Wednesday, 30 March 2011

 Maps on Album Covers, from mapoftheweek.

I thought it would be a good idea to spotlight album covers featuring maps but it turns out that there are fewer than I expected. I had to dig in some obscure places to find the ones below. Not having an exhaustive music collection I may have missed something obvious or notable. Let me know and I'll add it to the list.

I'll start with one of my personal favorite covers. Nile Rodgers of the disco/funk band Chic came out with a solo album titled "Adventures in the Land of the Good Groove" with a cover featuring lower Manhattan with faux latin place names like "Uptownicus" and "Nova Joysey."

Probably the best known album on this list is Chicago XI-Baby what a big surprise!

Martha and the Muffins went with the topographic Toronto look.

Early American folk music specialists Tasker's Chance used this historic map of part of Maryland.

Representing the world of experimental classical music is the Chicago Sound Map.

Hardcore metal band Slayer's "World Painted Blood" has a collector's edition with four different covers that when put together form a world illustrated with skulls and bones.

This is more of a globe than a map but I've always been partial to Yes so I had to include "Fragile." 

Canadian popsters Barenaked Ladies used an oddly styled Michigan for a live album with the somewhat clever title "Talk to the Hand."

Two Philadelphia area bands previously covered here have some good map artwork. The Strapping Fieldhands map showing sightings of the New Jersey Devil and Slo-Mo's map of the Northern Liberties neighborhood.

Finally, a 4 CD compilation called "Left of the Dial: Dispatched from the '80s Underground" used some map mashups for their covers. Don't try to use the map below for wayfinding!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

SimpleGeo Releases Database for Location-Based App Makers

The new database offering is fine tuned to fit the real-time needs of developers who use location in their applications. The on-demand database, with pricing determined by usage, will be available for web, Android, iOS and Windows Mobile 7 platforms.
“What we’ve come up with is one of the most powerful technologies in location,” says SimpleGeo co-founder and chief strategy officer Matt Galligan.
Developers can use the Storage product to store real-world data, and access the database from any mobile device or server via an HTTP API. Users can run queries on nearest neighbor, bounding box (developer-defined geographical regions) and radial location. SimpleGeo Storage, like the rest of the startup’s API, also supports latitude/longitude, IP address or physical street address queries.
Speed is said to be one of the greatest attributes of the cloud database. “In testing, 99% of all requests came in in less than 100 milliseconds,” says Galligan. The technology is also designed to help developers mitigate potential risks around location queries that would otherwise cause application downtime.
What does this news mean for the average app user? More sophisticated and location-rich applications. A yet-to-be named “major record label” is one of SimpleGeo’s early Storage customers. The label is using the database to record transactions and analyze the trends around how, where and why people buy music, says Galligan. Posterous is also using SimpleGeo Storage for its Events product, so Posterous users can see and post to nearby events in the iPhone app.
SimpleGeo is introducing a new pricing structure around the database release. It will cost 25 cents per 1,000 API calls and 10 cents per 1,000 database records.

Web-Based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management

The InfoGrow Corporation today released a White Paper that helps commercial real-estate lease professionals better understand and interpret data, quickly administer portfolios, and make better decisions. It discusses how to share up-to-date lease and property portfolios from any location - without problems often associated with complex and costly in-house software packages.

The White Paper, “30 Ways Web-based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management,” describes how a mapping system transforms geographically referenced spatial data into business intelligence on the locations, spatial interactions, and geographic relationships of various entities in a given environment. With this mapping capability, lease managers can easily visualize information relationships and manage by exception, rather than be overwhelmed by rows and columns of data in traditional spreadsheets.

Mapping benefits are vast and powerful because 100% of commercial lease data has a geographic reference, such as addresses and location proximities. Geography is especially important in the commercial lease market. No matter how good a company’s service or product, a less-than-optimal business location can hurt the business. Key business-location factors include proximity to customers, transportation infrastructure, environmental risk considerations, and current and potential competitors.

With this powerful “Location Intelligence,” organizations can more readily identify business growth opportunities, choose profitable locations for expansion, improve information sharing throughout their organization, and gain a competitive advantage. Read a full copy of the White Paper, “30 Ways Web-based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management,” at

About the InfoGrow Corporation
InfoGrow has a proven track record in helping companies accelerate growth through better sales and marketing decisions. Experts in location intelligence, mapping, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), InfoGrow helps clients identify their best prospects, discover missed opportunities, focus reps on the most profitable accounts, reduce marketing waste, and optimize sales productivity. Experience has taught us that technology without process is a wasted investment. InfoGrow is a Microsoft Gold Partner, focused on Dynamics CRM and Virtual Earth/Bing application development.

