Friday, May 31, 2013

Futile Friday: Failed View, Filmed Munchkins, Fried Eyes, Fine Cameras, and Fool's Future

Sometimes you eat the bears, sometimes the bears eat you. Consequently, depending on the point-in-time under consideration and your respective place in the equation, there really aren't any options - "to resist, is futile."  Now if you followed that string of logic, there is no need to read further because it's Friday and I'm off my rocker as usual. Here we go:

Failed View: In the "not good" category, NOAA recently announced the weather satellite for the Eastern half of the United States, GOES-13 had gone blind.  Great, just in time for hurricane season.  Not to worry, the airborne spare, GOES-14 was turned on to provide replacement services. Obviously, NOAA is not part of the U.S. Government to have planned for such a contingency:

(FCW, May 13, 2013)

Filmed Munchkins: OK, I wouldn't be here today writing this blog if there had been surveillance cameras mounted in the school play yard when I was a kid - I'd be doing 25 to life. The list of rule noncompliances exceeds the available writing space of this blog. Poor kids of this current generation:

(, May 28, 2013)

Fried Eyes: Oops. When Russia Today and Michelle Malkin can come down on the same side of an issue, you have a problem. Correction - school officials in Polk County, Florida have a problem. Turns out more than a few parents were a wee bit beyond perturbed when they found out their children had their eyeballs scanned without parental permission. Lawyers, start your lawsuits:

(Michelle Malkin, May 29, 2013)

Fine Cameras: Looks like New York City and Washington, DC are having a competition to determine which city can raise the most money via red-light and speeding surveillance cameras. Home of Congress, DC recently laid down the gauntlet for Bloomberg and Company on this topic, as they do with pretty much everything else impacting the nation:

(Washington Post, May 27, 2013)

Fool's Future: As much as I like to think of myself as a forward thinker, I'm going to have to take a pass on this one. In fact, I'd go so far as to say somewhere, something went terribly wrong in the tech community when it comes to that age-old parental advice of: "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean it's a good idea." Ever seen some one with their face on fire after attempting to drink a "Flaming Hooker"?  That's what I'm talking about when it comes to electronic pills and tattoos:

(International Business Times, May 30, 2013)

Have a Great Weekend!

Photo credit - Fried Eyes: Russia Today
Photo credit - Future Fools: MC10

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Considering the Future: Modeling, Simulation, and Disaster Response

Matt Ball of Vector1Media recently offered his thoughts on trends in the geospatial community that will have impact on disaster response in the years ahead. In that review, Matt discusses three over-aching themes: simulation and modeling, verifying truth, and active collaborative maps. Bottom line - ongoing rapid advances in geospatial technologies mean they will become more important to the Emergency Services Sector with each passing day.  More below:

(Sensors and Systems, May 28, 2013)

Comment: I note that Dr. Carl Reed of the OGC used the comments section of Matt's article to offer a few insights of his own about sensors. In addition to the written comments of these two gentlemen, I'll offer a factoid Carl hit me with last week during a side discussion at FOSS4G-NA. What does the future of data collection from sensors look like? Currently, the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland is capable of producing up to one petabyte of data per second.  Think about that one next time you are fiddling with your "large" database of static geospatial data.

Lead graphic:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) InfoGram: National Response Framework Has Been Updated

Housed in the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the Emergency Management and Response - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC), distributes the non-sensitive Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) InfoGram. Targeting the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) audience, this free service is published weekly and usually includes four stories "concerning the protection of the critical infrastructures of communities and their emergency responders." As an example, the May 23, 2013 edition contained the following piece on recent updates to the National Response Framework:
National Response Framework Updated
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the National Response Framework, updated from the original 2008 version. As part of the National Planning Frameworks, they “describe how the whole community works together to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.” There are five documents in the National Planning Frameworks:
  • Response – second edition released in May 2013
  • Protection – currently being developed
The revised National Response Framework is shorter than the original and was written to be a more “strategic” document. The revision stresses the roles of individuals, discusses the “whole community” concept, and defines core capabilities.
Overall, the National Planning Frameworks help different levels of government work together when planning for, responding to, and recovering from natural or man-made disasters.
To get on distribution for CIP InfoGrams, use the link below:

Comment: This is a great product which often features ESS related news items you simply won't find anywhere else. In addition to being available through RSS feed, email and online, InfoGrams are available in a format suitable for mobile devices. Click here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

