yet ready to share, but expects to share news later this year. 

One change with the acquisition is change in the company's balance of revenues. Pictometry on its own brought in about 75% of revenue from the imagery/government side and 25% from the commercial side. With the merger those numbers balance out to 50% and 50%.

One decision is still up in the air: exactly what the company will be called. The challenge is to leverage the two brands, both strong in their own sectors, within a single company. Pictometry is at work on that important marketing issue, but Plendel is sure of one thing for both Pictometry and EagleView customers: the merger is a win for both groups.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/13 at 03:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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