Even your runs can be used against you-data privacy in a world of sharing

I love to run and tracking my data and stats.  I have running data that goes back at least 10 years or more.  One thing I have been aware of since the advent of social media is that your data can be used against you.  For instance, what you post cannot be truly deleted (servers store data) and location data can be used to find and locate you even when you lock down your privacy settings (triangulation of cell towers for use by law enforcement).  My favorite piece of equipment is my Garmin Fenix 3, it’s on me at all times (I’d love to upgrade but not just yet).  That data is synced to Garmin Connect and also to Strava.  I used to be a huge Runkeeper fan but fell out of love with the app because of issues with the spatial data accuracy during runs (they have seemed to have straightened that out).  Ultimately Strava has a huge user base of active athletes from all shapes and sizes.  It’s great to see folks posting runs their runs and cycling segments each day.   Strava has a unique “king of the hill” mentality that shows you who is the fastest per segments.  That being said, you can if given the right circumstances give your usual routes and or share locations to people who want to do harm.


Pace Activities, I can see some of my routes lit up

Our military stays sharp and focused by training and in doing so like most athletes track their data.  Sometimes their location doesn’t need to be broadcast to the world.   That being said I came across an interesting article in the Washington Post about Strava and military sharing locations that have been unknown until recently.  Article can be found here: U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging 



So, it’s great to track your fitness data, just be aware of how you share and who you share it with.  Here’s tip, if you are in a secret area, tighten your location sharing data on your fitness apps.  Somebody somewhere is watching.  If nothing else, don’t give the bad guys a roadmap of your base or staging grounds.


Top Five Benefits of GIS

This is a great example of how GIS can benefit your business. What do you think?

GIS and Science

GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing interest in and awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS, in part because of more standards-based technology and greater awareness of the benefits demonstrated by GIS users. The number of GIS enterprise solutions and IT strategies that include GIS are growing rapidly.  The benefits of GIS generally fall into five basic categories:

1. Cost savings resulting from greater efficiency. These are associated either with carrying out the mission (i.e., labor savings from automating or improving a workflow) or improvements in the mission itself.   A good case for both of these is Sears, which implemented GIS in its logistics operations and has seen dramatic improvements.  Sears considerably reduced the time it takes for dispatchers to create routes for their home delivery trucks (by about 75%).  It also benefited enormously in reducing the costs of…

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Interesting Article: How Maps are Used to Shape Our Beliefs

Propaganda has long been a tool of government and corporations. The use of geography is no exception. Even map projections and emphasizing where places are have been used as a way to influence our ideas. For the last few hundred years, for instance, map projections and maps had often emphasized the Western world (more: Cartographic Anomalies: How Map Projections Have Shaped Our Perceptions of the World). More recently, the Gall-Peters projection, among others, has attempted to rectify this, at least in general textbooks and maps depicting the world. In this case, the correct size of areas, such as along in Africa and the middle latitudes, are shown more correctly. In effect it is a type of equal-area projection.[1]

What is Persuasive Cartography?

Historically, persuasive cartography has attempted to depict a worldview as believed by ruling powers or the image they attempted to project. Some universities and data repositories have now focused on documenting and collecting historical maps that were used for giving subtle messages about specific concerns. Cornell University Library, for instance, has a repository for such maps. They define persuasive cartography as maps that attempt to influence our beliefs. While it can be argued that no map is completely objective, the range of influence and shaping of our opinions that maps give does have a lot of variety and can cover a range of emotions and beliefs.[2]

For the rest of the article click here: GEOLOUNGE

Happy Thanksgiving-mapping where your thanksgiving food came from

We all basically go to the local Publix or market to gather all of our basics for our Thanksgiving feast.  But if you have ever wondered where those great goodies have their origins, click this link to see this cool story map from ESRI. 

Where did my Thanksgiving meal come from-ESRI

This World Map Is So Accurate It Folds Into a Globe (Map projections)

It’s a problem that has plagued cartographers for centuries: How do you accurately represent a round world on a flat map?

The most common world map used today, designed almost 450 years ago, is highly distorted—it’s that classroom wall map that shows Greenland as absolutely colossal. But a new map called AuthaGraph, created by Tokyo-based artist and architect Hajime Narukawa, just won Japan’s distinguished Good Design Award for accurately representing the relative sizes of landmasses and bodies of water on Earth. The map is so proportionally accurate that you can fold it up into a three-dimensional globe.

The rest of the article can be found here:  This World Map Is So Accurate It Folds Into a Globe


What can GIS (Geographic Information System) do for your business?

Over the past 10 plus years, I have been blessed to learn a skill that has a multitude of uses from oil and gas exploration (where I first learned and used GIS) to archaeology  and environmental (my current GIS consulting area).  But GIS has a wide range of uses that can be used cross-platform and cross-industries.  Take, for example, health care and business.  Walgreens is a heavy GIS user that has integrated the use and practice of GIS to be able to predict within a day or two where influenza outbreaks are occurring.  The CDC is usually a week or more in detecting the outbreaks and occurrences of influenza.

Why Walgreens uses interactive maps plus analytics to evaluate store locations


Also another great article:   WalMap: The App By Walgreens That Maps Out Community Trends in Real Time

7 Scenarios For How Election Night Might Play Out (pre-election article now in hindsight)

Hillary Clinton’s path relies on winning traditionally Democratic states and has several potential ways over the top. Donald Trump has a much narrower path — he has to run the table in toss-up states and break through in a state that currently leans toward Clinton.

Here are seven ways Election Day could play out:NPR Article