The GIS Lens

Archive for the ‘GIS in practice’ Category

Sierra Club v Orange County case has its Day in Court

Friday, May 10th, 2013
Article source: Bruce Joffe, GISP
Impressions of the Hearing before the California Supreme Court

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 14 months after all the written briefs were filed, and 20 months since the California Supreme Court agreed to hear this case, lawyers for both sides summarized their arguments and answered questions before the seven presiding Supreme Court Justices.  Attorney Sabrina Venskus represented the Sierra Club which is suing Orange County for access to its GIS-compatible digital parcel basemap database under terms of the California Public Records Act (CPRA) that include paying no more than the direct cost of duplication.  Attorney Mark Servino represented Orange County which has been requiring users of its “OC Landbase” to pay $475,000, plus sign a license that restricts sharing or redistribution of its database.
Although Orange County abruptly reduced its price late in December, 2011, the case stems from the Sierra Club’s public records act request for data made in March, 2009.  Orange County won SC’s lawsuit in Superior Court in April, 2010, affirming its right to exempt its GIS-compatible database from the CPRA.  Sierra Club appealed the decision, but Orange County again prevailed in the Court of Appeal in June, 2011.  The California Supreme Court hearing is the final appeal; its decision will be the final judicial determination of this issue.  At stake is whether the public has unfettered access to the GIS-compatible data that its government agencies use to conduct “the public’s business,” in the same geodatabase format that the agencies themselves use, or whether the government can license, restrict and charge high prices for such access.  As more and more governmental decisions and actions are based on GIS analysis, the issue is central to governmental transparency and accountability to us, the citizens of our democracy.

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Phoenix landscaping company conducts plant density study to optimize water consumption, tries mobile mapping to collect ‘Big Data’ quickly

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

By Don Talend

When the public thinks about landscaping, high tech doesn’t immediately come to mind. After all, this is work involving dirt, manual labor and plants. Mechanical engineering is represented in the form of a backhoe loader, for example, but that’s about as “technological” as the industry gets. Right?

Actually, anyone inside the industry would tell a different story. This is a field characterized by large inventories and a wide range of variables affecting product and service quality, starting with weather and soil. The convergence of these variables creates the need for a great deal of monitoring of growth. As a result, any landscaping company that seeks to be profitable over the long haul without relying on data for botanic maintenance decision-making probably should.

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Google Earth helps a little boy find his family after 25 years

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Article source: BBC

An Indian boy who lost his mother in 1986 has found her 25 years later from his new home in Tasmania – using satellite images.

Saroo was only five years old when he got lost. He was travelling with his older brother, working as a sweeper on India’s trains. “It was late at night. We got off the train, and I was so tired that I just took a seat at a train station, and I ended up falling asleep.”

That fateful nap would determine the rest of his life. “I thought my brother would come back and wake me up but when I awoke he was nowhere to be seen. I saw a train in front of me and thought he must be on that train. So I decided to get on it and hoped that I would meet my brother.”

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A TED Talk by James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Article source:  

Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.

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City of Charlotte uses GIS for public service

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Article Source: Charlotte, North Carolina Government

This is an interesting video preaching GIS for government functions including public safety and other examples from Charlotte, North Carolina. Here is an excerpt:

“You could call it a digital swiss army knife, handy for many tasks, or you might think of it as a high tech method of “getting your act together” across time and distance. However you see it, GIS (Geographic Information System) is a big deal growing bigger. Combining geography with data from other collaborating disciplines creates a tool for solving previously mind boggling problems….”

Geo Designing Legislation & Regulation – keynote speech by Sean McGrath at the 2011 URISA – GIS-PRO Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Article source: Sean McGrath

Approximately 70% of all policy making by legislatures and executive branches can be related to place and yet a mere fraction of one per cent of all legal materials produced and consumed on the planet are based on maps.

GIS has advanced to the point where this can – and perhaps must – change in the interests of keeping the democratic law-making process vibrant into the 21st century.

In this talk, Sean McGrath, build director for the KLISS e-democracy system in Kansas, will outline how GIS is being integrated into the very heart of law-making in Kansas, opening up exciting new vistas for legislators and citizens alike.

Sean is co-founder and CTO of Propylon. He heads up the CTO Office out of Propylon’s Lawrence, Kansas facility. He has almost 30 years of experience in the IT industry, most of it in the legal and regulatory publishing space. He holds a first class honors degree in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin. He served as an invited expert to the W3C special interest group that created the XML standard in 1996. He is the author of three books on markup languages published by Prentice Hall.

The presentation is broken up into 4 parts due to Youtube’s video length restriction.

Part I

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Video: GIS to the Rescue by The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Article source: NAPSG Foundation

Want to learn what GIS can do for local and county public safety agencies? This is the latest of NAPSG’s videos to help you understand how you can leverage geospatial technology as a key asset in mitigating risk and enhancing community resilience.

About NAPSG

The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2005 to overcome the challenges faced by Federal, tribal, state, and local public safety agencies.

Our mission is to support the public safety and homeland security communities in the advancement of data interoperability and connectivity, through Geographic Information Systems, in support of local and national preparedness goals.


GIS Industry responds to the Haiti Disaster

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Check out the ‘GIS Industry responds to the Haiti Disaster’ at:

http://www10.giscafe.com/nbc/articles/view_article.php?articleid=780315

If you or your company is involved with helping with the Haiti Relief Effort, and wish to be included in this report, feel free to send me an email by responding to this Blog post.

Wecome to GISCafe Blogs!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

We have just launced a beta version of GISCafe Blogs. Let me know if you are interested in blogging on GISCafe.

You can blog about anything that would be of interest to the GISCafe audience. GISCafe provides you access to more than 100,000 unique visitors every month. The blogs would be included in our daily newsletter sent to 40,000 subscribers.

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