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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Appointments to National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC)

March 8th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Today Intergraph Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I) division Senior Vice President Jack Pellicci was appointed to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior.

On February 8, 2010, The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA)  announced in a press release that three key GITA leaders have been appointed to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar appointed a total of 14 individuals to serve as members of the NGAC on Thursday, Feb. 4. The NGAC provides advice and recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues as well as a forum to convey views representative of partners in the geospatial community. The members of the NGAC report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs. The FGDC is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary’s designee.

The appointed individuals include GITA’s 2010 President, Cindi Salas, Director, Land & Field Services, CenterPoint Energy; 2010 President-elect Dr. Robert F. Austin, Enterprise Application Integration Manager, City of Tampa; and Research Committee Chair and Past President David DiSera, Vice President & CTO, EMA, Inc. Past GITA Board and Executive Committee Member Xavier Lopez, Director, Location Based Services, Oracle Corporation, was also appointed.”

Chile earthquake geospatial resources

March 3rd, 2010 by Susan Smith

This is what I have so far and will add to it as more information emerges:


Google Crisis Response Map of the Chile Earthquake

Google Mapmaker

According to a blog at OpenStreetMap, Rapideye has made available to OpenStreetMap satellite images of areas of Chile affected by the earthquake. The images are copyrighted but can be used to add data to OSM.

For information on how to include these images into JOSM and Potlatch see…

The MapRoom

Crisis Commons nothing posted here yet.


Podcast: Lessons From Chile


Quake Finds Tsunami Forecasts Still Limited Kenneth Chang, March 2, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Tsunami and Earthquake Disaster Recovery Satellite Imaging Corporation

New online mapping tool for U.S. Census Bureau

March 3rd, 2010 by Susan Smith

“With mail-out of the 2010 Census forms less than one month away, the U. S. Census Bureau unveiled a new online mapping tool that allows communities nationwide to prepare for the 2010 Census by seeing how well they did mailing back their 2000 Census forms.

Visitors to the new Google-based map will be able to find the 2000 Census mail participation rates for states, counties and cities, as well as smaller areas called “census tracts.” After the 2010 Census forms are mailed out in mid-March, the online map will be updated to include a tracking tool with daily updates of the 2010 Census mail participation rates for local areas across the nation. Users will be able to compare their 2010 Census progress using their 2000 Census rates as a benchmark..”

–from the press release March 3, 2010

Yellowfin Business Intelligence offers new location intelligence dimension

March 1st, 2010 by Susan Smith

The market is ripe for Yellowfin Business Intelligence which offers new location intelligence, allowing inbound call data from customers to be analyzed as easily as their web data. The integrated Business Intelligence and Location Intelligence solution makes greater use of spatial data and targets customers like Jet Interactive, Australia’s leading inbound number provider. This company has integrated Yellowfin BI and LI to its Call Tracker solution. The system uses GIS to facilitate the visualization of customers’ call data and regional statistical and demographic data in conjunction with standard tabular data.

Autodesk posts strong Q4 results, then stocks fall

February 25th, 2010 by Susan Smith

On Wednesday Autodesk stock fell 2% after the company’s announcements of profitability on Tuesday:

Tech Stocks Head South, Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 25, 2010

News stories on Autodesk’s Q4 announcement:

Autodesk Posts Sequential Revenue, Profitability and Cash Flow Growth, AECCafe News

Autodesk, Inc. Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript Seeking Alpha

Autodesk (ADSK) Reports Strong Q4 Results, Shares Jump, February 23, 2010

Battle of the mapping giants at the Olympics

February 25th, 2010 by Susan Smith

It would seem that Google and Microsoft have been vying for mapping airtime during the Olympics in Vancouver. According to a CNET article, “Google has been featuring Olympic-themed doodles on its home page, while Bing is featuring Olympic-themed photos as its background, with the images rotating several times a day. Microsoft can also tap the fact it is helping power NBC’s Olympics Web site through MSN, giving it access to quite a bit of content from the Games….

Bing Maps has a special Olympics page that lets visitors see medal charts and click on a country to see how its athletes are faring. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also updated Vancouver with new street-side imagery and made it one of three cities (along with Seattle and San Francisco) in which it is trying out new features, such as Flickr integration”

For its part, Google features an interactive schedule, with links to medal results, news, and the venues. To get additional imagery for its maps program, Google augmented its usual fleet of cars with Street View photos captured by snowmobile.

Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lee has been covering the preparation for the Games since 2003.

His Vancouver map, created on top of Google Maps, has pin points for everything from the venues, to public events, national pavilions, and public transit stops and road closures.”

Olympics notebook: Mapping the Vancouver Games by Ina Fried, CNET

Bits & Bytes

February 19th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Some new features desired in mobile phones include – mobile video conferencing, biometric sensors, common awareness between devices and green battery power. February 19, 2010

The New York Times, Bits by Nick Bilton

GISWORX 2010 to provide rich content to all Enterprise and GIS clients, February 17, 2010, Arabian Business

Ohio University Geographers to use GIS to Study Climate Change Adaptation in East Africa February 16, 2010, GIS and Science

Expanded GIS Services Available at the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection February 17, 2010, Ball State University Libraries’ News

Weather Forecast: Why GIS is the Future of Weather Tracking TechWonder blogspot

OSI Geospatial to Report 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results February 16, 2010,

Infoterra’s Skape 3D city mapping service offers fully textured imagery of UK

February 18th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Skape is a geospatial 3D city mapping service product from Infoterra that offers advanced imagery of 3D heighted buildings of the UK’s major cities. 99% of the data collected for this product is Infoterra-owned, and the company uses its own dedicated fleet of aircraft to capture fully textured imagery. The new product is designed for environmentalists, architects, planners, local authorities and surveyors. Skape enables users to manipulate urban landscapes online by combining high resolution 3D textured city models with 2D mapping and terrain data.

Research and Resource Center for Land Surveyors portal launched in California

February 16th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Land Surveyor Research and Resource Center Website Launched in California was launched to serve as a research and resource center for California Land Surveyors interesting in obtaining copies of recorded Subdivision maps, Record of Survey Maps, Corner Records and other land survey related records.

Cintiq 21UX multitouch tablet from Wacom

February 16th, 2010 by Susan Smith

In the wake of the excitement over the Apple iPad tablet computer, Wacom offers the super high end Cintiq 21UX multitouch tablet with interactive pen display technology that is priced at $1999.

“The Cintiq 21UX pen display combines the advantages of a color-accurate LCD with the performance of Wacom’s patented pen technology. With a UXGA resolution of 1600 x 1200, a completely flat work surface, 8 ExpressKeys, 2 finger-sensitive Touch Strips, and a dynamically adjustable stand” …according to press materials.

I wrote about Wacom in July of 2009 after seeing their product line at ESRI 2009. I include that blog here as it describes the company’s direction:

July 17th, 2009 by Susan Smith

The company Wacom has been around for 25 years with its display technology . I was first familiarized with this company through my work in the AEC industry (architectural, engineering and construction) for which it always seemed like a good fit, with its digitizer tablets and sketching capabilities.

Wacom has now come to GIS with its palette-based DTZ-2100 Interactive Pen Display, making a timely entrance at a time when ESRI’s Bill Miller is working with sketch technology, and the whole notion of “GeoDesign” suggests a way of designing GIS with new tools.

Wacom’s Mike Dana said the company is focused on changing the human to computer relationship. The product consists of a monitor or display, a pen and a driver. The brain power is in the monitor, and the pen is not intelligent but understands pen pressure so that the user will have a “canvas-based response.”

Wacom hasn’t worked out just what features you might be able to have with the pen pressure, however, Dana said that this capability, coupled with the pen’s strength of signal and  tilt direction could be part of 3D of the future.

Dana said that the display, which has buttons on either side of the screen, can be configured as you wish, and you can execute 8-12 repetitive tasks at a time.

There is also a display toggle so that you can work on two screens simultaneously and the image will map directly to the second monitor.

“This product combines the convenience of touch with the precision of penpoints,” explained Dana.

An ESRI Authorized Business Partner, Wacom’s DTZ-2100 will be hanced with flat templates for ArcGIS 9.4. ArcGIS is added to the list of formats in the driver.

“The display is more accurate and precise than the Tablet PC,” claimed Dana. The specialized behavior of the pen, along with the ability to customize buttons to the workflow in office solutions make this a technology to look at.

I did note that the LCD panel is a big draw on power, however, it is powered separately from a PC. Currently, it is not really something you can take out in the field.

Wacom has two models: a  21.3 inch standard size display and a smaller one. The standard size including display monitor, pen and driver retails at US$2,000 and a smaller one is US$1,000.

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