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 GISCafe Voice

Archive for April, 2013

TomTom’s new App Center to grow apps

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Managing Director of Tomtom Business Solutions, Thomas Schmidt, Netherlands, answered some questions regarding the new TomTom App Center.

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GIS mapping website makes land use permit history available to citizens

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Crow Wing County Land Services of Minnesota announced that all land use permit history is now available for viewing through the GIS mapping website.

The permit search includes tems such as conditional use permits, variance applications, septic information, building permits, wetland permits and subdivision applications.

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OGC geospatial technology issues to date

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

 Interesting to know what the Open Geospatial Consortium has been discussing lately in the way of geospatial technology trends:

“All predictions are wrong, some are useful. Predictions of geospatial technology trends have been the topic of recent discussions by the OGC Board of Directors and the OGC Planning Committee. One of my roles as OGC Chief Engineer is to offer a slate of “ripe issues” as a basis of these discussions. This blog provides an overview of the ripe issues developed in March 2013 and explains how they were developed. Future blogs will discuss each issue individually.

The ripe issues of geospatial technology identified in March 2013 are:

  • The Power of Location
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobile Development
  • Indoor Frontier
  • Geographers of the future
  • Geospatial Processing
  • Smart Cities
  • Policy implementation

These issues were developed by reviewing over 200 recent articles from information technology journals from IEEE, ACM, etc. as well as from geospatial industry magazines and other publications. Geospatial World’s recent “Thought Leaders Edition” was particularly useful in identifying issues from a geospatial industry perspective.

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U.S. National Institute of Justice plans to award three discretionary predictive geospatial grants

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The U.S. National Institute of Justice has announced that it expects to award a maximum of three discretionary grants for research that explores the relationship between theory and geospatial predictive policing strategies.

No award amount was specified for this program.

According to the report, this funding opportunity is open to any entity, such as state, county, city, township and special district governments; Native American tribal governments and organizations; institutions of higher education; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities; non-profits; for-profits; small businesses; eligible agencies of the federal government; and faith-based or community organizations.

The NIJ is seeking proposals that “focus on linking theories to current policing strategies, discerning potential disconnects in the levels of analysis between theory and practice, explicating what effects this may have on findings, and, finally, addressing means of adapting theory and practice based on the results.”

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Temporal Geocoder in the works from Azavea

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Robert Cheetham, CEO and president of Azavea, spoke about the Web-based Historical Geocoder called Temporal Geocoder, that the company is developing for address-level temporal geocoding.

GISCafe Voice: Do you think this is the first time-enabled geocoder to be developed?

Robert Cheetham: There have been previous efforts to create time-based place name gazetteers.  The China Historical GIS project<http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~chgis/>is a good example of a place name geocoder that has some similar ideas. There is a similar effort underway in New York City, led by the New York Public Library that is also aimed at place names.  But, to our knowledge, this is the first attempt to create an address-level temporal geocoder.  We hope to merge both address and place name geocoding into the same system.

GISCafe Voice: What types of technology will be employed in Temporal Geocoder’s making?

Robert Cheetham: We plan to use Leaflet, Python, Django and PostGIS.  There is also some parallel work being done by a sub-project of the OpenStreetMap project and we hope to collaborate with that effort as well.  We plan to release the Database Editor under an open source license in order to make it possible for other communities to build similar databases as well as to cultivate a community around this type of work.

GISCafe Voice: How will the information for the historical aspect be displayed?

Robert Cheetham: We plan to create two basic software tools, both of which will be web-based.  The first will be a database editing software tool that will enable people to indicate changes in the street network as well as street name changes and aliases.  This Historical Street Database Editor will be able to display, a) the current streets; b) the street grid for a specific historical reference period; and c) a historical reference map that has been scanned and georeferenced.

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DMC International Imaging used in locust risk prediction in Africa

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

DMC International Imaging (DMCii) is in the business of helping The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to predict the spread of locust plagues across North Africa. This effort is part of an aggressive approach to tackle the age-old problem of locust infestation using satellite imagery.

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Bentley Systems revenues hit $550 million

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, last week gave an overview of the company’s financial position as a private company. The company’s focus is infrastructure, meaning “everything people build to improve our planet,” according to Mr. Bentley.

Bentley is a “no drama company” when it comes to reporting, said Mr. Bentley. In their 30th year, he said that historical GAP revenues are $550 million. These GAP revenues grew 8% percent in constant currencies, and organic growth grew by 6%.

“Since the majority of revenues are from annual subscription, 75% of our revenues from subscriptions, up from 72% in 2011, and that’s from ongoing relationships, not ‘customers,’” said Mr. Bentley.

Bentley employees (although he doesn’t like to call them employees as they are also investors in the company – “colleagues and family”) own 98% percent of Bentley Systems. They have a global profit sharing plan and a buy-back plan.

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CitySourced reports on City of St. Charles new smartphone app

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

CitySourced reported on the launch of a new Smartphone app by the city of St. Charles that allows citizens to identify and report non-emergency civic issues, such as public works, quality of life, and environmental issues. This mobile reporting platform will improve how St. Charles delivers services to its neighborhoods.

“St. Charles Connect” allows a user to capture a photo, video, or audio of the problem. The user then uploads the media and, along with GPS location information pulled directly from the device, submits a report directly to the appropriate department. Once a report is submitted, feedback is provided to the user based on the action taken by the department handling the report. The application verifies that the item that is reported is within the city limits. If an issue is outside city limits a GPS tracking service from the device the sender is using will identify the location and notify the sender.

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