Dust storms test the limits of spatial scientific computing

Many of the systems studied by scientists evolve through time and space, like diseases spreading through a population, weather fronts rolling across a continent, and solar flares churning the atmosphere. A paper, part of a special series on what's termed "spatial computing," argues that understanding these processes will necessarily require computing systems to have a structure that reflects the corresponding spatial and temporal limits. According to its authors, the spatial nature of the systems being studied is reflected in everything from data gathering to its processing and the visualization of the results. So, unless we engineer the computing systems to handle spatial issues, we're not going to have very good results.
It would be easy to dismiss spatial computing as a buzzword, except the authors provide concrete examples that demonstrate spatial issues do play a major role in scientific computing. Unfortunately, they also demonstrate that they play several roles, some of them largely unrelated to each other; as a result, the spatial tag ends up getting applied to several unrelated problems, which dilutes the message to an extent.
Still, each of the individual problems, which they illustrate with the example of forecasting dust storms, make for compelling descriptions of spatial issues in scientific computing.
Given our current knowledge of dust storms, there are over 100 variables that have to be recorded, like wind speed, relative humidity, temperature, etc. This data is both dynamic (it can change rapidly with time) and spatial, in that even neighboring areas may experience very different conditions. The data itself is recorded by a variety of instruments, with different locations and capabilities. Even within the US, these are run by different government agencies—just finding all of the available stations could be a challenge.
Integrating these readings into a single, coherent whole is a nightmare; response times can be anywhere from a second to hours, and the different capabilities of the stations require some extensive processing before the data can be used. To tackle these issues, the authors set up a system of local servers to process the data on-site, and created a central portal to provide rapid access to their data; in short, they eliminated the spatial component of data access while retaining the spatial nature of the data itself. The end result was a set of data from 200 stations that could be accessed within a second from anywhere in the US.
That data can then be used for dust storm forecasting, where other spatial issues come into play. When the authors started, their algorithm took a full day to perform a three-day forecast when using a grid with a 10km square resolution. Obviously, that's not especially useful, and the clear solution was to generate parallel code so that each grid square could be assigned to an individual core.
Still, the spatial nature of the problem limited the benefits of parallel code. Each grid square will influence its nearest neighbors, so the simulation runs into a lot of dependencies that require communication between the parallel processes. You can speed things up considerably if you get neighboring nodes onto individual cores of a single processor; balancing all of this requires that the spatial arrangement of the grid be considered when dividing up the tasks. But that quickly runs into limits both in terms of how many cores a node has. The authors found significant gains up to about 20 cores (that system could do a five-day forecast in three hours), but things tailed off after that.
A similar issue comes into play when you try to visualize the results. Physically adjacent grid squares are likely to be accessed at the same time, so it's best to keep them close in memory and processed on the same node. But again, threads increase performance to a point before hitting limits, and nodes had a tendency to run out of RAM.
In the end, the need for spatial resolution pushed the problem up against some hard limits. It was possible to create and visualize a forecast with a grid size of four square kilometers, but trying to go down to three simply failed, and the only solution that could improve it was faster processors; more RAM and a faster network only had a minimal impact.
In the end, the authors make a good case that the spatial properties of a scientific data set require a degree of consideration when designing methods for analyzing that data. But the problems lumped in under the umbrella of spatial computing seem to include everything from differences in data gathering equipment down to getting threads to be executed on the same processing node. These are very different problems, and they're handled by correspondingly different approaches. The work done by the authors also clearly demonstrates that, even when spatial considerations are taken into account, doing so has its limits.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Apple looking to “radically improve” iOS maps and location services

Apple, in late 2009, acquired a mapping company called PlaceBase and since then many rumors have said that Apple is working to revamp their built-in maps application. Rumors have covered a redesigned iOS application all the way to Apple creating their own maps database – with PlaceBase’s data – to replace Google’s backend currently used in iOS maps.
Now, Apple has filed a new job opportunity for an iOS Maps application developer. Apple wants the candidates to work on a team that will “radically improve” maps and location services within their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system.
The Maps team is looking for an exceptional developer to join us in our mission to radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services.
Apple also wants the candidates to have “excellent skills in object-oriented software design and programming” and they will be “collaborating closely with Apple’s peerless human interface team to add new and innovative features.” Additionally, the candidates should have “experience at the application and user interface level” and “experience with the iOS SDK and Cocoa programming.”
From that description, it seems that this person will be “radically improving” the entire maps application, not specifically the backend. We speculate that Apple would not revamp their whole maps app if they are not going to give it a whole new backend.
In iOS 5, Apple is expected to introduce a new “Find my Friends” map-based social network, so perhaps this team will be involved in implementing this as well. Apple has not really updated their built-in maps application since an iOS 1.x update.

Be Afraid, Google. Facebook Will Do Search.

A screenshot of what appears to be a web-search box at the top of a Facebook page has been making the rounds, with AllFacebook suggesting it is part of a beta test of a new search feature. Facebook has denied this is the case, and the image appears to be a result of Photoshop or some external service adding a box to the page. Regardless of whether the page is a fake or not, the giant social network is almost certain to add more search features. It’s just a matter of time. And yes, Google should be afraid.
Facebook is already involved in search to a certain extent. The company did a deal with Microsoft last fall to add results from its network to the Bing search engine, and Blekko — the search engine startup launched by Rich Skrenta last year — also has a search that includes social results based on Facebook “likes” and other activity. But so far, Facebook’s involvement consists of allowing Bing and Blekko to crawl or index its data rather than doing so itself.
Google, meanwhile, made a big show of launching social and real-time search earlier this year, but the reality is that the majority of what those searches pull in (apart from Google-related social activity) is Twitter results. As Google knows, when it comes to real-time social information, Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla. The network’s users spend 700 billion minutes a month on the site, and post 30 billion pieces of content, including likes and status updates and comments. But none of that shows up anywhere in Google’s social search, and given the history of tension between the two companies, there is little chance that it will.
You could argue that not indexing Facebook is a good thing, since much of what happens on Facebook is irrelevant or ephemeral and, therefore, doesn’t belong in a search engine. But much of what occurs on Twitter falls into the same category, and yet Google clearly feels there is utility in searching that content.
The reality is that social signals — what people share, what they comment on, what they click the “like” button on — are becoming an increasingly important part of identifying intent, and that’s what Google has built its business on. But Facebook is positioned far better in terms of taking advantage of that aspect of the social web than Google is, and the network was recently awarded a patent that gives some indication of what it is thinking about in terms of combining search and social signals.
Google continues to try to bolt on social elements to its services, including allowing users to vote down search results they don’t like, or adding toolbars and enhanced profiles. But the billions of clicks and uploads and “likes” from Facebook are something Google will never have, and can’t possibly duplicate. It seems obvious the social network will take advantage of all that information in the form of social search, and that has to be something keeping Google awake at night — or should be.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

St. Tammany will use satellite surveillance to find, destroy mosquitoes

St. Tammany Parish is going high-tech in its never-ending battle with the loathsome mosquito.

