It was a big week for news from a variety of sectors. Our editors take a look at Garmin's announcement of its nav-phone, the Nuvifone, Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo and the Ordnance Survey's opening of it's API for developers, OpenSpace.
Is your street in the wrong place on your personal navigation device (PND) or maybe not there at all? Did you see a McDonald's restaurant that's located on the wrong side of the road? Users of TomTom's PNDs can now make changes to the street network database from their in-vehicle PND and upload changes to TomTom via the Internet. Editor-in-chief Joe Francica interviews Tim Flight, editor of GPS Review, who has been performing an independent analysis on TomTom's MapShare program to see how soon updates are making it into the hands of consumers.
USGS is in the news this week as we learned that Landsat 5 is back in business after a battery scare and the National Research Council offered some specific recommendations for the USGS' research agenda. Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg examine these issues and their implication for remote sensing and The National Map, among other things.
This week our editors review a study from the UK which notes "pupils' dissatisfaction with a geography curriculum which they perceive as irrelevant" as a starting point to explore academic geography and geospatial education trends. What works at different grade levels? Does keying in on career options make sense? Should geography be a grade school subject? The demands from students, employers and educators leave us optimistic.
Did you ever wonder what happens to bring your GIS software to market? For many years a process referred to as the "waterfall method" was used. In the last 10 or so years a new method came on the scene, one referred to as agile practices. Today, with insights from agile proponents like Chris Spagnuolo and Dave Bouwman, GIS development organizations, including ESRI, are looking to this new way of managing and developing software.
This week editors Adena Schutzberg and Joe Francica tackle a question that is difficult to answer (or, rarely has a clear answer). The question is: How big is the geospatial market or a part of it? That's often followed by: Who has the definitive numbers on how much money is to made and how many users and potential users are out there? They take a look at some resources and tease out why firm numbers are so difficult to acquire.
Nora Parker interviewed members of GITA's organization about the major changes the organization is making to its flagship annual conference. This year there will be a significant focus on infrastructure - an area that is screaming for attention, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2005 report card. "There is a huge need for technology to solve our current social and economic problems," said GITA's executive director, Bob Samborski, and this year's conference aims to provide the resources to do that. He was joined in the interview by this year's GITA president David Nemeth of Panhandle Energy and the 2008 program chair, Mike Cerkas of GeoAnalytics. This podcast is sponsored by GITA.
Last week brought the news that oil was trading at a record high of $100/barrel. Will this price point demand more specialists and specialized tools for exploration, specifically geospatial ones? Is geospatial work associated with the oil patch seen as a potential career for GIS students? Our editors try to connect the dots between the renewed interest in oil prices, new sources of energy and geospatial technologies.
GPS devices were one of the big tech sellers this holiday season. More than likely you or a family member or friend gave or received one that's now settled into a single car, or caught in play between two or more vehicles. What might the large number of sales of these devices mean for the growth of location-based services in 2008? Editors Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg look into the crystal ball.
It's time to look back on the year with Directions Media's editors Joe Francica, Adena Schutzberg and Nora Parker. The industry watchers pick out a few themes and explore what they mean today and look a bit into the crystal ball. Among the topics: the value ($$$) of geo, the new geodata, "neogeography," convergence, the quick-deciding user and the GPS-enabled ski jacket.
Google announced new location services APIs, a new Google Maps and a visual refresh for Google Maps at Google I/O last week. There was lots of descriptive coverage from the mainstream and tech press. But there was very little response from the geospatial community - except from Esri. Who should or should not be excited about the new Google Maps and APIs?