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Archive for September, 2009

Mobile cloud services forecasted

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

According to ABI Research, “the number of people using mobile cloud services will rapidly grow over the next five years, reaching 998 million in 2014. Last year, these kind of services were used by 42.8 million subscribers, which is approximately 1.1% of all mobile users. In comparison, the number of people that are expected to use mobile cloud in 2014 will represent nearly 19% of all mobile phone users.” – Dusan Belic, ABI Research, Sept. 9, 2009

Near real-time GIS data gets to firefighters

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

During the recent summer forest fire season, San Diego State University’s Homeland Security program developed a geographic information system that makes GIS data available to firefighters in the field in near real-time – even when they do not have wireless or landline networks available. These datasets, designed for firefighters specifically, are formatted for satellite delivery and include satellite and aerial imagery, weather radar and topographical data in a format optimized for delivery over the Inmarsat Plc. Broadband Global Area Network.

http://gcn.com/articles/2009/09/08/gis-wildfire.aspx

The flip side of flood mapping

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

In the past two to three years, GISCafe has run many stories about flood mapping and flood risk solutions that have proliferated since Hurricane Katrina and other flooding disasters have occurred. The technology that meets the demand for more accurate flood mapping has appeared to be a godsend to those attempting to do flood risk analysis and management tasks.

But for homeowners, the technology may not seem like such a great advancement. A five-year, $1 billion project by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to draw new maps pinpointing places that could be affected by the kind of flood that occurs once a century — meaning the flood has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any year –  is prompting homeowners to have to go out and buy flood insurance.

For a lot of people, buying flood insurance is not something on their radar, and definitely not in the budget. As a result of this project, every county in the New York region has been remapped. In Monmouth County, NJ alone, 4,300 properties have been remapped and recast as flood-prone. Beginning September 25, those property owners will be required to carry flood insurance that could cost up to $1,700 per year. The areas in question are Middleton, Keansburg, Hazlet and Union Beach – communities that are generally comprised of blue-collar workers who do not generally have the extra money to spend on flood insurance.

New Flood Rules, With a Price Tag by Joseph Berger, September 4, 2009, The New York Times

Track H1N1 with a new iPhone App

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Outbreaks Near Me,” a new iPhone application, created by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, gives users the opportunity to track outbreaks of infectious diseases such as H1N1 (Swine Flu) in real time. The power of the online resource HealthMap, is behind the application, which collects, filters, maps and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases. The application offers contextualized data of a user’s location and can pinpoint outbreaks that have been reported near the user. Users can search for additional information on outbreaks or individual occurrences by location or by disease.

Outbreaks Near Me was developed with support from Google.org and is available at no cost for download in the iTunes App Store.

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