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15 October 2010Team South Africa finished fifth in the overall medals standings at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, capturing 33 medals in total, including 12 golds, with the country’s swimmers leading the way.“Team South Africa’s performance has inspired millions of our citizens, most especially our youth, to endeavour to become champions,” South African President Jacob Zuma said after the closing of the Games on Thursday.“We call upon all South Africans to give our team a rousing welcome on their return. Well done. Halala!”Australia topped the medals table, as they did four years ago on home soil, winning 74 gold medals (177 in total), followed by hosts India with 38 golds (101 in total), England with 37 golds (142 in total), and Canada with 26 golds (75 in total).Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore and Nigeria finished close behind South Africa. Malaysia and Nigeria both won 35 medals in total – two more than South Africa, but with fewer golds, placing them below South Africa in the overall standings.South Africa’s medals tally was slightly down compared to Melbourne four years ago, when the country won 12 golds, 13 silvers, and 13 bronzes for a total of 38 and the same fifth place overall.This could be attributed to the fact that Team South Africa was considerably smaller in Delhi than it was Down Under.In addition, a number of athletes considered strong medal prospects – long jumper Khotso Mokoena, and 800 metres world champions Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Caster Semenya – missed the Games through injury.Swimming strengthSwimming was clearly South Africa’s strength in New Delhi. Three swimmers won at least two gold medals and 16 of Team South Africa’s medals were won in the pool.Natalie du Toit captured three titles in the women’s S9 category, winning the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and the 100 metres butterfly. Cameron van der Burgh shone with the 50 and 100 metres double in the breaststroke, and Chad le Clos emerged as a star.The teenager from Durban raced to victory in 200 metres butterfly and the 4 by 100 metres individual medley, which he won in a Commonwealth Games record time. He also won a silver medal in the 4 by 100 medley relay and a bronze medal in the 4 by 200 freestyle.Like le Clos, Van der Burgh added a silver medal to his tally in the medley relay. The success of South Africa in the relays was testament to the strength of the country’s swimmers, but a generally-held perception among leading swimming coaches was that the country could have won more medals had a bigger team been sent to India.Certainly, based on the times recorded in Delhi, and the times some of those who missed out have previously swum, there was validity in the coaches’ argument.Further, there is a belief among the coaches that the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) needs to invest even more in the country’s swimmers ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games; it appears that South Africa’s best medal chances will be in the pool, viewed in the context of the country’s performances in India.Eleven Commonwealth Games medalsRoland Schoeman, although not an individual champion, won a silver medal in the 50 metres freestyle and a further two bronze medals to take his Commonwealth Games career haul to 11 medals.It was also encouraging to see South Africans excelling in long-distance events: Wendy Trott won a silver medal in the women’s 800 freestyle and Heerden Herman picked up silver in the men’s 1 500 freestyle.BowlsBowls, a non-Olympic sport, continued to be one of South Africa’s strengths, with three gold medals being won.Tracy-Lee Botha, Susan Nel, and Susanna Steyn secured victory for the women’s trips, while their male counterparts – Gideon Vermeulen, Johan Du Plessis, and Wayne Perry – were also crowned champions. Shaun Addinall and Gerry Baker combined to win the men’s pairs with a stunning showing in the final.WrestlingThe other sport in which South Africa stood out was wrestling, which was a welcome boost after it wasn’t held in Melbourne in 2006.A total of five medals were won by South Africans, including two silvers by Richard Addinall in the men’s 74-kilogram Greco-Roman and freestyle divisions.There were further silvers for Bella-Lufa Hughes (96 kilograms Greco-Roman) and Heinrich Barnes (66 kilograms freestyle). Dean van Zyl added a bronze medal in the 84 kilograms freestyle competition.ArcheryArchery, like wrestling, produced smiles for Team South Africa. The men’s compound team picked up a bronze medal after narrowly missing out on competing for gold.Later, Septimus Cilliers claimed another bronze in the individual compound competition, defeating New Zealand’s Shaun Teasdale, ranked number one in the Commonwealth heading into Delhi, for the medal.AthleticsThrowers won three of South Africa’s five medals in athletics, but it was a disappointingly small team that took part in track and field.Chris Harmse, the dominant force in men’s hammer throwing in South Africa for well over a decade, won gold, having twice previously finished with a bronze medal, in 1998 and 2006.Sunette Viljoen lived up to expectations when she threw a Commonwealth record 62.34 metres to win the women’s javelin, and Justine Robbeson added further lustre to South Africa’s performance in the event by claiming the bronze medal.LJ van Zyl put in a mighty effort to defend the 400 metres hurdles he had won in Melbourne, but had to settle for second and silver.In para-athletics, Samkelo Radebe raced to silver in the T 46 100 metres.More medalsMedals were won in two other sports: gymnast Jennifer Khwela picked up a silver in the women’s vault, and the Sevens rugby team won bronze after edging England 17-14 in the playoff for third.M E D A L SGOLDSwimmingChad le Clos (men’s 200m butterfly) Chad le Clos (400m individual medley) Natalie du Toit (women’s S9 50m freestyle) Natalie du Toit (S9 100m freestyle) Natalie du Toit (S9 100m butterfly) Cameron van der Burgh (men’s 100m breaststroke) Cameron van der Burgh (50m breaststroke)AthleticsChris Harmse (mens hammer) Sunette Viljoen (womens javelin)BowlsWomen’s trips (Tracy-Lee Botha, Susan Nel, Susanna Steyn) Men’s trips (Gideon Vermeulen, Johan