GITA News Hub
Aug. 20, 2013

Do our brains pay a price for GPS?
The Boston Globe
When I moved to Boston in 2011, I took public transportation to work. A couple years later, a friend lent me his car while he was out of town, and for the first time in my life I became a guy who drove to the office. Parking in the employee lot came naturally enough; so did listening to "Morning Edition" and balancing my coffee in the cup-holder. Actually navigating the streets of Cambridge and Boston, however — that part was less intuitive.More

National Spatial Data Infrastructure comments due Wednesday, Aug. 21
GITA
Comments on the draft strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure are due by close of business Wednesday, Aug. 21. The strategic plan, along with instructions for providing comments, is posted at: http://www.fgdc.gov/nsdi-plan. Comments may be submitted electronically to: nsdicomments@fgdc.gov. We appreciate your review and comments on the draft plan. More

Google and Waze start mixing their maps for the first time
All Things D
Google today is introducing the first integrations between its homegrown Google Maps for mobile and its newly owned Waze. The traffic tab on Google Maps for iOS and Android will now include accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze users. Meanwhile, the Waze app now supports Google search, and Waze map editors will have access to Google Street View and satellite imagery.More

GPS tracking and secret policies
The New York Times
This week brought fresh revelations about the National Security Agency's sloppy and invasive collection of phone data on Americans and others, as reported first by The Washington Post. In another realm of surveillance — the government's broad use of location tracking devices — the Justice Department was in federal court defending its refusal to release memos containing information about its policies governing the use of GPS and other potentially invasive technologies. More

Foursquare check-ins tell stores where to set up shop
New Scientist
Social media doesn't just tell your friends what you're up to. Location data can also be mined to provide a fast, inexpensive way to find the best spots to place new stores. Many factors come into play when a retail firm is trying to decide where to position its new outlet: the local demographic, for example, or what transport links there are in the area.More

Why ObamaGrid may be bad news for the electric power industry
Smart Grid News
The Obama Administration has issued a report calling for increased spending on the nation's electric power system. It asserts that modernizing and hardening the grid will save the economy "billions of dollars and reduce the hardship experienced by millions of Americans when extreme weather strikes." More

Harbinger sues GPS industry over LightSquared
Inside GNSS
Investors led by Harbinger Capital Partners have filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit against a trio of GPS receiver manufacturers over LightSquared, a now bankrupt firm that still hopes to build a wireless broadband network across the United States.More

Crowd-sourcing the national map: Now a national effort
USGS via GIS User
The USGS continues to expand its crowd-sourcing of geographic data and is seeking volunteers nation-wide to contribute structures information. The mapping crowd-sourcing program, known as The National Map Corps, encourages citizens to collect structures data by adding new features, removing obsolete points and correcting existing data for The National Map database. Structures being mapped in the project include schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings. More

NPR: Drone manufacturers confident domestic industry will grow
Directions Magazine
AudioBrief Gathering in Washington, D.C., drone manufacturers say they are optimistic about their business, despite a downturn in defense spending. The unmanned vehicle industry is hopeful the domestic market will open up. But they first must address privacy concerns exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal.More

The 10 steps to make smart meters successful in Europe
Metering.com
Europe's energy distributors, in most of the countries in the region, have a key role in the deployment of smart grids and smart metering systems as well as in handling smart metering data, and should not have their potential undermined by sweeping mandates, a recent report from the distributor association GEODE says. As such, it is also essential that they are empowered by an adequate regulatory framework to take an active part in this deployment.More

Six map links that every cartographer has seen a million times
Cartographer Blog
We have a problem as cartographers. It's that nobody would ever in a million years have believed that there's such a thing as cartography anymore. Whenever somebody discovers (with much amazement) that we do exist, either by joining our ranks or simply realizing that we weren't lying about our jobs after all, they react predictably. They send around the thing that led to this discovery, or the thing that they found soon after the discovery. More

NAVAIR tests GPS anti-jam antennas for use on small UAVs
Inside GNSS
Recent tests of GPS anti-jam antennas on small unmanned aerial vehicles at a Naval Air Systems Command facility at Patuxent River, Md., showed encouraging results for preventing interruption of mission-critical data. From July 10-24, the Communications and GPS Navigation Program Office mounted a small antenna system on an Aerostar unmanned aircraft, then placed the small UAV in a room lined with signal-absorbent material at the FARM (Facilities for Antenna and RCS Measurements), where it was subjected to GPS jamming signals.More