by Tripti Lahiri, WSJ India, December 30, 2012
In the wake of the fire at a Bangladesh factory that killed at least 112 garment workers on Nov. 24, U.S. and European retailers who buy from the South Asian country have said they will drastically improve safety checks at the factories they use. … But few of the plans being considered by retailers seem likely to address issues that labor groups have raised with regard to the present safety audit system – that they don’t allow workers a way to alert retailers to issues that crop up when the brands’ representatives are not around. Another complaint is that information on fire safety is generally kept confidential and rarely shared in a comprehensive way with the workers most likely to be at risk. Indian-American entrepreneur Kohl Gill is hopeful that cellphones, which are now widespread in exporting countries like Bangladesh and China, could help.Through his two-year-old company LaborVoices, Mr. Gill has been developing a voice-activated system that workers can call to leave messages about workplace conditions. ….
For full text of this article, please visit Can Mobile Phones Improve Factory Fire Safety? – India Real Time – WSJ.
- In Bangladesh, the Garment Factories Keep Burning (businessweek.com)
- Walmart said no to paying for fire safety in Bangladesh factories (dailykos.com)
- Bangladesh Fire Kills More Than 100 and Injures Many (nytimes.com)
Spatial Law and Policy: Top 10 Stories of 2011
by Kevin Pomfret, Spatial Law and Policy Blob, December 27, 2011
- U.S. Supreme Court to address law enforcement’s use of tracking devices.
- Impact of budget cuts becoming more pronounced
- Privacy issues regarding geolocation becomes international story
- Increased efforts to regulate Internet
- Commercial use of drones becoming a reality
- Lightsquared/GPS dispute
- India revises its Remote Sensing Data Policy
- Indonesia passes Geospatial Information Act
- Big Data
For full text of Kevin’s article with a great discussion on each topic and useful links, visit Spatial Law and Policy: Spatial Law and Policy: Top 10 Stories of 2011.
- Hot Spatial Law and Policy Issues for the Coming Year (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Spatial Law and the Smart Grid (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Geospatial Information Technology in Indonesia and its Legal Framework (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Six Provocations for Big Data (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Webinar on Geospatial Privacy (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Former FGDC Executive Director on Mapping and the Spatial Data Infrastructure (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- New CRS Report on Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
by Neal Gabler, senior fellow at the Annenberg Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, Op-Ed, NYT, August 13, 2011
The July/August issue of The Atlantic trumpets the “14 Biggest Ideas of the Year.” Take a deep breath. The ideas include “The Players Own the Game” No. 12, “Wall Street: Same as it Ever Was” No. 6, “Nothing Stays Secret” No. 2, and the very biggest idea of the year, “The Rise of the Middle Class — Just Not Ours,” which refers to growing economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China. … It may strike you that none of these ideas seem particularly breathtaking. ….They are more on the order of observations. … Ideas just aren’t what they used to be. Once upon a time, they could ignite fires of debate, stimulate other thoughts, incite revolutions and fundamentally change the ways we look at and think about the world. …
For full text of this article, visit The Elusive Big Idea – NYTimes.com.
- Post-Idea World (wired.com)
From the GSDI announcements:
PTI, Jul 5, 2011
The government has unveiled a new remote sensing data policy which allows all data of resolutions up to 1 meter to be distributed on a non-discriminatory basis and on “as requested basis”. The Remote Sensing Data Policy 2011 (RSDP 2011) replaces a 2001 policy which allowed all data of resolutions up to 5.8 metres to be distributed on non-discriminatory and “as requested” basis. The RSDP 2011, apart from opening up the remote sensing sector, will remove certain restrictions to facilitate more users to access high resolution data for developmental activities. …
For full text of the article, visit Government unveils new Remote Sensing Data Policy – India – DNA.
- India Loosens Policy on Sharing Remote Sensing Imagery (news.sciencemag.org)
- India’s Earth-Observing System Comes Under Fire (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
From Politco Magazine’s Morning Tech, June 28, 2011:
“A provision tucked into a House bill that would set the FCC‘s 2012 budget could also require the agency to speed up its investigation into Google Street View. The key paragraph, inserted with the help of Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), would require the FCC to ‘report to the committee within 180 days of enactment of this act on its activities to deter, prevent and investigate allegations of privacy violations regarding the use of wireless broadband networks,’ according to the report of the financial service appropriations bill.” MORE HERE: http://politico.pro/mRtd0p
- Google Street View halted in India by police (geek.com)
by Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 30, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. — Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater, one of the planet’s main sources of fresh water. They found problems in places as disparate as North Africa, northern India, northeastern China and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Valley in California, heartland of that state’s $30 billion agricultural industry. Jay S. Famiglietti, director of the University of California’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling here, said the center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, known as Grace, relies on the interplay of two nine-year-old twin satellites that monitor each other while orbiting the Earth, thereby producing some of the most precise data ever on the planet’s gravitational variations.
- Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource (National Research Council), see for example page 41 (Box 3.1 GRACE satellite) and pages 55-58 (Measuring Surface and Groundwater Storage).