Archive for the ‘events’ Category

In honor of Where 2.0, I figure I’d make the connection to all that the paleos like Jack Dangermond and Don Cooke and the like were once neogeographers about 30, 40 years ago. To illustrate this I’ll try to bring up some interesting facts from the past about neogeographers of the 60’s and 70’s and maybe older.

First person to be highlighted is Edgar Horwood from the University of Washington and first URISA president. Dr. Horwood created a card mapping and tape mapping computer program. Prior to 1960, Harwood offered the first academic course utilizing computer processing and geographic information.

Interesting thing about Horwood is that he has a series of “short laws” that every paleo and neogeographer should know:

  1. Good data is the data you already have
  2. Bad data drives out good
  3. The data you have for the present crisis was collected to relate to the previous one
  4. The respectability of existing data grows with elapsed time and distance from the data source to the investigator
  5. Data can be moved from one office to another but it cannot be created or destroyed
  6. If you have the right data you have the wrong problem and vice versa
  7. The important thing is not what you do but how you measure it
  8. In complex systems there is no relationship between information gathered and the decision made
  9. Acquisition from knowledge is an exception
  10. Knowledge flows at half the rate at which academic courses proliferate

“Stick with us. We’re paleos.”


I’ve planned my escape from the ESRI Nunnery to attend the Where 2.0 conference for tomorrow! I’ll be breaking out posing as an ESL student and driving the five or six hours in Jack’s Volvo—with Jack! We’ll talk about 9.4 for awhile. I’ll stroke his hairs to soften him up to talk to him about Google, Microsoft, and the small businesses who are trying to cache in on the use of geography. Then we’ll practice his joint talk for Where. I’ll be John Hanke and he’ll be… Well, Jack. It should be fun!

I’ll of course have to go cold turkey outside of Redlands. Being without the dialysis machine’s steady flow of Kool-Aid to keep me alive will be interesting. I think I’ll pack my bags with instructor-led training manuals to keep me going. Perhaps I could rig a get up like Darth Vader, or one of those liquid breathing rigs from The Abyss to sustain me?

Truth be told, I really have to get crackin’ on finishing my final paper to graduate from the Nunnery’s fortress-like bunker walls. It’s like pulling teeth. No need to pose as an ESL student, I write like one! If you see someone sitting with a bunch of books strewn across a table with a “WWJD: What would Jack do?” t-shirt on. That’s probably me. Stop by. Say hello. Move on. I have work to do.


Oh, and don’t forget! Dave Bouwman is buying drinks with his ESRI Dev Summit earnings for anyone who wears an ESRI t-shirt or looks like James Fee in the Marriott bar.

james fee

Here at the ESRI Polytechnic Engineering School for the Blind, we have a weekly colloquium where we (the students) and the ESRI staff meet to hear interesting presentations every Wednesday. Today’s colloquium was a presentation from another resident of The Gulag, Dr. John Kimerling of Oregon State fame, presented Dotting the Dot Map. Beware: there’s a dose of math with funny symbols in this one.

From the abstract:

Dot maps show the geographic distribution of features in an area by placing dots representing a certain quantity of features where the features are most likely to occur. The fundamental steps in dot mapping are to select the dot size, determine the dot unit value, and place the correct number of dots in a random manner that correctly reflects the geographic distribution of features.

Selecting the dot size is a subjective decision, but the dot unit value has long been determined with the aid of the Mackay nomograph. Close examination of the nomograph finds it not appropriate for determining the dot unit value when dot placement is based on computer-generated random numbers that result in overlapping dots. A new graphical aid for dot unit value determination was created by modeling aggregate area of dots and amount of dot overlap using a truncated form of the unification equation from probability theory. Aggregate dot areas predicted by this equation were tested against actual random dots created for several common dot sizes, and high agreement was found between measured and predicted aggregate area. The new ESRI Dot Value Estimator was created by Aileen Buckley based on these results.

Pseudo-random dot placement with a maximum overlap constraint for dot pairs appears to better mimic how cartographers have traditionally placed dots. Pseudo-random dot placement can be thought of as similar to rigid random placement of circles in a square with maximum circle overlap limits from 0% (mutually exclusive dots) to 100% (totally random dots). Thinking of dot placement in this manner allowed a general equation for aggregate dot area to be devised as a linear combination of the mutually exclusive and totally random dot endpoint equations. Aggregate areas predicted by this general equation were found to closely match actual assemblages of pseudo-random dots with differing maximum dot pair overlaps.

The second part of this research focused on improving the guidance given for the placement of dots when mapping human population from U.S. Census data. MS GIS students [...] created a series of maps for San Bernardino county that illustrate the improvements in dot placement that result from using progressively smaller Census data collection units, and then using land use information to exclude areas unlikely to contain people. The final refinement was using road buffers as inclusion areas in rural areas.

