Monthly Archives: February 2005


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


GISuser weblog – RFID, security, UK contours

Interested in learning more about RFID? If so here’s a reminder about the RFID World Exhibition, taking place March 2-3, 2005, Gaylord Texan Resort, Dallas, Texas.

More on Security
Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to grab a free firewall and implement it to further lock down my home wireless network. Well, I did so and it was no problemo. The next step is to double check the passswords that have been pre-installed on the system and change them. FYI, most people never change the passwords that come pre-defined on their wireless router and these “canned” PW’s are easily obtainable from the vendor websites. Thus, its a great idea to change them – have you checked yours? Speaking of security, now we’re hearing about cell phones being hacked. Just today CNET had news about Paris Hilton’s Sidekick being hacked. So, now you need to think about your phone’s security as well as your PC, PDA, and other computer terminals

‘CAD-ready’ Digital Contour Mapping for UK boasts this new data product as the most up to date, nationwide height data available, having been surveyed from 2002 onwards. Created as part of the NEXTMap Britain survey, the contours are available in MicroStation DGN or AutoCAD DWG format.

Open Software Event
The initiative group “HollandOpen” has been working hard on organizing the first international Holland Open Software Conference in Amsterdam on May 30, 31. And on Wednesday June 1, there will be many “after conference” sessions. See more at

Kuwait GIS, handhelds tank, sign away!

MS ditches Yahoo! Search in favor of it’s own new Search engine. The search engine available from the MSN homepage targets rivals Yahoo! and Google for the sought after Search Engine market. Of course, they are also planning a desktop search utility… sorry, but I’m not about to install anyone’s utility that crawls my local documents and email! Information Week covered this news nicely


I see the Kuwait GIS conference is scheduled to kick off this week… rather odd given the political climate over there… I think I’ll pass on this one! More info at

Greg Norman promotes GPS

Greg Norman, drew a large crowd to GPSI’s news conference at the PGA merchandise show last Thursday afternoon, where he discussed his involvement with GPSI and the future of its Wi-Fi and GPS business solutions. GPSI develops and markets GPS and Wi-Fi wireless multimedia solutions

Handhelds on the slide

According to IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView, device shipments increased 37.4% sequentially but fell 18.7% year-over-year in 4Q04 to 2.8 million units. For the full year 2004, worldwide handheld device shipments reached 9.2 million units, a decrease of 13% over 2003’s shipments of 10.6 million units. Palm still dominates the market (42%) with HP second at about 27% mkt share. The decline is no doubt due to the uptake of smartphones with larger screen sizes, loads of memory, and enhanced capabilities like messaging, video, GPS, and audio.

Sign on the dotted line

Well I did it again against my better judgement. I signed a 2 year contract with a communication provider. This time it was for satellite TV (Bell Canada). These contracts pi#$@#$ me off to no end, particlarly since my experience with Bell Mobility to date has been a total cluster. We’ll see if this comes back to haunt me in the future. On the upside, my cellphone contract is almost scheduled to lapse I can soon switch to a pay as you go monthly deal from Rogers Wireless.. I highly recommend this to anyone in Canada. My tip of the day… here in canada, RBC Visa card holders can setup a toll free number and awesome calling plan that costs peanuts. Your business can provide customers with a toll free number to use and you can call in when on the road negating those huge roaming charges and long distance bills you typical get when your on the road. See keyword Talk & Save.

New Jshape, Google and a competitor

OOps… looks like I messed up on the date I mentioned regarding the SDTS meeting (see latest newsletter). Apparently the website and documents I referred to were published back in 1997. Thanks to Dale Lutz for pointing out the following page footer… “Last modified: Friday, 19-Dec-1997 14:10:01 CST”

Jshape 5

The latest update to the popular JAva map viewer and components are now available from Its free to download and a user guide is also available

Conference Reminder

“Deadlines Approaching for Location Technology & Business IntelligenceConference”.. thanks Joe for sending out these event reminders and announcements about 3 times a week… we get it!

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Maps

Thanks to KanGIS for this one! (

From Joseph Kerski, USGS: The California Geographical Survey ( wishes to announce the posting of a new Web resource, the World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Maps ( in its existing Electronic Map Library ( The new map collection contains almost 500 panoramic maps of much of the earth. Coverage is uneven, for these maps represent only the experimental beginnings of a much larger archive that will grow with the passage of time

Google.. you gotta love em, but its also fun to bash them as well!

You’ve likely seen Google adwords all over the place. Those subtle little ads that appear on many websites. People pay to have their ad appear there and others make money for serving them up. I’ve experimented with adwords in the past and actually still serve them up on another site that I own and operate. My reason for using them is not to make money though. I serve them up as I’m convinced that Google gives you preferred treatment if you use their services (although there’s no proof to that).

What sends me around the bend is the payout scheme for these adwords. A year ago I was serving adwords on a small site and pulling in about $400 a month from doing so… not bad. Then the IPO came along and low and behold, my cheques soon plummeted to around $50 a month (if I was lucky). What gives?? Good question. Google played dumb although I give them credit for always being prompt to reply to all queries – they must get millions of them!

On my other website I’m now serving more google ads than ever although I’m only making a fraction of what I used to… where’s the logic here? Companies love to advertise and purchase keywords… beware though as websites can blockout web domains from being displayed, something advertisers may have no idea about. For example, if we ran them here, I could easily setup the cfg so that no competing sites could display google ads on our pages. Don’t worry though as you’ll never see google ads appearing on GISuser. Why would we let someone advertise in this manner? Google would make some decent cash as a result and we’d make peanuts.. it just doesn’t make sense!

Google makes a fortune selling keywords but do they perform? Sure they do.. the real losers though are the saps that are serving them up and only making a fraction of the advertising income that they should be getting.

There is a bright spot to all of this… a competitor has popped up and these guys are for real. Check out – you might consider trying them if you want to make some cash from your website or purchase some keywords for greater exposure.