Monday, July 17, 2006 

Golf Goes Global ... Positioning

Hope Island Golf Club in Australia is the first in that country and nearly first in the world to install GPS units in all of their golf carts. [via iSeekGolf] Not only that, the units have large screens that display in simulated 3D what a particular hole looks like, from the point of view of where the cart is currently positioned.

These displays give players an opportunity to make a better choice of golf club. Now all they have to do is offer RFID-enabled golf balls that an RFID reader will help you find, when you slice your shot anyways.



Massachusetts Safety Commissioner Enforces GPS Use

Massachusett's state Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Gatzunis recently suspended 20 of 24 state building and engineering inspectors because of their refusal to carry GPS-enabled cell phones that would monitor their whereabouts. Gatzunis considered their refusal as an "act of insubordination."

These inspectors typically inspect amusement park rides. Management members of the inspector's union had previously agreed, but other public workers such as school bus drivers, some police officers, and snow-plow operators had not.

Massachusetts problem might be one of scope. Consider: the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, had announced in late 2005 that they would be equipping their snowplows with GPS devices. I think that the difference here is the perception of an invasion of personal space. A cell phone coexists in personal space; a snowplow does not. Tracking a cell phone = distrust; tracking a vehicle = probably alright.

Sources: [Boston Herald]


Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

Careers In GIS

The number of jobs available in GIS-related disciplines has grown significantly since the seven years that I spent in GIS work and research in the late 1980s to early 1990s. GIS (Geographical Information System) packages have come a long way since then, with numerous free mapping programs now available online.

Although I am no longer involved GIS work, beyond any of my own personal research and applications, I do occasionally talk to university students enrolled in the Geography program at my local university. Even today, opinions are mixed about their interest in using GIS packages.

Nevertheless, GIS packages are used for a wide variety of disciplines. Here is a partial list, in no particular order:

  1. GIS software development
  2. GIS software training
  3. University/ college study programs in Geography, water engineering, agricultural engineering, forestry, environmental impact.
  4. GPS event mapping
  5. Traffic watching, particularly by EMS (emergency services) workers such as ambulance drivers, firefighters, and police.
  6. Home-ranging applications for tracking tagged animals
  7. Natural events tracking (hurricanes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes)
  8. Tracking the spread of diseases
  9. Demographic analysis for marketing campaigns
  10. Demographic analysis for city, state, and national governance
  11. Election coverage mapping
  12. Environmental impact studies

These are just a few of the applications of GIS. Since any discipline that uses maps in reporting research findings may benefit from the use of a GIS, there are often opportunities in unusual places. However, not every business or government agency that uses GIS requires skilled user. In fact, using a GIS is often a required skill, similar to being able to use word processing software.

This means that are opportunities to train people in the use of specific GIS packages, as well a market for books on the subject. As a writer and website publisher, I would even say that there is a long-term opportunity for writing online about GIS and its applications, either in the form of a traditional website or as a weblog or journal.

If you are already somewhat familiar with GIS applications and are interested in finding what career opportunities exist, I recommend that you visit GeoCommunity's careers pages. If you do not have much experience in GIS but are wish to learn more, you may want to consult your local college's Geography department. Such departments often have short interest courses in GIS designed for the general public.

(c) Copyright 2006-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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Friday, March 31, 2006 

Egg On My Face

It's difficult sometimes to decide what to do when it comes to weblog publishing. Despite what I've said previously, after much thought, I realized that it would still be beneficial to continue posting entries to this journal. The focus will still be on all things GIS and demographics. However, anything that smells of programming will be posted to the WebGuru blog, as previously mentioned.

That said, I'm hoping to get this GeoPlotting Journal back into shape with at least weekly entries for a couple of months, until I can post more frequently.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005 

New Focus and URL For Tech/Web Programming + Analysis Blogs

This blog is about to be incorporated into a single blog called "WebGuru" that will be available at my new geekSchool/MathGurus Online website (

The WebGuru blog will contain posts about webmastering, web programming, and website analysis in general. This includes tips and techniques for Perl, PHP, XML, CSS, mySQL, javascript, data mining/ net metrics/ web analytics, geo-plotting, RSS and more. As such, most of my technical blogs (listed in the right-hand column) are being merged into WebGuru. [Some blogs are moving elsewhere, and will be announced later.]

WebGuru will contain both "prerequisite" and "problem-solving" topics. I do not like the terms "beginner" and "advanced" for categorizing programming tips, as they sometimes scare away people who are unsure. My categorization has nothing to do with your age or your programming skills, just your knowledge of a particular web topic. Basically, if you find that you don't understand one of my "problem-solving" posts, go have a look at some of the "prerequisite" posts to either refresh your memory or learn some basic skills.

For the first few weeks, there'll be an emphasis on "prerequisite" posts so that I can later get into more complex web programming. Just watch the geekSchool website ( for a link to WebGuru. As soon as the new blog is ready, a "WebGuru" link will appear in the left-hand navigation. Please note that my older web programming/ analysis blogs will stay as is. No more posts will be made, and commenting will be shut off, but the URL will persist.

I have 60-70 posts sketched out and want to complete a few before I go live with WebGuru (hopefully later this week or early next week). For those of you that have been searching for Perl programming/scripting tips, I have over 35 Perl tips sketched out, with more in the works.

See you at geekSchool soon.


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GeoPlotting Journal

This weblog/journal deals with a variety of topics relating to geographical data, as well as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software and GPS devices. Posting is currently suspended, until a new version of this journal has been developed.

About Me
I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ photographer/ web programmer/ consultant/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. I worked with GIS systems and cartographic projections for seven years. I've had a love of maps and globes ever since my father gave me an atlas when I was in grade school. This is one of several blogs that I write.

Web geoplotting

(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,