I point this one out because it is rarely in the geoblogosphere we get techniques in cartography, especially with ESRI GIS technology.  Fortunately, there’s the ESRI Mapping Center for those with the ESRI crutch. They even have a blog!  I would reference the site quite often for the power GIS user who makes maps as it is chalk full of goodies (scripts) and tricks to get the most—cartographically—out of ArcGIS. As for the mega-cartographer, I would reference information aesthetics, John Krygier’s Making Maps: DIY Cartography, Tom Patterson’s Shaded Relief, and even Edward Tufte’s Ask E.T for more tips and techniques for cartographic and information visualization.

On the same note, and I don’t know if you feel the same way, but it seems as if there is little “art” in our science these days in the GIS and map services world.  It could be just me? I’m writing more design and project documentation these days.

Those who know me, know that I don’t talk geography on this blog. I talk swag.

As in ESRI conference swag.

I must say, the haul from the DevSummit and Business Partner Conference was pretty good. Two man purses, a water bottle, some notebooks, some pens, and some pocket litter. Yet, what has caught my attention the most, and the something I can’t seem to put down, is the the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy.

Yeah… You know what I’m talking about…

It’s what ESRI tech support uses to answer questions over the phone:

  • Caller: “I can’t seem to export to PDF. Is there something wrong with my install?”
  • ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy: “Very likely.”
  • Caller: “What could it be?”
  • ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy: “Focus and ask again.”
  • Caller: “What? Well, I think I need to install a service pack?”
  • ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy: “So it shall be.”
  • Caller: “Ok, I’ll do that and call you back.”
  • ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy: “Consult me later.”

By the way, I was using the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy‘s REST API to call up all those replies as I was writing the above.

So, see. If ESRI can dish out swag like this, you better watch out FOSS4G and Where 2.0, because your swag is toast. ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy says, “Very likely.” If they give out 14,000 of these things at the UC AND release ArcGIS Everything 9.3 by the Users Conference, well then, kiss cancer and climate change goodbye! Because with the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy and ArcGIS 9.3 working together to form the ultimate Spatial Decision Support System, what everyone is doing or working on will be irrelevant—which the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy says “there’s no doubt about it.”

Now for the tough questions:

  • Will I graduate from the ESRI Institute of Technology? Indications say “yes.”
  • Without getting shot? Chances aren’t good.
  • Will James Fee ever go to any Where 2.0 conference? The stars say no.
  • Should Dave Bouwman have won the ESRI Code Challenge hands-down? Very likely.
  • Is Dave now drowning his sorrows in a few thousand dollars worth of Fat Tire? No doubt about it.
  • Is the estimated worth of ESRI about the same as the number of people in the world? Yes.
  • Will Jack ever sell? No.
  • Am I an ArcTard? No doubt about it.
  • Will there be an international version of the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy? ¡La verdad!

So, in conclusion, the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy is one of the better pieces of swag on the conference circuit this year—because it speaks the truth!

If you don’t already have one, then it sucks to be you—which the ESRI Magic Eight-ball Knock-off & Stress Squishy-thingy says there’s “no doubt about it.

(Is this the dumbest blog posts ever? So it shall be.)

So, I went back. Back to the Kool-Aid stand that is the ESRI DevSummit. I got smarter, I got excited, I got even more hooked on the Kool-Aid.

First I’d like to note that I’m a geographer, not really a programmer, but… I learned a lot at the DevSummit and I got a lot of crazy ideas for my post-Redlands life. I did realize that to understand the mechanism that is ESRI GIS you can be a dope like me, but to develop the mechanism it’s hard work. I guess any development is really. Putting up with the client/user’s griping and complaining, their clueless ideas and so on. I commend a lot of developers for putting up with that crap, and most other geographers should too.

So, yes, my first DevSummit opened up a new world to me. One that f’in nuts! Still, I like building things, designing things, seeing the happy smiles of users. So, I think I’ll not only keep up with the tech and the processes that are new in buttonology, but also keep up with the tech that makes working with GIS “so fun.”

Bottom line: ArcGIS Server 9.3… F’in rocks. It’s off the hook, fool.

Side notes:

1) Jeremey B. said he should have made a “HTTP Goodness” t-shirt. I mentioned they would probably sell like hot cakes at the UC or next year’s DevSummit. I also recommended that he make “GET” and “POST” shirts too.

2) I spent the afternoon in the Microsoft Lounge charging my laptop, doing some homework, and found myself consulting with Ed Katibah and a Redlands alumn from back East. I tell you, that Ed sure is awesome. Always fun to chat with, always a ball of energy. Though I felt kind of bad about holding him up from his FAQ work that he did for the Microsoft SIG. I told him though that he’s lucky he hasn’t suffered from “Adult Onset Internet ADD” like I have. That’s what GIS and blogging will do to you.