APCO Launches AppComm

The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO International) recently announced launch of AppComm - a Public Safety one-stop-shop for hand-held apps.  The initial listing of 60 apps has grown to 102 in the first month of operation, and APCO International officials continue to ask their members and the general public to suggest others for potential inclusion. Searchable by keyword, category, device and price, the site selections range from simple one subject reference types to multi-faceted situational awareness applications - many incorporating map interfaces. To learn more or give the site a whirl, use the links below:

(APCO News Release, April 23, 2013)

Comment: Good job APCO!  Very cool.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Simple Thought For Memorial Day

Mary McHugh at the grave of her fiance Sgt. James John Regan, U.S. Army, who was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq in February 2007.  Photo by John Moore, taken May 27, 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Freedom Is Not Free

Friday, May 24, 2013


To Readers of this blog,

As blogs go, 100,000 hits is small potatoes. But, for this spot on the Internet, it's a big deal. A far off goal that seemed unimaginable when this site launched on June 23, 2011. The original intent was simple and remains unchanged to this day: create a way to tell the story about the rapid nature of change in geospatial and related technologies that have impact on the Emergencies Services Sector. The aforementioned technologies are moving from paper to digital, static to dynamic, hard-wired to mobile, simple to complex, situational to analytic, and historic to real-time. It is indeed, a revolution in technology that will continue to have profound impact on us all, and in particular, the Emergencies Services Sector, in the years ahead.

Because that message is one of change - one impacting long established institutions and their "proven" ways of doing business - it is a tough one to deliver and often one that falls on deaf ears. For that reason, I would like to personally thank each of you who have tuned in since this blog's launch. There is a genuine need to close a knowledge gap that exists between two sectors critical to our national well being - the geospatial and the emergencies services communities. Your willingness to consider the issues, is the start of the solution.

With that, I wish you an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend and again offer my most sincere thanks for your readership and participation.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

San Francisco is Creating a Social Network for Disasters

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM) has recently taken the concept of using social networks to prepare for disasters to a whole new level. In late April, SFDEM announced its intentions to create SF72, a public outreach effort based on the concept that "connected communities" are more resilient communities. As such, SF72 is on schedule for a fall deployment of its enabling technology, a dedicated social network that will connect individuals with resources and services, to those who need those items in the first 72 hours after a disaster. More below:

(BuzzFeed FWD, April 19, 2013)

Comment: Great thought and kudos for SFDEM for this effort to get the public engaged in preparing for disasters in San Francisco.  Hopefully, part of the plan for community resilience includes a technical plan for SF72 resilience.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Geospatial Thought About the Response in Moore, Oklahoma

By now we are all well aware of the tragic circumstances that nature bestowed on Moore, Oklahoma this past Monday, May 20, 2013. While reflecting on those circumstances, an anonymous individual left a comment on another post that I believe is serious food for thought. Indeed, so much so, I'm offering it as today's post. Given this is the first time I have ever highlighted a reader's comments this way, I hope you will take some time to truly consider the writer's point. In an age when we are all being seduced by the latest high-tech gadget - there are limits on the wisdom of that approach when it comes to disaster response. Here's the comment:
I will bet you that not one single responder in the AO of yesterday's tornado outbreak in OK used Google for anything. AT&T, Verizon, etc., all knocked out and even were they working, a large format paper map (hopefully with common ops grid) on the hood of a truck is what working first responders need/want most. Will the new Google ever be able to interface with that common ops grid/language for location (USNG/MGRS)? "Google is clearly in the lead when it comes to having command of "where" - for everything," except for addition of USNG to their interface. (Which would be so easy/no risk for them to implement.)
Enough said.

