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Tuesday, July 8th 2008
by Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg

Last week Ask.com moved off its longtime mapping platform to Microsoft's Virtual Earth. What are the practical choices these days for those who want mapping as part of their portals? Has customization and a unique look and feel been overshadowed by a few strong hosted solutions to which everyone will eventually migrate? Our editors sort out the options and trends and end up using the "c" word - commodity.

Monday, July 7th 2008
by Joe Francica

In today’s executive interview podcast we spoke with Israel Ronn, General Manager of Pointer Telocation's products division. Pointer Telocation is based in Isreal and is a supplier of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and asset management solutions for fleet management and they are working with G4S Telematix S.A. of Greece to provide tracking technology for live coverage of a series of Mediterranean sailing races. Editor-in-chief Joe Francica spoke with Mr. Ronn about the event and about Pointer’s technology.

Tuesday, July 1st 2008
by Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg

Skyhook announced a hybrid location determination software solution that can tap into GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell towers to locate devices. What does that mean for knowing where you are anytime, anywhere? Is this step forward accompanied by an increased sense of location privacy comfort? Our editors explore the new technology and offer a suggestion for tackling the privacy bugaboo.

Monday, June 23rd 2008
by Adena Schutzberg

A few weeks ago COGO, the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations, made itself known to the geospatial community. The group, comprised of leading geospatial organizations, aims to increase communications between the groups and work toward common goals via advocacy and education. This week Adena Schutzberg takes a closer look at the members, goals and possible future of the group and its implications for the geospatial community.

Monday, June 16th 2008
by Joe Francica

Who's #1 in GIS? How big is the GIS market? Is the impact of Google affecting the sales of GIS vendors? These questions are asked all the time and the answer is...nobody really knows. But more to the point, does it really matter? With the fragmentation of the geospatial technology market during the last few years, it is difficult to place a number on the total size of the market, despite the best efforts of market research firms. Editor-in-chief Joe Francica lays out a framework for the sectors of the geospatial market and what really needs to be considered when trying to size the market...but as importantly, why the numbers today are irrelevant.

Thursday, June 12th 2008
by Joe Francica

In an exclusive interview, Judson Green, president and CEO of NAVTEQ spoke with Directions Media Editor-in-chief Joe Francica about a broad spectrum of topics related to the growth of the location-based services market and the ability of NAVTEQ to address an exploding market for digital map products. Green spoke of the opportunities for NAVTEQ not just in terms of its current ability to serve a variety of market segments but provided some insights in what may be possible in the future with NAVTEQ data. "Don't think of our map going into a nav system in the front seat of the car; think of our map going into the engine of the car to help drive the car ... and therein you find dozens and dozens and dozens of applications which would fundamentally improve the safety of the car, the productivity of the car, the efficiencies, and we think that's a very exciting area," he said. Green, once the president for Walt Disney Attractions, now has the challenge of sorting through the opportunities that range from real-time dynamic content to advanced driver assistance systems.

Monday, June 9th 2008
by Joe Francica

It's always about speed. In the early days of geospatial technology, the argument was about getting things done faster with speedier computers: VAXes, mini-VAXes, and those "wiz-bang" 486 PCs! Now the discussion has changed. With geospatial solutions being delivered by Internet-based mapping programs some of the bottleneck with speed is tied up in browsers. Is Internet Explorer faster than Mozilla? What browser best renders maps and which is tops in security? Editor Joe Francica explores the options.

Tuesday, June 3rd 2008
by Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg

This week the California State Automobile Association announce it would end its production of road maps due to falling demand. The slack will be picked up by the national Association. At the same time police and response organizations are warning the public and their staffs to keep a paper map on hand. What is happening to paper maps as GPS devices become part of our daily lives? Editors Adena Schutzberg and Joe Francica share their thoughts.

Wednesday, May 28th 2008
by Adena Schutzberg

This week Adena Schutzberg offers a condensed version of the presentation she gave last week at the NYS Geospatial Summit, in Skaneateles, NY. It focuses on the challenges of finding, accessing and moving Web-based content both geospatial and otherwise, and highlights some technologies and tools addressing those challenges. She also looks into the future and predicts what she expects to see in these areas in the coming months and years.

Tuesday, May 20th 2008
by Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg

At last week's Where 2.0 conference held in Burlingame, California, Google's John Hanke and ESRI's Jack Dangermond shared the stage to describe their updated vision for making ESRI's users' geodata and services more usable across the Web. Our editors describe the key points in this technological and business handshake and explore its implications.

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