Du Plessis, Wayne Perry) Men’s pairs (Shaun Addinall, Gerry Baker)SILVERWrestlingRichard Addinall (men’s 74kg, Greco-Roman) Richard Addinall (men’s 74kg, freestyle) Bella-Lufa Hughes (96kg Greco-Roman) Heinrich Barnes (66kg freestyle)SwimmingWendy Trott (women’s 800m freestyle) Roland Schoeman (men’s 50m freestyle) Heerden Herman (men’s 1500m freestyle) 4x100m medley (Charl Crous, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Gideon Louw)GymnasticsJennifer Khwela (vault)Para AthleticsSamkelo Radebe (men’s 100m)AthleticsLJ van Zyl (men’s 400m hurdles)BRONZESwimmingMens 4x100m freestyle (Graeme Moore, Gideon Louw, Roland Schoeman, Darian Townsend) Men’s 4x200m freestyle (Jean Basson, Darien Townsend, Jasper Venter, Chad Le Clos) Roland Schoeman (50m butterfly) Riaan Schoeman (4×100 individual medley) Gideon Louw (men’s 50m freestyle)WrestlingDean van Zyl (84kg freestyle)ArcheryMen’s Team Compound (Septimus Cilliers, Nico Benade, Kobus de Wet) Septimus Cilliers (Individual compound)AthleticsJustine Robbeson (women’s javelin)Sevens RugbyMEDAL TABLEAustralia 74 55 48 177India 38 27 38 101England 37 59 46 142Canada 26 17 32 75South Africa 12 11 10 33Kenya 12 11 9 32Malaysia 12 10 13 35Singapore 11 11 9 31Nigeria 11 10 14 35Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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The code stems from growing public concern about banking fees Discussions are ongoing between the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) and representatives of the local banking sector on a proposed code of conduct to govern their operations.The CAC is pursuing the code’s implementation against the background of growing public concern about the extent of fees which banks currently charge customers/clients for services provided.Chairperson of the CAC, Lorna Green, says the code evolved from a regional project, funded and developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in collaboration with the governments of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, and facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the parties.A copy of the MoU, acquired by JIS News, informs that the regional initiative – ‘Promotion of Consumer Protection in the Caribbean Project’ – lists six organisations as the implementing parties.These include: regional consumer organisation, the Caribbean Consumer Council (CCC); the CAC; National Consumers League of Jamaica; Barbados Consumer Research Organization (BARCRO), and Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs of Barbados (DCCA); and Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Legal Affairs, Consumer Affairs Division.Additionally, the MoU names world consumer groups federation, Consumers International (CI), as also having “a mutual interest in the development of an environment conducive to competitive markets and the promotion of consumer protection within competition regimes within the Caribbean region.”Speaking at the CAC’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA) sensitisation workshop at the Jamaica Conference Centre (JCC), downtown Kingston, on September 18, Mrs. Green said a “forthright” report addressing service fees and the overall relationship and interaction between the banking sector and consumers, along with the proposed code, emerged from the project.“This banking code, which is fairly simple (states that the institutions) tell consumers what interest rates you (banks) are charging them (customers); have them (customers) come in and get their documents, and give them (customers) a cooling off period to consult about what to do,” she said.“It also speaks to access for the physically challenged; telling customers at the automated teller machines how they are going to be charged (and) giving you an option to back out before you make the transaction,” Mrs. Green added.She said that Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados have already signed off on the code, and that local banking representatives requested modifications when the CAC presented the proposal.“We have revised our proposal (down)…more than that which was signed by the remainder of our sister countries in the Caribbean…just to get to a point of agreement,” Mrs. Green said.The CAC Chairperson advised, however, that the bankers responded with a proposal which she described as “even more watered down” than what obtained, and which the CAC expressed reservations about.“We (CAC) are saying no to that alternative. (We) would not recommend to the Minister (of Industry, Investment and Commerce) or the Ministry to affix their signatures to this, because it would be a travesty for us in the Caribbean to sign on to something like this,” she said.Mrs. Green said the CAC and the bankers are still in dialogue about the code, ahead of public consultations. A “forthright” report addressing service fees, along with the proposed code, emerged from the project The local banking representatives requested modifications when the CAC presented the proposal Story Highlights
Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Toronto may be known for its muted red carpets, but Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama has brought some Lagotian flair to this year’s fest. “Lagotians, they’re special people,” the 29-year-old actress from Lagos, Nigeria says with a smile.“We don’t understand the concept of overdressing. We just dress. And it’s always a lot.”With a trio of films at TIFF, Iyamah-Idhalama’s statement personal style has been on display at premieres for comedy The Wedding Party and medical thriller 93 Days. Her legal drama The Arbitration premieres on Tuesday. “I always say, you come across exactly as you feel,” she says. “Especially with clothes. If I like it, you’ll see it.”Iyamah-Idhalama shared her thoughts on three looks by the Canadian label before choosing the perfect gown for her festival debut. Advertisement Along with OC Ukeje, her co-star in The Arbitration, Somkele (pronounced Som-Kai-lai, which means “follow me to praise God”) was chosen by TIFF for its inaugural international Rising Star program, a crash-course in celebrity that includes meetings with casting directors and filmmakers, media training and a Hollywood glam-ification by Birks, The Bay and L’Oreal.Before that boot camp, we caught up with her at designer Stephan Caras’s Maison Caras storefront on Queen St. E. where she was dressing for her first-ever TIFF red carpet: the TIFF Soirée cocktail party with Michael Fassbender. She’s browsing the racks, where she hopes to find a gown that fits her self-described “crazy” style. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
