Tuesday Geonews: South Sudan Maps, LightSquared GPS Debacle Update, Historical Photos in StreetView, ERS-2 Retired, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode, covering almost two weeks worth of geonews. I'm voluntarily leaving Esri-related geonews out for an upcoming entry specifically on their user conference.

On the open source front:

On the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

New Jersey Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal

This story is being discussed over Slashdot: NJ Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal.

Their summary: "The use of a GPS device to track your whereabouts is not an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, a state appellate court panel ruled today. Based on the battle of a divorcing Gloucester County couple, the decision helps clarify the rules governing a technology increasingly employed by suspicious spouses — many of whom hire private investigators. No state law governs the use of GPS tracking devices, and the ruling, which does not affect police officers, is the first to address the issue, said Jimmie Mesis, past president of the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association. 'We only use it when we are sure we have the appropriate conditions,' [private investigator Lisa Reed] said, noting that investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas, and that the spouse must have some legal or financial connection to the car."

Thursday Geonews: Biggest StreetView Update, GeoServer Workshop, LiDAR and SDI Magazines, Map of Temperature Increases, and much more

Having two daughters at home does require a lot of energy! That's why this edition of the 'pertinent geonews in batch mode' covers the last two weeks.

On the open source front:

On the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

Slashdot ran a couple of geo-related discussions:

In the maps category:

Monday Geonews: GDAL Compression Algorithms Compared, GeoCommons 2.0 Launched, Pentax GPS Unit, U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Map, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode, covering the last 10 days.

From the open source front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Hemisphere GPS Announces New LX-2™ L-Band OEM Board for its Crescent® and Eclipse™ GPS Receivers

Earlier this week, Hemisphere GPS introduced the LX-2, a new second generation L-Band differential GPS OEM receiver board. The new LX-2 augments Hemisphere GPS' Crescent P100™ and Eclipse P200™ GPS receivers with OmniSTAR® differential HP, XP or VBS signal support.

You can get the full specs of the new LX-2 OEM Board here:


Recent DM Articles: Geojargon, GIS Certification, GIS Consultation Charges, GPS Vehicle Tracking, and much more

Last time I aggregated articles from Directions Magazine was early March. Here's selected articles published on DM since then.

Slashdot Geonews: Google Android Location Tracking and Constraining, Cracker-Sized Satellites, and a bit more

Here's the geospatial-related discussions that took place over Slashdot during the last 7 days. From my personal experience, there's often more value in the Slashdot user comments than in the news themselves, so don't hesitate to take a look at their user comments. Half of those stories from Slashdot are related to Google and location tracking.

Slashdot discussed a story about Marlinspike's Android Firewall that Constrain Location Tracking. The summary: "The first dynamic Android firewall, dubbed WhisperMonitor, has been released by respected security researcher Moxie Marlinspike. The firewall will allow users to stop location-tracking apps and restrict connection attempts by applications. Marlinspikewhose company created the application, designed WhisperMonitor in response to the incidence of location tracking and malware on Android platforms. It monitors all outbound connection attempts by applications and the operating system, and asks users to permit or block any URLs and port numbers that are accessed."

Another story discussed is named Google Sued For Tracking Users' Locations. The summary: "Two Android phone users are suing Google for $50 million in the wake of revelations that their phones might be tracking their locations. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on April 27, is seeking class-action status. The plaintiffs, Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski, are residents of Oakland County. The two say in the suit that Google's privacy policy did not say that the phones broadcast their location information. Further, they say Google knew that most users would not understand that the privacy policy would allow for Google to track users' locations." Apple was sued for their location tracking last week. According to Boy Genius Report, iOS tracking will be addressed in version 4.3.3, which is due out within a couple weeks.

Slashdot discussed a story named Google's South Korean Offices Raided, and the relation with geospatial is obvious in the summary: "The Seoul police raided Google's office in SeoulS. Korea today on suspicion that they have illegally collected users' location data, without consent, for advertising purposes. Google claims to be cooperating with the investigation."

Now, not related to Google directly but still on the location tracking theme, Slashdot discussed a story named Battle Brews Over FBI's Warrantless GPS Tracking. The summary: "The FBI's use of GPS vehicle tracking devices is becoming a contentious privacy issue in the courts, with the Obama administration seeking Supreme Court approval for its use of the devices without a warrant, and a federal civil rights lawsuit targeting the Justice Department for tracking the movements of an Arab-American student. In the midst of this legal controversy, Threat Level decided to take a look at the inside of one of the devices, with the help of the teardown artists at iFixit."