A high-tech satellite surveillance system will be used in St. Tammany Parish to target this mosquito and its fellows.
The parish's Mosquito Abatement District is partnering with location intelligence software company aWhere, Inc. of Colorado to test a new satellite-based surveillance system that can locate and analyze potential mosquito breeding sites with near pinpoint accuracy, district director Charles Palmisano said. The new technology could end up changing the way mosquito control is performed in Louisiana and beyond.
The Mosquito Abatement Decision Information System - MADIS - will use satellites owned by imaging company DigitalGlobe to locate mosquito larval breeding habitats and activity at a 0.6-meter level of accuracy. This means that each pixel of the image represents 60 centimeters of the area photographed, allowing enough clarity in the image to distinguish between items on the ground and a changing landscape.
Once a particular site is found and then checked by district employees in the field to be a true breeding site, MADIS can scan other areas across the district for locations that produce similar environmental qualities for breeding, Palmisano said.
MADIS will produce images every 10 days of areas that match the pixel signature of images confirmed as mosquito breeding sites. The abatement district can then access the images via an online database formed by aWhere and concentrate mosquito control efforts on those sites, Palmisano said.
'This system can save us time'
"We already have a good knowledge of where most breeding sites are, but this will provide us with information on areas we didn't know about," Palmisano said. "If you fly over St. Tammany, you get an appreciation of how big the parish really is. This system can save us time."
Though work is required to check these areas as information comes in, Palmisano said he is sure once the system is working and tested, MADIS could help abatement districts do a better job.
"It could open up a whole new methodology in terms of control," Palmisano said. "Especially in these enormous areas. If we can locate a lot of these breeding sites, we can employ control in those particular areas."
The St. Tammany abatement district, which has 19 full-time employees and 23 part-time seasonal employees to cover a parish of about 875 square miles, has been working with aWhere since December as part of a pilot group that included California's Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District to test a free experimental version of MADIS.
The group has since grown to include five additional districts from California, Utah, Illinois and Florida; chosen to represent the varying urban and rural landscapes mosquito control faces across the nation, said Dr. John Corbett, co-founder of aWhere, Inc.
According to Corbett, the project is currently processing pilot district data and looks for tangible use for these areas by July.
System could be in place by end of the year
The company hopes that the technology will be in use nationwide by the end of the year, Corbett said.
According to Dr. Robert Novak, a professor and medical entomologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School and co-founder, along with Corbett, of the MADIS system, there has been a market need for a system with this level of accuracy in finding breeding sites.
Novak said satellites have been used to find mosquito-breeding sites in the past, but never below the sub-meter level the MADIS project is using.
"This can raise the level of mosquito control, not only a couple of notches, but several magnitudes," Novak said.
This ability for a sub-meter view of sites producing larvae will allow districts to save money and promote environmental responsibility by significantly reducing the amount of pesticide used to spray areas that do not contain breeding areas or employing a "nuclear weapon approach, and spraying the entire area," Novak said.
David Lundberg, aWhere Chief Operating Officer, said research and development for MADIS is complete and the company is scaling up to include more districts. The goal is to tailor a system specific to different districts and their environments.
Pricing for MADIS has not been set yet, but will be based on usage and value to the specific district, Lundberg said.

Palmisano said the St. Tammany district, whose operations cost $4.3 million in 2010, is currently determining if MADIS will be cost effective to subscribe to in the future.
Once the system has been proven, Corbett and Novak said they hope to adapt the system to track and combat malaria in Africa; a cause both said inspired them to start the MADIS project last June.
"This is a convergence of technology from DigitalGlobe leadership and the thought platform from (Novak) and his team," Corbett said. "We hope this can make a big difference in the standard of human life."

Pitney & Britz-Simplot Partners

Pitney Bowes Business Insight’s, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI: 25.18 +0.55 +2.23%), mapping and location intelligence technology has been selected by California’s Britz-Simplot LLC to solidify its precision agriculture business. Britz-Simplot is the largest, full-service agricultural retailer and wholesaler of fertilizers, seed and other applications in the country.
The solutions from Pitney Bowes Business Insight is expected to help the rising challenges like limited budgets, environmental concerns and compliance regulations being faced by the crop growers. Through this technology partnership, Britz-Simplot will be able to provide strong support and a user-friendly solution to its customers. 
Pitney Bowes Business Insight provides solutions to make perceptive business decisions, helping its clients to better organize, share, evaluate and take decision on customer-related and location-centric data.
Pitney Bowes Inc. was incorporated in the state of Delaware on April 23, 1920, as Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Company. Today, Pitney Bowes Inc. is the largest provider of mail processing equipment and integrated mail solutions in the world. It offers a full suite of equipment, supplies, software and services for end-to-end mailstream solutions, which enable its customers to optimize the flow of physical and electronic mail, documents and packages across their operations.
Significant investment in research and development operations differentiates Pitney Bowes from its competitors. The company has many research and development programs that are directed toward developing new products and service offerings. As a result of these efforts, it has been awarded a number of patents for existing and planned products.  However, its businesses do not depend on any one patent, any group of related patents, any one license or any group of related licenses. The company continues to invest for future growth by delivering new products and solutions.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Leica Geosystems uses 3D laser scanning to capture room geometries

Leica Geosystems has come up with a new 3D laser scanning system to capture the spatial geometry of a room.

Previously, auralisation techniques, which capture a room’s acoustic parameters, have been done aurally and visually, these techniques, however, are limited and prone to inaccuracy. Leica Geosystems has now used 3D laser scanning as a more effective, quicker alternative. Speed can be a key factor when time-frames are short.

Working for Swiss-based building analysis company Martin Felde, Leica Geosystems used Leica ScanStation C1 to capture the room from different standpoints. Leica Cyclone was used later to fill in any non-visible sections such as window-sills and treads etc.

Leica ScanStation C10’s integrated 360-degree digital camera was used to integrate further necessary visualisations and photographic details. Being able to do this is useful for situations such as when details have to be checked back at the office or when the surface definition can’t be clearly determined on the point clouds. The files could then be archived and used for subsequent projects.

A spokesperson for Leica Geosystems said, “3D laser scanning allows room geometries to be captured quickly and precisely. Based on the 3D models, the auralisation program visualises the actual room acoustics, which can then be optimised if necessary.”

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Acoustic Camera for Spatial Mapping

Norsonic (Norway) is proud to present the acoustic camera Nor848 with outstanding performance. The camera frontend contains 225 microphones enabling the user to perform noise analysis with a clear view of the spatial distribution of the sound.

The system is easy to set up in the field. Just power the selfcontained unit from mains or battery and connect the LANcable to the computer. Nor848 weighs only 15kg and has more than 25dB spatial mapping range without ghost-spots.
The sound signal from every microphone as well as the video from the integrated optical camera are recorded and stored in the computer. Both live level plots as well as post-processed analysis are available with the user friendly software package that runs on the included state-of-the-art MacBook Pro computer. By moving the cursor in the picture you may analyse and listen to the sound in the selected directions, even in real time.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Web-based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management

The InfoGrow Corporation today released a White Paper that helps commercial real-estate lease professionals better understand and interpret data, quickly administer portfolios, and make better decisions. It discusses how to share up-to-date lease and property portfolios from any location -- without problems often associated with complex and costly in-house software packages.

The White Paper, “30 Ways Web-based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management,” describes how a mapping system transforms geographically referenced spatial data into business intelligence on the locations, spatial interactions, and geographic relationships of various entities in a given environment. With this mapping capability, lease managers can easily visualize information relationships and manage by exception, rather than be overwhelmed by rows and columns of data in traditional spreadsheets.

Mapping benefits are vast and powerful because 100% of commercial-lease data has a geographic reference, such as addresses and location proximities. Geography is especially important in the commercial-lease market. No matter how good a company’s service or product, a less-than-optimal business location can hurt the business. Key business-location factors include proximity to customers, transportation infrastructure, environmental risk considerations, and current and potential competitors.

With this powerful “Location Intelligence,” organizations can more readily identify business growth opportunities, choose profitable locations for expansion, improve information sharing throughout their organization, and gain a competitive advantage. Read a full copy of the White Paper “30 Ways Web-based Mapping Improves Commercial Lease Management,” at

About the InfoGrow Corporation
InfoGrow has a proven track record in helping companies accelerate growth through better sales and marketing decisions. Experts in location intelligence, mapping, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), InfoGrow helps clients identify their best prospects, discover missed opportunities, focus reps on the most profitable accounts, reduce marketing waste, and optimize sales productivity. Experience has taught us that technology without process is a wasted investment. InfoGrow is a Microsoft Gold Partner, focused on Dynamics CRM and Virtual Earth/Bing application development.

Monday, 21 March 2011

iPad and iPhone Join the Military

Ever since the iPhone and the iPad hit the market, Apple has been able to infiltrate market segments many thought were impossible for the California based company. There is no doubt that the leadership and vision of Steve Jobs combined with the creativity of Jonathan Ive have done wonders for the company.
Developers and creative companies have also been able to take advantage of Apple’s iOS devices. Even the military seems to be taking advantage of Apple’s gadgets to reduce operational costs and improve military efficiency.
Two well known military contractors are already planning to use the iPhone, the iPad and other potential products as well.
Well known military contractor, Harris, is currently working on an iPad application that will allow ground troops to use touchscreen gestures to remotely control a camera aboard an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The goal is to make sure that military troops can find enemy soldiers and weapons remotely, while seeing actual video and remotely controlling the UAV camera directly from the iPad. Harris is very well known for its commercial video products, which should translate very well to the iPad.
The Harris iPad application would transmit video and location information to intelligence commanders that require strategic information and field data to make important military decisions. According to a PCWorld report, Harris is planning to demonstrate the remote camera application for the iPad and iPad 2 at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in mid-April.
Another Pentagon contractor planning actual field tests with an iPhone app is Intelligent Software Solutions (ISS). ISS is getting ready to test mobile applications for the iPhone and Android. The goal is to test applications that will provide a soldier with fighting and bombings information that have occurred at precise locations as soon as that soldier arrives into a war zone area.
The idea is to leverage geo-mapping technologies and combine that with historical data sent wirelessly from a command center. By doing so, ground troops can be better prepared when entering war zone areas. They will be able to know the locations and types of encounters that have happened in specific areas.
There are multiple reasons why the military is planning to use products like the iPad and iPhone. First, the cost of each device is much cheaper than other specialized equipment previously used in military action. Second, the learning curve for iOS devices and other mobile products is very short given that most soldiers are using smartphones and tablets in their personal daily lives. Finally, if a soldier loses or breaks an iPhone or iPad, it is much easier to replace those devices at a much lower cost.
The possibilities are endless when you think of it. Harris has envisioned this technology evolving into multiple use cases for the military. For example, soldiers could use an application at checkpoints while conducting video interrogation of individuals with an iPhone. Then, upload the live video to a military system that would check that person’s face with facial recognition software.

Friday, 18 March 2011

OSI Geospatial announces $1.4 million contract in Australia

OSI Geospatial Inc. is pleased to announce that it has signed a $1.4 million contract to support the OSI navigation and tactical system used fleet-wide within the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The contract makes provision for technical support as well as software upgrades for ECPINS-W sub (Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System – Warship submarine). The agreement also contains provisions for hardware support and maintenance for the ECPINS-W sub workstations installed onboard the RAN fleet. The support contract for these systems, which is signed through L3 Communications, extends through October 31, 2013 and is expected to generate approximately $500,000 in annual revenue.

The RAN has been using OSI's systems since 2004 and is licensed to deploy the technology throughout all defence organisations in the Commonwealth. Through L3 Communications in Australia, OSI has supplied the navigation systems, including upgrades for the past seven years and is looking forward to supporting this customer for many years to come.

"We are very pleased that the RAN continues to demonstrate its commitment to our technology and have elected to further our relationship with L3", said Walter Purio, President and CEO. "The ongoing confidence that the Australian Navy demonstrates in our company and its products paves the way for a long and mutually beneficial relationship with one of our companies many top tier naval customers."
Avatar OSI Geospatial, Inc.

Country: Canada Type: Industry & Suppliers Status: advanced
Company or Organisation Portrait:
OSI Geospatial Inc. (TSX Venture: OSI) operates two distinct business units: Offshore Systems Ltd. (based in Vancouver, British Columbia), a world-leading naval fleet supplier of integrated navigation and tactical solutions; and CHI Systems, Inc. (based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a leading-edge research, development, and systems integration supplier of technology solutions for defense, aerospace, health, and bioscience markets. OSI Geospatial systems and software are in use by military, government, and commercial customers around the world. The Company is publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

FortiusOne Rebrands as GeoIQ

Today FortiusOne is announcing a rebranding initiative to better highlight our many innovative offerings.  We will now operate as GeoIQ, the name of the leading software platform that powers our suite of location analysis and visualization products. Thank you for your loyalty to the FortiusOne brand over the past six years. 

“The name GeoIQ in five letters describes what we do and the market we will continue to lead - location intelligence," said Frank Moyer, CEO. “The company has experienced huge growth due to the adoption of GeoIQ across both the government and commercial marketplaces.  GeoIQ is incredibly well recognized by our customers and more intuitively informs potential users of the value we deliver.”
The FortiusOne brand will be phased out of company communications and GeoIQ will now be seen on the company website, product announcements, customer and partner wins and at the over 40 events, conferences and tech expos we attend and headline throughout 2011.
The FortiusOne brand dates back to the company’s inception in 2005 when founder Sean Gorman’s doctoral thesis sparked a stir in Washington and promoted the funding of a new start-up.  The company began work analyzing the strength of infrastructure networks for the US government – which Sean aptly named, ‘FortiusOne’ - meaning Stronger One.   Since 2005, the company has continued success in the government marketplace and has extended the core capabilities of the GeoIQ platform to fulfill the growing needs of enterprise marketers.  GeoIQ is widely recognized across both the government and commercial markets as the leading data sharing, analysis and visualization platform.
The GeoIQ Platform includes products built for geospatial data exploration, visualization and analysis.  GeoIQ also powers the over 23,000 member GeoCommons community where anyone can find, use and share data and maps. 