With winter on its way, thoughts are turning to snow, and now is the time to book that ski holiday!However, with skiing and snowboarding now more popular than ever, it can seem like the world and his wife have all had the same idea, and you may be sharing your idyllic winter getaway with thousands of others.Don’t get lost in the crowd and put up with long lift lines and busy slopes; for unexplored pistes and lesser-known resorts, Hetty Partington of Lagrange Holidays introduces 10 serect French ski resorts.1. CauteretsThe French Pyrenees are ideal for anyone looking for a change of scene from crowded Alpine resorts, whilst getting great value for money on their ski break. For nervous beginners or those who prefer gentler slopes, Cauterets offers ideal ski conditions set against a traditional mountain village backdrop.2. Champagny-en-VanoiseWith quick and easy access to the La Plagne ski area via cable car, and cross country skiing in the spectacular Vanoise National Park, Champagny is perfect for anyone looking for a real ‘mountain’ experience.3. ChatelNestled in the Portes du Soleil ski area, Chatel boasts excellent skiing in a village resort atmosphere, and is ideal for any intermediate skiers looking to try more challenging slopes whilst avoiding the people traffic usually found in larger resorts.4. Les SaisiesA haven for those who are still finding their ‘snow legs’, Les Saisies offers dramatic views and gentle tree-lined slopes, as well as boasting 80km of Olympic cross-country ski tracks for anyone feeling a little more adventurous.5. La ToussuireBoth family and expert skier-friendly, plus the added benefit of awe-inspiring views, the slopes of La Toussuire rival those in big name resorts in the Three Valleys. Offering an enormous ski area for keen snow bunnies to explore, La Toussuire is an excellent alternative to the huge crowds and high prices of famous name resorts, such as Tignes or Val Thorens.6. Sainte-Foy-TarentaiseA real hidden Alpine gem, Sainte-Foy is the youngest ski resort in the French Alps and is celebrating its twentieth birthday this year. Also boasting excellent off-piste opportunities, any skiers hoping to truly escape the crowds and explore a relatively untouched corner of the French Alps will not be disappointed.7. Saint-GervaisOne of the original French ski resorts, Saint-Gervais boasts impressive views across the Mont-Blanc mountain range and a traditional nineteenth-century spa town atmosphere and is ideal for skiers hoping to experience an authentically ‘French’ winter break.8. Saint-LaryA great destination for groups made up of skiers of mixed abilities and ages, Saint-Lary offers some of the best skiing opportunities in the French Pyrenees. This picturesque resort’s slopes offer both more challenging runs for intermediates and gentle slopes to ease in even the most nervous of beginners.9. SamoensThose seeking chocolate box villages and a traditional Alpine atmosphere should head to Samoens, a beautifully preserved resort tucked in the heart of the Grand Massif ski domain. Samoens is a classified ‘Monument Historique’, ideal for families and beginners. Visitors heading to Samoens during December will find the festive cheer positively contagious, thanks to the Christmas markets and vin chaud on offer in the resort.10. ValloireLinked to Valmeinier and part of the wider Galibier/Thabor ski domain, Valloire is a charming family resort with slopes to suit skiers of all abilities, whilst still offering a traditional mountain village atmosphere. The resort is also home to an international ice and snow sculpture festival every January, providing entertainment for skiers and non-skiers alike.Compiled by Hetty Partington of Lagrange HolidaysRead more ski and snowboard articlesReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSki Bargains: last minute ski trips to popular ski airportsSkyscanner rounds up the best deals on flights to Europe’s ski airportsEssential guide for travelling with ski and snowboard equipmentSo you’ve waxed your skis, purchased your insurance and pre-booked the lift pass. All that’s left to do is throw everything in a suitcase and head for the airport, right? Big mistake: taking a careless approach to packing ski and snowboard equipment is a recipe for disaster. Brush up on…10 of best cheap ski resorts in the worldLooking for the cheapest places to ski in Europe? Amidst the £10 beers in Zermatt and the fine dining in France, you can still ski the same slopes for a fraction of the price – in the French Alps, Italy, the US, and a few hidden ski fields in Europe!…
UK football fans are “not getting a fair share of the benefits from TV rights deals”, according to Virgin Media.According to the UK cable operator, which has compiled a report on the impact of rising prices of football rights, “the consumer is paying more [and] is not able to watch all the live games on TV”. Virgin Media says that “in its auction of live TV rights, the kind of competition managed by the Premier League isn’t working”.According to the operator, the cost per viewer for Sky has increased from £400 (€530) in 2009-10 to £738 in 2014-15. If Sky attracts an audience average of 1.5 million per game in 2016-17, higher than its record 2011-12 performance, its cost per viewer will still increase to £928, according to Virgin Media’s calculations.Virgin Media calculates that BT, Sky’s main competitor for football rights, had a cost per viewer of £412 last season.The cable operator says that the £1.78 billion that the Premier League will take from BT and Sky each season under the current deals are the same amount as the total that the BBC spends on all TV programming. However the football rights deals generate only 504 hours of programming.According to Virgin Media, UK fans spend at least twice as much as other European fans to watch about half the number of games.The operator called for more matches to be made available, arguing that there is little evidence this would have an adverse impact on attendance at matches.The operator cited its own research as showing that 77% of football fans would like more live Premier League game son TV, with only 6% saying the are able to watch every match they want to on TV at home.“From next season, there will be only 168 games shown live in the UK out of a total of 380, yet fans will pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the games on TV,” said Virgin Media.The company also argued that there is little evidence that the vast sums of money now received by Premier League clubs is having a positive impact on English teams’ performance in international leagues.
