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19 Feb 2010

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Friday’s Food for Thought: GEOINT and the Olympics, and Kenny Loggins

Added by Category: Daily Intelligence Brief, Friday's Food for Thought

Welcome to the Friday’s Food for Thought post on got geoint? Last Friday, the opening day of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics was marred by the tragic death of Georgia luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. While this event tragic set the tone for the start of the Olympics and (rightly) trumped most of the other press coverage of the Winter Games, there was a world of GEOINT-related stories happening around the Olympics. So, for this week’s FFT post, we would like to showcase all the GEOINT stories — giving these stories their full due. Happy Friday.

Google, Bing and Yahoo Mark the Start of the Vancouver Olympics

While the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics have officially started, you can brush up on your history of the competition, the location or maybe the schedule of the events, by using a search engine of course. All the major search engines are marking the start of the competition with a custom homepage. It seems like Google has done a custom logo every other day or so lately, so there is absolutely no surprise here, but Yahoo and Bing are more reserved with the type of events they mark on their homepages. Read the full Softpedia article here.

Mapping the Vancouver Games
Among the many battles being waged in Vancouver is the Olympic struggle between Microsoft and Google. The Internet giants are both aiming to make sure that their search engines, mapping programs, and mobile software all capture the spirit of the Winter Games. Google has been featuring Olympic-themed doodles on its home page, while Bing is featuring Olympic-themed photos as its background, with the images rotating several times a day. Microsoft can also tap the fact it is helping power NBC’s Olympics Web site through MSN, giving it access to quite a bit of content from the Games. More importantly, both companies have turned their mapping software into a great way to keep up with the competition. Check out the full CNET article here.

Live-Mapping Olympic Outsider Photos
If you can’t actually attend the Olympic Games, the Seattle Times has a cadre of producers, reporters, videographers and Olympic fans in Vancouver to show you what’s happening on the ground and give you a taste of the scene swirling around the 2010 winter games. So, check out this blog post that features a Google Map that the newspaper has set up that features iPhone photos from some folks on the ground at the Olympics. Almost like you are really there. Well, not really, but pretty cool…).

Army Guardsman Posts Best U.S. Finish in Olympic Biathlon
On February 14the, a Utah National Guard Soldier posted the best American finish ever in the biathlon at the Winter Olympics.Sgt. Jeremy Teela, a three-time Olympian, finished ninth in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint on the first day of competition in the biathlon in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. The previous best finish was recorded by Teela’s teammate, Jay Hakkinen, who was 10th in the Torino Olympics in 2006. Despite missing two targets, Teela’s strong skiing pushed him five seconds ahead of one of Russia’s top skiers. “That’s good for the ski form of Jeremy Teela,” said Chad Salmela, a commentator for NBC Sports. With this finish, Teela will start ninth in the men’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit Feb. 16. He also will compete in the 20-kilometer event Feb. 18, the 15-kilometer mass start Feb. 21, and the 4×7 five-kilometer relay Feb. 26. Check out the full article from the Army’s web site here.

Lost in Vancouver? Here’s Some Help
Lost in Vancouver during the Olympics? Getting tired of the bobsledders and want to see the city for a day? Online travel resource Lonely Planet has made its Vancouver Travel Guide: The Sights application for iPhone and iPod Touch available for free in Apple’s App Store until March 1. The program contains more than 70 sights to check out. Thanks to built-in Google Maps, users can easily navigate to the city’s hot spots. Check out the full LA Times blog post here.

Kenny Loggins: “This Is It”
For this week’s video installment, we racked our brains to come up with an “inspirational” song that could get any Olympic athlete pumped up and ready to win. Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”? Nahh. Way to easy. We needed to dive a bit deeper today. As such, we came up with the Kenny Loggins (featuring Michael McDonald) 1979 hit “This Is It.” If only the Foo Fighters would cover this song – it would bring it out of soft rock radio obscurity into being at the forefront of popular culture, which is where it should be. Rock on Kenny Loggins and happy Friday!

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