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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A growing mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is in cyber threat detection and analysis according to director Letitia Long. NGA's task is to know where those cyber threats are emanating especially over time. "We put the bricks and mortar with the bits and bytes," said Long.
Long also said that the NGA is transitioning from simply a provider of data products to "a more dynamic GEOINT" agency that solves critical geospatial problems with evolving services to its customers. Long made these remarks at the Esri Federal GIS conference in Washington, D.C. this past week. See also the excerpted video of Long's remarks.
Also at the conference, Esri Cybersecurity account manager Ken Stoni made a case for how to apply geospatial technology to cyber security. He said that cyber threats are becoming more prevalent and more serious. The current approach to cyber is device centric and resource intensive. Organizations have legacy cyber security technology that can't be abandoned.  
Stoni advocated reconsidering cyberspace into five distinct layers that are potentially "mappable":
  • Social/ persona layer; i.e. individuals creating the threats
  • Device layer
  • Logical Network layer
  • Physical Network Layer
  • Geographic layer
Stoni remarked that each device in cyber space is owned by someone and that electro-mechanical devices exist in space and time and interact with physical events and assets. Geography, then, is required to integrate and align cyberspace with other data.
by Joe Francica on 02/11 at 11:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Ramsey County, Minnesota Board of Commissioners Tuesday voted to distribute county GIS data without fees or user licenses. If fees were kept in place the county expected to make just $3,000 in 2014. The fee schedule dates back to 1989; here's the current iteration. Web maps are currently from GeoCortex. Exactly how the data will be delivered is not yet decided.


by Adena Schutzberg on 02/11 at 03:10 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share, a U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) portal for disseminating geospatial data, uses the ArcGIS Online platform to host and share U.S. government-created geospatial content. You do not have to be an ArcGIS user to utilize the portal. Data created with another software solution can be uploaded to the platform as well. The DOI has a pool of shared credits to allow access to and the underlying data available through ArcGIS Online. Any Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) agency can access the portal’s shared data library and publish to the portal. The lead for the agency must determine, however, how to allocate the credits. The credits can be used to incentivize the agency's users to use the platform. But you are not required to be an ArcGIS Online user or subscriber. The DOI wants users to build compelling applications but also to share derivative data sets. Within the next year, the DOI is looking to offer map templates and also a developer community where shared code can be offered.

See also our podcast on

by Joe Francica on 02/11 at 07:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The vision for corporate members of the OpenStreetMap Foundation has been around since the September 2013 annual meeting. Now more, but not all, details are in place to sign on these members.

  • Corporate members have the same rights as normal members but have no vote at Annual General Meetings.
  • A package of benefits for corporate members (such as being prominently listed on the OSM web page) is in the works.
  • The main reason to be a member of the OSMF is to support the project, not for what they get in return.
  • The membership fee is £1,000 per year (about €1,200 and US$1,650) and will go to keep OpenStreetMap’s servers running and ensure the continued success of the project.

- OSM Blog, membership signup details

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/11 at 05:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Jason Rentfrow, a University of Cambridge psychologist,and his colleagues decided to try to break the U.S. into regions based on psychological profiles.

The result of this work is a paper titled “Divided We Stand: Three Psychological Regions of the United States and Their Political, Economic, Social, and Health Correlates” (pdf). The researchers used surveys to tease out psychological characteristics of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. The results:

Friendly & Conventional: “In many respects, the Friendly & Conventional region reflects Middle America, or ‘Red’ states,” write the researchers, and the F&C region, which includes basically the entire Midwest, “comprises predominantly White residents with comparatively low levels of education, wealth, economic innovation, and social tolerance.” These folks tend to be “politically conservative, religious, and civically engaged.” [map above]

Relaxed & Creative: “The Relaxed & Creative region comprises predominantly states along the West Coast, Rocky Mountains, and Sunbelt.” An educated, disproportionately non-Caucasian part of the country, R&C’s “psychological profile is marked by low Extraversion and Agreeableness, very low Neuroticism, and very high Openness.” It’s a region “where open-mindedness, tolerance, individualism, and happiness are valued”—so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it’s experiencing positive net migration.

Temperamental & Uninhibited: This is the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast—“quintessentially Blue states.” The region is characterized by “low Extraversion, very low Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, very high Neuroticism, and moderately high Openness. … There are disproportionate numbers of older adults and women in this region, in addition to affluent and college-educated individuals.”

How might such data be used? Perhaps for economic development, says Rentfrew. Still, though, he cautions, the research is in its early stages.

- PS Mag

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/11 at 04:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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