[Technical note: We did not include all S&P 500 companies in the above chart – only those for which share structure data was available since the first quarter of 2003. For example, Google went public in 2004 and was not included. We followed the same method with the HUI Index, with the only stock excluded being New Gold Inc. (T.NGD).] Since there is little growth in shares outstanding, the majority of the market capitalization (Mcap) growth can be attributed to share price performance. The total Mcap of the S&P 500 increased by 78.6%, or about 6% per year on a compounded basis. And no wonder – the sector includes a lot of large stocks that do not grow at the same rate as mining juniors. However, the chart also shows how quickly market value can shrink when a crisis hits. Let’s now have a look at what happened to the HUI constituents within the same time frame. There are two observations to be made from these charts. First, compared to S&P 500 companies, gold producers grossly overissued new shares. Since 2003, as a group, they more than doubled their shares outstanding, significantly diluting existing investors. Second, despite the large increase in shares outstanding, HUI companies have grown their market capitalization by 302.5% as of the fourth quarter of 2012, quadrupling the size of the group. This comes in stark contrast to the 78.6% growth of the S&P 500. On a compounded annual basis, gold companies grew at 14.9% annually for the last ten years, more than twice as fast as the S&P. So while shares outstanding of the gold miners were increasing at a high rate, the market capitalization of the HUI constituents outpaced the growth of shares outstanding, because the assets miners purchased with the funds they received from the new shares generated extra value. Since market capitalization doesn’t necessarily expand when new shares are issued, it’s the price performance that accounts for this growth. Looking at the next chart, you can see that the performance of gold stocks continues to be both stronger and more volatile than the S&P 500. Note that we didn’t modify the indexes here – these are the performance numbers that investors have been looking at for the past decade, and they make the case that the gold-mining sector has been far from lackluster. The gold-mining sector has been outperforming the S&P 500 for the vast majority of the last decade. With this focus on efficiency and economics, gold companies should richly reward those bold enough to invest in them now. But there’s another way to play the gold market that doesn’t involve buying producers, nor does it require buying the yellow metal itself. And it could be even more profitable… The chart is hardly a surprise: the precious-metals producers had a poor showing, losing 26.6% in 2012 – something we think will reverse this year – while stocks in the S&P 500 delivered a solid 14.2% annual gain. We think that while last year’s performance of the S&P 500 companies is commendable, the future may disappoint investors who believe the US economic recovery is on solid footing: last week’s GDP data suggest that our economy continues to struggle, something that was immediately reflected in the price of gold the day the news was released. As 2013 progresses, we expect to see more signs of a weaker economy and subsequently, stronger gold prices. But let’s look at the bigger picture to see how the S&P 500 has expanded as a group during the past decade. To measure the rate of expansion, we plotted the total market capitalization against growth of shares outstanding. The idea here is to compare the rate of S&P 500 share dilution to the change in size of the companies. Size does not equal performance (we’ll look at that in a moment), but it gives a rough idea about how much market value investors may have gained had there been no dilution at all. We often hear the claim that gold producers have not met investors’ expectations for the past couple years. While there are many potential reasons for this, one explanation for their underperformance lies in the fact that producers diluted their share structures, leaving shareholders with smaller gains than they would have otherwise harvested. To show how this dilution has impacted the industry, let’s first review how gold miners performed last year compared to the S&P 500.
Breweries are quite creative these days when it comes to saving energy. Double Mountain Brewery in Oregon uses refillable beer bottles, Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing turns its waste grain and water into compost for aquaculture, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company recovers carbon dioxide from the fermentation cycle.Investment in energy-efficient technologies can be costly, but according to a study published last week in PLOS ONE, these investments may be worthwhile.A majority of the 1,000 U.S. beer drinkers surveyed say they are willing to pay more for sustainably-produced beer, and on average, they would pay around $1.30 more per six-pack.”One dollar and 30 cents is not a small amount if you consider the average price of a six-pack,” says Sanya Carley, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the lead author of the survey.According to data from IRI Worldwide, a Chicago-based market research firm, the average price of a six-pack of beer is $5.96. For craft beer specifically, an average six-pack costs $9.36.The survey reached respondents through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing survey tool. Participants were asking if they were willing to pay more for beer produced at breweries that invest in equipment to conserve water or energy or use solar panels to limit greenhouse gas emissions.The findings of the willingness-to-pay survey underscores the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases in the highly energy-intensive brewing industry, she says.It’s so energy intensive that it takes three and a half to six gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer, according to the California Craft Brewers Association.Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the survey said they would pay more for beer that invests in sustainable practices.Bart Watson, the chief economist of The Brewers Association, says these findings are pretty much what he would expect based on recent trends in the beer market.”An increased number of people are willing to pay more to companies that share their values,” Watson says.Jason Perkins, a brewmaster at Allagash Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery in Portland, Maine, says this research makes him “ecstatic.””It’s important for us to be making beer responsibly,” he says, but it’s also important that consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable product.Allagash, which has put a number of sustainability practices in place including waste diversion, composting, cork recycling, and using locally-grown grain, put in a solar array in 2016 after contemplating the investment for awhile.The company knew the solar panels would be a big upfront expense, but decided to take the leap.”It was really a decision based on a matter of principal,” Perkins says. He also says it’s a little hard to quantify what all of Allagash’s sustainability practices mean to the company. The solar panels, for example, allow the company to displace thousands of pounds of CO2 that would have been produced through traditional energy generation. Also, Allagash employees are just proud to be doing good things for the environment, he says.But its not just the growing craft beer industry that can potentially benefit financially from marketing sustainability. The research from the recent study shows that consumers of American lagers like Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon were no different than other beer drinkers in their willingness to pay for sustainable beer. This finding was unexpected and encouraging, says Carley.”It’s refreshing in a way because sustainable practices don’t have to be limited to just craft beer companies,” Carley says.By the way, big beer companies are already taking steps towards sustainability. For example, MillerCoors has already significantly reduced its water usage.But according to Ernest Baskin, an assistant professor of consumer behavior at Saint Joseph’s University, it’s important to note that in the study, the consumers who were more willing to pay for sustainability premiums already said they tended to pay more money for beer than the consumers that were unwilling to pay more for sustainable beer. Thus, for beer companies that market themselves as “for the common man,” he says, sustainability measures might not be an added benefit. They might, in fact, price these companies out of their major consumers, Baskin says.Watson points out, though, that large beer companies have broad portfolios (Anheusuer-Busch sells a lot more than just Bud Light), and these findings on consumers’ willingness-to-pay for sustainability might factor into the business models for their specialty products.The research, Watson says, “might push some more breweries that are thinking about this to make sustainable investments.”Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Technology 15+ min read Steve Bass Next Article –shares September 6, 2007 Add to Queue Sure, getting from point A to point B is still a big reason for using one of the Internet’s many mapping sites, but these days there’s a lot more to Web maps than just directions. I looked at the five biggest names in online maps–Ask City, Google Maps, MapQuest, Microsoft Live Search Maps, and Yahoo Maps–and found that annotation and other tools gave Microsoft Live and Ask City a slight edge over Yahoo Maps, and a substantial advantage over Google Maps and MapQuest. I also tried a slew of location-based services . And don’t miss our guide to the top map mashups .Chart a Course for the Best Mapping SitesTraffic reports, 3D views, and the ability to add notes are among the new features that help take the bumps out of your travels. Click on the text link or the icon below to see our ranked chart of the five mapping services we tested.The Best Mapping Sites (chart)Ask CityThere are enough drawing tools on this site to keep you busy for hours gussying up your maps. You can add text notes or draw segmented lines, squares, circles, and polygons, in any of ten colors. It’s easy to undo individual additions or to clear the map completely.One great Ask City feature is that it lets you add a stickpin to any location and fill it with an image and notes. You can save snapshots of up to ten maps (including all your gaudy annotations). Click Permalink to save a link to the map, or send others the link via e-mail.Options in the Search panel enable you to look for a local business, movie theater, concert, or other event, or generate maps and directions. In late July I searched for “Harry Potter” and “Pasadena,” and Ask City’s middle Results panel listed ten local theaters playing the movie, each pinned onto a map in the right-hand panel. The three windows let you dynamically view changes on custom maps. In the Results panel, for example, clicking the name of a business–say, a restaurant or hotel–usually brings up a Citysearch review.Once you search for a specific type of business (“manicures,” for example), Ask City supplies a list of businesses in the area, with the neighborhood highlighted on the map. Way cool.Another appealing Ask City feature: Click any of the written directions in your route to have that area appear on the map, along with a second, smaller inset map corresponding to the specific route section. You can add up to ten stops to the map at a time.If you’ll be walking, click the Walking tab on a plotted route to see directions optimized for traveling by shank’s mare. I was even able to create and save a walking tour in Paris, in case I ever travel there again. Right-click your map to add the location, or snap to the closest address, and stick in a location pin.The