Increased Availability of Geospatial Data is Driving Growth of GIS Engineering Applications

Research conducted by Technavio reveals, that the global Geographic Information System (GIS) engineering application market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7 percent. The report, which focuses on the Americas, EMEA and APAC indicates, that the market is currently driven by the surge in the availability of geospatial information among other factors. 

“As a result of developments in satellite based mapping, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of geospatial information available. This is leading to the increased adoption of GIS technologies across multiple industries. GIS Engineering Applications has been effectively helping various industries in leveraging this data in the functioning of their business,” reports Technavio analyst.

In spite of the need, the expensive nature of this technology hinders the growth of this market. However, with several developing nations using GIS engineering applications extensively, the market is expected to see a healthy growth.

The global GIS engineering applications market is characterized by the emergence of customized domain specific solutions. This makes the study an important one for companies to fully understand the potential in the market and formulate their own strategy.

The report, Global GIS Engineering Applications Market 2010-2014, is based on an extensive research from inputs by industry experts, vendors and end-users. It examines the factors- including the key trends, drivers and challenges, impacting the evolution of this market. Further, it contains an in-depth understanding of the key vendors including their SWOT Analysis. 

Using GIS and Spatial Statistics to Analyze the Chernobyl Consequences

Konstantin Krivoruchko

On April 26, 1986, at 1:23 a.m., a chain reaction occurred in the Chernobyl reactor, creating explosions that blew off the reactor’s heavy steel and concrete lid. From Chernobyl in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (now in the Ukraine), radiation spread across Europe in perhaps the most catastrophic industrial event in the planet’s history. Radioactive particles remained suspended in the atmosphere for many days and were distributed as far as Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Greece.
Distance between Chernobyl and Stockholm is greater than one thousand miles, see figure 1, but Sweden was more polluted than neighboring to Belarus countries because of the radioactive rain several days after the catastrophe.

Sweden and Belarus. Sweden is shown in yellow and cesium data are displayed over the Belarus territory. Dark gray indicates low value of radiocesium soil contamination, blue shows territories with relatively low contamination, and warm colors indicate high contamination.

Wind direction over the Belarus territory in April 1986. Using filtered kriging, Byelorussian districts are colored according to the probability that thyroid cancer rates in children exceeded one case per 10,000. Red represents the highest probability and cycles through the spectrum to blue, the lowest probability.

The full article is here:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Government of Canada Renews Funding for Geospatial Initiative

The Government of Canada today announced funding in support of geomatics, a leading-edge industry that includes surveying, mapping, satellite and remote sensing and navigation. Geomatics technologies enable applications that are important in the daily lives of Canadians in such areas as natural resource management, infrastructure, defence, security and public safety, emergency management, transportation and public health. 

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, made the announcement today at the University of Sherbrooke's Department of Applied Geomatics.
The Government of Canada will provide funding of $30 million over five years ― almost tripling the original two-year allocation of $11 million ― for Natural Resources Canada's GeoConnections program.
"In the long term, GeoConnections will ensure that Canadians benefit from this dynamic new web infrastructure designed for the 21st century," said Minister Paradis. "The program will ensure Canada maintains its international leadership in the digital economy as it applies to geomatics. Continued federal leadership will advance government priorities, support federal responsibilities, and foster economic development." 

Japan Tsunami: 20 Unforgettable Pictures

Japan Tsunami: 20 Unforgettable Pictures

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

GeoEye Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2010 Earnings Results

GeoEye, Inc. (Nasdaq: GEOY), a premier provider of superior satellite and aerial geospatial information and services, announced today results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2010.
“We had a very successful year, met our corporate goals and delivered 22 percent revenue growth and strong margins,” said Matt O’Connell, GeoEye’s chief executive officer and president. “We won a ten-year, multi-billion-dollar award from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA); launched our Web dissemination services platform, EyeQ™; and acquired SPADAC, now renamed GeoEye Analytics, the leader in the field of predictive geospatial analytics. In 2011, we’ll build on these significant achievements by focusing on the construction of our next-generation, high-resolution satellite, GeoEye-2, and increasing our value-added information services and product offerings to our expanding customer base.”
Total revenues were $82.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, a 12.7% increase from $73.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. The net income available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $15.2 million, or $0.68 per fully diluted share, compared to net income of $11.7 million, or $0.55 per fully diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted net income available to common stockholders (a non-GAAP measurement that excludes the impact of non-operating charges, gains and one-time charges and tax benefits) for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $9.5 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, as compared to $6.8 million, or $0.32 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Domestic revenues were $60.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, which were 73.2% of total revenues for the period. International revenues were $22.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, which were 26.8% of total revenues for the period. Domestic revenues increased 5.2% for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. International revenues increased 40.0% for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.
Operating profit was $23.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, a $4.3 million increase from $19.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating margin was 28.7% for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 26.4% in the same period in 2009. Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measurement defined as net income before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, non-cash recognition of stock compensation expense and other items) increased approximately $7.0 million, to approximately $43.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, from $36.7 million the same period in 2009.
The Company ended the fourth quarter of 2010 with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $333.4 million; total assets of approximately $1.3 billion; stockholders’ equity of $443.2 million and long-term debt of $508.2 million

Taiwan to develop web-based Spatial Decision Support System

Taiwan GIS Centre, the country’s premiere GIS “think tank” is developing its web-based spatial decision support system on the Government Cloud, which would enable the central and local government, private industries, and the general public to access spatial information through various medium such as the internet and mobile phones.

