URISA has posted their reponse to the Geospatial LOB RFI that was announced last month. Import Cartography links to the URISA pdf and talks a little about. In my distoriented state (recovering from the last day of conference activities and lack of sleep) I am not going to dip too deeply into their document. Instead I will simply say I agree with many of URISA’s perspectives especially the section title ‘”No New Funds”: Not Realistic’. We will definitely speak a little more about this in the podcast this weekend when we have all had a chance to sleep in :-). Definitely head over to the URISA website to check out the organization and the document. Finally, I will echo Adena’s curiosity as to who else will post their response to the RFI.
The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study was just released, with more sad news about young Americans’ (aged 18-24) lack of even basic geography skills like reading a map. Only 50% or less of the surveyed people could identify New York or Ohio on a map, and 88 percent couldn’t find Afghanistan, and about 60% couldn’t find Iraq. Those kind of statistics go on and on, but here’s what I think is the really disappointing stat that was quoted in the news article: “Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14% believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.” At the rate that globalization is changing the world, an attitude that only America matters or, more specifically, “my backyard” (considering a lot of the survey respondents couldn’t even identify other US states), just isn’t going to cut it. As someone who in theory is pursuing a PhD in Geography so I can teach others, I have to say it’s really depressing, but the real issue will be to try to figure out how to reverse the trend.
The New Yorker recently ran an interesting article entitled Annals of the Road: Getting There that looks at maps and mapping technologies from a few angles including riding in a Navteq ground-truthing vehicle. A different perspective than what you normally get as someone in the industry and well researched. An interesting read, but be sure to set aside a solid 10-15 minutes since it is a New Yorker article :-).
Thanks to listener, and winner of our 1/2 year contest, Adella for the ‘heads-up’ and for sending Frank an email.
The American Congress on Survey and Mapping is made up of four member organizations, which serve as special interests groups including:
The genearl mission of the ACSM at large is “to advance the sciences of surveying and mapping and related fields, in furtherance of the welfare of those who use and make maps; to encourage the development of educational programs in surveying, mapping and charting; and to support publications that represent the professional and technical interests of surveying and mapping. To accomplish these objectives, ACSM engages in a number of core activities.”
Beyond their focus on professionals, the ACSM and its member organizations offer support to students through reduced membership dues and annual awarded competitions. As you might expect, head over the ACSM website to find out more details
The BBC has an interesting article about a group trying to pinpoint speicies that might soon be candidates for extinction. The idea is that if you can identify a speicies in trouble before the critical point, you can save more of them (clearly). Apparently this group has identified 20 areas that are prime for human development and thus potential species extinction.
I was just checking on our Frappr community page, and we are up to 94 members. I just wanted to give a shout out to everyone who’s joined, and invite our other listeners and readers to add yourselves, so we can make it to the magical century mark!
I took a moment to sit down with myself to talk about the Graduate Student Affinity Group (GSAG) of the AAG.
Q: What is the GSAG…
A: The GSAG is an affinity group of the AAG that seeks to support Geography students in the AAG, and where possible, students at large.Ã‚Â We are about to enter our fifth year and our growth so far has been very promising.
Q: Who can benefit from the GSAG
A: We hope that everyone, at least in some way, benefits from the GSAG.Ã‚Â Among the AAG membership we focus on grad students, but these students will some day be professionals in the field and, of course, there are many undergrads out there now who will be going into grad school.Ã‚Â This cross-over means that we have members from each level of Geography.
Q: Is there anything you would like to point out for this years AAG meeting…
A: Yeah, I would like to encourage everyone to attend our sponsored panel session and our business meeting Wednesday night at 7pm.Ã‚Â We have had a nucleus of active members to date, and I think it would be great for others to become involved, both for the GSAG and for the individuals themselves.
Q: Thanks for answering questions for us today.
A: No, thank you.Ã‚Â We just want to get the word out.
OK, so I watch Everwood, but it is on hold while The WB shows this season’s Beauty and the Geek.Ã‚Â I am too lazy to delete the recording event on my DVR and this week I am glad I didn’t!Ã‚Â They had a challenge on the show where the ladies had to do navigate around LA using a set of street maps and with no help.Ã‚Â Funny stuff!Ã‚Â For those of you on the west coast…you should check it out.Ã‚Â This is definitely an example of how many people relate to Geography.
Import Cartography points out an interesting spot on NPR’s Weekend Edition (Feb 25) that discusses the use of the National Grid for emergency response and general use.
Adena over at AllPointsBlog points to an interview with ESRI staff members for the FlashForward Conference podcast.Ã‚Â As you might have guessed, the topic is Flash and related internet technologies, so it will be topical for the FlashForward conference and the Dev Summit…and for those of us who can’t make it to either.Ã‚Â Head over to the FlashForwardConference blog to download the podcast.