The Address Mess


THERE IS GROWING CONCERN in the local authorities in England and Wales over the recent papers and responses coming from central government surrounding national addressing. The Shakespeare Review of Public Sector Information and the government’s response suggest that there is a widespread misunderstanding of the national addressing process that is adversely affecting government policy and decision-making. A raw deal? Shakespeare and the response focused on Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey GB as the public sector authorities “dealing with” addresses. This completely discounts or minimises the fundamental role of local authorities, which are the source of, and have the statutory responsibility for [...]

The Address Mess2019-02-07T19:10:33+00:00

The value of GIS in big data and AI to empower civic decision makers


I FIRST ENCOUNTERED GIS WHILE studying geocollaborative decision-making for crisis management over a decade ago. Back then, GIS seemed like an obscure field and its software was used by only a select few who could install it and navigate the different menus and sub-menus to produce actionable results. A lot has changed since then. When I re-entered graduate school a few years back to study cities using data at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, I re-discovered GIS. Except this time, almost everything was on the web and the cloud. Platforms such as CartoDB, Tableau and RESTful methods have exponentially [...]

The value of GIS in big data and AI to empower civic decision makers2019-02-07T18:38:50+00:00

The challenge of the Internet of Things


ACCORDING TO THE BLURB, the Westminster eForum provides ‘the premier environment for policymakers in Parliament, Whitehall and regulatory agencies to engage with stakeholders in timely discussion on public policy relating to technology’. To this end, the forum offers numerous seminars on a wide range of topics ( On March 15th the subject was the Internet of Things. As it turned out the only parliamentarians present were an MP – Matt Warman and the Earl of Erroll from the House of Lords, who also happened to be chairs of the two sessions. There were a number of representatives from government departments, including [...]

The challenge of the Internet of Things2019-02-07T18:21:34+00:00

GIS, Automation and your Future


FINISHED SCHOOL AT AGE 22 with two degrees and few skills. As one senior consultant put it when I was an intern at a consulting firm, I knew “how to read, write and think.” And, that was a good thing because it meant I could read hundreds of pages, pick out the key details, and compile them into a 20 slide presentation for a corporate client. Of significant importance to that same senior consultant, I could do that far less expensively than he could. I did just that and everyone, including the client, was happy. At that same job I made [...]

GIS, Automation and your Future2019-02-07T18:18:05+00:00

The Bravest People in GIS


I KNOW MANY BRAVE PEOPLE involved in GIS. Some start their own companies. Some work on wildfire GIS maps and applications and then go and fight actual wildfires. Some try to teach challenging software over the Internet to anyone who is interested. I want to celebrate another brave group of people in our industry: the ones who develop standards. Idealistic or just plain unlucky? As I write this column, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the US government committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing and dissemination of geospatial data for the country, is seeking comments about retiring one of [...]

The Bravest People in GIS2019-02-07T18:14:52+00:00

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