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Geo Bits & Bytes 8/19/2010

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Benton redesigns website to ease access to property data August 18, 2010, St. Cloud


City continues ‘Access Madison’ program with online GIS August 17, 2010, Madison County Record


Putting a Value on Geospatial Information in the UK August 16, 2010, Spatial Source


Google Leads, You Pedal by Lionel Beehner, August 10, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

Google data collection meets with investigation

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

StreetView, Google’s photo-mapping service, was in the news this week as a judge in Spain opened an investigation into whether Google collected data from unsecured wireless networks unlawfully while assembling photographs for StreetView.


This may be a continuing chapter in the story of “Who Owns Data?” A representative of Google was ordered to appear before the judge, Raquel Fernandino, in early October over a lawsuit filed by a Spanish association of Internet users. The summons was issued last month, but made public only this week.

Street View has been in the news in other European countries that have strict privacy laws, including Germany and Switzerland, causing regulatory and legal problems for Google. In Hamburg this May, a judge opened a criminal investigation of Google over its collection of data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in Germany.

Google Sued in Spain Over Data Collecting by Raphael Minder, August, 17, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

The value of new media

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Some time ago I was at a technology conference where journalists were seated in classroom seating, listening to a day’s worth of speakers. Next to me was a blogger/twitterer, one of the new breed of reporters who may or may not get paid for writing what they write about the technology industry.

We each had our notebook computers in front of us, and each of us were taking notes. He leaned over several times as he continued to type as I listened, and he asked, “what did he say?”

I didn’t want to stop listening to the speaker in order to tell him, so I whispered, I’ll tell you afterwards. I had notes on what the speaker had said, and was tempted to say, you can read my notes.

It turned out the young twitterer was tweeting while he was at the event, so he had to keep at it or else…or else what?

The event raised several questions for me: what is the value of twittering, how can you provide useful information to those following a tweet if you can’t stay tuned into the event you’re attending? And really, who is reading it? Wouldn’t they prefer to read something that has been considered, thought about, and edited so that the writer’s perceptions are clear and concise, rather than a stream-of-consciousness type of entry?

Recently I was following the progress of the Tevis Cup Endurance Ride held in Auburn, Calif. on Twitter. I loved looking at the tweets to hear who reached certain vet checks along the way, who had had accidents or had to be pulled from the ride. I’m sure that was useful to relatives at home who were glued to their screens, waiting to see if their loved ones had made it the next leg of the journey. There were also live charts that weren’t on Twitter to tell you when your rider had reached a vet check and when they had left.

Also, tweets while at conferences are extremely valuable, as they can offer updates on events that you might miss otherwise – a change of room number, a cancellation, a new event that you should attend, etc.

I know that some people enjoy getting tweets when they’re shopping, but as I’m not a big shopper, I haven’t plugged into that usage.

In those instances, and I’m sure there are many others, I see the new media as very useful. But I’m really concerned about tweeting about what is right in front of you at a conference, keeping a constant stream going, when you are really unable to multi-task unless you stop to listen to the speaker.

It would seem that perhaps blogging would be a better choice, save it for later, when you have had a chance to digest the content a little, and the importance of it.

At one conference I heard a participant say that today’s journalism is not about editing, it’s about just putting content out there, never mind the accuracy, that can be caught up with later.

For those of us who write and edit for a living, accuracy is of utmost importance. Thankfully, after a conference, we see a spike in readership to our newsletters, blogs, videos and our website in general — which signals me that professionals still want to hear the whole story, not in blips and blobs but in its entirety….so they can get a sense of the focus of the event and where it might lead in the future.

We’re starting to see books of blogs, such as Julie and Julia, made into a feature film, but will we also begin to see books of tweets?

Clapper’s nomination meets with opposition

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

James R. Clapper Jr., former Under U.S. Secretary of Defense (intelligence) and former head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, is in the news as his nomination to become Obama administration’s new intelligence director has met with opposition from Sen. John McCain.


Clapper, who has had 47 years of service in the area of intelligence, has spoken at various geospatial and GIS conferences, among them GEOINT.

He was nominated by President Barrack Obama on June 5, 2010 to serve as the United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

AP source: Intelligence nominee has smooth session Las Vegas Sun

McCain Holding Up on Intel Nominee New York Times blog

McCain blocking spy-chief nominee Philadelphia Inquirer

Geo Bits & Bytes

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The Geospatial Revolution Project Google Earth Blog


New mapAsheville information marks City of Asheville- and NCDOT-owned roads


Paperless Trail Launches Location Intelligence Tool


Government Works On Policy And Framework To Improve Geospatial Data Management


MapConnect puts the enterprise back into boundary data

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Geared toward the enterprise market space is Broadmap’s MapConnect Enterprise, a product that offers displays, geocoding and high quality boundaries, postal, Census and administrative boundaries. The company arose in response to the Recovery Act need to map serviceability of broadband and high speed internet access to determine where citizens were served or underserved in coverage. Broadmap maps this, reports it to the states and can do so for the federal government as well.

As a result of this effort, Broadmap was awarded with 8 states and territories.

The company is new but has a lot of GIS experience, as it has derived from GDT and TeleAtlas. Although TeleAtlas was acquired by TomTom, it’s interesting that MapConnect Enterprise is based on NAVTEQ based map data.

The product was showcased at Esri in the NAVTEQ booth this year.

APOLLO on the Cloud

Monday, July 26th, 2010

ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud is an offering that gives users all the delivery power and data management of ERDAS APOLLO Professional on the Cloud.


When asked are people interested in using this as an adjunct to APOLLO Professional as a way to extend the desktop, CEO Joel Campbell replied:


“I think it’s more of an instead of. What we’ve noticed in market space for geospatial serving technology, is there’s a level of expertise that’s required – IT expertise, there’s a commitment to hardware and software that’s required that’s not typical in your GIS implementation and there’s a level of information technology – database software, middleware for web serving etc. We’ve noticed in a lot of organizations that our customers have a genuine interest in having that kind of serving technology but they don’t have access to that level of resource. They don’t have these IT departments and racks of servers laying around.”


Most people upgrade their hardware and software on a three year cycle, said Campbell. ERDAS makes an equivalent offering with the Cloud – you would spend the same or less money in three years and have access to the Cloud rather than own hardware and software that become outdated.


Presentation tool AddIn for ArcGIS 10 released

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

new version of a presentation tool that was first designed for ArcGIS 9.2/9.3 was released as an AddIn for ArcGIS 10.  This AddIn is similar to the presentation capability recently added to ArcGIS Explorer.  The AddIn can be downloaded here from the new code gallery.

Esri Applications Prototype Lab Blog, Friday, July 16, 2010

More on

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

A reader wrote in to ask if the data from was to be served up free of charge, as it isn’t clear from the website whether that is the case. If anyone knows the answer to this, please respond. promises near-real time information

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

“The partner agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) are developing a Geospatial Platform to more effectively provide place-based products and services to the American public. The Geospatial Platform will be a managed portfolio of common geospatial data, services, and applications contributed and administered by authoritative sources and hosted on a shared infrastructure.”

On another page of this website, offers examples of how NOAA with the EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Interior integrated up-to-date information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s trajectory with wildlife information, place-based locations of oiled shoreline and the positions of research ships into one map. utilizes the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) a web-based GIS platform developed by NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center.

This may be a useful venue for volunteer geographic information (VGI).

Teledyne: - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

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