GeoWorld February 2012

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NEWSLINK Battle over Orange County Data Moves to Calif. The Sierra Club appealed to the state Supreme Supreme Court The California Supreme Court is reviewing an appeals court's decision in a legal battle that has pit- ted nature-advocacy group Sierra Club against one of the state's largest municipalities, Orange County. The Sierra Club, which sued Orange County over the rates the county charges for providing GIS data, appealed to the California Supreme Court after two lower courts ruled in favor of Orange County (Orange County had won the original case, and the decision was upheld in an appeals court). The county charges tens of thousands of dollars for parcel data, according to the Sierra Club, which main- tains that such data should be provided for only the cost of copying the data, as outlined in the California Public Records Act (PRA). Court on the grounds that court rulings in favor of Orange County contradict similar state rulings. "These decisions conflict with a decision rendered in 2009 by the Court of Appeal in Santa Clara," reads a statement from a Sierra Club legal committee. "In that case, the California First Amendment Coalition sued the County of Santa Clara for its GIS parcel data under the Public Records Act. CFAC won both at the trial-court and the appeals level. According to the Santa Clara decision, public agencies must provide GIS parcel data under the PRA." Rulings in favor of Orange County so far have held that the data desired by the Sierra Club exist as part of a computer mapping system—within the definition of "computer software" in the PRA and therefore exempt from certain disclosure requirements. Briefs already have been filed with the Supreme Court, and February 2012 will see the Sierra Club filing with the court a reply brief involving the merits of the case. Young Climber Leans on GIS App during Antarctic Challenge Jordan Romero, a 15-year-old Californian who in 2010 became the youngest person to summit Mount Everest, relied heavily on geospatial technologies during his subse- quent major mountain-climbing expedition. Romero followed up his Everest climb with a December 2011 expedition up Vinson Massif in Antarctica, the tallest mountain on the continent. He used an Esri application to provide updates that included GPS locations, weather and elevation. The application used by Romero and his team integrated with social-media sites and supported an initia- tive known as the 7 Summits Challenge. In the challenge, Romero encouraged others to participate in his climb by logging their own personal exercise miles—whether by run- ning, walking, cycling or swimming. "This app will let my friends and family and fans come along on the climb," said Romero before the Vinson Massif expedition. "Thanks to the social-media integration Esri developed, we can send our location and text messages from the satellite phone directly to Facebook. We will be able to keep the world updated every step along the way." Updates sent by Romero and his team via satellite phone were displayed live at Esri part- nered with GeoPro LBS Inc. to develop a service layer to capture text, e-mail and GPS coordinates from the satellite phone every five minutes. Data were stored on Esri ArcGIS A NASA image shows Vinson Massif, Antarctica's highest peak. A California teen's recent ascent of the mountain was chronicled with the aid of a satellite phone and GIS application. software, published by ArcGIS for Server and then provided to a Web application built with ArcGIS API for Flex. The service layer integrated with to deliver weather reports, and it integrated with Facebook to publish messages from the Romero team. 8 GEO W ORLD / FEB R UA R Y 2O12 NASA

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