Jonathan Frishtick, GIS/GPS Mapping

Watson Dominates ‘Jeopardy’ but Stumbles Over Geography

From the New York Times:

By Anahad O’Conner

“The brilliant IBM supercomputer may need a refresher course on United States geography.

In its battle against two human champions on the Tuesday episode of “Jeopardy!,” Watson, the latest machine to take on mankind in a mental showdown, seemed at first to prove its worthiness. The computer mostly dominated its human opponents, beating them to the buzzer in 24 out of 30 Double Jeopardy questions and answering every question it fielded correctly — until it got to the final round.

The category was “U.S. Cities,” and the clue provided: “Its largest airport is named for a WWII hero. Its second largest for a WWII battle.

Watson’s answer?


The audience gasped. Viewers, particularly those in Chicago — the correct city — may well have gasped too.

Going 24 for 25 is far from shabby, especially considering that Watson finished the second day of the three-day challenge with more than $35,000 in winnings, far ahead of Brad Rutter, with $10,400, and Ken Jennings, who had $4,800. Both men are former champions who set records on the show.

But Toronto an American city?”

To continue reading this story, go to:

Add Local Food Banks To The Map

From the OpenGeoData blog:

NASA Earth Observatory

Subscribe to NASA’s Earth Observatory Image of the Day.

Until then, take a look at these images, available as JPEG, TIFF or KMZ.

Heavy Snow on the Korean Peninsula

Winter Cloud Streets, North Atlantic

Snow in Southern U.S.

Cash Prizes for Conservation Mapping

From Spatial Sustain:

by Matt Ball on February 11, 2011

Esri and the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) have teamed to hold the first International Conservation Mapping Competition. The contest is open to nonprofit conservation groups and individuals that support these groups with $10,000 in prize money for the best maps that address conservation issues.

The deadline for entries is March 15, 2011. Winners will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Esri International User Conference in July, and will also be highlighted in the summer issue of Conservation Magazine. Visit this webpage for more details.

Patent Infringement Alleged in New Law Suit for Store Location Mapping Functionality

From Directions Magazine:

“In effect, the lawsuits allege that, every time a PC user searches online for the closest bricks-and-mortar location of a retailer, …[a] … Patent is infringed.”

Natural Earth: A Free World Basemap

From the ESRI Mapping Center Blog:

Natural Earth is a free, public domain map dataset available at 1:10, 1:50, and 1:110- million scales and includes new vector and updated raster themes. The goal is to give cartographers and GIS users an off-the-shelf solution for creating small scale world, regional, and country maps.

Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy

From the GeoData Policy blog

“By KASHMIR HILL, Above the Law Blog, 27 Jul 2010 at 4:59 PM 4TH

Court clerks in Virginia may be shaking their fists at the Fourth Circuit today. In an interesting ruling on free speech, privacy, and public records, the court ruled that an angry blogger has the right to publish public officials’ and court clerks’ Social Security numbers in order to protest the fact that Virginia puts records online that publish citizens’ social security numbers. We skimmed the opinion, but didn’t see a citation to Hammurabi.

B.J. Ostergren has been writing since 2003 to bring attention to the fact that state governments play fast and loose with people’s Social Security numbers when putting land records online. Her advocacy got many of them to actually start attempting to redact SSNs from the documents before putting them online, but the system was still imperfect.

For full text of the article, visit Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid – News, Gossip, and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession.”

Aerial Imagery of the Protests in Egypt

From the Google Earth Blog:

“GeoEye has just released some high-resolution imagery of the protests in Egypt, taken over Tahrir Square in Cairo on January 29.

GeoEye does a great job of capturing fresh imagery from a variety of noteworthy events throughout the world. In the past, they’ve provided imagery from Burning Man 2010, the volcano in Iceland last April and President Obama’s inauguration two years ago.

I’ve taken this latest image and added it to Google Earth as an overlay, so you can download this KML file to see it for yourself.”


Special Gifts for that Special Geo Person In Your Life:

The U.S. Census Bureau Launches Interactive Map

From the Spatial Sustain Blog:

“The U.S. Census Bureau has just launched an interactive online map widget that lets you explore both local data as well as 10 decades of population growth at the country level.”

Regular GPS Not Accurate enough? Try RTK-GPS

Wild LifeLines Offers a Tool for Mapping Wildlife Corridors in the West

From Spatial Sustain:

Find Streets With Your Name


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