Photo credit: CNN 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DHS Webinars on Geospatial Technologies

In recent months, some of the most popular posts on this blog have been those featuring Power Point presentations which discuss geospatial and related technologies supporting the Emergency Services Sector (ESS). Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), over the past six months these presentations have been augmented by a series of webinars. Now available at the website, links to the event recordings are posted below:

Comment: All the above webinars are available using the "Join Our Capacity Building Webinars!" button on upper right side bar of the website home page. In the coming weeks, also look there for an event recorded on May 16, 2013: Tools and Technologies Supporting Hurricane Operations. Focused on GIS situational awareness tools, this presentation was given by Chris Penney (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) presenting on Hurrevac, Shane Hubbard (University of Iowa) presenting on HAZUS, and Richard Butgereit (Florida Division of Emergency Management). Sweet!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Camp Ripley, Minnesota - New Drone Facility

This past Friday, the Minnesota National Guard (MNNG) officially opened its state-of-the-art drone training facility at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. Although the MNNG has long been on the cutting edge of efforts to integrate drone capabilities into operations by the U.S. Armed Forces, as an emerging technology, those efforts were previously housed in "hand-me-down" facilities. Now, with this new $3.9 million building, the sprawling Camp Ripley and its large block of protected airspace will be one of the best drone training facilities in the nation. More below:

(Check out the video)
(Star Tribune, May 17, 2013)

(AM 1240 - WJON, May 17, 2013)

Comment: As eluded to in the Star Tribune article, in the weeks leading up to the opening of the Camp Ripley facility, drones were a hot topic in the press, with the range of articles running from release of the world's smallest drone (insect size), to developments in the privacy battle. Ultimately, the use of this military developed technology by the general public - good or bad - will be framed the same way it has been for GPS. A reality driven entirely by the intentions of the end-user.

Lead photo: WJON

Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow-Me Friday: CARA, Button TrackR, ESS AVL, Sky Eye, and Nowhere to Run

"Lead, follow, or get the Hell out of the way," goes the saying. And since I'm on the stubborn side today and inclined to do neither the former, nor the latter, guess I'm stuck doing the "follow thing". From what I can tell, looks like that's a trend sweeping the planet. So follow along, as I follow a story line, about following...

Spies In the Kitchen: It has always freaked me out that potatoes have eyes. But, I've solved that problem by ensuring any member of that particular tuber family inhabiting my kitchen is locked away in a cupboard. Now, come to find out, I've got a bigger problem. Give the following story a once over, and you'll see what I mean:

(Fast Company, May 16, 2013)

"Honey, What Did You Do With My (Fill in the Blank)?"  OK, I follow where this story goes. But, I've got a question. Will this technology help me if I loose my marbles? Find out below:

(PRWeb, May 13, 2013)

Irony of Ironies. GPS tracking is increasingly becoming a cornerstone technology for "in the trenches" Emergency Services Sector (ESS) personnel. The technology has been deployed to track everything from firefighters in burning buildings, to not so nice folks out on parole. Turns out though, when GPS tracking gets bumped up a rung - there are some folks who are none too happy. And for good reason. Follow what I'm saying?

(The Columbus Dispatch, March 30, 2013)

From Chopper One - News at 11. Oh, goodie! Just what I've always wanted; yet another way to immortalize how truly cool I am by recording countless yottabytes of video that no one is ever going to watch because there is yottabytes of video. However, I've got to give the inventors of this drone the following pat on the back: Because the video is being recorded in the air (naturally) - it's pretty cool. Go for a fly-through below:

(C|NET, May 11, 2013)

Wigged Out.  Ah, shucks - looks like I will have to follow what Leslie Stahl of CBS has to say on 60 Minutes this weekend. Shock of shocks - face recognition is now good enough that there's nowhere to hide. You should probably follow me to the hills.

(CBS News, May 16, 2013)

Have a Great Weekend!

Lead photo: Fanpop

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The New Google Maps Unveiled

Yesterday at the Google I/O Conference, Google unveiled its new Maps product.  The video and link below, tell the story.

(New York Times, May 15, 2013)

Comment: It's an unspoken truth - when individuals in the Emergency Services Sector want access to a quick and easy to use map, a visit to Google Maps will not be far behind. After reviewing news about the product that's going to be released - the question would be: why aren't we thinking about using Google's approach as the backbone of a national Common Operating Picture? Google is clearly in the lead when it comes to having command of "where" - for everything.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Esri and Geofeedia Form Partnership to Support the Emergency Services Sector

