Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Five-year-old Uber, a company whose expertise is in getting you from one location to another, wants to add the service of how to deliver goods to people’s homes also.
Recently Uber announced Uber Corner Store, a pilot program which is a service that would enable Uber users in the Washington D.C. region to order grocery or pharmacy items such as toothpaste delivered from local stores, much like some mom-and-pop stores used to make home deliveries. The pilot is expected to only last for a few weeks, but signals what the long term vision of the company is. This would put Uber at more than a location company to a bonafide logistics company.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s idea of the Corner Store could position the company in direct competition with the two superpowers Google and Amazon, who have been going after that same-day delivery market for a number of years. The on-demand economy is growing and both companies have their version of instant gratification for that economy. The other part of that is to keep shoppers engaged in their one service so they don’t shop elsewhere. Google has added new retailers to its Shopping Express offering. Amazon expanded it’s Get It Today service to six new locations.
Uber has not figured out a way to make this service earn money, and currently the service is free for customers. Uber has an advantage in that it has been in the forefront of educating users to treat their smartphones like “remote controls” so that they can get anything by using an app or just touching a button on their mobile device.
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
The face of GIS and Geospatial education has changed dramatically over the past few years, with online courses being offered in numerous subjects, ranging from GIS fundamentals to Spatial Analytics and Geodesign. What is more phenomenal is that these courses reach out to all corners of the earth, making a GIS/geospatial education a possibility for almost everyone on the planet.
Screenshot from a Washington College lecture
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
One might not think too much about the historic police boxes that look like American telephone booths that used to dot the UK landscape. Now, only a handful of them are left. Here is a map of all the original ones currently known, as well as replicas of originals.
I’m wondering if the renewed interest in this now defunct form of 911 is as a result of the popular “Dr. Who” PBS series, in which the infamous Doctor goes into his “Tardis” which is in fact, a replica of a 1929 police box.
That’s where the resemblance ends, however, as the Tardis is “much bigger inside than it is outside” with all forms of technology for fighting evil forces within its four walls.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Today DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colorado, announced the successful launch of WorldView-3, the company’s sixth and highly advanced high-resolution, super-spectral commercial satellite. From Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the satellite launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket at 11:10 PDT.
Thursday, August 7th, 2014
During the week of September 15th, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Satellite Imaging.”
Thursday, August 7th, 2014
Microsoft’s flagship mapping product, MapPoint, will be discontinued, along with AutoRoute, Streets & Trips December 31, 2014. Online support will be available for the latter product through July 14, 2015. The MapPoint product offered offline routing and basic business analytics. There were problems with its delivery, it appears, as it was on a two-year upgrade cycle rather than the more frequent updates offered by competing software packages.
There has not been much press or an official announcement from Microsoft, only mentioned on the official Microsoft landing pages for MapPoint and Streets & Trips (via Neowin). Microsoft has decided to discontinue Microsoft AutoRoute, Microsoft Streets & Trips and Microsoft MapPoint.
Friday, August 1st, 2014
Tierney O’Dea Booker, spatial journalist in Support of Citizen Science, with USC Spatial Sciences Institute, gave a fascinating presentation at Esri UC 2014 in San Diego on how citizens can become involved in science, and contribute to data on sensitive projects. Her talk was entitled “Drones, Pigs, Maps and Oil.” Before coming to USC Spatial Sciences Institute, Booker was with NBC working with anchorman Tom Brokaw, and worked with Medic Mobile developing health technology for mobile phones.
“The most effective way to get involved in science is to do science,” said Booker. She got interested in data journalism while with Medic Mobile, and in spatial data through Ushahidi.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
In an interview with Brian Berdel, CIO of McMahon Associates, Inc., a national Philadelphia-based engineering firm, he talked about the new release of their Traisr web-based infrastructure asset-management application that relies on a GIS to help users track, manage, maintain and report on vital assets — on the road or off. It is already being used by municipalities along the east coast. McMahon Associates officially launched Traisr at the Esri User Conference two weeks ago in San Diego.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
The Exhibit Floor reveals industry trends, as vendors respond to requests of their customers with timely products and services. The emphasis at Esri UC 2014 was on data and apps, reflecting the trends discussed in Monday’s Plenary session. Global data, the mining of crowdsourcing data, spatial analytics to business users, the launch of WorldView-3 that will open up worlds of data previously unable to be explored – are just a few of the exciting areas covered in the exhibits and special vendor presentations.
This year marked the 22nd Esri conference for veteran company TomTom, which derived originally from the company GDT and later TeleAtlas. According to John Cassidy, vice president of sales and James Pardue, licensing, TomTom’s focus has evolved from the original interest in making Census data better back in the GDT days, to spatial navigation in the present day. Hardware, analytical, navigation and spatial are the primary areas of their business.
“Everyone wants global data,” said Cassidy. “TomTom is heavily invested in the crowdsourcing model.”
Cassidy said that in 2013, 6 billion pieces of information per day were processed by TomTom. In 2014, already 9 billion pieces of information per day have been processed. Their focus has become quality accuracy and quality control.
“Real world users are more valuable,” said Cassidy. “A lot information is gathered using smartphones.”