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Association update
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By Bob Samborski

It's been just over three months since the decision was made to terminate the GITA staff and transition the association to an all volunteer organization. The Board of Directors is continuing to take stock, assess resources and evaluate critical activities. A meeting at the Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference later this month in Houston will help resolve some of these issues and more information about the future course will be available shortly thereafter. In the meantime, we continue to receive questions about when GITA's next annual conference will be. Currently, there are no plans to offer a major annual event and exhibition as the association has conducted for the past 34 years. The effectiveness and relevance of such an event has become less as the utility and infrastructure sectors of the geospatial industry that have always comprised GITA's membership have matured in their use of geospatial technology. The economy, while improving, hasn't helped, either. The primary focus of the board will be to strengthen basic offerings, such as the association website and the GITA News Hub newsletter, and also to create some new educational resources and ways of delivering them.

So — no annual conference is planned for 2013. There will likely be an Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference in 2013, and more news about that will be available following the Houston conference as well.

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Extended offer! Special opportunity for News Hub readers: Subscribe to Utility Horizons QUARTERLY today
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GITA members can qualify for a complimentary subscription throughout 2013! This offer will only be available until the end of this year, so take advantage now to ensure uninterrupted delivery!

Utility Horizons QUARTERLY, the premier issue of which is scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter of 2012, will be the very first full-featured electronic magazine for the electric, gas and water utility automation industry to debut in an all-digital format. The new publication is laser-focused on the intersection of utility automation with the pan-utility marketplace, and specifically, how utilities they can meet their aging work force, declining infrastructure, security and sustainability challenges through increased use of automation and information technology.

To underscore its commitment to elevating the design, application and implementation of automation across the global utility marketplace, Utility Horizons QUARTERLY will employ a stringent subscription screen that requires potential subscribers to validate their automation specification/recommendation/approval responsibilities as art of their subscription request. However, verifiable active member status in a recognized professional association — including GITA — will be considered reliable validation of such direct involvement for subscription purposes. Besides basic information, entering your GITA membership number will ensure approval of your subscription request.

Visit the web portal for more information about the publication and related Utility Automation/IT initiatives, or contact them at Utility Horizons QUARTERLY, Post Office Box 641177, Kenner, Louisiana 70064-1177 USA; Toll Free (US/Canada): +1 866.806.6549; International: +1-504.466.2220 (Fax-2230).

Privacy vs. political marketing in the age of big data
iPolitics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is getting concerned about political marketing. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's mass email to gays and lesbians is just the tip of the iceberg. The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP are all building big databases that are full of Canadians' personal information. Unlike governments and businesses, however, political parties are exempt from the nation's privacy laws. More

GIS: The backbone of homeland security
Homeland Security Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Whether in warfare or disaster response, maps have always played a critical role in helping commanders and decisionmakers take appropriate action to save lives. But maps are no longer the flat, laminated sheets of paper capable of providing only what the user is smart enough to see. To the contrary, today's mapping tools — known as Geographic Information Systems, or GIS — are digitally enabled, smart applications. More

Hobbyists embrace open-source concept for drones
ReadWriteWeb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Drone hobbyists can buy their craft complete out of the box, but many are going the open-source, DIY route to radio-controlled flight. With legislation on the way to clear drones for flight in U.S. airspace by 2015, surveillance, security, law-enforcement, agriculture and hobbyist markets are poised to get a new, and maybe open, view of the world. More

Will driverless cars mean computer crashes?
BBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Google co-founder Sergey Brin believes that "self-driving cars will be far safer than human-driven cars," but who trusts them enough to drive in them or even alongside them? Drivers will not need a driver's license by 2040. At least that is what the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers believes. It thinks autonomous cars capable of driving to any destination are set to become the norm. More

Note to News Hub readers: Access to articles and links published by the Centre for Spatial Law may become restricted to Centre members in the future. Register here if you wish to become a member of the Centre for Spatial Law and Policy. (Scroll to the bottom for individual membership).

Stop the data leaks: Use Web GIS to collect and use information
Geoplace    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stopping data from leaking out of an organization is an issue that many IT departments are facing today. Historically, key data points critical to business operations have been stored in spreadsheets, local databases or even personal memory. This can include vital details such as infrastructure locations, attributes and paths. Through retirement or employees changing jobs, such data can be lost without chance of recovery. More

GeoDesign provides the third phase of GIS evolution
Sensors & Systems    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The convergence of design tools with the analytics and data aggregation capabilities of GIS is an ongoing process. With Esri's GeoDesign concept and conference, they have served to provide a springboard for accelerated innovation with dialogue that will frame a new more holistic design practice. Bill Miller, director of GeoDesign Services at Esri, has been one of the visionaries to frame the concept and the requirements for new tools. More

Can storage and autoDR solve the wind and solar problem?
Smart Grid News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Uncertainty surrounding fossil fuel prices, increased regulations on fossil fuel emissions and a growing desire for energy independence and cleaner power are pushing governments to look to renewables to appease the masses. Although the emergence of modern wind and solar technologies promises to satiate the government-mandated need for large-scale renewables, resources depending directly on the wind and sun for their fuel bring with them the same uncertainty as the evening news weatherman. More

A new business model for map publishers
Directions Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In September 2010, Avenza Systems, Inc. released the first version of PDF Maps for the Apple App Store where both free and for-pay versions of maps in the Geospatial PDF format could be downloaded for use with the iOS operating system. Currently, over 100,000 maps are now available for download. Are users likely to download maps normally found in a print version to their iPhone or iPad? More

GPS IIF-3 satellite now transmitting L1, L2 signals
GPS World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The GPS Block IIF-3 satellite, SVN65, began transmitting L1 and L2 signals as PRN24 on Oct. 8. A number of stations of the International GNSS Service are now tracking the satellite. The satellite is included in broadcast almanacs although it is set unhealthy and will continue to be so until satellite commissioning is completed. The satellite is still drifting towards its designated orbital position of Slot 1 in Plane A. More

Stephen Elop on Apple Map flap and why location is big for Nokia
AllThingsD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Though happy to see Nokia's mapping business get a nod from Apple, CEO Stephen Elop says there is a lot more to his company's bet on location services than just a mapping app that works. "We have said all along that it takes many years and billions of dollars to build up (a mapping business)," Elop told AllThingsD. "It's not just the maps. It's everything around it that makes it a useful location-based service." More


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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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