Friday, February 24, 2006

March Madness Mashup

URL: Check out the Google Map Hack at this website dedicated to covering mid-major college basketball.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Other 8 x 10 Glossy I'd Like To Have

An 8 x10 glossy head shot I'd love to hang in my cube—other than Vint Cerf's—would be Ed Parson's. With the word of mouth that is spreading about how "with it" the Ordinance Survey is, who wouldn't want an 8 x10 glossy of Ed? If you were to ask me who else deserves an 8 x10 frame in my cube at work, I would answer with the "King O' The GeoBlogoshere". . . James Fee. I just hope that doesn't go to his head?

Google Maps Hype Usurped By Nintendogs?

I just read the comments left by a reader on the "All Too Quiet" post from All Points Blog. The commenter notes that his ranking website,, used to be chalked full of Google Map Hacks. Now it's dominated by "cute pets." Behold, the power of the tween. Go figure?

Just Signed Up For Where 2.0

I just registered for Where 2.o 2006. I hate registration fees. They seem slightly overpriced at times, but hey, I think this one is worth it. Also, the office is picking up the tab for this one. I'm signing up this year because of the hoopla from last year's Where 2.0 conference. Otherwise, I couldn't find an agenda to save my life on the conference website. So, I'm hoping to do some networking, some blogging, and some business with attendees. Hopefully, I'll bring something back to the office that we can use too. Anyway, if you sign up now, you'll get a free copy of Google Map Hacks. I saw this and I said, "Why did I even buy the book?" Can Tim O'Reilly please hand me a wad of cash or a bottle of booze instead? Or, can I have another book? I wouldn't mind having a GML book lying in wait. So, I was thinking. . . Great, here he goes again. Why doesn't someone throw together a birds of a feather session for the GeoBloggers? Kind of like what James and company did at ESRI last year. Heck, I think AAG is having a bloggers session too. Of course, I'm going to decline organize it because I'll be too busy with O'Reilly's free bottle of booze.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

MetaCarta Public Users Group

It was a good time at today's MetaCarta Public User Group meeting in DC. Plenty of great examples of where the company is heading, some great new implementations and improvements to their existing technology, and a great outlook for the coming year. "Did you drink the Kool-Aid?" Why yes I did. Actually, MetaCarta's GTS Analyst looks to be a great tool for watching information streams and plotting those out for enterprises looking for information in an existing area. Additionally, the new ArticleMapper application looks to be a great tool for researchers looking to parse webpages and text articles for geographic places. But the one thing that sticks out is the creation and public availabity of the MetaCara Lab. CTO John Frank is opening up this testbed to the public to access users inputs to MetaCarta skunkworks projects. As one MetaCarta exec put it, "some of these tools will never see the commercial light of day, but it's important for us to get your feedback about what works and what does not." Schweet! We the user community get to play in the MetaCarta playground. How many spatial technology companies let you do that for free? Anyway, the future is looking good for MetaCarta. They grew 50% in 2005 and look to exceed that for 2006. With MetaCarta Labs, and a Frank noting that they're working on "raster text exploitation" software, we're looking at the potential to build even better gazetteers with legacy data stored in the form of paper.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two Things: Standards Meeting & The Best Org Chart I've Seen This Week

Today I attended the quarterly GWG meeting. It was pretty good. . . For a standards meeting. I do think a lot was accomplished by reviewing what was previously done in 2005 and setting goals for the working groups to create actionable results for the GWG participant community. Anyway, it was good to meet up with some of the other participants there again. I especially liked the discussions I had with the Chief Architect of OGC about their plans for implementing GeoRSS and other specifications. It should be exciting to see how people—who are not spatially addjusted—start to visualize information in the future with some of the future tools the CA and I talked about. Secondly. . . I saw the best darn org chart I've seen all week. Hal Reid's 14 February article had it. Makes sense to me and is the best representation of how information should flow in my organization. Anyway, I'm off tomorrow at the Metacarta Public Users Group in DC. Should be a good time. I get to see the new improvements they've made to their GTS and a few other user implementations. Oh, and this is a shout out to Brian Goldin and company at ESRI putting the finishing touches on the ESRI Developer's Meeting. From what I've read and heard from the peeps inside ESRI, it looks to be an excellent first run of an important get together. Play some kickball for me, yo.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

In Reciept: 'Google Map Hacks'

I received my order on Thursday for Google Map Hacks. There was a strange situation after I picked it from the mail room at work, I had a meeting with my ESRI rep and I'm totin' this Google Map book and taking notes with my MapPoint pen. I'm going to Where 2.0. I just hope they have some awesome swag. I actually turned down my ESRI Man Purse at the FedUC because it's old hat.

The GeoMullah's Day Job

I work in a map library as the map unroller and folder. Do you know how hard it is to unroll a map?

ESRI FedUC: I Was There

Adena flushed me out. Ok, I admit it. I attended the ESRI Federal User Conference. But only for the Tuesday and Wednesday morning sessions. Some of you probably saw me. I was the guy who had "Celebrity Blogger" on his nametag. These are just some quick notes that I jotted down. The theme was "GIS For The Nation." There really wasn't much there that wasn't at last year's International Users Conference. The only new things I saw were the demonstration of the ArcGIS Explorer and ArcWeb Explorer and the improvements made to 9.2 desktop. Ed Parsons and Ordinance Survey will find this flattering; Jack Dangermond, owner of ESRI, noted that he had just visited OS and that they have a wonderfully working national GIS. Jack kept noting at the plenary, and in the executive session, that OS has a national database of over 150 million/billion attributes/entries. I kept noting to my colleagues who I was with, "they make over 5000 edits a day." (That was from listening to the BBC podcast ShopTalk.) Everyone seemed to roll their eyes at me. Hey, I tried. I was with management. Former Senator Bob Kerry, president of the New School in New York City, did have some interesting things to say. One was that "they'll stop using Google Maps for their visualization research projects and definitely use ESRI products." This sounded like a paid advertisement. Although he did talk to the crowd of federal employees about the efficiencies of GIS and the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Where coordinated efforts could have save over $12 million if we coordinated search efforts, producing the same information, and had just collaborated more. So, in the executive session, the focus was on service orientated architectures and that GIS is a core IT technology in government. Jack and others discussed the need to incorporate spatially-enabled IT infrastructure into government since more and more information and services are becoming locationally-aware. My friend asked the question, "How do we get our IT staffs involved?" And the answer was "you have to try." I could go on and on about how some government IT staffs are not really involved with their GIS shops, but I won't. My take on this edition of the FedUC was that government needs to look at application ready data via web services. Also, that government needs to integrate GIS technology into the core of their IT infrastructure if we are to make better decisions for the citizens we are accountable to.