Chih-Hong Sun, Director of the Taiwan GIS Centre (TGIC) told Futuregov Asia Pacific that the TGIC is developing an application portal that would use a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) to enable better reusing, sharing, and managing of spatial information.
“Traditionally, an SDSS has been confined to the use of a pre-encoded database and knowledge for problem solving; however with the recent developments in Geographic Information (GI) services we now see opportunities where we can expand SDSS applications to utilize the wealth of data and resources available on the web”.
Dr Sun added that methods for discovering relevant GI services over the Internet and sharing and reusing knowledge in developing solutions are critical to the success of a web-based SDSS.
“For this purpose, we propose an ontology-enabled problem solving framework based on semantic interoperability and knowledge sharing to enable a web-based SDSS to bring together GI services from web service providers, knowledge and simulation models from domain experts, solutions developed by SDSS developers, and decision needs from decision makers” he said.
According to Dr Sun the framework would include four components: (1) geospatial ontologies enabling domain experts to contribute knowledge and models for reuse and sharing, (2) an ontology registry allowing web service providers to register GI services into ontologies, (3) a web portal where domain experts can evaluate results and SDSS developers can find solutions for specific geospatial problems, and (4) an ontologies engine to infer relevant registered GI services based on the knowledge in the ontologies in response to a geospatial problem submitted in the web portal.
“By continually contributing GI services and knowledge into ontologies, the framework can be developed as a cyberinfrastructure for a web SDSS to share, reuse, discover, and manage various GI services and knowledge as an ontology-enabled method to respond to different geospatial problems”
“The web-based SDSS is an on-going project started from the previous year, and we look forward to launching the GIS application portal using the web-based SDSS hopefully after two months” Dr. Sun said.

Monday, 14 March 2011

How cool is this???

Universal Robotics Launches Spatial Vision 2.0 PDF Print E-mail
 Universal Robotics, Inc. has launched version 2.0 of its 3D vision software, Spatial Vision. The product, which turns a pair of webcams into a cost-efficient and accurate 3D vision system, now includes enhanced accuracy tools, support for new cameras, and improved user interfaces.
"When we launched Spatial Vision in 2010, it was a great advance in the 3D vision market," said David Peters, CEO of Universal Robotics. "It made setting up an accurate 3D vision system in any setting simple and affordable. With Spatial Vision 2.0, we've incorporated system improvements and feedback from our customers to make an even more precise and easy-to-use product. Spatial Vision is an ideal solution for anyone seeking 3D capabilities for industrial automation, security, robotic applications, research or entertainment."
Spatial Vision 2.0 can be deployed in any setting where pairs of cameras can be installed, including manufacturing lines, warehouses, laboratories, office buildings and department stores. Using two web cameras that can be set up and calibrated quickly, Spatial Vision 2.0 determines the 3D position of any point in space relative to the cameras with millimeter accuracy in real-time.
Spatial Vision 2.0 features functionality advancements that give users more control and accuracy of the easy-to-setup system. During set-up and calibration, a 30 minute process, Spatial Vision 2.0 guides the user to position the fiducial -- a checkerboard pattern used to align the cameras -- to achieve ideal calibration results. Calibration images are color coded to visually indicate the success or failure of calibration. Once the system is aligned, an accuracy calculator displays information on expected accuracy given the current calibration and camera resolution.
Additionally, Spatial Vision 2.0 assists the user in gaining superior accuracy. A built-in snap-to-corner tool assists the user in targeting an exact pixel for more precise distance measurement results. In addition to inexpensive web cameras that provide the most affordable option to achieve 3D vision, Spatial Vision 2.0 gives users the option to use GigE Allied Vision cameras for even higher levels of accuracy.
User interfaces for Spatial Vision 2.0 are also more intuitive. Combined with enhanced, faster algorithms, Spatial Vision 2.0 sets new levels of speed, simplicity and accuracy.
Spatial Vision 2.0 is available for $439. Spatial Vision 2.0 Logitech Bundle with two Logitech webcams is $599. Special licenses for educational institutions are available for $99. Visit for more information.
About Universal Robotics, Inc.
Universal Robotics creates software that enables machines to learn from their experiences, react and adapt to their surroundings, and perform tasks that are costly, dangerous or difficult for humans to undertake. The company's signature technology, Neocortex, which was developed over seven years at NASA and Vanderbilt University, will increase efficiency and worker safety across industries in applications including warehousing, mining, handling hazardous waste and automating vehicles such as forklifts.

A Nice Technology Quote

"Ten years ago people were horrified at the notion of Intel adding a unique ID to all of its processors. Today every phone has a unique ID, and yours is probably uploaded to apps’ servers multiple times a day. Not so long ago, people were outraged that Amazon could and did arbitrarily delete books from users’ Kindles; last week they clamored for Google to exercise essentially the same power. Giving all that power and control to Amazon, Apple, Google and Intel in exchange for security may ultimately be a reasonable and necessary tradeoff — but that kind of centralization of control still makes me more than a little uneasy.

As the developing world adopts smartphones as their first and only computers, Android and iOS will increasingly dominate all Internet traffic….

And you can’t even escape the app garden via your browser, because your browser is, in and of itself, an app. While we weren’t looking, the walled garden won."

Australian Post invests in Enterprise GIS

Andrea Hughes, Manager of the Enterprise GIS unit at the Australia Post told FutureGov Asia Pacific, that GIS is a fundamental tool for business decision-making within Australia Post and is being used internally to support the organisation’s business processes.
“While GIS was already being used within the business, we realised that facilitating access to GIS on a wider scale would bring further benefit” Hughes said.
“The importance of location to the way in which we do business, means that GIS capability is a must have for our organisation”.
The establishment of the Enterprise GIS has enabled the Australian Post to use GIS for determining postal routes and to gain an understanding of distances and service areas within its network.

The Enterprise GIS unit would support users and the use of GIS within the organisation, making it a single source of the truth for Spatial Data, Shared National Data and Australia Post Spatial Data that would support more informed decision making and introduce new methods to report results.
The Enterprise GIS unit was set up so that users can log issues with a central help desk, and enable them to see how their claim is progressing. The project involved setting up a web-mapping interface using a base set of data that could be used by departments across the organisation. In addition, the two and a half year project consisted of streamlining and centralising data, software, and technical staff.
“Through this technology we are able to analyse both the location of our assets and the relationship between them. It also allows us to access spatial tooling via Map Master, an internal web mapping portal which makes GIS accessible across the organisation” she said.
Hughes added that since technology plays a vital role in keeping the organisation sustainable, consistently reviewing and adapting to the needs of the organisation, industry trends, and seeking feedback from Australia Post users are ways by which the organisation can be sustainable.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Location Intelligence Solutions Optimize Infrastructure Investments

The goal of any enterprise must be to address and resolve the following operational issues: improve government regulatory compliance, generate a high return on investment, improve customer satisfaction, determine and streamline provisioning requirements, and optimize infrastructure investments. Today, in order to stay competitive, businesses must find effective solutions to optimizing their infrastructure investments. Fortunately, advancements in business intelligence technological solutions have resulted in effective solutions to such business issues. Developments in location intelligence solutions now enables enterprise to optimize networks and manage their assets with rich, relevant, and dependable next generation content. Location Content Cartridges (LCC) are advanced solutions that are designed to address specific business infrastructure investment needs.