3) The Flex API for AGS was “demonstrated today. Slick, slick, slick. In the three weeks that they’ve worked on it, it has some great visualization capabilities in the browser. The interesting thing is that you can not only build web RIAs but you can also export your work to Adobe Air for a light weight desktop app. Licensing? No clue. It’s built to mimic the AGS 9.3 JavaScript API, so any changes to either one, the other should be updated as well. So, a pretty nice presentation layer for the Flex/Flash folks. BTW: The Flex API isn’t in beta yet. Notice I said they worked on it for three weeks? So, Flex and AWX devs/designers will have to wait.

4) Congrats to Dave Bouwman. He won second place in the Code Challenge. Just think if he would have reminded us to vote for him?

I just got home from Palm Springs. No. I live in Redlands these days and I wasn’t kicked out. I was low on Kool-Aid.

I was at the ESRI DevSummit and Business Partners Conference, mostly hanging with Bill Dobbins and James Fee, and made it to the geoblogger meetup. It was a good time and there were some great people there—with James being the exception. Other than your typical blogger-types, Don Cooke from TeleAtlas made a visit, as did Scott Morehouse and a number of the ArcGIS Server Team members. As one could expect, we ended up talking mostly about the Server and the REST and JavaScript APIs.

James gave me crap for being remotely interested in the Flex API. He said something about ColdFusion being dead, VGI is a scam, and that Wikipedia is broken too. It was just James being, well, James.

What may have been the best story of the night though, is the story Don Cooke told James, Bill, Ed Katibah, and myself. I’m not sure if I should print it, but it has to do with the title of this blog post and an event at the first UC. James says he won’t look at the person who I’ve quoted in the same light again. Somehow, I think I could see that person being in that situation and having a little fun.

Still, the best part of the story was when the valet got the driver’s golf clubs out of the trunk.

‘Can you get my golf clubs out of the trunk for me?’

This is from the Media Ecology Association mailing list:

Communications and Space/Place

2nd Annual Postgraduate Conference

University of Leeds – Institute of Communications Studies Friday 6th June 2008

 Important Dates:

Abstracts (DEADLINE EXTENDED): 28 January 2008 Acceptance Notification: 3 March 2008 Full papers: 30 April 2008


 Following the great success of last year’s first PhD conference, the Institute of Communications Studies

(ICS) at the University of Leeds will be hosting a second post-graduate conference for research in communications and media. We invite students from all disciplines at the Master’s or Doctoral level to present research that pertains to the conceptualisation and/or observation of ‘space/place’ in relation to communication, media and culture.

 Although Space and Place can be understood broadly, the theoretical and material implications of their relationship to media and communications are important to studies in this field. The two words, taken either together or separately, are crucial to all manner of media and communications structures/networks/economies/policies, such as the discursive ‘space’ of contemporary politics, shifting conceptions of public and private ‘places’, the focus on flows between locales in a global capitalist economy, the importance of creative ‘space’ in the culture industries, the decentralised ‘space’ of online ‘citizen media’, and so on. While a look at various definitions of either word reveals at once their potential compatibilities and irreconcilabilities, the linguistic convergence marked by each word’s functionality as both verb and noun presents us with myriad possibilities of thinking Space and Place.

Spaces and places may be ‘real’ or ‘virtual’

environments and locales; sites of expansion or contraction; material realisations or policies of freedom or restriction. Space/Place can also be understood in terms of culture and discursive relationships; they can be formations where the identities of groups and individuals are explored and/or constructed, and where notions of human agency encounter forces and ideologies that influence and are influenced by the ways that social actors and institutions communicate.

 The following are some possible areas of inquiry:

 # The problematic dichotomies of public-private, ‘real’-virtual, spaces and places for the use/consumption of media.

# Meaning/Representation: The spaces and places in which media and communication are produced and consumed have a profound relationship to how ‘meaning’

is derived from them. How are people from different cultures, ethnicities, etc. represented by and in media and communications?

 # What are the policies that shape the relationship of communication, space/place, and ‘stakeholders’

(public, state, market, NGOs etc) how is space/place regulated? How do space/place relate to prohibition of communication, or the use of various media as propaganda?

 # The spaces and places in which media and communication are produced and consumed have a profound relationship to how ‘meaning’ is derived from them. To what extent, and in which ways, are media and communications spaces/places contingent (or not) on aspects of each other and on media producers and consumers?

# Are there barriers to participation in certain media/communications spaces/places? How does power operate in these spaces/places? How are new formations of power relationships developed with relation to space/place? How are old formations changing or being reinforced in contemporary media?

