Thursday, January 17, 2008

Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop

The Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction of the University of the West Indies, the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) and the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago invites abstracts for a workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean: the role of the Land-based Professionals. The workshop will be hosted by the Department of Surveying and Land Information, UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad on Mar 1st 2008. The workshop seeks papers that focus on practices and ideas that would lead to improving surveying practices to the extent that it can effectively support disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean. Inquiries/ submissions please contact:

Dr. Michael Sutherland
Department of Surveying and Land Information
The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad, West Indies
t: 1-868-662-2002 ext 2108
f: 1-868-663-7383
e: michael.sutherland AT sta.uwi.edu

Friday, January 04, 2008

We will track you ... maybe

As mentioned in the SDI-LAC mailing list, the Jamaica Observer reports that Jamaica wants to track criminal offenders, but will not provide its digital maps to the private contractor they've hired to build the tracking system. "Absolutely not" is what the Ministry of National Security has said to the request for maps.

There may be more to the story than meets the eye, as the total price tag is some US$750,000, the contract was awarded by a previous government administration and the contractor is a Jamaican company, but headquartered in California; with a website registered less than two months ago (Nov 5, 2007) and obviously put up in a hurry (if the developer/owner reads this, the first link on the home page is broken and your pages don't have Titles - not a professional job at all). The company doesn't seem to have any particular expertise in GIS, just classic accounting/financial/networking, and no visible previous customers of their tracking system.

Whilst I'm encouraged by the effort to make wider use of GIS technology in Jamaica, this issue also raises the ghost of data-sharing past/ present ... and so far the future, of the Caribbean.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Geospatial Framework Initiative - Gravity Observations

On December 20, 2007, NOAA's National Geodetic Survey announced the release of the GRAV-D project. The project area includes part of the Caribbean. Comments and/or questions from the region are beneficial and can be forwarded to the NOAA/NGS contact(s) found in the GRAV-D documentation.

NOAA - http://www.noaa.gov/
National Geodetic Survey - http://www.ngs.noaa.gov
GRAV-D documentation - http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GRAV-D/