Federal projects and their funding often bring significant revenue to private geospatial companies. In the current economy, that's likely to change. Are companies that lose out on this funding prepared to "pivot" toward more commercial customers?
These new alerts may have slipped by since so many people are dealing with the impact of Hurricane/Storm Sandy. The word is that Google planned to launch the Public Alerts for weather related emergencies later in the year, but did so this week around the pending storm.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has historically sponsored volunteered data collection projects to enhance its topographic paper and digital map products. This report describes one phase of an ongoing project to encourage volunteers to contribute data to The National Map using online editing tools.