Location Content Cartridges (LCC) provides the next generation content for optimizing infrastructure investments and other operational functions such as the provisioning of services. It allows businesses to improve customer satisfaction by administrating accurate pre-sale qualifications and decreasing the service interval. This gives enterprise the ability to plan and track millions of dollars worth of infrastructure and assets. By doing so, they are able to maximize market penetration while controlling network investments. Engineers will be able to identify current infrastructure locations, evaluate how to best service current customers, and analyze data to determine the best markets to construct new infrastructure.
LCC provides rich. applicable, and dependable content that has been specifically configured for the client's specific industry's product or service lines. As well, a business will benefit from the addition of new content layers. The result is more precise location information. Enterprise will be able to identify the rate of change and customer opportunities to support growth in new markets. For enterprise involved in leveraging the next generation content for planning and design, risk analysis, infrastructure analysis, and regulatory compliance, they will benefit from considerable cost savings and increased revenue when using LCC.
LCC solutions can be easily integrated into enterprise IT environments and it is designed to boost existing business work-flow performance. Businesses will boost customer acquisition more efficiently, manage risk effectively, and gain a competitive edge. Specifically designed to address a businesses' unique administration challenges, Location Content Cartridges (LCC) combines numerous core geospatial solutions with new content making it the right choice to help businesses resolve their most urgent operational issues.
Today, businesses have a wide range of business intelligence solutions available to help them grow their business. With technology becoming such a vital part of running a successful enterprise, it is essential that a business harness the power of innovative business solutions in order to stay competitive. With so many businesses now having the ability to expand in all domestic regions and even internationally, location solutions is an important business investment. Location solutions enables a business to effectively optimize their infrastructure investments while saving money. Developments in location intelligence solutions such as Location Content Cartridges (LCC) now gives enterprise the ability to optimize networks and manage their assets with relevant, rich, dependable next generation content so they can make the decisions that will best benefit the company.

by Wisam Abdulaziz

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Christchurch quake mapped from space

InSar map Alos/Comet) The coloured bands, or fringes, represent movement towards or away from the spacecraft

The upheaval wrought by the 22 February earthquake in Christchurch, NZ, is illustrated in new radar imagery. 

The Magnitude 6.3 tremor killed more than 160 people and shattered a city already reeling from a previous seismic event in September.
Data from the Japanese Alos spacecraft has been used to map the way the ground deformed during the most recent quake.
It shows clearly that the focus of the tremor was right under the city's south-eastern suburbs.
The type of image displayed on this page is known as a synthetic aperture radar interferogram.

Start Quote

To get an earthquake right under their city will have been a surprise to nearly every single person”
John Elliott Oxford University
It is made by combining a sequence of radar images acquired by an orbiting satellite "before" and "after" a quake.
The technique allows very precise measurements to be made of any ground displacement that takes place between the image acquisitions.
The coloured bands, or fringes, represent movement towards or away from the spacecraft.
In this interferogram, the peak ground motion is almost 50cm of motion towards the satellite.
"It's like a contour map but it's showing to the south-east of Christchurch that the ground motion is towards Alos. That's uplift," explained Dr John Elliott from the Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes and Tectonics (Comet) at Oxford University, UK.
"And then right under Christchurch, we see subsidence. That's partly due to liquefaction but it's mainly due to the way the Earth deforms when you snap it like an elastic band."
Where the rainbow fringes become most tightly spaced is where the fault break came closest to the surface, although the data indicates the fault is unlikely to have broken right through to the surface.
Blind danger Liquefaction is a phenomenon that afflicts loose sediments in an earthquake and is akin to a lateral landslide.
It is a major issue for Christchurch because the city is built on an alluvial plain, and this type of ground will amplify any shaking during a tremor.
Christchurch earthquake 
BBC News reader Gillian Needham took this image of central Christchurch moments after the quake struck New Zealand's second city on 22 February
Scientists are using the Alos information to understand better the future seismic hazards in this part of New Zealand.
It has become obvious from recent events that Christchurch sits close to "blind" faulting - faulting that is at risk of rupture, but which betrays little evidence of its existence at the surface, meaning the potential danger it poses is not fully recognised.
"It means much more work needs to be done around Christchurch," said Dr Elliot.
"People knew they could get earthquakes further into the mountains [in the west of South Island]; that's how they've been built in some ways, through earthquakes and all the faulting.
"But to get an earthquake right under their city will have been a surprise to nearly every single person."
Liquid lurch The interferogram is noticeably incomplete - there are several areas where the fringing is missing. There are a number of reasons for this.
To the east is ocean, and this technique does not work over water.
To the west, the issue is related to the satellite track and the fact that it views the Earth in strips. Hence, you get bands of data.
But the more interesting and more relevant omissions are in Christchurch itself.
Dr Elliot commented: "Here, the patches are the result of de-correlation between the acquisition images, where we just can't match them - they're too different.
"There are a few reasons for that. Usually it's the result of vegetation growth, but here it could be due to more extreme shaking or liquefaction."
Quake map Tuesday's quake was less energetic but more destructive
Researchers are investigating the relationship between September's Magnitude 7.1 quake and last month's 6.3 event.
The latter is very much considered to be an aftershock from the former, even though they were separated by six months.
The September quake occurred about 40km to the west, rupturing a similar length of fault. The most recent tremor ruptured about 15km of fault.
What scientists need to know now is the nature of any "seismic gap" between the two; that is, a segment of fault which was not broken in either tremor but which may have been loaded with additional strain because of both those events.
Jaxa The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (Alos) was launched in 2006

Monday, 7 March 2011

Forget Google – it's Apple that is turning into the evil empire

You may think you own your iPad or iPhone but in reality an invisible string links it back to Apple HQ

