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Monday, July 25, 2011

Once you begin to get some age on your blog, it can be helpful to create a side menu block to help users find posts by either date or topic. The first part of this post will deal with creating a side menu block sorted by month and year. The second part will deal with creating a topics or tags menu using taxonomy. You can also use this method on other content types like press releases or news.

If you are unfamiliar with Views, it is a very flexible and powerful module that offers a great variety of choices for displaying content. Through views you can query a database for content and format the display without having to write SQL queries.

Friday, July 22, 2011

One of the more critical, and somewhat confusing, concepts in the SDSFIE 3.0 is the notion of what constitutes a 'compliant' data set.  SDSFIE 3.0 offers considerably more flexibility in schema options than earlier releases.  This capability was created to permit individual DoD users some naming options to accommodate existing legacy applications that use geospatial data.  But the capability comes with a risk... namely compromising the very nature of a standard.

Many new DoD contracts are being awarded with a clause stating that the data deliverables are to be submitted compliant with SDSFIE.  Given the flexibility in schema naming and content, what does that really mean and how is that consistent with an absolute standard.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (SDSFIE) is the single Department of Defense spatial data standard that supports common implementation and interoperability for installations, environment, and civil works missions.  

SDSFIE is being managed by the Defense Installations Spatial Data Infrastructure (DISDI) Group. The DISDI Group is a formal governance group reporting to the Department of Defense’s Installations & Environment Investment Review Board.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome back for Part II!

Last post we discussed the various type of contracts (Firm Fixed Price, Time & Materials, and Cost Plus Fixed Fee) and started to get into what we call indirect cost “pools” – Fringe, Overhead and General & Administrative. For this post, we will delve a bit further into what makes up the “pools”, how they are approved by the government and how you use the pools to develop the price per hour you can charge to the government.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One of the requirements for my current project was to implement searching capabilities that were “Google-like”.  When I heard this, I immediately thought about solr, which some colleagues have recommended as an enterprise search engine. And it does look good. However, after reading the description, I realized that this wasn’t a good fit for my application. The main strength of solr is its textual indexing. It is meant to index text documents. The application that I am developing is an image catalog. Each image gets tagged with predefined attributes. Implemented in a relational database, the only connection between the image and the attributes is a linking table. There is no text to index. I also quickly figured out that trying to shoehorn solr for my application would be complex and error prone.