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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 »

GIS states app for iPhone/iPod platform

 
September 23rd, 2009 by Susan Smith

Integrity Logic has been busy lately – they have now released Geology WA covering the state of Washington and Oregon. The release “focuses on the physical geography and geology of the Pacific Northwest states, and contains 25 layers of information, which can be superimposed, mixed and rearranged in any desired combination.”

The company also released for the state of Arizona, Geology AZ, a GIS with 23 layers of information focusing on the physical geography and geology of Arizona.

The company also has GIS coverage for the following states:

Geology CA, Geology TX, Geology NY and Geology FL.

Government taps private sector GIS database

 
September 22nd, 2009 by Susan Smith

“Rextag Strategies’ industry-leading GIS databases have won an open-bid contract from the US Department of the Interior. Rextag’s GIS data, used extensively throughout the private sector, has demonstrated itself a surpassingly valuable asset to government as well.”

” Rextag was awarded the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs contract for its Oil & Gas Pipeline GIS and Renewable Energy GIS Data.”
– Business Wire, Sept. 22, 2009

Biggest challenge to GIS implementation is time

 
September 22nd, 2009 by Susan Smith

“Data managers at last weeks’ GIS Broadband Workshop in Denver talked about obstacles they’ve had to overcome in implementing geographic information systems (GIS) at their MSOs. One of the biggest challenges has simply been the element of time. It takes a few years to update a large operator’s subscriber databank with GIS data.”

-Communications Technology

View federal stimulus spending by state and recipient

 
September 17th, 2009 by Susan Smith

www.Recovery.gov, a site created to track the flow of federal stimulus funds, features several interactive maps that show spending by state and by recipient.

74% government data is location-based

 
September 15th, 2009 by Susan Smith

In an article in Government Technology by editor Todd Newcombe he pointed out that during the first day of the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, D.C. the discussions of a future of opening up government data to improve democracy and citizen engagement would mean that GIS would be a clear winner.

The reason for this is that 74 percent of government data is location-based, according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Enterprise Architecture framework. State and local figures are higher than that, closer to 80 percent.

Coming up: the Open Government Directive from the Obama administration will require federal agencies to set standards for providing data in machine-readable formats to the public.

http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/722260?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=link

Homicide map piques interest among geologists

 
September 15th, 2009 by Susan Smith

In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Sept. 8, 2009) a map of recent homicides that have occurred in the city was published. The map shows geographic trends in homicides across the city by cause, race and gender. Other maps for different types of crime are being created to be shared with the public. Interestingly, a post on Geology.com said the maps are “relatively easy to make” and could be a “good communication tool for sharing the location of geologic hazards with the public – if you have a latitude/longitude database of incidences.”

http://geology.com/news/2009/homicide-map.shtml

Mobile cloud services forecasted

 
September 15th, 2009 by Susan Smith

According to ABI Research, “the number of people using mobile cloud services will rapidly grow over the next five years, reaching 998 million in 2014. Last year, these kind of services were used by 42.8 million subscribers, which is approximately 1.1% of all mobile users. In comparison, the number of people that are expected to use mobile cloud in 2014 will represent nearly 19% of all mobile phone users.” – Dusan Belic, ABI Research, Sept. 9, 2009

Near real-time GIS data gets to firefighters

 
September 9th, 2009 by Susan Smith

During the recent summer forest fire season, San Diego State University’s Homeland Security program developed a geographic information system that makes GIS data available to firefighters in the field in near real-time – even when they do not have wireless or landline networks available. These datasets, designed for firefighters specifically, are formatted for satellite delivery and include satellite and aerial imagery, weather radar and topographical data in a format optimized for delivery over the Inmarsat Plc. Broadband Global Area Network.

http://gcn.com/articles/2009/09/08/gis-wildfire.aspx

The flip side of flood mapping

 
September 8th, 2009 by Susan Smith

In the past two to three years, GISCafe has run many stories about flood mapping and flood risk solutions that have proliferated since Hurricane Katrina and other flooding disasters have occurred. The technology that meets the demand for more accurate flood mapping has appeared to be a godsend to those attempting to do flood risk analysis and management tasks.

But for homeowners, the technology may not seem like such a great advancement. A five-year, $1 billion project by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to draw new maps pinpointing places that could be affected by the kind of flood that occurs once a century — meaning the flood has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any year –  is prompting homeowners to have to go out and buy flood insurance.

For a lot of people, buying flood insurance is not something on their radar, and definitely not in the budget. As a result of this project, every county in the New York region has been remapped. In Monmouth County, NJ alone, 4,300 properties have been remapped and recast as flood-prone. Beginning September 25, those property owners will be required to carry flood insurance that could cost up to $1,700 per year. The areas in question are Middleton, Keansburg, Hazlet and Union Beach – communities that are generally comprised of blue-collar workers who do not generally have the extra money to spend on flood insurance.

New Flood Rules, With a Price Tag by Joseph Berger, September 4, 2009, The New York Times

Track H1N1 with a new iPhone App

 
September 8th, 2009 by Susan Smith

Outbreaks Near Me,” a new iPhone application, created by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, gives users the opportunity to track outbreaks of infectious diseases such as H1N1 (Swine Flu) in real time. The power of the online resource HealthMap, is behind the application, which collects, filters, maps and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases. The application offers contextualized data of a user’s location and can pinpoint outbreaks that have been reported near the user. Users can search for additional information on outbreaks or individual occurrences by location or by disease.

Outbreaks Near Me was developed with support from Google.org and is available at no cost for download in the iTunes App Store.

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