 # What happens at the edges and intersections of spaces/places, i.e. when traditional media meet the Internet, or when communications cross over between genres and media? Does a place necessarily constitute a space, and vice versa? Are they fluid; are they mutually exclusive?

 Please submit an abstract by 21 January 2008 with a general description of your research paper, indicating your topic, theoretical framework, research questions or hypotheses, and methodological considerations. The abstract should not exceed 500 words and should be attached to your email in a common document format (MS Word compatible, Word Perfect). Should your proposal be accepted, we will ask you to provide a full paper before the conference.

 All accepted full papers will be read, discussed and commented on by members of the academic staff from the Institute of Communications Studies who have expertise in your topic, method, or theoretical framework. This can be a golden opportunity for you to refine your thoughts, openly share your concerns, and receive constructive critique from professors and fellow postgraduate students working in your area. It is also a great chance to start building or expanding your professional and academic network. Following the conference your paper will be published in the forthcoming ICS Postgraduate Conference proceedings open access online journal.

 Contact Information:


 Important Dates:

 Abstracts: 21 January 2008

Acceptance Notification: 3 March 2008

Full papers: 30 April 2008

 Please indicate the following in the body of your


 Title of presentation as it appears on the abstract Name Affiliaton (program and university) Level and year of study (ex. Master’s, 2nd year) Phone number E-mail address Mailing address A/V requirements (computer/projector, film projector, VCR/DVD, stereo, etc.) Other requirements (table, easel, hooks, display materials).

Mobility and other special needs requirements (wheel chair access, etc.)

 We look forward to receiving your abstracts, and thank you for your interest!

 -The Organising Committee.

 Download the PDF of the Call here:



Francisco Seoane Perez

Provisional PhD student

Institute of Communications Studies

University of Leeds







Web Revelación Yahoo! 2007:

Premio Favorita del Público.


MEA mailing list

Since it is that time of year and since everyone is doing it. I might as well list my top ten dumbest predictions about our world for 2008. If they become true, I’m heading to Vegas with Dave Bouwman’s profits this time next year.

10) Election Maps. It’s election year in the States and once again we’ll be hosed with “red vs. blue” thematic maps. These maps will polarize the country early on with predicted areas of support for candidates and bringing out the nastiness of who’s right, wrong, left, up, and down.There will also be a few mashups of election supporters with breakdowns of where obese folks, intelligent designers, and Oprah/NASCAR moms are.

9) OSHA. OSHA will step in to ban the Wii and GIS. Especially after James Fee has his Wii Bowling accident before Where 2.0 and becomes unable to spell GIS anymore, let alone blog about it. GIS is banned because is causes blindness and hairy palms.

8) Maps is bad. Once the non-western world melts down during the spring thaw, a number of baddies use [Google] maps for no good. Causing knee-jerk reaction by a number of governments to ban or highly regulate mapping. Especially China, who takes out WorldView-2 right after launch.

7) WorldView-2 Stuns GeoEye’s New Bird. Months after China whacks WV-2, WV-2 parts whack GeoEye’s new bird by having it’s debris scratch GE-1’s lens. Bill Gates secretly de-orbits GE-1 onto Sergey’s secret island Googleplex.

6) FOSS4G and the ESRI UC announce plans to combine in 2010. That’s after a prisoner exchange during a TC211 meeting.

5) Jeff Thurston discovers that GLONASS is really a space weapons system. Only because he watched a special on TV, then formed a rescue party that rescued a number of GLONASS engineers from captivity in Siberia. If he would only do that for Manifold users too

4) GooglePhone knows more about you than you do. Google releases the GPhone with its partners and eerily signs you up, books your car, room, and flight to attend Where 2.0 even before you own your GPhone. On a sad note, Glenn is tasered by his N95 when it discovers he decides to think about writing a comparison piece between N95 and GPhone.

3) Acronym soup! VGI, SDI, ESRI, FOSS4G, WTF? 2008 is the year we get acronym’d to death. It starts in DC with the ESRI FedUC and ends when SlashGeo stops with its sloppy seconds.

2) Surveyors reclaim the Earth—only because the lawyers let them. Dusting off the old chains, someone lobbies in DC hard enough to enact licensing for all geo professionals after a rash of high profile court cases that affect senators and representatives and the earmarked buildings, parks, and bridges named after them.

1) Nom de plumes. From me, to the Fake Steve Coast, to Fake Ed Parsons and the soon to be Fake James Fee. The fakes get unmasked; I stop posting b/c too many folks know who I am—and, yes, I will have to kill you; and everyone starts fake <insert name here> blog. On the bright side, in August, the Fake Jack Dangermond hosts the Fake ESRI UC and gives me my fake grad skool diploma.

Didn’t I mention this was a bad list?