You can download the guidelines here (although it’s behind a pay wall).
Read more about this report at Spatial Reserves here and on pages 12 and 13 of the July-August 2013 edition of ApoGeo.
by Peter Colohan (he’s awesome!), Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, April 19, 2013
Ever wonder where the Weather Channel gets its data? Where the satellite images for Google Earth come from? These data and much more come from a complex array of satellites, ocean buoys, stream gauges, human surveys, and other platforms for collecting what the scientific community calls Earth observations. These data are used every day to protect life and property and answer key questions about our planet.Today, the Obama Administration’s National Science and Technology Council released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations—a framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation’s Earth-observation enterprise. Currently, 11 Federal departments and agencies engage in Earth observation activities, collecting volumes of important data about the Earth on an ongoing basis, using an array of sophisticated tools and systems. The new Strategy outlines a process for evaluating and prioritizing Earth-observation investments according to their value to society in critical areas such as agriculture, global change, disasters, water resources, and weather.Each year, the U.S. Government invests significant resources in Earth-observations systems to collect data about Earth’s land, oceans, ecosystems, and atmosphere. Together, these systems take the pulse of our planet, providing critical Earth-system data that scientists and analysts can then turn into usable information about climate and weather, disaster events, land-use changes, ecosystem health, natural resources, and more. Ultimately, information and services derived from Earth-observation data—including some as ubiquitous as weather forecasts and GPS-navigation—are used by policy makers, resource managers, business leaders, first-responders, and citizens to make important day-to-day decisions.But as the Nation’s Earth-observation capacity has grown, so has the complexity of the Earth-observation endeavor. The demand for data, the complexity of the tools required to collect those data, and the sheer amount of data being collected, all are increasing. The National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations aims to help Federal agencies face these challenges by better-organizing existing Earth-observation systems and information, and coordinating plans for future projects. In support of the Obama Administration’s Open Data Initiatives, this Strategy also provides specific guidance on how agencies can make these Earth observations more open and accessible to the public.Going forward, the Strategy will be used as a basis to inform a broad National Plan for Civil Earth Observations—a blueprint for future investments in US Earth-observing systems, including agency roles and responsibilities, and creative solutions to challenges related to maintaining the Nation’s Earth-observing systems. It will also reinforce the United States’ ongoing commitment to work with international partners through the multi-national Group on Earth Observations GEO.The Strategy released today provides an evidence-based framework for routine assessment and planning across the entire family of Federal agencies engaged in Earth observations. It will help agencies compare notes, prioritize activities, and improve the quality of data about the planet—with the ultimate goal of meeting society’s most pressing data and information needs. Read the Strategy here.Learn more about global Earth-observation efforts here.Peter Colohan is a Senior Policy Analyst at OSTP
by Emily Badger, The Atlantic, March 14, 2013
OpenStreetMap is a marvel of modern crowdsourcing. Since its creation in 2004, DIY cartographers – typically armed with GPS devices or satellite photography – have been slowly mapping the world’s road networks and landmarks to create a free alternative to proprietary geographic data that can then support tools like trip planners. The process, which began in the U.K., is painstaking and piecemeal, and nearly a decade into it, more than a million people have contributed a sliver of road here or a surveyed cul-de-sac there. …
For full text of this article, visit Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities.
Also check out the great work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.
- Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team: Saving Lives Through Maps (mollweide.wordpress.com)
- Apple, Google, Facebook, and OpenStreetMap: The top 5 changes to expect from maps in 2013 (venturebeat.com)
- How to replace Google Maps with OpenStreet Maps in your BlackBerry 10 Android App (devblog.blackberry.com)
Google on Tuesday acknowledged to state officials that it had violated people’s privacy during its Street View mapping project when it casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users. In agreeing to settle a case brought by 38 states involving the project, the search company for the first time is required to aggressively police its own employees on privacy issues and to explicitly tell the public how to fend off privacy violations like this one.
For full text of the article, visit Google Admits Street View Project Violated Privacy – NYTimes.com.
- Google Maps with Street View on iOS: what it can and can’t do (reviews.cnet.com)
- Google settles Street View privacy case with 38 states for $7 million (theverge.com)
by Chad Wellmon, IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 14, No. 1 Spring 2012
‘The history of this mutual constitution of humans and technology has been obscured as of late by the crystallization of two competing narratives about how we experience all of this information. On the one hand, there are those who claim that the digitization efforts of Google, the social-networking power of Facebook, and the era of big data in general are finally realizing that ancient dream of unifying all knowledge. … Unlike other technological innovations, like print, which was limited to the educated elite, the internet is a network of “densely interlinked Web pages, blogs, news articles and Tweets [that] are all visible to anyone and everyone.”4 Our information age is unique not only in its scale, but in its inherently open and democratic arrangement of information. … Digital technologies, claim the most optimistic among us, will deliver a universal knowledge that will make us smarter and ultimately liberate us.5 These utopic claims are related to similar visions about a trans-humanist future in which technology will overcome what were once the historical limits of humanity: physical, intellectual, and psychological. The dream is of a post-human era.6
For the full text of this substantive essay, please visit IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 14, No. 1 Spring 2012 – Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart – Chad Wellmon.
By Salvador Rodriguez, LA Times, January 4, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
Google is denying reports online Friday that say the company started blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps amid tension in its relationship with Microsoft. Nothing has changed with the Google Maps service, the company told The Times. Google Maps simply was never designed to work with the Internet Explorer browser on the Windows Phone, according to Google.
For full text of the article, visit Google Maps is not blocking Windows Phone, Google says – latimes.com.
- Google Admits It Was Deliberately Blocking Windows Phone Users From Google Maps (GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Google working on removing Maps redirect for Windows Phone (slashgear.com)
In the past few years, the map has transformed from a static, stylized portrait of the Earth to a dynamic, interactive conversation. (An extended version of an interview from the January/February 2013 issue.) The entire concept of a “map” seems radically different from even a decade ago. It used to be something in a book or on a wall; now it’s something you carry around on your smartphone. Which changes have mattered most? And what further changes should we be ready for? James Fallows interview’s Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal.
For the full text of the article, visit Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal – James Fallows – The Atlantic.
- The Google Maps of the Future Sounds Useful but Creepy (theatlanticwire.com)
In re-launching the inquiry into carriers’ data privacy and security practices, the FCC argues that not informing customers about the software or its data practices may have violated the carriers’ responsibility pursuant to Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 to protect customer data “that is made available to a carrier solely by virtue of the carrier-customer relationship.” The law allows such data to be used only in “limited circumstances,” a term which is not defined in Section 222. It appears that one of the goals of the renewed inquiry is for the FCC to define the scope of the “limited circumstances.”
- FCC probes how carriers handle subscribers’ private data (fiercewireless.com)
- Net neutrality (economist.com)
- ICO Reopens Google Street View Data Slurping Inquiry (techweekeurope.co.uk)