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| ||Happy Holidays! |
Posted Date: 12/19/2011
This will be the final GeoReport for 2011, and there will be no GeoPoll this week. We're going to take a much-needed vacation, and we'll be back on Jan. 3, 2012.
Until then, have a safe and happy holidays! May your 2012 be everything you hope it to be!
| ||It's "Industry Outlook" time; what's in store for 2012? |
Posted Date: 12/12/2011
Now is the time when we all assess the year that's just about over and look forward to what the new year will bring. In our GeoPoll (below), I've been asking questions to evaluate 2011, and we've been getting some really interesting responses.
But now I'm turning toward 2012, which is the hallmark of our annual "Industry Outlook" feature, in which we query our esteemed Editorial Advisory Board and ask their thoughts on what will be the major issues of the next year (and beyond). The issue should be available shortly, and it's not going to disappoint. It's our most popular feature and issue for a reason.
Just to give you some background, check out last year's "Industry Outlook." The printed version is HERE, and the "Complete Responses," with every word of insight, are HERE. You can see just how influential our board members are, and it's always fun to evaluate their "prognostications" and see if they hit the mark or not. Just remember, it's never easy to get predictions right, especially with such a fast-moving technology.
This year's "Complete Responses" will be available on GeoPlace.com on Jan. 1, so check back there after you've recovered from your New Year's Eve festivities. There's some great insight into where the jobs will be available in 2012 as well as how to prepare for them. Of course, cloud computing--the "buzzword" of 2011--is covered at length. And there's also some really interesting discussion of open-source software, among other topics.
Think of this note as a GeoWorld metaphor for life: Learn from the past, live in the moment, and keep an eye toward the future.
| ||Looking back at 2011 and ahead to 2012 |
Posted Date: 12/5/2011
It's December, and the end of 2011 is near. With that, we've been asking questions in our GeoPoll about how you evaluated the last year. Was it successful or not? Did you manage to stay ahead of the technology curve that's so steep in the field of geotechnology?
This it the time of year to reflect on such questions. I hope it has been a successful year for all of our readers, but I know that this can't be the case for everyone. Most of us in the industry will say it was better than 2010, but it's still been a challenge to compete and thrive in the last year's economic climate.
I'm sure there are many cases of companies laying off employees and struggling to stay alive. And if you're one of those unfortunate enough to be seeking a job, I wish you the best of luck in 2012 and beyond. Optimism can carry you a long way if you don't lose it.
As we approach the big holiday season, many companies, like ours, will take some much-needed time off for some rest and relaxation with family and friends. In my next couple notes, I'll delve further into 2011 and look ahead to what's in store for 2012, a year that I have big expectations for.
| ||The November 2011 GeoWorld on Government truly a "Special Issue" |
Posted Date: 11/28/2011
If you're in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I certainly did. It was nice to relax and spend time with the family. And if you're overseas and didn't have this holiday, I hope you still had a great weekend as we all gear up to "close out" 2011.
In just a few days (on Dec. 1), the archived/searchable articles from our November 2011 issue go live on our Web site at www.geoplace.com
. Currently, you can access the digital flip-book version HERE
with just a simple questionairre to get a subscription. But the individual articles come out a little later so we have time to post them (and to encourage subscriptions ...).
I hope you check out the November issue, as it includes some very helpful articles and columns. It focuses on "Government" issues and how a wide variety of geotechnologies are embraced by governments at all levels. I'm sure some of this is intuitive, but I bet most people don't realize how pervasive our technology is and how it literally keeps the worlds' governments moving forward in times of drastic budget cuts.
So check out our November flipbook now
, or come back to our Web site
in a couple days. It's a special issue that provides a lot of important insight.
| ||Happy Thanskgiving! |
Posted Date: 11/21/2011
It's a short holiday week here in the United States, as we take some time to celebrate Thanksgiving. But regardless of where you live, or whether you gorge on turkey or not, I think it's a great idea to take some time and be thankful for all that's good in life.
Sure, there's always some difficulty, and some have more than their fair share, but life is better for everyone if you at least try to appreciate that good stuff when it's there.
We'll return next week with a full note and GeoPoll. Have a safe and happy holiday!
| ||All of this learning is getting in the way |
Posted Date: 11/14/2011
As I mention in the GeoPoll below, a recent question to our readers piqued a lot of interest. They seem to believe that geotechnology changes so rapidly that it’s “overly difficult” to keep up.
This had me wondering if this perception is confined to those in information technology (IT), where I’m sure the changes in technology come daily. I see this some in how many times I’m asked to update a version of some software I’m running or when my anti-virus software downloads new releases a few times a day to keep up with the latest bugs.
But do most employees feel things change too fast to keep up? Are those who trade stocks tired of the latest trading software and longing for the days when they stood in those pits and yelled at each other? Would someone working on an auto assembly line think the latest automations were too difficult to learn and wish they had a power wrench in their hands? I suspect a few might, but it’s my opinion that those out of IT don’t mind learning something new, because the benefits are so great, and we don’t deal with change so much that it gets in the way.
As a magazine editor, I occasionally deal with some software upgrades, but they’re simple transitions inside familiar tools. And although what we individually handle on Web sites nowadays is light years ahead of just a few years ago (when there used to be a “Web person” who took something from me and got it on the Web site), it’s pretty basic after you finish the initial learning process.
