Archive for 2013
Friday, October 4th, 2013
The effects of the partial government shutdown already can be felt in the geospatial community. With no agreement from Congress on a government funding bill, the shutdown not only affected federal employees but also contractors that work for government agencies. The shutdown impacts almost all federal agencies, including those with strong ties to the geospatial community such as the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
– GITA Hub
In addition, USGIF, sponsors of GEOINT 2013, will continue with the program as planned. They will continue to plan for alternative programming for the event should the shutdown extend through the Symposium, limiting the ability of some of the government speakers to attend.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Laurie Jordan, Esri director of Imagery, talked about their long time relationship with Exelis at Esri UC, a top business partner. Esri has 2800 business partners. With Exelis Esri has seamless integration. “The meaning of platform has changed in a positive way,” said Jordan. “We positioned ArcGIS to disseminate imagery and to take imagery and turn it into useful information. This platform is now moving from just a desktop mobile and server, and cloud and focusing on this term Cloud based GIS. With the move to cloud the definition of platform has changed. The platform is an ecosystem of relationships of everything you can do with it. Through this platform we’ll be offering services, and it will be the new home for services and content including analytics – tools from ENVI are at the top of the list.”
The following is an interview with David Gonzales, software engineer for Exelis:
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
TerraGo Vision Platform
TerraGo has been emerging from an intense period of investment in new technologies, and have more than doubled investment in R&D. They have introduced new products across the whole product line. In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the intelligence community, is the umbrella company of TerraGo. About a year ago TerraGo acquired Geosemble a sister In-Q-Tel company. Geosemble’s product lines such as GeoXRay, MacStrata have been integrated into the TerraGo portfolio.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Recalling Intergraph’s long history in hardware, servers and desktop software solutions, this iOS and Android based app may seem like a departure for the company, although it is very much a sign of the times. Intergraph has launched Intergraph Mobile MapWorks, an iOS and Android tablet-based app for viewing, editing and updating field asset information in real-time. It can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes and the Google Play app stores. Field asset information can be accessed easily through mobile apps like this one, with very intuitive interfaces. Local government professionals use tablets as a matter of course in their field work, and find this type of application to be a perfect fit.
Friday, September 20th, 2013
Locata Corporation announced that it has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). This cooperation could ultimately bring completely new capabilities to GPS receivers, including resistance to jamming and spoofing. In the long run, the addition of Locata technology to GPS could finally make precise indoor positioning a reality. Locata’s CEO Nunzio Gambale answered some questions about this announcement:
GISCafe Voice: What do you think will be the most important development as a result of this agreement?
Locata technology is now evolving at such a rapid rate, and our progress is so solid, that our developments can now start to improve GPS systems as well. In developing the Locata system to work indoors and in GPS occluded environments, we’ve had to find a way to overcome “the devil” – the nemesis of reliable radiopositioning – and it’s called multipath. This is the phenomenon whereby a radio signal bounces around and off objects in cluttered environments like indoor areas. This is a hard problem which has eluded a viable solution for decades, yet we needed to solve it if we wanted to deliver on our indoor positioning vision. So, Locata has had to invent a completely new genus of antenna which allows us to “see” the multipath and deal with it. Remember, this is happening at the speed of light so it’s not a trivial issue. The best way to understand why our claims sound like science fiction is to watch the animation and video of the VRay antenna on our website, here: http://www.locata.com/article/vray-antenna/, which hopefully will show why this antenna is producing results which impossible…
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Findings from ABI Research show that the portable GPS-enabled device market is destined to hold its own because of the growth of dedicated HUD/eyewear, cycling and health/tracking devices. The market was not expected to do as well because of the continuing decline of PNDs, and the growing use of smartphones, smart watches and eyewear.
ABI Research’s quarterly GNSS Database forecasts the new and emerging markets for GPS-enabled devices, and where the opportunities lie in terms of device formats and vertical markets. The report also considers the impact of competitive formats such as smartphone applications, wearable sensors, smart watches, and smart eyewear, providing a complete picture of drivers and inhibitors in this market.
Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments, “The overall market is forecast to grow from 33.3 million units in 2012 to 36.79 million in 2018, following a brief dip in 2013 as PND declines outweigh growth in other areas. Total revenues will undergo a brief period of fluctuation from 2013 to 2015, before rising to $7.14 billion in 2018.”
Friday, September 13th, 2013
The Esri live Flood Public Information Map shows observed flood reports and current flood warnings from NOAA National Weather Service, active FEMA shelters, and live precipitation for Colorado.
Esri Live Flooding Public Information Map for Colorado
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop, question and frisk” practices have prompted a lot of press and speeches, zeroing in on just what the statistics are on these people who have been stopped. So far the percentages are as follows: 53 percent of the people stopped by the NYPD in 2012 were black, 89 percent were innocent, 0.5 percent resulted in an arrest.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Tristan Lyttle, Applications Manager App for Avenza Systems, discussed the launch of PDF Maps app 2.0 for iOS, a popular free app that has incorporated suggestions made by its users to further enhance tracking features such as real-time tracking and notes on elevation. It is the only geospatial PDF and GeoTIFF reader on Apple iOS for travel, outdoor activities or business purposes out in the field.
“You don’t need a cell or wi-fi connection to locate yourself, while you are in a foreign city, out in the bush, or hiking, so the app will allow you to use its features as long as you have the app loaded beforehand,” explained Lyttle. He said Avenza has their own online map store. Since print maps are being made obsolete by digital media, “we are creating a way that maps can be taken advantage of – you can purchase maps in the map store and then use them in the field.”
With the latest updates in PDF Maps 2.0, these features are included:
- Tracking real-time movement with GPS which includes noting speed and elevation statistics
- Saving, exporting and importing tracks in KML format
- Saving measurements to line data as well as importing and exporting lines in KML format
- “Map Features” list for easy organization of placemarks, lines and tracks including folder enhancements
- Improved export accuracy
Many vendors such as the U.S. Forest Service upload maps for seasonal use, for snowmobiling, motor vehicle use maps, cross country skiing maps, and hiking maps. Smaller vendors also have outdoor use maps that change winter to summer.
“We have a simple tool for users to contact us on the app with changes, and we will send their changes right over to the vendor, and the vendor makes the changes themselves,” said Lyttle.
Currently the app is only available on the iOS platform but an Android version is in beta version right now.
“The biggest feature we’ve just released in PDF Maps 2.0 is the GPS tracks which was the most widely requested feature,” said Lyttle. “It is the ability for the app to track you as you move while you’re on your map and drop a path that you could then add attributes to and export out for use in other GIS programs. You can export out as KML files or can share between other apps, that’s the iOS program. Android doesn’t have the degree of attribute customization that the iOS has and the measurement tool is not in the same spot. You can save measurements as features on your map and then export them. The biggest requests for the future are multi-page PDFs. Right now they have to be added as single page maps to the atlas. People want to be able load multi-pages, and have better compass functionality.”
The app can already import GeoPDFs. Since they are proprietary to Terrago, and they do their own annotation, it will depend upon the annotation already done before it can be imported.
PDF Maps app 2.0 is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal and private use. Commerical, government and academic use licensing is available for a nominal fee. For more information about PDF Maps, visit the Avenza website at http://www.avenza.com or the PDF Maps website at http://www.pdf-maps.com/. Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps app in-app store.