GeoPortail apparently a work in progress

I checked out the newly launched French GeoPortail, which made the news at CNN today, and was mentioned on OgleEarth and Anything Geospatial. It is at this point just a 2D map viewer and even that is not working well (at least for me). While my French is pretty rusty, I found a little timeline below the viewer that said that the 3D portion of the project won’t be out until the autumn

Here is the calendar entry from the website:

“AUTOMNE 2006
Visualisez en 3D et accédez aux premières couches d’information de service public;”.

So, it seems that the Google Earth comparison is a little premature. But, if anyone out there has tried the site and found more than what I could access, definitely let us know…

ArcPad and mobile handhelds for 2010 US Census field data collection

A press release today announced that ESRI’s ArcPad will be used as part of the Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) project for the upcoming 2010 census, and Harris Corporation has won the $600 million, 5-year contract to develop and implement an automated field data collection system. I know there have been a number of recent reports suggesting that the Census Bureau is way behind and may not ready for the upcoming tests of the automated field collection process, but Jesse and I had a chance to visit the Geography Division of the Census Bureau back in April and got to see one of the prototype field collection units (aka PDAs with customized software). I have to say I gained a whole new appreciation for what they have to go through to upgrade the process of census enumeration to a digital format. It is truly a phenomenal undertaking and, if they can pull it off, it will be one of the most amazing achievements in the mass collection of geographic data ever.

Press Release Via GISCafe

MapInfo 8.5

I just realized that I forgot to blog the release of MapInfo 8.5 when I first saw it. The 8.5 release seems to have a quite a few updates, nothing I would consider groundbreaking, but many of which look like the are important to remain competitive. They seem to be providing new webservices support for geolocation and improved raster support including on the fly projection. There are a couple of videos up on te MapInfo site that detail 8.5 so head over a take a look. I am sure that someone who uses MapInfo regularly will post a review soon, so keep an eye out.

MapInfo Corporation