Points of Interest: January 31, 2005


What's Bugging Federal ESRI Users? ESRI's Federal User Conference begins on Tuesday. A pre-conference survey asked users about "what's on their minds." A reply from ESRI founder and president revealed that "the top concerns are GIS interoperability, data standards and policies for sharing geospatial information." An article in Government Computer News goes on to note that the rest of the reply focused on a new Trimble extension for ArcGIS that simplifies use of GPS data. Another issue: "concern about complying with the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-16 metadata requirements for their geospatial assets" via FGDC guidelines. Version 9.5 of ArcGIS is expected in May.

NGA Head Potential Pick for Top Intel Spot. The Washington Post reports that the White House is not yet close to selecting a head of the newly approved intelligence organization. "Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who heads the National Security Agency, which handles electronic surveillance, and retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which handles analysis of satellite imagery, are both candidates, but sources considered them more likely to be candidates for deputy director of national intelligence or deputy CIA director."

GIS in Connecticut. M. Jodi Rell, governor of Connecticut, announced the creation of a Governor's Interim Geospatial Council to coordinate and promote technology and sharing of geospatial information. While predicated on the need for geospatial support for a TOPOFF federally mandated emergency exercise, this sounds like the real deal, should it become permanent. I look forward to seeing the head of the council at NSGIC as soon as possible!

Broadcasts for Emergencies. KDDI Corp and Hitachi Ltd are jointly developing the mobile phone aimed at a very specific location-based service: letting the user know the location of the nearest shelter in an emergency and providing TV type coverage. Many phones in Japan are already sold with GPS embedded in them. The "new" idea here is the service and the ability to "push" content to it. I'm sure the recent tsunami spiked interest, though Japan is certainly subject to periodic earthquakes. Until the mobiles are available, the government is looking to use televisions to provide localized emergency information.

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