Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Redefining 'open' in the face of crisis response

Concert Crowd (Osheaga 2009) - 30000 waiting for Coldplay
Last week was yet another test of geospatial and GIS technology in the face of a natural disaster. At the very height of election season, mother nature re-affirmed her role as a king-maker and undoubtedly influenced the incumbent president's chances.

Superstorm Sandy's impact might indeed live up to the hype that preceded it. But the challenges for emergency management officials remain the same: identifying the priorities, and moving the right assets and resources into the right place at the right time. This storm is no different, the response has already drawn criticism from many sides, including FEMA's supplemental power generation.

Geospatial technoligies have seen a proliferation of 'open' and interconnected components in the last few years. REST APIs and OGC standards help, but it is still much easier to connect systems, than it is to connect people. The challenge remains - getting the right people the right information at the right time. With every new GIS portal launched, the promise of a Common Operating Picture fades from view. When questions of "which portal do I use?" reverberate across the list-serves, sharing shapefiles via E-mail help soothe the pain of COP-creep.

Encouragingly though, it is now easier to connect people with the technology. While silos and fiefdoms may not like talking to each other, the crowd will now push them to action. Even FEMA has praised the collaborative efforts of groups like Humanitarian Open Street Map and their application to validate damage assessment photos from the Civil Air Patrol. The abundance of crowd-sourced data and applications helps to augment (and QC) the 'authoritative' versions. Evidence of this also includes two road-closure sites maintained side-by-side in Fairfax Co. Virginia.

All maps lie - they hide truths and obscure facts. By their very nature, they must present a viewpoint that is myopic - limited by the variables and symbology chosen by their creator. The challenge for those in the profession is to discern the burning questions that decision makers face, and tell a story that best illustrates a path forward. We have plenty of techno-talent, geo-lingo-jargon-experts and princely fiefdoms. It's encouraging to see democratic systems that help feed swift solutions to bridge the gap of what-do-we-know and what-do-we-do.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just Do it. Tomorrow.

Oh, It's YOU Again And for the lazy versions of us out there, find out how to do it:


Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple: Exhibit 1 in why online mapping isn't a commodity

I don't see "maps" anywhere on this chart....

It's difficult. Significantly enough so that when history's largest-ever corporation decided to build their own system, it has started off with a gigantic, resounding thud. You can't miss the news - even on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Apple's unusual stumble proves that LBS, navigation and online mapping is a key business driver - one that requires a significant investment in data, programming and expertise. Don't leave home (or go to market) without it...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

FW: Registration for CrisisMappers 2012 now Open!

From: Crisis Mappers [mailto:mail@crisismappers.net]
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 2:30 AM
Subject: Registration for CrisisMappers 2012 now Open!


[Apologies for cross-posting]


Dear Colleague,

Registration for this year’s International Crisis Mappers Conference | ICCM 2012 October 12 | in Washington DC is now open thanks to our Key Sponsors: The World Bank, ESRI, George Washington University, GeoEye and Ushahidi.

As many of you already know, the CrisisMappers Conference is the leading humanitarian technology event of the year, bringing together the most important humanitarian, human rights, development and media organizations with world's best technology companies, academics, journalists and hackers. Last year's conference in Geneva, Switzerland drew well over 400 active participants to define the cutting edge of humanitarian technology. Major topics in this year's conference will include: Big Data, Social Computing, Crowdsourcing, Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities, Quantifying Veracity, Digital Volunteers, Security and Liabilities, Open Data and Open Source Software.

Please use this link to register for ICCM 2012 by October 1, 2012. Your registration will grant you access to all events on October 12: the Keynotes, Ignite Talks, Reception and Tech Fair. The ICCM 2012 Agenda is available here should you require more information. (Important: If you have already received an email invite to register, please do not use the registration link above, thank you).

Some important links after you register:

To submit an Ignite Talk:

To apply for a space in the Tech & Analysis Fair:

To participate in the pre-conference training (October 11):

If you have any questions on the registration process, payment, application procedure, etc, please contact: Melissa@CrisisMappers.net.

In the meantime, a big thanks to our Key Sponsors: The World Bank, ESRI, George Washington University, GeoEye and Ushahidi.

We look forward to a very productive and fruitful CrisisMappers conference and do hope you’ll be able to join us!

Thank you very much.

Patrick and Jen


CrisisMappers: The Humanitarian Technology Network
Co-Founders & Co-Curators | http://www.CrisisMappers.net

Visit Crisis Mappers at: http://crisismappers.net/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Telematics Product Manager Opportunity

from:  CSchumacher@ElectronicSearch.com

"I have an opportunity that may fit you or someone you know. Please review the below brief spec & if it is a match for your skills or someone you know forward a current resume for review. Please note that I have sent this out broadly and before giving any more information or speaking to you on the phone, I need to have a resume sent to me to compare it to the job spec. It will of course not be forwarded without your permission.

Position: Telematics Product Manager
Location: Northern Suburbs of Detroit MI,
Type: Permanent Fulltime Position requiring relocation
Compensation: Based on experience

We are seeking a Product Manager skilled in the development of Telematics products for both the consumer and Fleet industries. In this role you the Product Manager will be responsible for the life cylce of a product line from the identification of market opportunities through design development, product launch, market penetration and growth as well as the end of life phase.

Carl Schumacher
Executive Recruiter
Wireless & Telecom"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Equilux Day!

Bering Sea 
   Whoa - this one snuck up on me this year. Thanks to the front page article in the WP, I'm happy to remember to wish you a happy first day of spring, thus a happy Equilux!

The Equinox and Equilux fascinate me: only two days in the entire year where there is balance across the planet. Despite uneven states of humanity, there is equal amounts of light and dark across the globe, where ever you may be today. It's a convenient reminder to do so in your own world: balance competing priorities and make sure you keep it all in perspective.