Slashdot discussed a story named Cracker-Size Satellites To Launch With Endeavour, the summary: "Obfiscator writes with news of the upcoming deployment of satellite-on-a-chip devices measuring just 3.8cm x 3.8cm x 0.2cm. The satellites are set to launch with Endeavour on its final flight. "These three miniature satellites are being launched as a proof-of-concept. As such, they're being deployed in very low orbit, and should return to earth fairly quickly in order to avoid becoming dangers for other satellites. 'They each contain seven solar cells, a microprocessor, an antenna and amplifier, power storage in capacitors, and switching circuitry to turn on the microprocessor when the stored energy is enough to create a single radio-frequency emission.' Due to their size, atmospheric drag would slow them down without burning them up, allowing them to study the uppermost atmosphere of wherever they are deployed next: Venus, Titan, Europe, and Jupiter are all possibilities."

Here's another story on Crowdsourcing Radiation Monitoring In Japan. The summary: "A new open- and crowdsourced initiative to deploy more geiger counters all over Japan looks to be a go. Safecast, formerly, recently met and exceeded its $33,000 fund-raising goal on Kickstarter, which should help Safecast send between 100 and 600 geiger counters to the catastrophe-struck country. The data captured from the geiger counters will be fed into, which aggregates radiation readings from government, nonprofit, and other sources, as well as into Pachube, a global open-source network of sensors."

GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police

Slashdot discusses a story named GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police. Their summary: ""The GPS systems in TomTom's Live range all feature built-in 3G data cards, which feed location and route information back to a central server. According to CNET, this data, along with users' speed information, is being made available to local governments and the police." From the article: "Knowing the cops can see where you're driving and how fast you're going is eye-opening stuff, but TomTom says the data is anonymous and can never be traced back to an individual user or device. [...]""

The same geonews was mentioned by The Map Room and links to TomTom's CEO Official Statement on TomTom’s Customer Data Usage Policy: "We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit. We are aware a lot of our customers do not like the idea and we will look at if we should allow this type of usage."

Mobile Devices Location Tracking Update & Other Location Privacy Stories

Hot on the heels of last week's announcement of Apple's iPhone and iPad 3G recording user locations, Slashdot discussed several mobile devices tracking and privacy stories. Here's their summaries and follow the links to read their associated discussions.

The first one was a story named iPhone and Location: Don't Panic, followed by a more detailed story named Police Using Apple iOS Tracking Data For Forensics:

"Several readers have sent in follow-up articles to Wednesday's news that iPhone location data was being tracked and stored. First, it seems Android shares a similar problem, though the file containing the location data is "only accessible on devices that have been rooted and opened up to installation of unsigned apps." Developer Magnus Eriksson has created an app to flush this data. Next: the iPhone tracking file is not new, just in a different place than it used to be. Reader overThruster then points out a CNet story indicating that law enforcement has been aware of this file for some time, and has used it in a forensics context. This story is a growing concern for Apple, particularly now that Senator Al Franken (PDF) and Rep. Ed Markey (PDF) have both written letters to Steve Jobs demanding details about the location tracking. Finally, PCMag explains how to view the location data present on your iPhone, should you so desire."

Two other stories on location privacy were discussed, the first one How People Broadcast Their Locations Without Meaning To:

""Smartphones include geotagging features that many people aren't aware ofMIT's Technology Review reports. And it's not just in the obvious places: 'For example, by looking at the location metadata stored with pictures posted through one man's anonymous Twitter account, the researchers were able to pinpoint his likely home address. From there, by cross-referencing this location with city records, they found his name. Using that information, the researchers went on to find his place of work, his wife's name, and information about his children.'""

And a last one named Turning GPS Tracking Devices Against Their Owners:

""Those low-cost embedded tracking devices in your smartphone or those personal GPS devices that track the whereabouts of your children, your car, your pet, or a shipment can easily be intercepted by hackerswho can then pinpoint their whereabouts, impersonate them, and spoof their physical location. A researcher demonstrated at SOURCE Boston how he was able to hack Zoombak's popular personal tracking devices.""

Friday Geonews: No More StreetView in Germany?, New Bentley Map v8i Suite, Roadify, and more

Here's the Friday geonews in batch mode.

From the Google front:

From the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

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