Back on April 2, 2013, GIS giant Esri and location-based social media front runner Geofeedia announced plans to form a partnership that will deliver an advanced situational awareness platform to the Emergency Services Sector (ESS). As envisioned, the end state product will be a real-time system that leverages the respective strength of each partner. A paragraph from the news release provides a sense of what features will be included:
The real-time data integration, searching and streaming will work across multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and Picasa. Geo-located tweets, photos, and videos can be viewed within the context of digital imagery, street networks, topography, and community base maps. The social data can be mashed up with other information such as public safety assets, city infrastructure, utility networks, hazardous materials, demographic data, and more. Additional dynamic data including weather, automated vehicle location, GPS, and traffic video camera feeds can be combined with social and map data. In addition, people can perform historical social media analysis to identify trends and patterns.
Expanded details about the project are slated for release at the Esri User Conference in July. Until then, information as known can be found using the links below:

(Connected World Magazine, May 1, 2013)

(Esri News Release, April 2, 2013)

(Geofeedia Law Enforcement Case Study, February 2013)

Comment: Convergence of real-time information flows for the benefit of the ESS gets closer with each passing day. Thus, roll-out of this product at San Diego should move us one step closer to that day. That's great news!

Lead graphic: Geofeedia

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More on the Minnesota Marker

As previously mentioned on this site, since 2009, this blog's sponsor, SharedGeo, has been involved in an effort to develop a GPS compatible trail marker that can be used for emergency response. Yesterday, the mainstream press in Minnesota took notice of the project by making the Minnesota Marker front page news in the Pioneer Press. Information about these U.S. National Grid formatted location markers was also published in a local technology blog. Links to both can be found below:

(May 13, 2013, Pioneer Press)

(May 12, 2013)

Comment: For more than a year, "U.S. National Grid as the Response Language of Location" has been the second most popular idea needing national implementation according to FEMA's IdeaScale. Yet, here's an effort supporting that recommendation - forced to pass the hat for the "chicken feed funding" it needs to stay alive. Go figure.

Lead picture: Pioneer Press 

Monday, May 13, 2013

One Year Out: Text-to-911

Text-to-911 is a technology that has been quietly undergoing a series of pilot tests, with Frederick County, Maryland being the most recent locale to join the effort. Provided all goes well with these final tests, the telecommunications industry is working toward nationwide roll-out of text-to-911 by mid-May of 2014. Although it is probably unknown to the vast majority of individuals who grew up with texting, there are currently only a handful of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) across the country that can receive and process a 911 text message. More below:

(GCN, April 4, 2013)

(GCN, January 7, 2013)

Comment: My personal feelings are that if things are bad enough for me to be thinking about using my portable communicator to request help from 911, a connection by voice is what I'll need to feel as though effective two-way communication has occurred. However, I get that there are people who feel texting is a better solution, or may be the only solution in some 911 circumstances. Consequently, I'm looking forward to having this capability added to my phone.

Lead photo: switched

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fast-Forward Friday: Gold Rush, Indoor Street View, More Eyeball Tracking, Shopper Tracking, and Party Pooper

Time sure flies by when you're having fun. That happened to me this week while I was sitting in a dentist's chair having half my upper jaw chiseled away. OK, so maybe it was only one small tooth getting cut down to nothing. But, although you might have chiseled abs, I now have a chiseled jaw. And on that note of insanity, what do you say we check out how time has been flying by for everyone else.

Vanishing Point: On May 12, 1848, Samuel Brannan ran through the streets of Yerba Buena, California, yelling: "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River". That was a vanishing point. In case you don't know it, today Yerba Buena, California is known as San Francisco, and at the time of the aforementioned event the total population of California was 10,000, with 7,000 living at the San Gabriel Mission (a.k.a. Los Angeles). Population of the Bay Area from the Russian River south to Monterey, and east to roughly Sacramento: 453. That's not a typo - that's the real meaning of 165 years. A point you can somewhat confirm for yourself by reviewing San Francisco's "high density population" map of 1853 using the link below. With a little study, you'll also figure out where not to be when the next earthquake hits.

(Float pointer over compass rose for location and click.  
There are three maps for San Francisco: 1853, 1859, 1915) 

I Didn't See You in Church on Sunday!: While we are messing around with Google stuff, I thought I would mention my latest plan for not lying about church attendance. No more stretching the truth for me, no sir. If somebody asks about my whereabouts, I can honestly say I was IN church - they just didn't see me.  Little doubt it will be next big thing. To see what I mean, explore Minnesota's Cathedral of St. Paul and whole bunch more using technology introduced in 2011, that's finally coming into its own in 2013:  

(Pioneer Press, March 4, 2013)

