GPS Tracking of U.S. State Worker Raises Privacy Issues

Slashdot discusses another GPS tracking privacy story, this one called GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues.

With this summary: "How far can state government go in keeping tabs on its employees? That's the question a mid-level appeals court will consider in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the state Labor Department, in the case of a fired state worker who was tracked with a GPS device that investigators secretly attached to his personal car. ... State officials tracked Cunningham's whereabouts by secretly attaching a GPS device to his BMW. The electronic tailing went beyond what would normally be termed Cunningham's work hours, since the device was on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They even tracked him on a multi-day family vacation."

Geonews CatchUp: QGIS vs gvSIG, Landsat 8 Milestone, Shaderlight 2, osmdroid, and too much more

That's probably our biggest "geonews in batch mode" issue ever. That's the price I have to pay for three weeks of holidays! ;-) I tried to keep only the most pertinent geonews. After reading this unusually long entry, you and I are back to being up to date in terms of geonews.

On the Google front:

On the ESRI front:

On the open source front:

In GPS news:

In Apple news:

In Microsoft news:

In transportation news:

In remote sensing news:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

The Revolution Will Be Mapped

This is an older story in Miller-McCune, but since I've just discovered Slashgeo I wanted to share it:

"The Revolution Will Be Mapped: GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like."

[Editor's note: this article is dated December 2009, but we haven't mentioned it at the time and it may certainly interest many of our users]

Court Orders U.S. Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data

A story discussed over Slashdot: Court Orders Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data.

Their summary: "United States law enforcement officials have been utilizing data provided by global positioning satellite systems to track down individual suspects, without having to demonstrate probable cause before a judge first — that much is known. Rights groups such as the ACLU have wondered, just how much of that goes on? The rights group's investigation of this practice has inadvertently triggered a renewal of the debate over privacy policy versus public disclosure, and whether it's possible for an agency or other entity to reveal data that could lead to further revelation of personally identifiable data (PID), without officially violating privacy. The final outcome could set a new precedent for privacy policy, not just by the government but for enterprises as well."

FOSS4G Geonews: FOSS4G 2011 & SotM at the door, Sextante in ArcGIS, MapGuide Maestro 3.5, OpenTripPlanner Update, and more

Still in catch up mode, here's the last three weeks of geospatial open source news in batch mode.

A New Way to Detect Secret Nuclear Tests: GPS

This is a fascinating story about the discovery that GPS can be used to detect illicit nuclear weapons testing. The authors postulate that this discovery will help to justify ratification of the Comprensive Test Ban Treaty. Here's a quote from the story: "We hope that the discovery, which grew out of our efforts to improve the planet's global positioning system (GPS), will be useful to the test-ban organization as a supplementary means of detecting clandestine nuclear tests. It may even give the United States more reason to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

[Editor's note: a bit more from the article: "GPS might at first seem like an unlikely source for nuclear test detection. But if the technology was designed for location purposes -- and it has found many such purposes in the pursuit of science -- GPS signals have always been especially sensitive to atmospheric disturbances. GPS radio waves must pass from transmitters on satellites high above the planet down to ground-based receivers. Air molecules in-between -- more specifically, electrons and other charged particles in the ionosphere -- interfere with the signal, generating position error."]

How Does GPS Change Us?

That's the name of a discussion over Slashdot: How Does GPS Change Us?

Their summary: ""People have talked for a while about the effects of GPS on our driving ability and our sense of direction; one researcher at McGill has even been developing an exercise regimen to compensate for our supposedly atrophying navigational ability. But is GPS reshaping our lives in a more fundamental sense? The author of this new essay draws on science, sociology, and literature to argue that GPS is transforming how we think about travel and exploration. How can we discover 'the new' in an age when everything around us is mapped?" My own experience is that GPS has made me much more aware of location, by showing me the bird's-eye view, and letting me instantly compare alternate routes."

GPS Leads Tourists to Hollywood Sign Gridlock

Christina Hoag reports that the once tranquil hills around the Hollywood sign are now gridlocked with tourists trying to find the best view of the famous landmark. Local residents claim that their out-of-the-way streets were quiet until GPS units recently began directing tourists right to their doors.

Locata's Ground-Based GPS Mimic with Centimeter Accuracy

We mentioned it in July, but now Slashdot is discussing Locata's technology in a story named Ground-Based GPS Mimic Is Inch Perfect.

Their summary: "For several years the U.S. Air Force has used WiFi-router-sized boxes on a New Mexico missile range to create a GPS-like service to track munitions to the nearest inch. Now the Australian company behind the technology is rolling it out for civilians. One gold mine is already using the tech and specifications are being released so that GPS receiver manufacturers can adopt the technology. Locata hopes that construction sites, factories and city governments will all want to install their own high accuracy 'location hotspots.'"

Thursday Geonews: Bing Maps Map Style Updated, London Transit in Google Maps, Timezones Shapefile, Backseat Driver, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode covering the last two weeks. It's a bit longer than usual.

On the open source front:

On the Google front (well, new since yesterday):

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

Discussed over Slashdot:

In the maps category:

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