Google Earth, Canada, Satellites, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, June 13th, 2015


A new tool is available for California residents who were victims of Corinthian college fraud. “The new web tool from Attorney General Kamala Harris, who sued Corinthian in 2013, asks a series of questions, such as what school you attended and whether you graduated. Depending on your answer, it asks new questions. An e-mail address is required, and the state will send you a ‘personalized resource sheet’ with information tailored to your situation.”

Canadians have a new resource to compare more than 1,000 long-term care options. “The public can now make a more informed choice about long-term care thanks to a new online tool launched today that compares facilities across Canada based on nine indicators such as safety, quality of life and general health of residents…. The searchable database is an extension of Your Health System: In Depth, an interactive website of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The launch marks the first time CIHI has made this information about nursing homes publicly available. The organization has been collecting and reporting on the information for the last 10 years. ”


You can now ask Google for information about places you’re near. “As Android Police points out, the Google search box will now accept words like ‘here’ and ‘this place’ instead of proper nouns, so long as you’re standing near the place in question. If you’re standing next to the Empire State Building, you can ask ‘How tall is this building?’ and Google will show you how tall the Empire State Building is.”


Terrific article from Amy Grotta: Mapping Your Forest with Google Earth and a GPS Phone App. “Eventually, the OSU College Forests staff will create a GIS map of the Matteson Forest with various spatial layers – property boundaries, roads, forest types, culverts, and so forth. In the meantime, I’ve been using Google Earth to create my own map, adding information as I continue to explore the tract. While in the woods, I’ve been using a GPS app on my smartphone to keep track of where I am and to record points and paths. In this article I’ll describe how I’ve been using these two applications, which I think would be useful to most woodland owners who don’t have GIS at their fingertips.”


Austria wants to charge Google a tax for using news snippets. Austria, this will not end well. Just ask Spain.

Facebook is now trying to take into account how long you look at stuff in your news feed. Good luck with that.

Neither Facebook nor Google will be getting into satellite. “The tech-news site The Information reports that Facebook is dropping its plans for a geo-stationary satellite over concerns that it will not recoup costs. Google, which hired satellite entrepreneur Greg Wyler to prepare an satellite constellation in 2014, backed out of that plan earlier this year.”


This seems counterintuitive, but apparently tweets without hashtags or mentions get more clicks. “Twitter’s study found that direct response ads with either a hashtag or an @-mention performed the worst. According to the study, a tweet that doesn’t include a # or @ mention will generate 23% more clicks.”

A recent study analyzed Twitter hashtags associated with diabetes. “The study found retweeting and favoriting was significantly lower for tweets about the number or percentage of people with diabetes, while favoriting was higher for tweets about health problems associated with diabetes.”

Hmm: Using Google Trends to examine interest in cancer screening. “We examined the utility of January 2004 to April 2014 Google Trends data from information searches for cancer screenings and preparations as a complement to population screening data, which are traditionally estimated through costly population-level surveys.” The initial link is an abstract; the full article is here. Good afternoon, Internet…

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