Points of Interest: January 4, 2005

The Latest on Tsunami Imagery. ORBIMAGE Inc. announced on Monday that since December 27th it has been dedicating all of its available satellite imagery collection time over South Asia for the collection of high-resolution imagery of areas affected by the tsunamis. Over at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Dave Burpee, chief of public affairs, commented on using its existing commercial contracts to access and distribute imagery: "We take requests from lead federal agencies, such as the State Department, the Pacific Command or other federal agencies that need information. They provide the information to whomever they deem appropriate´┐ŻWe're buying with an unrestricted license; we can give them to anybody."

Persian Gulf. National Geographic, under pressure from the government of Iran and others has provided an update to its printed atlas that restates the name of the Arabian Gulf to the Persian Gulf. The update also removes claims by the United Arab Emirates on several islands in the area. "National Geographic's climbdown and correction of this fake name it had used for the Persian Gulf ... is a victory for every Iranian," said Kamal Kharrazi, Iran's foreign minister.

Texas State Parks Go WiFi. Five Texas state parks will introduce a three month free trial of wireless Internet service for visitors. After the intro period, access will be $15 per day. While some love the idea of leaving the birding books at home, others fear the access will intrude on the park experience. I certainly have mixed feelings on this. I hate using a cell phone in a park. Still, I do it for two reasons: to check up on my parents and to check in with work.

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.