When natural disaster becomes militarized

News over the weekend that Bush is "floating" the idea that the military should handle natural disasters is another negative outcome of the kind of thinking that marries natural and political attacks. We saw this already with the AAG's craven response to 9/11 by issuing a quick book headed by natural disaster experts and not political experts.

Now we get the other side of the coin: natural disaster relief can be militarized. The USA moves further away from democractic rule by civilians. Not only that, but it takes away response to disasters by people trained and knowledgeable about them, namely FEMA and state EMA's (assuming that they are staffed right in the first place of course which Bush did not do).


Important if true

I think some of the analysis in here is worth paying attention to:

1. Dems won't say what 56% of Americans think, namely the Iraq war was a waste of time sold on lies

2. It predicts Chuck Hagel as the next president, a staunch conservative with CEO experience. Whether or not correct, perhaps someone like that would do well

Dems are not organized and fighting on Capitol Hill. Just look at the Roberts nomination where they are either saying they're voting their conscience (kinda weak argument, what does it mean, and why would they of their own free will support him anyway?) or saving their fire for the next nomination (what for? Bush is at 40% & 32% on handling the war!).

Cartography and GIS blogs

This is an ongoing list of cartography and GIS blogs (excluding geography ones unless they seem to have a lot on maps). Also they must be blogs, updated frequently (daily, several times a day).

Updated: Many more blogs are listed on Jonathan Crowe's (Maproom) page, but I don't include them here because my focus is tighter.

Canadian Cartographic Association

Chanda Thota's weblog
Blog on MS MapPoint

Blog for geotagging pictures in flickr

Google Earth/Maps related
Google Earth hacks
Google globetrotting
Google Earth blog
Google maps mania
Google sightseeing
Brian Flood (a2e)

The Map Room Jonathan Crowe
A weblog about maps

A GIS/RS slash site (user driven stories and comments)

Spatially Adjusted
James Fee
Blogging about ESRI, GIS, Programming and Open Source

Urban Cartography
Where we're going, we won't need maps

Vector One
Wide ranging GIS + cartography blog

Very Spatial
Podcast related on geography


Blogosphere analysis

Interesting analysis of the political power of blogs.


Mapping Hacks and Geoblogs

Geospatial technologies are getting a lot of attention this summer and fall. In June Google released the Google Earth spatial data browser, and today I noticed that National Geographic are hooking into it with their stories (at the moment on Africa but undoubtedly on other places around the world soon enough).

Basically GE is the first, public realization of the digital earth manifesto with its keydescription of zooming inot the earth and clicking around for information, itself an extension of the hypertext idea going all the way back to the 1960s and Ted Nelson.

As James Fee points out above, this is significant because NG has worked with ESRI so much in the past but are now possibly turning to Google (everyone knows Google, but what's GIS?). With the ArcMap to Google Earth converters (eg., A2E) they've proved that they can sync in with established GIS software, but note that ESRI has yet to provide a Google Earth importer (but it will one day I expect). The work is going on outside ESRI and it will have to race to keep up. What is their response--where is their press release? Are they worried?

The GE file is apparently a .KML file, or keyhole markup language (Keyhole was the company Google bought out, don't know much about them, but I remember seeing their announcement earlier this year). This opens the question of the GML with its better geographic descriptors such as projections. Even if GML is better, GE has higher "value to the street" as one commentator puts it.

Example of the street paying attention: MIT Technology Review cover story (Oct. 2005).

Also during the summer the Mapping Hacks book came out.

What I've been doing is compiling a list of geoblogs, ie blogs that discuss geotagging and map hacking (basically mashups, and the idea that the world can be geotagged, where did that come from originally), plus related ideas such as the early use of mapping or spatial visualizations in hypertext/hypermedia such as the famous Aspen Moviemap [more].

There's an unclear constellation of things:

Geotagging (adding georeferenced metadata)
Geoblogging (in general blogging with spatially aware information eg thru to Flickr, also a specific website)
Flickr with lat-long of pics
"Mashups" (combination of some information source mapped on to Google Maps or MSN or similar, an aspect of mapping hacks)
Mapping hacks (editing and altering open source internet mapping capabilities to add functionality or to make information interoperable)

So does this help me think about virtual geography?


Bush needs to go!

No, I mean literally:

Picture from Reuters.

(Yes, it's real!)


Newsweek: It can't go lower for Bush: 38%

Bush on 38% approval following Katrina. Details.


Hurricane Katrina

kos has been doing a good job of providing side by side pictures of what's going on in New Orleans and what Bush was doing (eating cake??).