service’s directions and map panels have minimize and maximize icons for resizing the contents; however, on conventional 4:3 monitors, you might need to scroll to the right to see them.Google Maps and MapQuestGoogle MapsWhen I think of mapping sites, I think Google. So it’s too bad that the service’s interface is so cluttered, especially compared with the clean interfaces of the other top mapping sites I visited.One of the best things about Google Maps is that it lets you dynamically change the route of a trip: Start a route with a mouse click, choose the start and end locations, and then just drag a section of the route and drop it elsewhere on the map. In a flash, the directions on the map change–as do the written directions. That’s a great feature for rerouting if you should discover a backup on your route (and you will, trust me) by clicking the Traffic button.Right-click the route to add more yellow pushpin stops, or add stops via the written directions in the Search Results panel; or you can drag and drop written instructions to rearrange the route.Google Maps also lets you create your own mashup by adding content from hundreds of sources. For instance, the My Maps feature can now display elevation contour lines or gas prices (the latter via the Gas Buddy plug-in).You can save up to 100 map locations, but doing so requires that you log in to a Google account (click Sign in to start creating one). To make your maps easier to retrieve, use Google’s My Maps tab. Another option is to create a link for sending maps via e-mail. However, the only data you can send to a cell phone is a business location.Unfortunately, Google Maps’ annotation tools are paltry compared with those of Ask City and Live Search Maps. Google does let you add placemarks and include .rtf, .html, and other files; you can draw segment lines and shapes, but you can’t draw circles, and you can’t embed text directly on the map.Even worse, I spent way more time figuring out the service’s controls than I did actually creating and annotating my maps. Google Maps simply isn’t as easy to use as Live Search Maps or Yahoo Maps. After much struggling, I discovered that the annotation tools were available only if I chose Create new map under the My Maps tab.I was also bewildered by the right-click options, which changed depending on the map view. For instance, a “clear map” button to start over was available in a business search, but not in the map’s own search feature.MapQuestIf you’re looking for an easy-to-use mapping service that’s not all fancy-shmancy, AOL’s MapQuest may be for you. The site focuses primarily on routing and directions, though you can zoom in on specific map locations. To get directions, enter an address or intersection as the starting location. Ditto for the destination. (Click the Maps icon if you just want to explore a map.) You can exclude seasonally closed roads.MapQuest’s step-by-step directions feature expandable maps highlighting each turn or other instruction; click Open or Close at the top of the map to expand the directions.Clicking the route’s starting point or endpoint brings up the helpful ‘Zoom to Street Level’ link; you have the option of switching to a hybrid satellite view, too.One nice MapQuest feature is the ability to reorder your route by dragging and dropping the written locations to a new spot on the list. It seems silly, though, that MapQuest doesn’t let you save a multistop route.To arrange for maps on the go, use the Send to Cell option, which dispatches a text link that you click on your mobile phone to open the map and directions in the phone’s browser.The flashing, twirling ads on MapQuest are annoying; they’ll eventually stop–until your pointer touches the ad.Microsoft Live Search Maps and Yahoo MapsMicrosoft Live Search MapsI didn’t think anything would get me off Google Maps, but after using Live Search Maps just once, I was hooked. It’s packed with features that make it more like a full-blown application than simply a mapping service. My favorite: the roll-up Scratch pad, which makes saving trips, routes, and maps a breeze (get to it by clicking CollectionsOpen). Of course, in order to save your Scratch pad, you first have to sign in with a free MSN or Hotmail account.You can use the Scratch pad to draw a path or trail, and a pop-up shows the distance in yards and in miles. The service lets you create a rectangle, square, or other straight-line area, with the color fill or border width of your choice. (One missing feature is the ability to add text directly onto the map.)Live Search Maps makes it easy to save annotations as a collection (to do this, click Properties, Save). You can share your map via e-mail, or pop it onto the Windows Clipboard for subsequent pasting into an application.Right-click to zoom to a street or regional level, or to add a pushpin with notes that include a URL and a link to an image. That same right-click lets you start planning a route by adding a ‘Drive from’ (or ‘Drive to’) pushpin, and then finishing the route in the written ‘Driving directions’ panel. (Or you can simply add both ‘Drive from’ and ‘Drive to’ pushpins on a map, and click Get directions.)Unlike Ask City, Live Search Maps doesn’t let you force the pushpin to connect to a specific address. But when you’re at a street-level view, you can spot and select the location you want (the Las Vegas Hilton, say), which is adequate for most routing needs.The service’s live traffic icons include one that identifies planned events, such as a trade show or baseball game. Two nice touches: The Navigation tool rolls out of the way; and as in Yahoo Maps, a handy minimap aids in navigation.Live Search Maps shows the typical road, aerial, and hybrid map views, but much more stunning are the Virtual Earth 3D views. Still, as with the 3D images on Google Maps, the novelty wears off surprisingly quickly: After about a dozen 3D views, I found myself using Live Search Maps just to perform straightforward mapping and routing.By the way, if you want to use Virtual Earth, you’ll need to download an ActiveX program–which, to my dismay, attempted to change my browser’s home page to Live Search. Microsoft’s mapping service also offers you a Location finder, which is a small application that tries to identify your exact current location based either on