February 13, 2012
A French court ruled in early February 2012 that Google must pay €500,000 in damages and €15,000 in fines as a result of business practices alleged to be anti-competitive. The ruling stems from a complaint by French company Bottin Cartographes, which claimed that Google France and Google Inc. competed unfairly by offering Web-mapping services for free to some businesses. Bottin offers similar services, but charges a fee.
For full text of article, visit Geoplace.com.
- French court rules that it’s illegally anticompetitive for Google to provide free maps (boingboing.net)
- Google Ordered to Pay Fine for Making Google Maps Free (pcworld.com)
SAN FRANCISCO–If you have Wi-Fi turned on, the previous whereabouts of your computer or mobile device may be visible on the Web for anyone to see. Google publishes the estimated location of millions of iPhones, laptops, and other devices with Wi-Fi connections, a practice that represents the latest twist in a series of revelations this year about wireless devices and privacy, CNET has learned. … Only Google and Skyhook Wireless, however, make their location databases linking hardware IDs to street addresses publicly available on the Internet, which raises novel privacy concerns when the IDs they’re tracking are mobile. If someone knows your hardware ID, he may be able to find a physical address that the companies associate with you–even if you never intended it to become public. …
For full text of the article, Exclusive: Google’s Web mapping can track your phone | Privacy Inc. – CNET News.
- Exclusive: Google’s Web mapping can track your phone (news.cnet.com)
- Google web mapping can track your phone (theinformativereport.com)
by IRIN news, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, May 12, 2011
NAIROBI, 12 May 2011 (IRIN) – Soon after the Libyan crisis broke, decision-makers and humanitarian workers faced a critical challenge: lack of information about events inside the country. Within hours, Andrej Verity, information management officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, called a meeting with volunteer-based and/or technically focused groups. OCHA activated the Standby task force, comprising more than 150 volunteers skilled in online crisis mapping. The idea was to map out social and traditional media reports from within Libya. That led to the creation of LibyaCrisisMap.net. …
From Libya to Japan, a Web-reporting platform called Ushahidi has helped human rights workers and others document and make sense of fast-moving crises. The platform allows reports from cell phones and Web-connected devices to be collected and displayed on Web-based maps. Now Ushahidi is adding a concept borrowed from location-based social networking, as well as layers of private access—functionality that could make the service more efficient and useful in politically charged circumstances. …
For full text of the article, visit Crisis Mapping Meets Check-in – Technology Review.
- Crisis Mapping Meets Check-in (technologyreview.com)
- Using the New Ushahidi Platform to Crisis Map Libya (ushahidi.com)
- Internet Activists Mobilize for Japan (technologyreview.in)
- Ushahidi’s Open Source Platform Lowers Barriers & Accelerates Storytelling (downtheavenue.com)
- Crisis-Mapping Platform Ushahidi Announces Crowdmap:CI, “Check-ins With a Purpose” (readwriteweb.com)
- Wrapping up Phase 1 of the Ushahidi-Kenya Evaluation (ushahidi.com)
- Announcing the Ushahidi Manual (ushahidi.com)
By Steve Lohr, NYT, March 28, 2011
…a new report says that the potential of online mapping to transform humanitarian services will not be realized without better coordination and communication between digital volunteers and veteran agencies in the relief field, like the United Nations and the Red Cross. The report, “Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies,” is a collaboration of four groups — the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Vodafone Foundation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. It will be presented Monday at an international aid and development meeting in Dubai.
For full text of the article, visit In Relief Work, Online Mapping Yet to Attain Full Potential – NYTimes.com.
- How Mapping, SMS Platforms Saved Lives in Haiti Earthquake (pbs.org)
- Aid Organizations Hold Back on Japan (online.wsj.com)
Office of Governor Martin O’Malley, July 8, 2009
Governor Martin O’Malley testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, where he exhibited Maryland’s nationally-recognized, interactive website that tracks funding from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from it’s inception. The Governor joined Governors Edward Rendell (PA) and Deval Patrick (MA) in highlighting ways the states are conforming to federal accountability standards and using technology to achieve new levels of government transparency and efficiency.
“For those of us in the states, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been a true lifeline,” said Governor O’Malley. “Were it not for these funds, we would have been forces to lay off 700 state employees, erode health care benefits, and forgo investments in public education which have produced record test scores and earned our state’s schools a number on in the nation ranking for our public schools. This critical legislation is helping us create and save jobs, and position our State’s economy to bounce back from recession. In Maryland, we share the President’s commitment to investing these funds with maximum efficiency, openness, and transparency.”
In February, just days after the passage of ARRA, Governor O’Malley announced Maryland’s plan to monitor and track Recovery and Reinvestment funds in the State of Maryland through the launch of Maryland’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act website, www.recovery.maryland.gov to allow Marylanders to track recovery projects in the State of Maryland. Governor O’Malley provided a quick demonstration of the website that utilizes GIS (Geographic-Information System) technology.
The website, maintained by StateStat, Maryland’s performance-measurement and management program implemented to make state government more accountable and more efficient, tracks every category of ARRA spending providing contract-level details to the public.
Recently, Maryland launched an updated application for the website, allowing users to find information more easily. The Map has been upgraded with additional information tools, detailed fund descriptions and project details. The new site also provides users the opportunity to send comments and questions about the data and the map directly to StateStat administrators.
Gov. O’Malley’s oral testimony before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, July 8, 2009: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/speeches/090708arra.pdf
Gov. O’Malley’s written testiomony: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/speeches/090708arrawritten.pdf
House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform – Opening Statement, Witness Testimony, and Webcast for Committee Hearing Titled “Tracking the Money: Preventing Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Recovery Act Funding” http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=2528
How Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley uses GIS Technology to Transform his State for the Better, by Chad Vander Veen, Government Technology Magazine p. 15 – 17 (starts p. 18 in PDF) http://digitalmag.govtech.com/GT/GT_Mag_Aug09.pdf
MD StateStat: http://www.statestat.maryland.gov/