Stunning. And I was really looking forward to watching a bike race this summer. Instead, it's a soap opera.
La Quinta is Spanish for America West and US Airways screwed me. The worst decision I made last night was trying to get onto the last flight to Denver by hook or crook instead of cutting my losses and calling James Fee to see if he wanted to go out for a beer and a taco. At least the airport has free wireless so that I can catch up on email and continue to publish the new scandal-loaded tabloid edition of import cartography.
ESRI and other businesses are being drawn into an investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm.
From the AP:
Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., located in Lewis' hometown of Redlands, Calif., received a subpoena seeking records of its dealings with the Washington, D.C., firm of Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez, Denton & White, a person with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
A couple things I'll note, which Adena did not, are the $55.4 million earmarked for ESRI in 2004 and 2005, and that the company is referred to by the AP as a "defense contractor". I'm not sure whether the writer is unware of their large software business or not. Earmarking, for readers outside the US, is not illegal, but is a practice inconsistent with responsible government.
OpenLayers 1.0 has been released. It's a simple open source map browser in the style of Google Maps. According to the discussion on several lists the OpenLayers team may be joined by the leading ka-Map developers, and OpenLayers may replace some client-side parts of ka-Map. I suggest that we consider the same move for PrimaGIS.
I made a mistake in a previous post. My talk for the Triangle Zope and Python Users Group is actually at Duke University next Tuesday, not UNC-CH. I'm really looking forward to meeting the members and finding out what interesting applications they might have for PCL and PrimaGIS.
I love holidays, particularly the old school holidays. Fertility rituals, Dionysian excess, and bonfires. Nothing says summer quite like a bonfire! My friend and colleague Kai Hanninen is off enjoying the Finnish holiday of Juhannus, which sounds a lot more exciting than our Father's Day. I'm going to do a pale imitation of Juhannus here this weekend: grill the last steaks from 2005's steer and open the bottle of Vieux Telegraphe that I've been saving in the cellar. A citronella tiki torch will have to do for a bonfire. In addition to Midsummer we're also celebrating my wife's tenure, and our daughter's 8 month anniversary.
Juhannus also seems to be the occaision for rock festivals. Check out the headliner for Joensuun Juhannus: Lordi!
I've been saving this news for my 200th post. My new position is the software developer for UNC-CH's Ancient World Mapping Center, and I'll be working on the AWMC's Pleiades project. Pleiades (the daughters of Atlas) continues the work of the Classical Atlas Project. I'll be building a system -- and helping to build a community -- to update the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.
Pleiades will be built using PostGIS, Python, and Plone. Our software will be open source, and developed for reuse by similar future projects in the Digital Humanities. I'll be using many of my favorite tools, and applying them to a completely new domain. Pleiades will be a driver of new developments in the Python Cartographic Library and PrimaGIS, and help steer the Plone community in the right geospatial directions. On top of all of this goodness, I'm going to get to learn a ton about Greek and Roman history, epigraphy, and Unicode. Members of the steering committee are keen to see Pleiades data in Google Earth or World Wind, and this will be a new and interesting direction for me as well. It's a dream job, and I'm still pinching myself.
I'm crossing over into the Digital Humanities lately and finding some great resources in the blogosphere. Via The Stoa Consortium and GIS for Archaeology and CRM I've been clued in to Digging Digitally and a good collection of links concerning data, metadata, and the platonic semantic cage.
The GIS industry/community has generally been solidly structure-first, as opposed to data-first. It's necessarily different in the Humanities, History and Archaeology in particular. It may take years before found artifacts are classified in the same authoritative way that we classify streets and parcels. Even then, the classification of artifacts is always open to reinterpretation as future discoveries are made. In the meanwhile, researchers need useful, plausible labels and descriptors for artifacts. It looks to me like the search for a middle way between ontology and folksonomy is well underway in the Digital Humanities.