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Aug 15 2011

A Few Good Reads (8/15/11)

This week: the Corps PR battle on the Missouri, rising and falling consulting firms, what the debt deal might affect, Twitter as a networking resource, missing maps & fragile digital resources, and Arc2Earth & Google Earth Builder.

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Army Corps battles perception in Missouri River Flood (by Cody Winchester, USA Today)

Behind the scenes, corps public affairs staff were busy fielding interview requests, tweaking talking points for officials to crib from and rated media coverage. A Mitchell Daily Republic story was called a “surprisingly honest article,” and one official in Pierre said that a reporter for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls “has been doing very good coverage for the Corps.”

The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?) of Engineering Consulting Firms (by Pam Broviak, Public Works Group Blog)

So professionals in other fields such as planning began working with GIS, and eventually a whole new profession was formed by people who saw the value in learning and using GIS. Only in the last decade did most engineering consultants begin using GIS in their everyday operations. And I would guess there are still some that either still don’t use it or are just starting to train or hire staff now. What would have happened if consulting firms had realized the value early on and embraced GIS as one more deliverable? The lesson here is no one can expect to be successful forever doing the same thing over and over and ignoring new changes and innovations.

How Might Transportation Funding be Impacted by Debt Deal? (by Larry Ehl, Transportation Issues Daily Blog)

It’s the purely discretionary funding-based programs that are most at risk: intercity passenger rail, New Starts (new commuter rail and transit systems), TIGER, many of the FAA programs, the Army Corps’ water infrastructure programs, and perhaps some of the Coast Guard programs depending on the final deal.

How to Use Twitter as a Networking Resource, Not a Time Sink (by Leo Dimilo, sociamediatoday)

You can’t commit for a week and expect anything great to happen.  Eventually, you will find those who are willing to network with you.  When you do, add them to your other social networks.  Leverage your budding relationship.

Missing Maps and the fragility of digital information (by Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Radar)

It was all a good reminder of the fragility of some of our systems. They will get better over time, to be sure. But even those expected improvements won’t ensure that there isn’t a catastrophic loss of service at some inconvenient time. It’s on my to-do list to get a comprehensive set of paper maps, just in case.

Arc2Earth Focusing on Google Earth Builder (by Bill Dollins, geoMusings)

So there you have it, Arc2Earth will be your interface between ArcGIS Desktop and Google Earth Builder. The state of offerings in the “cloud” for geospatial users will be changing a lot over the next year or so. Arc2Earth looks like it will be a nice way to keep your options open.

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