Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Meh

If I pointed you to another blog of mine, would you visit that as much, considering that it would have mostly techno babble in it, and that it won't have the indispensable "my friends" link (because it's not on LJ)?

Pardon me, I never thought I'd be quoting myself this early. =). I just feel like I got to explain myself. I've been on LJ since 2000. There's a high level of pride associated with web logging that early, and I know most of us have been around and can relate to this feeling. But given that after a few years, you get your own server to use and become productive with, I doubt if you will be able to resist favoring the higher level of customization afforded to you. Now I won't start comparing web logging tools and facilities because I can't. LJ is using established methods and protocols and have carved a niche in the blogosphere. In fact, I personally think LJ should be getting royalties just by being around when web logging was still at its infancy. The rest are, let's just say, "learning" from the LJ experience.

My concern is not technical or feature-relevant. It's more of an emotional strain, something akin to the feeling of having to part with something of sentimental value. I'm having difficulty keeping up with my updating responsibilities in LJ. Since maintaining our servers here are part of daily work, I find it easier to blog on my server, especially that I use emacs plannerMode. Eventually, I feel bad because I am able to diligently update my planner and my tech blog, but not my LJ. I feel like I've abandoned my LJ for the umpteenth time. I try and put in some updates there, but you know, that thing that got me started on LJ years ago, isn't there anymore. I find it hard to collect thoughts and put them down on a worthy LJ post.

My only worry is that if I decide to become a more efficient (tech) blogger, I would have to wean myself from LJ, but not from my friends of course. I don't have that many people on my friends list, but that's hardly a concern. If I may say this, I am quite certain that those who are in my friends list are very priceless treasure chests - overflowing with intellect, maturity, and experience, all of which I will not get anywhere else in this lifetime. I'm just hoping that even if I do move on, they will still be around. =)

But again, I'm just wondering, ergo the quoted question that opened this entry. Nothing is definite as of yet, and I may decide to keep (read: maintain) both after all. Oh well. The next time I start thinking aloud, batukan nyo nga ako please. Thanks.

just wondering...

If I pointed you to another blog of mine, would you visit that as much, considering that it would have mostly techno babble in it, and that it won't have the indispensable "my friends" link (because it's not on LJ)?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GRASS

I had a good consultation session with my mentor last Saturday and I got great advise for my thesis. I'm planting my foot on GIS and applications, but the whole gamut of GIS is fairly large so I had to zero in on what I really wanted to focus on. Future research prospects on GIS led me to look up Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS. It's so cool because for starters, it's GPLed, and it will run on PostgreSQL. It's primarily designed for Linux so I need to have Cygwin run on the host that I will be using to interface with our Linux and non-Linux backends.

In a nutshell, my thesis will be concentrating on GIS and data warehouse integration. Should there be an existing or current data warehouse for me to work on, I should be able to model the integration, using the appropriate schema. Should there be no data warehouse, I will have to model from scratch and present and enforce the design.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Untitled

Today, I got the worst headache to date (by my standards of course). I actually dipped my head in a sink full of warm water. Ugh. By the way, I did a double take here. Wala lang.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

on Dune

Ayt, it has been almost 10 years since I last watched Dune, but the plot, the lines...they all came back to me when Matt posted the Litany of Fear on his website. Sure does bring back the awe I felt back then.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

[Critique] Implementing a public web based GIS service for feedback of surveillance data on communicable diseases in Sweden

Article by Per Rolfhamre1 , Katarzyna Grabowska1 and Karl Ekdahl1, 2
1Department of Epidemiology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Nobels väg 18, SE-17182 Solna, Sweden
2Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden

The authors have sufficiently summarized the study by including the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions or summary. The study was focused on the discussion of the considerations and technology of a created public web-based GIS service, which has already been deployed. The abstract is not entirely written in the past tense.

The article doesn’t have an introduction part, and instead presented a background of the study. Although citations are made, the review of literature was very minimal. There were no references to similar works done in the area of study in this part of the study. References to similar systems are done in the discussion of results part of the study. The underlying concepts, especially on the importance of making data on communicable diseases available to the public via internet, was only mentioned and barely discussed.

There was no hypothesis or research question posted on the study. What seemed to be the thrust of the study was the conjecture in that making surveillance data available in the internet, especially to public health officials, was key to policy-making, prioritization, and information related activities.

The authors have presented data collection and processing procedures in paragraph form. There was no further attempt to expound on the methods, and there were no charts or figures to support the discussion of the processing procedures. Likewise, the presentation of the hardware and software configuration was done in passing.

The authors were able to present and discuss the results of their study well. As their study was focused on the system, the basic application design, the work or process flow, database structure, user interface, and usage, were sufficiently presented. The discussion focused on the design principles used, security, performance, and quality concerns. There was mention of data interpretation, but this was for general consumption and only applied for the locality. This part of the study presented similar systems that already exist in other parts of the world, using a short comparison of features, but not as in-depth as necessary.

The authors made recommendations for improvements, and discussed possible enhancements and/or changes in the system, the area of study, and in the available technology.

Notes:
URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/4/17
Received 25 February 2004
Accepted 10 June 2004
Published 10 June 2004
© 2004 Rolfhamre et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

[Critique] Positional error in automated geocoding of residential addresses

Article by Michael R Cayo and Thomas O Talbot
Geographic Research and Analysis Section, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational
Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, 547 River Street, Room 200,
Troy, NY 12180-2216, USA

The authors have sufficiently summarized the study by including the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions or summary. The study has identified positional error correction as their purpose, with the objective of determining if the errors in geographic encoding could impact results. The study focused on the discussion of the ability of GIS-based applications to locate residential addresses as closely as possible with the proposed alternative method of geographic encoding using residential property parcel data, instead of the automated geographic encoding.

The study emphasized on the application of GIS-based systems in public health, and how important precision in geographic encoding is to ensuring that public health studies are not compromised. There is extensive literature review on geographic encoding. The authors have noted that the underlying concepts and theories of this study have been documented in other studies, in that they were able to present the problem and justify the need for research. The study also indicates that there was limited public information on positional error correction, further emphasizing the need for research.

The problem statement has clearly identified what needs investigation, which emphasized on finding out if positional errors could impact public health data analysis results. As a solution, the authors have proposed their method of geographic encoding, which they expect to address these concerns.

The authors were able to specifically indicate their methods for collection of geographic data, beginning with residential addresses. This data is used as a starting point for geographic encoding and analysis. The authors indicated some exceptions, which according to them, will greatly increase positional errors in any geographic encoding method because of some missing details in the geographic data. The geographic encoding process was presented, together with the validation methods that were used in showing how much positional error resulted from the geographic encoding methods used. The authors were likewise specific in the analysis methods that they used for the study.

Although quite brief, the authors were able to present the results of their study well, using tables to compare positional errors between the geographic encoding methods used. The researchers were also very thorough in their discussion of their findings, pointing out the obvious improvements in positional error correction with their proposed method of geographic encoding. They also made suggestions as to how parcel points can be standardized, because the encoding and storage of this data is done by the local government and may not exist in similar formats.

The authors made recommendations for improvements, stating that their study is localized and may not be reflective of the level of positional error that the current geographic encoding method has, using topographically integrated geographic encoding and reference files.

Notes:
URL: http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/2/1/10
Received 10 September 2003
Accepted 19 December 2003
Published 19 December 2003
© 2003 Cayo and Talbot; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.

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