the Wi-Fi hotspot you’re using or on your IP address. But without Wi-Fi, the “Locate me” feature wasn’t able to find me when I tested it.Yahoo MapsThis mapping service is smart about creating a route, but it’s not perfect. For example, Yahoo Maps couldn’t find “Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles” when I entered it into the ‘Get a Map’ and ‘Get Driving Directions’ fields, yet it popped up immediately in the ‘Find a Business on the Map’ field. The service found New York’s Times Square in all three search spots immediately, and it located several street addresses. However, it drove me nuts that the site couldn’t find matches for a location I had previously searched for and saved.When you create a route and hover over any portion of the text directions, the route segment is highlighted on the map (although I would have preferred that it change color rather than simply acquiring a highlight). Clicking the chevron symbol on any written direction will cause its small map portion (which is also individually printable) to unfold.The service’s routing results were accurate, and I liked the nearly instantaneous real-time traffic icons; it was also nice to see road closures displayed. You can send the map and instructions via e-mail. Also, street addresses appear as links in Yahoo Mail messages, leading to Yahoo Maps.The mapping details on Yahoo Maps really shine. For instance, at the street level, little purple “P” icons signify parking structures. If you look carefully, you will see the details of freeway on- and off-ramps. And you may notice that some maps have color-coded neighborhoods (which, unfortunately, you can’t use as a search criterion).Yahoo Maps is loaded with tools that help you use the site more efficiently. For instance, as you hover over the tool that lets you zoom in and out of a map view, little markers for street, city, state, and country appear. If you’re browsing a map and want directions to a particular spot, right-click and choose Drive from here… or Drive to here…. Another nice touch: The minimap insert (which rolls up when not needed) is superimposed on the larger map and makes navigating much more pleasurable.There’s no 3D mapping, but Yahoo Maps provides enough texture on its satellite and hybrid maps to let you discern mountains and hills, and get a sense of other terrain. Yahoo Maps also figured out that not everyone is on a fast connection, so for dial-up users it offers another site that has almost all of the same features but isn’t as bandwidth-hungry.Mapping and Location Services for Your Cell PhoneYou’re out and about and need some quick information, or you simply want to find out where you are or whether your buddies are close by. Grab your cell phone and try one of these free and low-cost services.Tell Me All About ItCall Tellme (800/555-8355, or text 83556) and say “weather,” “sports,” “news,” “taxi,” “airlines,” or “driving directions.” You’ll see a map, directions, or search request results on your cell phone (you’ll need to download a small application first). The service works with AT&T and Sprint phones. Note: Tellme was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year.Keep Track of YourselfTrimble Outdoors has a trio of subscription-based tools that use your cell phone to show you exactly where you are and where you have been. In real time, its AllSport GPS records your walk, jog, or bike ride; you can see your route immediately on your cell’s screen and keep a record on the service’s site. It works with most Garmin and other popular GPS devices (plug-in required). If you’re into geocaching, where you try to find hidden treasures or do other tasks using a GPS, you’ll get a kick out of Trimble’s Geocache Navigator service. Trimble Outdoors also gives you a way to plan routes and trips with street, satellite, and topological maps. The cost for all three is $7 per month.Get a Jott JoltIf you have a reminder (or bright column idea) to send to yourself, or a message that you need to get to a friend or a bunch of buddies, use Jott . Call 877/568-8486 and record a voice message up to 30 seconds long that the service transcribes into text and sends as a text alert to the e-mail addresses or mobile phones of your choice. Jott even saves the messages for future reference. You can also import your Web mail address book.Don’t Dodge MeIf you want to locate your pals, or let them find you, sign up for the Dodgeball service, and use your cell phone to let them know where you are and to find out where they are. Available in over 22 cities, Dodgeball lets you broadcast your location by texting your street address or other information about your locale to 36343, along with a text message–and maybe a snapshot of you and Paris. In no time, you’ll be surrounded by friends, and maybe a hundred paparazzi.Find Out Where to GoNature calls, even in the big city. So when you’re running all around town, you may need to know where you can go on the go. MizPee has the answer, providing the location of clean, dependable lavatories. Use your phone’s browser to access the beta service, or (easier) text your city and state to 415/350-2290.Mapping MashupsMapping on its own is great, but a good mashup–data from two inherently different sources combined–is glorious. And often lots of fun. (See ” Eight Great, Simple Ways to Hack the Web ” for more on the technology.)Take a Geowalk WalkI spent an hour exploring the world with the widgets on Geowalk’s virtual desktop . Pop a location into the Geocoder field and click a pushpin on the map. You’ll see detailed information and location-related pictures as Geowalk mashes up Wikipedia info and geo-tagged Flickr photos. Tap the More button on the UNESCO World Heritage widget for a neat surprise.Read a Book, Sip Some CoffeeSilly as it sounds, some people need a regular caffeine-and-literature fix. Findbyclick locates a nearby Starbucks or chain bookstore in over 100 cities in the United States and Europe. Click a link, and you’ll get a location; sort the tags to find a spot with Wi-Fi.Did You Feel That?Everybody in California is waiting for it: The Big One. When you live in earthquake country, you know it’ll happen. That’s why I’m a fan of the U.S. Geological Survey’s mashup of Yahoo Maps and real-time, worldwide earthquake reports.Map Your New Craigslist