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Monday, November 30, 2015

Geo News Your Probably Missed Over the Holiday

Here are a few news items/observations I saw in the last weeks. I'm hopeful some of the online geo news sites will run the press releases and/or investigate further.

TCS Acquired

Comtech Telecommunications Corporation, a New York-based government contractor will buy TeleCommunication Systems Inc (TCS). TCS offers 911, location-based and wireless infrastructure services to wireless network operators, government agencies and large companies. TCS is based in Annapolis and has 1100 employees a quite a bit of debt.

Sources: Biz Journal, press release
Some of the grids of the National Grid

FEMA getting closer to Endorsing US National Grid 

The grid pops up regularly and in time may become the Federal Emergency Management Agency's  preferred location grid. I have no details on the process or status (said another way: no one is paying me to track that stuff down), but the draft document is available from HHS.gov here (pdf). H/T to @GITAssociation

MapQuest Sponsoring B2B Content 

If I recall correctly, about 15 years ago MapQuest paid for what is now called "native advertising" on Directions. The company is doing it again, this time on Business Insider. If I didn't tell you, would you have noticed that MapQuest sponsored the article?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: GeoBadges, US UAS Teaching, UW Maptime and Rhodes Scholar


On November 16, among other things, MapStory announced the launch of GeoBadges on its blog.
This is also the week we launch GeoBadges.org out into the wild. GeoBadges is a digital badging platform that helps drive informal learning and community service within the broad field of geography. MapStory kickstarted GeoBadges with a grant from the Longview Foundation, and has since handed over stewardship of the project going forward to the American Geographical Society. In honor of OSMGeoWeek we’ve teamed up with TeachOSM to offer the first two OpenStreetMap badges targeted at new mappers and mapathon event organizers. Check it out!
I recognized all the issuing organizations save GeoPlunge (@GeoPlunge). Best I can tell it's a card game that helps students learn geography facts which has been popular in DC for some years. I was surprised to find badges from OGC for participating in a OGC Technical Committee Meeting.

Faculty members in the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography have launched the DelawareView (DEView) consortium to improve public access to remote sensing and geospatial data. 
DEView is an affiliate member of AmericaView, a national network of remote sensing scientists and GIS scientists, funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed satellite data for research, education and technology transfer.
The university paper covered it on GIS Day.


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Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Prevent the Geospatial Oops

There is room for improvement in how we in the geospatial world present ourselves online. Here are some unfortunate errors I saw during Geography Awareness Week. I want to share how they might have come to be, and perhaps more importantly, how we might prevent such errors in the future.

Press Release

This is part of a call for papers for a 2016 conference.
... the annual meeting ... covers Lidar, Remote Sensing, Professional Practice, Photogrammetry, Unmanned-Autonomous Systems (UAS), Graphical Information Systems (GIS), geospatial analytics, and emerging themes, e.g. pervasive sensors, geospatial big data, and the internet of things, among others.
My guess is the organization had a copyeditor look over the release. I'm gong to suggest the copyeditor is not too familiar with the industry and Googled GIS to find its meaning. Graphical Information System was likely a top result and sounded like it fit with the other topics. I know it's a rarity and a privilege to have a copyeditor who specializes in the geospatial industry. If you don't have one consider sharing this list of common errors with however serves in that role.