Archive for the ‘Blog Posts’ Category

Test Your Broadband Speed, Be Part of a National Picture

Friday, March 12th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

graphic for broadband testingNew FCC GIO Mike Byrne announced an on-line poll/application to test broadband speeds when he spoke at the NSGIC Midyear Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, this week. That application went live on the FCC’s site yesterday.

The application records a tester’s location and then runs one of two existing speed-testing tools. The key part for the FCC is the tester’s location; they will use the test results, and the geographic locations, as part of their larger task of mapping just what the nation’s broadband capacity is, and where that capacity exists.

As a companion story in Wired magazine’s Epicenter puts it:

Broadband connection testing isn’t new, and is freely available online, but this might mark the first time that individual tests help to lead to informed policy making.

The FCC has also released mobile apps for iPhone and Android (search for FCC at your App Store) to allow smartphone users to test from where-ever they happen to be.

Report #2 from the NSGIC MidYear Meeting

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

I’m back from Annapolis and the NSGIC MidYear meeting today, trying to recover from three marathon days of discussions and workshops. Some of my colleagues are still in DC, meeting with congressional staff and, in one case, testifying before a congressional subcommittee (on that, more later).


Report #1 from the NSGIC Midyear Meeting

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

I’m sitting in a packed ballroom at the Loews Hotel in downtown Annapolis listening to a presentation from a geospatial manager at the Department of Homeland Security. This is the start of a full day of joint sessions with the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS). This post will be short and somewhat choppy; I wanted to take a moment to point you to some resources to help you follow this event.


GIS Jobs Around the Region #27

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

From time to time, word comes across the wire about GIS and GIS-related jobs around our region. Here are a few recruiting notices picked up from our friends across the Mason-Dixon line; these are from the MSGIC listserv.

  • A recruiter in the Philadelphia suburbs is looking for folks to fill three GIS positions in the Harrisburg area. They are five-year projects with a large engineering firm. More information here.
  • Toole Design Group is looking for a GIS specialist for their Hyattsville, Maryland office.

News from a Neighbor: Maryland GIS Coordination

Monday, January 11th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed an Executive Order entitled “One Maryland – One Map; Maryland Integrated Map (MD iMap)(PDF) that establishes an organizational structure to guide and coordinate inter-agency and intergovernmental efforts to share geospatial data and tools in Maryland.

The order creates a cabinet-level executive council to oversee the MD iMap basemap, creates a State Geographic Information officer (GIO) position, and calls for a technical committee to work on GIS coordination.

More information, including comments from the new Maryland GIO, Kenny Miller, is posted on the NSGIC News blog.

2010 Statistical Abstract of the US

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 by mike.mahaffie

The Census Bureau has released the 2010 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States.

The Bureau’s news release focuses on findings within the Abstract about text messaging, the state of the newspaper industry and other items of current topical interest, but the Abstract contains a great many useful tables and stats about the nation, states and, in a few cases, counties and cities.

It’s a good document to add to your bookmarks.

GIS-Jobs Alert: US Census Bureau, Philadelphia

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by mike.mahaffie

The Philadelphia Regional Census Center (RCC) is now accepting applications for geographic specialists. The Census Bureau is looking for staff to help out with a variety of geographic operational tasks related to the decennial Census.

The positions are temporary, but will give one in-depth knowledge of Census operations, especially about Census collection and tabulation geography. And that knowledge might be of value when the Bureau is looking to hire GIS folks in the future.

The job posting (PDF) has more details. Please feel free to pass this information on to any persons or groups that you think would be interested.

Happy GIS Day!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by mike.mahaffie

This is Geography Awareness Week, of course, and Wednesday is GIS Day. There’s a lot going on in celebration of both in Delaware. Among the events are a GIS open house at the City Hall in Dover, a fifth-grade field trip event at the Air Mobility Command at Dover Air Force Base, a public GIS Day Open House at the museum, and the University of Delaware’s Geospatial Research Day.


GIS Day Proclamation from the City of Dover

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by mike.mahaffie

The following proclamation was approved by the City Council in Dover on November 9, and signed by Mayor Carlton E. Carey, Sr.


WHEREAS, technology plays a vital role in the continued growth of the City of Dover and the use, management, and exchange of geographic information technology is necessary for effective decision making by local, state, and federal governmental agencies; and

WHEREAS, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide data that allows for the identification of patterns and relationships of real-world conditions that ultimately lead to better decisions and improved delivery of services for the citizens of Dover as well as our surrounding communities; and

WHEREAS, geographic information has many useful applications and is a valuable resource used in the analysis of infrastructure, emergency services, homeland security, economic development, and long-range planning; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dover’s GIS Department has been nationally recognized for their outstanding efforts in the advancement of GIS and the foresight to create programs that can be used to better manage services in the city as well as tracking services for the thousands of people NASCAR races.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CARLETON E. CAREY, SR., MAYOR OF THE CITY OF DOVER, DELAWARE do hereby proclaim November 18, 2009 as GIS Day, and November 15 – 21, 2009 as