Points of Interest: Feb 8, 2005


RFID Your Congress Member. Besides simply providing medical and basic help to victims of the tsunami disaster, a huge task was locating family members. Here in the U.S. solving the "where are people during an evacuation" question is a top priority for those on Capitol Hill. Vendors have until Feb. 15 to respond to a request for information for technologies that could report on the location of House members, staff and visitors during an evacuation. RFID and GPS are on the list for the two phase project. Phase one is just to locate people, Phase two involves knowing where they are for the following 24 after the emergency. Ideally, this technology is to be used only in an emergency. I suspect that will be difficult to ensure. Interestingly, privacy concerns let one analyst, Michael Liard, director of automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) and RFID at Venture Development Corp., to suggest that GPS is a more comfortable alternative despite its limited accuracy, even outdoors.

Google Maps. The Slashdot world is all agog about Google's Google Maps. While the data if from NAVTEQ/TeleAtlas the excitement is over the interface - real time panning and user friendly tools for keying in requests for directions are cited. Printed maps are also praised. Many suggest Google has the stuff to "take on" MapQuest. More on Google's new offering in this week's GIS Monitor.

uLocate Aquires GEOsnapper. Recall that uLocate, which is outside Boston, uses GPS enabled phones to provide a tracking service for businesses and families. Now its users can snap, post, view and share geo-tagged photos online. uLocate taps into MapQuest services for maps and the press release notes the company hopes to offer vertical offerings on this horizontal technology. I wonder what'll be first? Utilities? Birdwatching? Microsoft offers a similar service, World Wide Media Exchange according to another source.

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