Digs Craigslist.org is famous for finding the apartment that’s just perfect for you. But if you’re tired of the drudgery of scrolling through the classified-ad site’s endless lists, try MapsKrieg –its mashup helps do the job for you. Just choose a region, or enter a specific city and state, and browse around the pushpins to find the ideal location–like a fully furnished five-star flat in Tribeca for only $4400 a month. If you prefer searching by price (no kidding!), try Housing Maps instead.Taxi…TAXI!When you travel to Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Las Vegas, or some other big city, don’t get taken and pay too much for your ride around town. TaxiWiz gives you an estimate of the fare for trips in seven major cities, reducing the chances that you’ll be fleeced by unscrupulous taxicab drivers. For instance, a trip from L.A. International Airport to my office in Pasadena shouldn’t run more than $75. (Never mind, I’ll pick you up.) There’s also a mobile version of the service if you can’t get to a PC.Personalize Your Mashup MapUse Platial and consider yourself a neogeographer–someone who shares locations of personal significance with family, friends, or strangers. Two of my favorite Platial offerings: Jordi’s Mad Jaunt Across America and Baostar’s best spots in Orange County, California, for a Zen fix .Duck and CoverNo matter where you go, there’s something to worry about. The Global Incident Map does a tremendous job of letting you track terrorist attacks and other potential calamities. The mashup integrates data from newspapers, Web news reports, and other sources with Google Maps. Click an entry on the map for more info and a link to a detailed report on the incident.Look at Clouds From Both SidesHey, Bill, is it cloudy in Seattle? Don’t bother looking up–of course it is. Get a view of the clouds over any location worldwide at DaylightMap’s Clouds page . The satellite and hybrid views appear through the haze of cumulus (or are they nimbus?) clouds. The NASA images are are updated every 6 hours.Banks, Traffic, and MoreMost mashups come with one service. But MoreMap is the Grand Poobah of map mashups. The site supplies access to mapping mashes for banks, movie theaters, traffic conditions, radio stations, weather, earthquakes, and other categories. Find your way with the Directions modules; the site’s free registration lets you store your favorite places and access them from any Internet-connected PC. Register Now » The Web’s Best Mapping Sites Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Brought to you by PCWorld At the top map services, driving directions are just the beginning. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 7 2019Clarigent Health, a technology company building a clinical decision support tool for mental health professionals, is partnering with The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, a leading provider of education and mental health treatment for children facing significant challenges, to complete a pilot study using Clarigent’s mobile decision support app. The Clarigent app uses artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to analyze linguistic and vocal characteristics collected during therapy sessions, in this case for clients of The Children’s Home. The app is designed as decision support software for the detection of early indicators of suicidality, violence and certain mental health disorders.”This technology was invented in response to a need expressed by medical professionals who work with young people in crisis,” said Don Wright, CEO of Clarigent Health. “Are there early warning signs that, if detected, can guide a young person’s treatment to the correct options and avert a crisis? This study is an important first step in moving the technology from the hospital and research bench, into the real world where kids are every day.”In the pilot called CAMPUS (Classification and Assessment of Mental Health Performance Using Schematics), 20 therapists working in multiple elementary, middle and high school settings in southwest Ohio will deploy the mobile app to record regularly scheduled sessions with students. Participation in the pilot and recording requires the consent of the student and parent or guardian. The schools have also granted consent.The CAMPUS pilot marks the debut of the Clarigent app in a school environment. Previous clinical studies have tested the technology in hospital and emergency room ER settings, with results published in peer-reviewed journals.Related StoriesGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationThe goals for this first phase are to show the app can be integrated into a normal therapy session without interfering with the session, and to ensure the app can receive audio of sufficient quality in a school setting to enable analysis by the app. Investigators hope to obtain 400- 600 recordings in this initial phase, before progressing to a larger study in the fall involving several thousand students. The fall study will include control participants from the general student population in addition to screening for a more diverse set of behavioral health conditions.”The Children’s Home of Cincinnati is proud to partner with the team at Clarigent Health on cutting edge innovations designed to save lives,” said John Banchy, president and CEO of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati. “Our 155 year legacy has been a story of adapting to reflect the needs of the community we serve, and we are frequently and tragically reminded the current need is significant. This technology, which has the potential to change how mental health services are administered on a global scale, could become a modern cornerstone in that story.”Clarigent Health, based in Mason, Ohio, was formed in 2018 to commercialize technology originating from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The technology is designed to analyze linguistic and vocal characteristics of sessions between health care professionals and patients to provide a near real-time assessment of a patient at risk for suicide or mental health conditions. Clinicians, who make the ultimate decisions on diagnosis and treatment, can use the app’s assessment and recommendations to inform and guide their care decisions.Source: https://clarigenthealth.com/