Good Thing I Went to Church Last Week: Last year I was freaked out by mannequins with surveillance cameras for eyeballs - this year its worse. Advertising screens in department stores will soon be watching eye movements so they can dispense ads "we should be watching" based on eyeball reactions. Thanks Madison Avenue - I really need that intrusion in my life...I can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings. More below:

(International Business Times, May 1, 2013)

More Devilish By the Minute: In another shopping story from the not so distant past, I ran a piece about a handful of shopping malls that were tracking "guest" locations based on cell phone signals. Now, a little bit over a year down the road, there has been an explosion of the technology everyone has been waiting for - smartphone tracking of "shopping behavior" inside specific stores. Yippie! Couldn't have come soon enough!  Check it out:

(Huffington Post, May 8, 2013)

Time For a Drink: For the second week in a row, the stress of it all will have me at the local pub shortly after the factory whistle announces 4 o'clock quitting time. Thank goodness there's at least one place where a guy can still go and get away from all this invasive high-tech stuff. What do you say we toast to that?  Just be careful not to damage my Facebook glass when we clink, OK?  Specs below the video:

(Fox News, April 29, 2013)

Here's Hoping Your Weekend Trip Into the Future is Enjoyable!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Busy Bees: NAPSG Online Training Opportunities

The good folks over at the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) have been Busy Bees pulling together educational events worthy of your attention. So much so, today's post is pretty much limited to the facts. Here they are:

Item 1: On Wednesday, April 10, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), and NAPSG offered online training sessions on the DHS Geospatial Infrastructure (GII) and FGDC Geospatial Platform. NAPSG has made those presentations available for download/viewing at the link below:

(DHS, FGDC, April 10, 2013)

Item 2: NAPSG's next training event will occur on May 29, when it will be hosting a DHS, Esri and Geofeedia webinar on Social Media and GIS. Here are the stated learning objectives:
Learn how your GIS Platform leverages location for monitoring, visualizing and analyzing social media while also helping you engage the public for crowdsourcing reports from the field. The public can be a force multiplier- learn how GIS can help you use them to your advantage.
Learn how your GIS Platform can easily add social media as another data layer - and not just any data, context-specific data. Using geography and keywords, learn how to filter the social conversation into relevant streams of information using simple and focused applications.
Here are the event details:
  • Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
  • Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT (1:00 PM-2:00 PM Central)
  • Cost: Free - but space is limited, so register early
  • More details: Click here
  • To Add to Calendar: Click here

(Login details are provided during registration)

Item 3: Coming on the heels of the above event, NAPSG's Symbology Working Group will be hosting a Symbology Virtual Training workshop focusing on methodology. Here's the pitch:
The methodology is designed to serve as a common-sense guideline for creating symbology for an incident, hazard, and pre-incident information. The resulting symbols are usable both electronically as well as on all-important paper maps.
NAPSG will walk attendees through the symbology methodology. Also NAPSG will explain the resources under development to help agencies set up their own capability.
Here are the event details:
  • Date: Thursday, June 6, 2013
  • Time: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM EDT (11:30 AM-12:30 PM Central)
  • Cost: Free - but space is limited, so register early
  • More details: Click here
  • To Add to Calendar: Click here

(Login details are provided during registration)

Comment: Truly hope you will have the opportunity to participate in one of these informative sessions!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's Baaaaaccckkk......LightSquared

After "want a be" 4G LTE wireless broadband provider LightSquared had its conditional operating authority revoked in February of last year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it looked like the company had little chance of surviving the almost instantaneous loss of potential system customers and contractors. And for good reason. Tests showed LightSquared's planned use of its allocated frequency spectrum would substantially degrade GPS utility and accuracy nationwide. Given this finding created an uproar in a broad range of industries including aviation, surveying, farming and public safety, few thought LightSquared would ever emerge from the bankruptcy protection it entered on May 12, 2012 as a result of the FCC ruling. Now comes word that LightSquared may have found a way to swap-out spectrum and begin operations. More below:

(CNET, May 3, 2013)

Comment: Like I've said before, Mr. Falcone et al., are a tough bunch (see: LightSquared Fight Postmortem (Maybe)). And where there's a will, there's a way. So let's hope this time around, that without question, the planned spectrum swap solves the GPS interference issue or we are going to have another 18 months of political brawling over an issue that is central to the nation's economy, competitiveness, operational efficiency, and public well-being: GPS.   

