What are you doing for Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day 2005?

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It’s less than a month until Geography Awareness Week (November 13-19) and GIS Day (November 16). Already, ESRI announced last week that all 6 New England states and New York are participating in GIS Day. For those of you who may be new to working with geospatial technologies, GIS Day is an annual event that promotes GIS and includes events in schools, universities, and other organizations and has participants from around the world. If you or your organization haven’t participated or recognized Geography Awareness Week or GIS Day before, it’s a great event that can showcase how GIS, geospatial technologies and geography play a role in your work. So celebrate Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day!

Geography Awareness week info

GIS Day info


Latest on the Internet control dispute

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A resolution has been introduced in the US Senate to back the Bush administration’s efforts to stop the UN from taking some of the control of the Internet away from the US. It basically says that the Senate will support the US efforts in the negotiations in Tunisia, but at least they are aware of the importance of this issue. In this article from ZDNet UK, a couple of points were brought up that I didn’t even know: there have suggestions made that taxes be levied on domain names to pay for “universal access” and since 1999 UN agencies have thought about taxing Internet email. I know that people from other countries may not think that US control of the Internet is best, but given the current alternatives, the status quo seems like the best option.



Mapping the Universe

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If you think it’s ambitious to map the entire earth, check out the Sloan Digital Sky Survey According to their website: “the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the most ambitious astronomical survey project ever undertaken. The survey will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects. It will also measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars.”

They have already made quite a lot of progress, and their SkyServer offers all kinds of images and other data, and other cool tools for just exploring their data or for school and research projects


GITA on workforce readiness grant

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Glenn over at GISUser spoke with Bob Samborski, Executive President of GITA, on the DOL funding workforce readiness. Mr Samborski outlined 5 key steps for conducting this study.

“1. Getting a grip on understanding geospatial and defining it
2. Communication and public outreach – this approach will serve to identify what kinds of skills are needed for professionals. A number of partners will be used to help secure feedback and communication.
3. Development of a web-based portal to access curricula information. This will also serve to help explain and communicate to academia what they need to be teaching to better prepare students for careers in geospatial technologies.
4. Use the portal as a live test site. This will involve a live pilot project with a goal of replicating the effort based on the outcome.
5. Making the project results sustainable.”

For more information head over and read the full article at


Green Map System

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According to their website, ” The Green Map System (GMS) is a locally adaptable, globally shared framework for environmental mapmaking.”

Basically, it’s a collaborative worldwide project that is collecting Green Map projects together on one website and also offers tips and examples on using Green Maps in local community planning and education. They’ve already got an impressive list of projects from around the world (though many are still in progress or just started)

If you are interested in environmental issues and how geospatial technologies can be used, check out


WebMap widget

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widgetThe writing frenzy has ended for now, so on to the promised widget. The widget is for use with Konfabulator/Yahoo! Widgets (which must be installed before trying to use this widget). The WebMap widget allows you to search on an address to find a location and choose from existing map services, or a custom map service that you provide (widget preferences are accessed through a right click on the interface). The interface is very minimalistic with buttons to control pan and zoom functionality (for full details please read the README included). While this was my brain child, most of the work was done by Nate and Andrew (right click and choose about). This is the opening salvo, but there are more ideas waiting to be implemented.

Let me know what you think. Also, to find more OGC compliant WebMapServices to use in the widget head over to Mapdex to search.

Download WebMap widget


GeoRSS :: Geographically Encoded Objects for RSS feeds

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GeoRSS seeks to go beyond the x,y point location tag that currently exists in RSS 2 and leverage GML to support more complex geometry (lines and polygons). The overview sounds good with key ideas, such as linking related point entries into a line (their example was a kayak trip). They even seem to be attempting to implement a form of topology, but I may be reading too much into the document.

GeoRSS :: Geographically Encoded Objects for RSS feeds

Via SlashGISRS