Once upon a time, when Apple was mainly a computer manufacturer, people used to liken it to BMW. That was because it made expensive, nicely designed products for a niche market made up of affluent, design-conscious customers who also served as enthusiastic – nay fanatical – evangelists for the brand. It was seen as innovative and quirky but not part of the industry's mainstream, which was dominated by Microsoft and the companies making the PCs that ran Windows software. This view of Apple was summed up by Jack Tramiel, the boss of Commodore, when Steve Jobs first showed him the Macintosh computer. "Very nice, Steve," growled Tramiel. "I guess you'll sell it in boutiques."
That was a long time ago. Now, with a market capitalisation of just over $331bn, Apple is the second most valuable company in the world – bigger than Microsoft ($220bn), Oracle ($167bn) or Google ($196bn). The quirky little computer company has grown into a giant. But not necessarily a giant of the Big Friendly variety, as the world's magazine publishers have recently discovered and as the music and software industries have known for some time. For Apple now controls the commanding heights of the online content business and it looks like doing the same to the mobile phone business. At the moment, it looks as though nobody has a good idea of how to stop it.
Every year, Fortune magazine polls a sample of US CEOs asking for their opinions of their competitors. The results for 2011 have just been released and they show that Apple is the "most admired" company in America. This is the sixth year in a row that it has held that title.
The reasons are obvious. On the product side, Apple creates beautifully designed, highly functional and user-friendly devices that delight customers and provide fat profit margins; it has a corporate culture that reliably delivers these products by specified dates; it's much more innovative than any of its competitors; and it has a unique mastery of both hardware and software.
On the strategic side, the company has displayed a deep understanding of technology and a shrewd appreciation of potential devices and services for which people will pay over the odds. Most CEOs would kill to run a company that possessed a quarter of these competencies. Apple appears to have them all. Its current dominance is built on three big ideas. The first is that design really matters. It's not something you can outsource to a design consultancy – which is what most companies do – and design is as much about ease of use as it is about aesthetics. The second insight was that the maelstrom of illicit music downloading triggered by Napster couldn't last and that the first company to offer a simple way of legally purchasing music (and, later, other kinds of content) online would clean up. And third – and most important – there was the insight that mobile phones are really just hand-held computers that happen to make voice calls and that it's the computing bit that really matters.
Most of the media commentary about Apple attributes all of these insights to Steve Jobs, the company's charismatic co-founder, on the grounds that Apple's renaissance began when he returned to the company in 1996.
This may well be true, though it seems unlikely that such a comprehensive corporate recovery could be the work of a single individual, no matter how charismatic. What's more plausible is that Apple's corporate culture took on some of the characteristics of its CEO's personality, much as Microsoft was once a corporate extension of Bill Gates, with all that implied in terms of aggression and drive.
Whatever the explanation, the fact is that Apple now has a dominant position in several key businesses (content distribution and mobile computing) and is having a seriously disruptive impact on the mobile phone industry. In particular, its iTunes Store gives it control of the tollgate through which billions of paid-for music tracks and albums, videos and apps cascade down to millions of customers worldwide. It levies a commission on everything that passes through that gate. And every Apple mobile device sold can only be activated by hooking up to the gate.

This gives Apple unparalleled power. Lots of other organisations offer paid-for downloads, but none has the credit card details of so many internet users who are accustomed to paying for stuff online. This was one reason why proprietors of print magazines began to slaver when the iPad appeared. Here at last was a way of getting people to pay for online content: just make it available on iTunes and let Apple collect the money. Sure, it rankled that Apple took 30%, but – hey – at least it would bring to an end the parasitic free riding that was endemic on the web. Henceforth, the web was dead: publishing magazines as iPad apps was the future.
Then Apple abruptly changed the rules, stipulating that any publisher selling a digital subscription on a website must also make the same subscription offer within the app, from which Apple would take a 30% cut. Publishers have been furious about this, but there's nothing they can do about it. If they want to do business on the iTunes store, then they have to do it Apple's way.
In itself, this was just an example of the Big Unfriendly Giant flexing its muscles, but it could be a harbinger of things to come.
Umberto Eco once wrote a memorable essay arguing that the Apple Mac was a Catholic device, while the IBM PC was a Protestant one. His reasoning was that, like the Roman church, Apple offered a guaranteed route to salvation – the Apple Way – provided one stuck to it. PC users, on the other hand, had to take personal responsibility for working out their own routes to heaven.
Eco's metaphor applies with a vengeance to the new generations of Apple iDevices, which are rigidly controlled appliances. You may think you own your lovely, shiny new iPhone or iPad, but in reality an invisible virtual string links it back to Apple HQ at One Infinite Loop, Cupertino.
You can't install anything on it that hasn't had the prior approval of Mr Jobs and his subordinates. And if you are foolish enough to break the rules and seek your own route to salvation, then you may find when you next try to sync it with iTunes that it has turned into an expensive, beautifully designed paperweight. If that isn't power, then I don't know what is.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

UN to establish entity on Global Geospatial Information Management

The United Nations is to bring together the world’s national mapping agencies and other geospatial organisations to develop a streamlined and integrated framework that would support global geospatial information management.

“There is general agreement of an urgent need for an inter-government consultative mechanism that can play a leadership role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information, and to promote its use to address key global challenges; to liaise and coordinate among member states, and between member states and international organisations,” a UN statement said.
According to Hiroshi Murakami, Co-chair of the second preparatory meeting on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM), while there are various international organisations that have been working on geospatial information, the UN feels that there is a need for an official mechanism that would link the outcomes of such organisations to specific policy decisions and actions of member states.
The purpose of the GGIM would be to address the growing number of global issues such as: climate change; natural disasters; disease pandemics; population and displacement; and, other cross-border problems that no single nation or region can self-sufficiently deal with.
The UN would provide the member states with an ideal venue for global policy development on geospatial information management with much attention and insights from key policy makers and experts from other member states and international organisations.
The GGIM would serve as an apex entity of the global geospatial information community that would link all regional cartographic conferences together. 

Versata adds location intelligence with geoVue acquisition

Texas-based Versata Enterprises, an enterprise software solutions provider, has acquired geoVue, a location intelligence (LI) company based in Boston. Madison Park Group helped to structure the deal.
  geoVue will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity. Versata will provide development resources to accelerate R&D and delivery of geoVue's new Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. Atanas Popov, new president of geoVue, commented: "geoVue is at a turning point. Its recently developed SaaS platform requires different scale and resources."
geoVue provides LI, modelling and analysis solutions to retailers, restaurants and service companies for market ranking, optimisation, site selection and sales forecasting. The geoVue products integrate seamlessly with real estate and marketing processes.
Versata's integration of geoVue will begin with Versata's Customer Success programme, designed to emphasise the company's focus on customer relationships and alignment of investments with customer priorities.