It reunited families and connected them with shelter. It turned amateur photographers into chroniclers of history and ordinary people into pundits. It allowed television stations to keep broadcasting and newspapers to keep publishing. It relayed heartbreaking tales of loss and intimate moments of triumph...
The Internet has played a larger and larger role in every major news event of the last 10 years...In the aftermath of Katrina, use of the Internet is more vital and varied than ever.
One Web site, www.scipionus.com, is combating the confusion by encouraging users to annotate a Google Map of New Orleans with information about specific locations. Collectively, the community is creating a collaborative map Wikipedia. Anyone with something to add can enter a street address and leave a marker on the map at that location, providing a few lines of text about conditions at that spot.
"Seven of the volunteers are map production experts. There is a lab in Jackson where they can start
their work with hardware and software ready to use. They have some data and more is coming. The
second group of volunteers will be in the field with GPS equipment. The group in Jackson will be
mapping the field data as soon as they can and hand it over to the emergency personnel."
"The immediate need is for 5-10 volunteers at this point. These volunteers must have enough GIS experience to work effectively in an emergency situation. Volunteers must have expertise in map production, performing analysis, data management, and etc. Expertise in disaster management and working with GPS equipment is highly desirable."
"There is something new: a globe about the size of grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes... It's a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that the CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns -- all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff." [More excerpts ]
provides an update on how government agencies are using Open Source Software (OSS).
OSS has finally achieved an aura of legitimacy, paving the way for government agencies to pursue higher levels of OSS integration...OSS has moved from fringe applications to core business functions because more enterprises now trust its stability.
"...I'd suggest that it qualifies as architecture, maybe even top-notch architecture..."
Brian Micklethwait wonders about the reason for building the bridge:
"Economically it looks crazy to me. A few more curves on the road and they could surely have saved themselves billions."
Although the photograph displayed could represent what some people in the early 1950s contemplated a "home computer" might look like (based on the technology of the day), it isn't, as the accompanying text claims, a RAND Corporation illustration from 1954 of a prototype "home computer." The picture is actually an entry submitted to an image modification competition, taken from an original photo of a submarine maneuvering room console found on U.S. Navy web site, converted to grayscale, and modified to replace a modern display panel and TV screen with pictures of a decades-old teletype/printer and television (as well as to add the gray-suited man to the left-hand side of the photo).
A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.