So I think those in IT and geotechnology have a mixed blessing here. It sounds like they are a rare breed who has to spend a large chunk of their time learning new technology. However, they get to learn something new all the time. And isn’t that what life is about in some ways?
| ||From the silly to the serious, but in a good way |
Posted Date: 11/7/2011
In last week's note
, I had some fun with a few military-themed items I had noticed from the recent GEOINT conference I attended in San Antonio. I can't help it. Unless geospatial intelligence (dominated by military users) is you're "usual" culture, I promise you'd find it remarkably ... different.
But this week includes Veteran's Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, the GeoReport's two largest markets. So to make sure all our readers know I mean no disrespect, I thought I'd focus this note on remembering the importance of all of our active service members and veterans. Without you, I couldn't have the luxury of living peacefully in the mountains, writing about geotechnology and occasionally making fun of some things I find a little odd. So I thank you all.
Tomorrow I'll be watching my oldest daughter's Veteran's Day "recital" (it's first grade, so it's probably a few songs with some flag-waving). She's also donating her leftover Halloween candy to raise money for military personnel stationed in combat areas. Perhaps there's something tangible you can do where you live to show your appreciation and respect.
(And next week you'll get a one-week break before Thanksgiving where I won't mention a holiday in my note.)
| ||Scary moments in my recent geotechnology travels |
Posted Date: 10/31/2011
I'm writing this note on Halloween, so naturally I'm thinking about frightening things. It just so happens that I ran across a few "scary" moments at the recent GEOINT conference in San Antonio that I thought I'd share on this special day.
1. The "star" of the event has recently been James R. Clapper, the director of U.S. National Intelligence. He starts his keynotes reminding everyone in attendance that they're right now sitting in one of the main "high-priority" targets of each year, due to the fact that so many intelligence leaders are in one room. I would be considered "collateral damage." Very scary.
2. Based on my travels, what some may call the "military-industrial complex" still has by far the most money to spend on geotechnology projects as well as corporate parties and everything else. Cleaning up the environment? Helping the poor and struggling? Not so much ...
3. NJVC was demonstrating an application that plucked peoples' Bluetooth waves out of the air, and could show how unsecured they were. They created a list with peoples' names, addresses and the ability to hack into their devices. More than a little scary when you consider that a lot of people at that conference are at the highest levels of security in the world ...
4. Talking with a few of the other editors at the show, we commiserated that it's still a very difficult environment to get companies to purchase ads, even when you're subscription numbers are very high. We're all going to have to be creative when it comes to generating revenue. This one's personally scary, but I'm sure many other industries and companies are in the same boat.
5. Generals walking around with stars on their shoulders. I don't know why, but this is a little intimidating. You may have to experience it for yourself to believe me. At least they didn't have stars on their bellies like the Sneetches. That would be very confusing.
That's it for this Halloween-themed note. I hope you had a great (and safe) Halloween!
| ||GEOINT Conference again demands companies "follow the money" |
Posted Date: 10/21/2011
I just returned from the annual GEOINT conference, which this year was held in San Antonio, Texas. I still have a hard time believing San Antonio is the eighth-largest city in the United States, but I have to admit that they did a great job with the "Riverwalk" and catering to visitors of the downtown area. It's a great destination for a few days at a conference.
But once again, I was struck by how much "money" seems to be available in this sector. It stands as such a stark contrast to other areas that are noticeably struggling. While most "geo" businesses and conferences are cutting back, these companies and the event itself still seem flush with cash, although several of the high-profile speakers noted that budget cuts are underway, and the glory days of free spending are over. You certainly wouldn't know it if they didn't say so.
For starters, the corporate entertainment events are unbelievable. With companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, among many others, paying the bills, it's amazing to see them pay for thousands of people to eat and drink whatever they want. Bands, ice sculptures and some amazing venues completely rented out were the norm every single night. It reminded me of something from the 1980s.
I also think it's become "the event" for many companies to unveil new products, another sign that this is the event where they draw the most income from. Just check out our press release archive HERE
to see how many products were unveiled on a daily basis. I could barely keep up.
In future notes, I'll discuss some particulars, but I wanted to start with the simple assessment that "the grass is still very green" in the GEOINT arena. I don't know if that will change in the future, but it doesn't seem to have changed a bit so far.
| ||Some interesting work with the First Peoples of British Columbia |
Posted Date: 10/14/2011
One of my favorite presentations at this year's GeoTec Event, held in Vancouver on Sept. 29, 2011, was delivered by a group of dedicated GIS personnel discussing the First Peoples' Language Map of B.C., which they just launched.
The speakers included Alex Wadsworth with First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council; Charles Burnett with GeoMemes Research; Chris Mathews with the University of Victoria Department of Computer Science; Jennifer Smith with the University of Victoria Department of Law; and Greg Sebastian, also with GeoMemes Research.
This was a very enthusiastic group, and I could tell they were quite proud of the work they've done with the native people of British Columbia. They described how difficult a project it was, having to work with the various politics you might expect from more than 200 First Nations' communities--everyone wants to make sure they're not "left out."
Please check out the interactive map they created HERE. You can hover over various geographic regions of British Columbia, and see what languages are predominantly spoken in each area. If you're like me, the names and spellings are very difficult to comprehend. But one of the nice features is that you can "drill down" into any specific language and find a wealth of information about the culture that created it.
The same group also helped create a First Peoples' Art Map, which has some really interesting artifacts categorized, again, by geography. Please check these great projects out, and I'm sure they'd welcome your feedback.
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