Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rand Org Report on Assessing Homeland Security Implications of Publicly Available Geospatial Information

From the geowanking mailing list and the Curious Judith blog comes this link to an interseting report from the RAND Corporation:

The report is entitled "Assessing the Homeland Security Implications of Publicly Available Geospatial Information".

Here is a summary of the report from the preface:

This report assesses the homeland security implications of publicly
available geospatial data and information. Specifically, it seeks to
frame the analytical issues concerning whether and how this type of
data and information that is available from U.S. government sources
can be exploited by terrorists and other adversaries seeking to attack
U.S. critical infrastructure and other key homeland locations. We
give particular attention to surveying and characterizing these federal
data and information within the broader context of diverse publicand
private-sector producers of potentially relevant geospatial information.

This is a big report...but I think it touches on a critical issue for GIS enthusiasts in all parts of the world and I hope to read it at some point.

The Sunburned Surveyor
Posted on 4:40 PM | Categories:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Citing OpenJUMP In Publications

Stefan (always the academic) posted a proposed citation for OpenJUMP that can be used in articles and publications. I wanted to share it with everyone.

The JUMP Pilot Project (2008): OpenJUMP GIS - The free and open sourceJava-based desktop GIS. Available from (AccessedJanuary 2009)

Thanks Stefan.

The Sunburned Surveyor
Posted on 8:31 AM | Categories:

Monday, March 02, 2009

Searching For Place Names With The USGS

The USGS maintains a web page that can be used to search a database of place names, both for the United States and places around the world. The web page is one part of the Geographic Name Information System (GNIS). The USGS also maintains a database for the GNIS. You can download the data from this database for all 50 of the states in the United States as a single zip file, or for just a single state.

The home page for the GNIS is here.

The web page that lets you search for place names is here.

The wikipedia page for the GNIS is here.

You can even use the site to propose a new place name, which is pretty cool.

I wonder if other countries maintain a database of place names like the GNIS.

The Sunburned Surveyor
Posted on 5:46 PM | Categories:

Watermarking Vector GIS Data

A recent posting on the gislist about watermarking vector GIS data led to the link for this interseting article on the topic:

I just skimmed the article, but I plan on reading it in more detail. This is an interesting topic. A common method of watermarking vector GIS data is adding "fake" features, like road segments that don't really exist. But I have often thought that there has got to be better ways of placing a watermark. The tricky part is embedding a watermark that can resist translation, rotation, and scaling. (Or even reprojection to a new coordinate system.) This rules out using any coordinate geometry to record the watermark.

Perhaps using the topology of features that remain intact despite translation, rotation, and scaling would be a valid way to watermark vector GIS data without "polluting" the dataset with fake features.

I'll have to chew on this some more. Might be cool to add a vector GIS data watermarking plug-in to OpenJUMP.

The Sunburned Surveyor
Posted on 9:23 AM | Categories: