QGIS and R

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Qgis is Quantum GIS http://www.qgis.org/

Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, MacOSX, and Windows and supportsnumerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.

Learn more about QGIS

Quantum GIS provides a continously growing number of capabilities provided by core functions and plugins. You can visualize, manage, edit, analyse data, and compose printable maps

Also you can use both Qgis and R through Python (!!!)

http://www.qgis.org/wiki/HomeRange_plugin#Home-range_analyses_in_QGIS_using_R_through_Python

Interesting app for webs (sometimes better suited than some R map packages)

https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/HomeRange_plugin/

Based on a Google Summer of Code _

 Also

https://sites.google.com/site/eospansite/introqgis_r

and

HomeRange_plugin

http://hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/wiki/HomeRange_plugin

 

Also read-

http://blog.qgis.org/node/51

Related Articles-

R Graphs Resources

https://rforanalytics.wordpress.com/r-graphs-resources/

Using R from other Software

https://rforanalytics.wordpress.com/using-r-from-other-software/

and

Visualize NHL Play-by-Play using Tableau Public and R

http://brocktibert.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/visualize-nhl-play-by-play-using-tableau-public-and-r/

Google – Turns the Page

Duderstadt Center "The Dude", which ...
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Meet Google’s new CEO

Larry Page
Co-Founder and President, Products

Larry Page was Google’s founding CEO and grew the company to more than 200 employees and profitability before moving into his role as president of products in April 2001. He continues to share responsibility for Google’s day-to-day operations with Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin.

The son of Michigan State University computer science professor Dr. Carl Victor Page, Larry’s love of computers began at age six. While following in his father’s footsteps in academics, he became an honors graduate from the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, with a concentration on computer engineering. During his time in Ann Arbor, Larry built an inkjet printer out of Lego™ bricks.

While in the Ph.D. program in computer science at Stanford University, Larry met Sergey Brin, and together they developed and ran Google, which began operating in 1998. Larry went on leave from Stanford after earning his master’s degree.

In 2002, Larry was named a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and together with co-founder Sergey Brin, Larry was honored with the Marconi Prize in 2004. He is a trustee on the board of the X PRIZE, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004.

and no coincidence but it reminded me of the Metallica video- Turn the Page. Forgive the Pun, herr Eric

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOibtqWo6z4

Biz Stone finally talks business

Twitter co-founder, and creator of Blogger Mr Biz Stone finally set out a short brief email ( or twemail) on the changes in Twitter’s terms of service.The very concise email is below and an excellent interview with the man is at http://therumpus.net/2009/04/the-rumpus-interview-with-twitter-co-founder-biz-stone/

Incidentally Biz Stone’s inventions are kind of revolutionary in social media – he also founded Blogger ( blogging and micro blogging have done more to confound LarryRank algorithm at Google Search than anyone else).

What does an analytic, data whining blog have to do with social media. Plenty. If you have ever designed a propensity scoring model for targeting customers based on their behavior , more clean data that is identifiable an individual level is always a boon. The current trend for sentiment analysis is simply addition of text keywords ( or categorical variables if you insist) to the existing customer database.

Can adding keywords from blogs, tweets, web searches, TO existing data about you (credit bureau, demographic, purchase behavior)- can this lead to a better lift in the models. Yes.

Will this lead to more privacy debates. Yes. Given the huge volume of text variables, as well as the huge number of potential customers- privacy debates are quite statistically irrational ( but we digress into economics here).

No one is interested in selling just 1 more product. They use people (nicknamed Numerati) for writing queries to append, manipulate data so as to AGGREGATE and then build a model. Only after the models are built are the scores disaggregated AND scored individually- usually in automated manner.

No company is interested in selling to one consumer so they dont stoop at a privacy invasive search of individuals.

Advertsing is not an evil way of making money, Mr Stone. Just Trust Google and the guys who could not complete their Phd because they WERE making money.

What if all maths grads did that- ..and that’s an interesting thought.

Hi,

We’d like to let you know about our new Terms of Service. As Twitter
has evolved, we’ve gained a better understanding of how folks use the
service. As a result, we’ve updated the Terms and we’re notifying
account holders.

We’ve posted a brief overview on our company blog and you can read the
Terms of Service online. If you haven’t been by in a while, we invite
you to visit Twitter to see what else is new.

Overview: http://blog.twitter.com
Terms: http://www.twitter.com/tos
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com

These updates complement the spirit of Twitter. If the nature of our
service changes, we’ll revisit the Terms as necessary. Comments are
welcome, please find the “feedback” link on the Terms of Service page.

Thanks,
Biz Stone, Co-founder
Twitter, Inc.


MS Smacks Google Docs with Slideshare

Our favorite drop outs from the Phd Program just learned that they should not moon the giant. The company founded in Paul Allen building at Stanford, also known as Gogol /Google announced they would create a Cloud OS with much fan fare. Only to find their own cloud prodocutivity offering Google Docs bested by Slideshare.

Now you can import your Gmail attachments Google docs into slideshare, for much better professional sharing within your office.

Here is an embedded SlideShare ppt called Google Hacks, note the much better visual appeal in this vis a vis your Google Docs.

Well as for the Stanford dropouts this is what happens when you dont complete your Phd education.

Citation- http://www.slideshare.net/rickdog/google-hacks

As per Cloud Computing and Office productivity goes,

Harvard Dropouts (Microsoft) 1- Stanford Dropouts ( Google) 0

Unless Google creates a cloud version of Open Office- but who needs that anyway?

who needs search- just ctrl F

Google Hacks

View more documents from rickdog.
Disclaimer- The author uses Google Docs extensively. If you are from Google. Please do not block his Gmail id , guys.
Academic Disclaimer-The author intends to complete his Phd. these are his personal views only.

Buying SAS Institute

At risk of annoying a lot of friendly people, I am going to ask an old question and try and answer it quantitatively.

Who can buy SAS institute?

Graph from-http://www.sas.com/news/preleases/2008Financials.html

SAS_revenue_lores

As you can see from the graph (note the post 2001-2004 period) – which is a nice smoothed curve, textbook normal distribution on the left side, SAS Institute grew during the tough economic year of 2008 to show slowed but firm revenue growth. However if you use the same price/revenue multiple as for the SPSS acquisition ( 1.2 billion/ 300 million (2008) revenues) – that would put a price of 9.2 USD billion on SAS Institute.

Who has that kind of money? Well it seems the usual suspects are-

1) HP- from http://h30261.www3.hp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71087&p=irol-IRHome

and

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/71/71087/HewlettPackard_2008_AR.pdf

Cash and cash equivalents on 12.851 Billion USD as on April 30, 2009.

2) Oracle- Oracle would be hard pressed to integrate both Sun and SAS in the same year, but may have financial leverage to do both.

from http://www.oracle.com/corporate/investor_relations/earnings/4q09-pressrelease-june.pdf

Fiscal year 2009
GAAP revenues were up 4% to $23.3 billion, while annual GAAP net income was up 1% to $5.6
billion.  Total GAAP new software license revenues for the year were down 5% to $7.1 billion.
GAAP software license updates and product support revenues were up 14% to $11.8 billion.
GAAP operating income was up 6% to $8.3 billion, and GAAP operating margins were up 80
basis points to 36% in fiscal year 2009.

3) IBM -from ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/annualreport/2008/2008_ibm_financials.pdf

Cash on hand was 12.7 Billion USD as on 31 Dec 2008, and the company repurchased it’s own stock in 2008

In the current economic environment growth can come through acquisitions of newer clients ( not much) or new companies. IBM has capabilities to acquire BOTH SPSS and SAS Institute and merge the strong R and D facilities.

IBM 2008

4) SAP – from http://www.sap.com/germany/about/investor/reports/gb2008/en/our-results/finances.html

various sources of loan capital:

profit after income taxes for 2008 was slightly lower than for the previous year, we increased cash flows from operating activities 12% to € 2,158 million (2007: € 1,932 million) through efficient management of working capital.

  • To finance the acquisition of Business Objects, we entered into an agreement for a credit facility that was originally for € 5 billion and is repayable by December 31, 2009 (amount outstanding on December 31, 2008: € 2.3 billion). We did not draw the full € 5 billion available under the facility because we paid part of the purchase price from available cash.
  • To increase financial flexibility, in November 2004 we obtained a € 1 billion syndicated credit facility through an international group of banks. We already had other lines of credit in place; the new line was arranged to provide additional financial flexibility. As in the previous year, we did not draw on this facility during the year.
  • At the end of 2008, the other, bilateral lines of credit available to SAP AG totaled approximately € 597 million (2007: € 599 million). We did not draw on these facilities during 2008 or 2007. Several subsidiaries in the SAP Group had credit lines in their local currency. These totaled € 52 million (2007: € 44 million), for which SAP AG was guarantor. At the end of the year, the subsidiaries had drawn € 21 million under these facilities (2007: € 27 million).

Given these cash positions it seems that almost everyone can buy SAS Institute if and this is a big IF- someone sells it. Microsoft which some years allegedly tried and lost at acquiring Yahoo ( only to realize huge savings!) and SAS, would be also another suitor for SAS- and Google also has the financial and operating synergies with the best text mining capabilities could also act as a white knight in merging it’s Google Applications and Enterprise solutions ( especially the cloud based OS and cloud based productivity suite) with SAS Institute. I personally would favor a Google- SAS Institute joint venture on enterprise software solely based on the common history and shared values ( Note Google has dual ownership stock including class A and class B shares)

Who is John Galt ?

Another option could be using the Google Way and for SAS Institute to go for dual ownership IPO, with class A shares for the common public and class B shares for the founders and executives. A substantial endowment to colleges and universities can also be expected in the future, given the philanthropic tradition of SAS Institute owners and executives. Also could SAS try and buy SPSS- it would lead to synergies in both software ( with the SPSS GUI) as well as new clients. At the very minimum it would boost the valuation of other stock in this sector as well make SPSS more realistic valued.

So who will buy SAS Institute?

I don’ know 🙂 and I am just brushing off my half a decade old financial valuation skills here

Advertising Feed back Loop: Facebook and Adwords

In Systems design a feedback loop is something that measures the difference between expected and actual output and adds it back to the system to enhance it’s performance

For a better more accurate definition see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback

Here is how Facebook measures the satisfaction whether I got for an ad on my page- note fraudelent or systematic cheaters would be eliminated by the law of averages.

It places a very small thumbs up or thumbs down on an ad on right hand corner.

When I place a thumbs down on an ad ( note it shows only graphical ads)-it asks me why i didnt like the ad

Was it

1) Misleading
2) Offensive
3) Uninteresting
4) Irrelevant
5) Repetitive
6) Other- allows text mining of free form allowing subjective feedback.

However if I type say Business Intelligence on Google – I get the following

http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&q=business+intelligence&meta=&aq=0&oq=business+intell

Open Source Ad on Pentaho at prime spot just above the results. Makes me wonder how much open source will spend.

Search Results-
Wikepedia entry usually at the top ( but no ads there*)

Search Optimization means SAS Business Intelligence is now fifth from top- which is the first mention of a BI vendor there ( Note cost to SAS is zero as you can see below). In the remaining top 4, two are similar http://www.businessintelligence.com and http://www.businessintelligence.co.uk as the title page tag remains more important than sheer consumer behaviour to Pagerank.

Right Column Sponsored Links ( These guys spend more money than SAS to be on the sponsored links and still end up in a less favourable ad page than in top vendor on search results page)-

1 http://www.brgglobal.com
2 SAP.com/India
3 IBM.com/cognos
4 http://www.BusinessObjects-India.com
5 http://www.softsmith.com
6 http://www.syncfusion.com/BizIntell
7 http://www.intelligententerprise.com/

(Note from Ajay*- A senior IIM Alumnus CK Prahlad (the first batch in fact) – first expounded the concept of core competence-

Now-what is Google’s core competence.
I believe that Google should simply donate all its information on wikipedia, and offer Google Knol to it- rather than just wallow in sunk cost theory or expect an immediate return from this transaction. It will get lots of goodwill- and maybe the Google Wikipedia Knol will take off.

Similarly sell Orkut to Facebook and just take the advertising and search functions to be combined in a seperate spin off called Google Search before Microsoft forces the Europeans and Justice department to do so.

Or continue to moon the giant.)

I didnt like the Adwords ads or the order they were in. But there is no way in Adwords for me to give feedback to it. Facebook listens. Will Adwords listen.