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oh, Oh: Iowa Sheriff Alleges Impropriety at FirstNet

Located within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce, is the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The FirstNet Board is comprised of both telecommunications and Emergency Service Sector professionals who are overseeing creation of FirstNet - a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network that was legislatively created in 2012. At the most recent meeting of the FirstNet Board, things turned very ugly when the Sheriff of Story County, Iowa, Paul Fitzgerald, alleged that he and the rest of the Emergency Services Sector representatives on the Board were effectively being used as a rubber stamp for what the telecommunications industry had already decided would happen with the $7.0 Billion project. More below:

(FirstNet - NTIA)

Sheriff Fitzgerald's Resolution
(FirstNet - NTIA)

Comment: Don't waste your time trying to read the meeting transcript, it's unintelligible. But, if you want a lesson in Washington, D.C. politics, Part 1 of the webcast is absolutely priceless - Sheriff Fitzgerald's Initial Comments: 64:50-68:00; Motion: 68:00-77:00; Logic: 79:00-85:25; Other Member Comments: 87:28-100:00. Do we have a Sheriff who is frustrated because he is not in control, or an honest man from Iowa speaking the truth about a railroad process that's determining the future of emergency response for the next 50 years? Best you judge that one. However, one thing I know for sure - when an event happens like this - the Board's overall approach to business has serious problems. Events like this just don't happen because....

Graphic: NTIA  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Navigating Using a Microchip

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently announced one of its research teams has developed a microchip that can provide highly accurate location information using only features built into the chip. Intended primarily as a GPS backup when satellite reception is lost, such as inside buildings or beneath jungle canopy, the microchip is smaller than a penny and only 300 microns thick. Three years in development, the project also resulted in discovery of several unique material layering and microscale processes. More below:

(DARPA News Release, April 10, 2013)

(GCN, April 19, 2013)

Comment: As noted toward the end of the second article, the chip is already being considered as a way to solve the location reporting issue associated with cellphone indoor 9-1-1 calls. Other potential uses supporting the Emergency Services Sector are certain to follow.

Photo credit: DARPA

Friday, May 3, 2013

"Furball" Friday - Real Danger While Flying Into the Future

For those unfamiliar the term "furball", I'll start off by saying it's the last place you want to be if you're a military pilot. That's because if you are in a furball, a whole bunch of airplanes from opposing sides have found each other, and now everyone is going every-which-way, while trying to kill everyone else. Indeed, before too long, airplanes are looping around horizontally and vertically in a way that makes them look like they are flying around inside some big glass ball, while the whole conglomeration moves through the sky in a direction undetermined.  It's a really great place to get shot by somebody you don't see - exactly because you're in a furball. It's a dogfight on steroids...

So today is Furball Friday - and for at least one week, you're going to get a break from the nonsense that normally appears here on Friday.  Instead, you're going to get strapped into 60,000 lbs. of fighter jet and then blast off into the middle of an aerial whirling dervish of five very different stories circling around a singular core of danger - the implications of the revolution in geospatial and related technologies in the years ahead.  And like specks in the sky that are really enemy aircraft trying to send you to your maker, you're only going to get the headline to figure out if the story is friend or foe. So, flip on the radar, and arm up the missiles and guns, because the ejection handle is not an option...  Fight's on!  

(Geospatial Soultions, March 5, 2013)

(New York Times Bits, April 25, 2013)

(The Telegraph, April 30, 2013)

(The National Journal, March 21, 2013)

Oh, by the way, if you should make it back from this perilous mission to read the five stories above by sundown, I'll buy you the first round at the club tonight... Otherwise, 

Have a High-Flying Weekend While Looking for Bogeys 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

OpenStreetMap Use Continues to Grow

Last week, the Linkedin community that's affiliated with this blog offered a discussion about OpenStreetMap's growing use in government. Of specific note, the topic article examined several ways OpenStreetMap is being used to support the Emergency Services Sector. The quality of that article is such that a re-posting of the link is warranted here - see below:

(OpenStreetMap Blog, April 24, 2013)

Comment: As shown by the map above, editing of the crowd sourced OpenStreetMap for the continental United States was very active during the first quarter of 2013. Given the expanding use of OpenStreetMap is certain to improve the fidelity of geospatial data available to all - it's a development that can only mean good things for the Emergency Services Sector in the years ahead.