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.
Archive for 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.
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:
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.
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.”
WASHINGTON — Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
–The New York Times, March 31, 2012
The mountains of northeastern Oman are rugged, dry, and as much as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. Yet millions of years ago, parts of these mountains were at the bottom of the sea. Actually, they were beneath it.
Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: Utility Geographic Information Systems
GIS Tools and Workflow Applications for AEC and Operations: Market Analysis and Forecasts
The electrical grid consists of power generation, transmission, distribution, and customer assets that literally cover the face of the earth. Ultimately, the smart grid is all about awareness of the situation of these assets in order to facilitate optimal performance and effectively anticipate and respond to events that might disrupt performance. A geographic information system (GIS) is the method by which utilities capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and manage geospatially referenced information about these assets. Geodata types relevant to electric utilities might include everything from land-based data, streets, ownership/real estate, vegetation, network topology, GPS location data, census data, and many others.
In a session entitled “10 killer apps,” at Esri DevSummit 2012 last week in Palm Springs, CA, Mansour Raad @mraad and Sajit Thomas @spatialAgent show 10 new beta apps developed using Esri technology. The demo in this video shows a UAV shark driven by a Flex Mapping app, the shark is filled with helium and being “flown” around the room powered by a cool Flex mapping app.