Points of Interest: January 5, 2005

Landsat Imagery. Lest we think that only commercial imagery can serve scientific and rescue efforts, Landsat 7 is contributing useful imagery. A scientist at Columbia used before and after imagery to look at the loss of vegetation. The article in New Scientist includes an image that appears to include banding from the SLC off situation. The stripes are used as scale reference: each is 180 km wide. The article also reports that The Indian Ocean Tsunami Geospatial Information Service was launched on Sunday to collect imagery of the area. I wish the service was more useful. However it's only an ESRI service. "The Indian Ocean Tsunami Geospatial Information Service can be accessed by Environmental Science [sic] Research Institute (ESRI) Geographic Information System (GIS) applications at www.pdc.org; Map Service name = "APNHIN_PDC_Tsunami_Response"."

Happy New Year! No Tracking Allowed! If you live in California a new law protects you from being tracked via GPS should you rent a car. To be clear, the law prohibits tracking for the sake of fining you for speeding or going outside the agreed area, but it can be used to track down stolen cars. The legislation came about in part due to "horror stories" of lawsuits from those fined. Some expect this law to have legs and appear in other states and/or to see its impact in contracts across the nation for larger car rental companies.

What Goes Around´┐Ż A man in Ohio who harassed his estranged wife, by among other things, hiding a GPS in car, was ordered to stay away from her. He did not. Now, a judge has ordered him to wear a GPS for a year to ensure he stays away from her.

NGA and NSA Team Up. Remember that heads of NGA and NSA spoke about collaborating at GEOINT? According to the Los Angeles Times (registration required), it's really happening. "We're sort of using the Nike school of management - just do it," says Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., head of NGA. I'd argue this is the best news for intelligence in quite a long time.

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