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Archive for April, 2012

DARPA hopes to advance robotics with new contest

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s  new PETMAN robot expresses none of the fatigue of a human soldier, and whether he can leap buildings with a single bound is yet to be discovered. This innovation fof DARPA’s has sparked the new contest that aims to develop technology that advances robotics to the next level. The level at which robots can do what we do, go where we can’t, and change shape as necessary.

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ForWarn monitors forest disturbances across the U.S.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

ForWarn is a satellite-based forest disturbance monitoring system for the conterminous United States. It delivers new forest change products every eight days and provides tools for attributing abnormalities to insects, disease, wildfire, storms, human development or unusual weather. Archived data provide disturbance tracking across all lands since 2000. Interactive maps are accessible via the Forest Change Assessment Viewer.

ForWarn.forestthreats.org

-USGS

WorldView-3 promises to be a “superspectral satellite”

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Jeff Culwell vice president of operations, DigitalGlobe talked about what led up to their anticipated WorldView-3 satellite and the details about it. The satellite is slated for launch in mid-2014. The announcement was made at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.

Midwest flooding, Cairo, IL

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Esri demonstration of using Lidar for situational awareness

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

At the Esri Federal User Conference 2012, Brett Rose demonstrates how to use lidar and terrain data for surveillance and situational awareness.

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Google’s Street View case is unresolved because engineer refuses to talk

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

One of the most audacious projects ever to come out of Google was the plan to photograph and map the inhabited world, one block at a time. But a report over the weekend from federal regulators has rekindled questions over exactly what the company was doing — questions the search giant has spent years trying not to answer.

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Utilities workflow in Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

While Autodesk does not talk about GIS much these days, embedded in their Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 is a Utilities Workflow that offers intelligent model based software for meeting the complex needs of the SmartGrid, with GIS products built in. The emphasis appears to be on helping transform planning, design and management processes by capturing conditions at the start of the design process, useful for both designers and GIS professionals.

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The importance of U.S. commercial satellite imagery

Friday, April 13th, 2012

High resolution imagery of sub-meter – less than 40 inches – is only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. It is what the stuff of Google is made of. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S.  government. There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications.

Read about why U.S. commercial satellite imagery is important:

The Fate of U.S. Commercial Satellite Imagery – and why you should care LBx Journal

 

Envisat stops sending data to earth

Friday, April 13th, 2012

After just having celebrated its 10th anniversary of service on 1 March 2012, ESA’s Envisat stopped sending data to earth. The last contact between the satellite and the ground station in Kiruna, Sweden was established on Sunday, ever since no data has been received. ESA’s mission control is working to re-establish contact with the satellite. Launched in 2002, Envisat has orbited Earth more than 50 000 times delivering thousands of images and other data used for example for climate change studies or natural disaster mitigation supporting more than 4000 projects in over 70 countries.

One of the last images to be transmitted before the loss of contact. Picture: ESA

 

Think computing – mobile, social and the cloud

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

A bevy of new “consumer” customers fueled by the mobile, social and cloud platforms may be behind Autodesk’s financial success for 2011.

The Autodesk Media Summit held in San Francisco two weeks ago trumpeted news of the latest Autodesk 2013 product suites and products launch. CEO Carl Bass opened the Summit with some business results, big trends, followed by specific product information by Amar Hanspal. There is a video and partial transcription available on AECCafe Today

To reiterate what was covered in the opening keynote, last year Autodesk finished 2011 with revenue of about $2.2 billion. Bass said that in forecasting the economy he had predicted they would grow by about 10 percent last year, “I got a lot of grief from financial community because they didn’t think we could grow by 10 percent,” he said. “People were still worried about what going on with financial matters in the U.S. as well as in Europe. There was a sense the financial world was coming to the end – as it turns out we finished the year with 14 percent. Business was robust around the world, particularly a resurgence of economy in the U.S.”

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Pitney Bowes Software Risk Data Suite Wildfire Bundle launched for insurance sector

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Already this spring there have been wildfires reported in the western states. According to the National Interagency Fire Center<http://www.nifc.gov/>, more than 82,000 wildfires occurred across 10 million acres in the U.S. last year.

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