Who will control the Internet?

You may or may not already know this, but a controversy that could change the way the Internet is run has been simmering since the spring and now will be coming to a head next month at the U.N. meeting on the Information Society. Basically, the US has always controlled the root servers for the Internet, through the private company known as ICANN. During the Clinton administration, a memorandum of understanding was apparently signed saying the US would eventually give up some of that control. In April, the Bush administration announced that the US would no longer be abiding by that agreement. There have been tense negotiations since then, but after no luck getting the US to budge, the European Union and the UN are now putting together a coalition to wrest control of the Internet from the US at the meeting in Tunisia in November. The implications of this will be far-reaching, and anyone who depends on the Internet should be paying attention to how this plays out.

The Guardian, a UK newspaper has been covering this, and you might want to check out their most recent article

US media outlets have had a couple of mentions, but not a lot of coverage. It has also been mentioned on SlashDot and other blogs.

Community Mapping Project in San Jose, Ca

A project will be getting underway this winter to map 19 poor and underserved communities in San Jose. This is the continuation of a community mapping project begun in 2003. Residents themselves, working with other groups, will be using GPS, handhelds, and digital cameras to survey their neighborhoods.

The hope is that results from these survey will continue to help city officials understand the conditions and needs in these communities.

You can read the full article at the Christian Science Monitor website

Via Geoplace.com

Missouri congressmen call for investigation of USGS mapping consolidation

The decision to close the USGS mapping center in Rolla, Missouri as part of its consolidation in Denver has prompted several Missouri Congressmen to request an investigation into the decision.

Among their issues, they argue that an internal committee and an independent consultant agreed that the Rolla location is more efficient.

This controversy has been reported in a number of places, and you can read a local Rolla news article here

So THAT’S how they did it……..

I was checking out the MapPoint magazine website this morning, and I came across this video from back in August. It the “real” story behind the making of Virtual Earth. You can’t go wrong with a dude in a butterfly suit.

It’s pretty funny, so check it out here

Census Bureau awards $500 million contract

The US Census Bureau has award a 6-year contract worth more than $500 million to Lockheed Martin for the 2010 Census Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS). They will also be working with IBM and several other companies. The press release didn’t go into too much detail, but it seems like the Census Bureau may be contracting most of the work for the next census, which would be a first.

You can read the article at GISuser.com