Points of Interest: January 13, 2005

FORMOSAT Aids Relief Efforts. Taiwan's satellite, nicknamed FORMOSAT-2 is doing its fair share of data capture in Southeast Asia. The satellite, the country's second, officially known as ROCSAT-2, is the only satellite able to take pictures of disaster areas every day, the National Space Program Office (NSPO). The images have 2m resolution not as good as the 1m of IKONOS or ORBVIEW-3 or the .6 M of QuickBird. Still, with orbits of the planet 14 times a day, and passes over areas affected by the tsunami twice a day, its been in demand. The images have been available free-of-charge on the NSPO Web site, and more than 60 countries have downloaded what they needed. MSNBC has a look at how NGA is using DigitalGlobe imagery in disaster work.

GPS Exposes. A Massachusetts highway worker was charged with a crime because of a GPS in his snow plow. A Dunkin Donuts employee saw the incident and noted the worker leaving in the vehicle. She reported the incident. The state tracked the vehicle by time and location via the recently installed GPS, and arrested the driver. Local police noted that that's not really what the GPS is for, but alas can be used for such things.

Re-Addressing. Ever wonder what issues are raised when a town gets "re-addressed" for 911? An article in a South Carolina paper (registration required) recounts what was clearly a heated discussion in Toccoa. New road names, private drives, and exactly how dispatchers will find the new roads were all raised. And, this is with just 15% of the town receiving their "addressing packets." More meetings are planned.

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