“data providers do hold all the cards just now”

Adena over at AllPointsBlog states “While we try to understand the implications of the new offerings [from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!], let’s not forget that geospatial apps run on data as fuel. And, just like gasoline, the price of premium data is still high.”

This blog entry ties in nicely with some of the discussions we had back in the first 5 episodes about the importance of the data in addition to the technology providing them.

Geodata Changes at Google

GIS Long Tail

James over at Spatially Adjusted comments on an article by Dave Bouwman that discusses the differences in the user bases between the traditional GIS software and the new web map interfaces. Summary…ESRI and other GIS software has a given user base that will never be satisfied with the minimalist capabilities that Virtual Earth or Google Earth have. At the same time most of the folks using MapQuest, Google Local and others will rarely need to conduct a network analysis on a trout streams to determine population migration (not that I have either). I would like to say that we have mentioned this in the podcast, but we have done enough episodes that I am just not sure. Head over and give it look.

Spatially Adjusted: Dave Bouwman on the GIS Long Tail

Associations/Groups – The Canadian Association Of Geographers

CGAThe Canadian Association of Geographers is the main professional organization for Geographers from the public and private sectors in Canada. They are active in disseminating geographic research and promoting geographic education. They have 14 study groups that focus on specific areas ranging from marine studies to diversity and 5 regional divisions. Annual membership includes 4 issues of The Canadian Geographer and 6 issues of the newsletter all for the first time member price of $84 and student price of $45 (all prices Canadian dollars).

The CAG holds an annual meeting in the late spring, apparently on the same dates, May 29 to June 2. The next meeting will be in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Check out the web page to find out more

The Canadian Association Of Geographers — The Canadian Geographer

RSS Aggregator vs visiting site

I have gone back and forth between using an aggregator (currently SharpReader) and just going to the web sites of my various sites. The great thing about an aggregator is that you don’t have to worry about wandering from page to page, folks can send you RSS links or OPMLs for you to import and check out, and you can group your different areas of interest into groups. The problem I have is that I don’t connect as well with the information that I am looking at. I am just as likely to delete a post in the aggregator that I would read every word of on the web page. I am not sure if this is a case of experience or what.

To bring it back to something we talked about on the podcast, I see the aggregator as a space, whether it is SharpReader or MyYahoo, which I have little connection to and therefore seem to have little connection to the content that I view there. The individual websites then are analogous to cyber-places where I have had interactions with the site design, the content creators, and, heaven forbid, the advertisers. I think this has a little to do with the story that each site or cyber-place sets up from post to post. An odd comparison, but one that I am sure a geographer of cyberspace has mentioned. In the end I will keep using my aggregator, but I will pop into a site every now and then just to look around even though I have probably read all of the posts on the site…