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Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Portable GPS-enabled device market continues to grow

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.”


Esri’s live Flooding Public Information Map tracks flooding in Colorado

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

Stop-and-frisk map profiles New York City Police Department’s controversial practice

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.


New Avenza free PDF Maps app 2.0 available

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 or the PDF Maps website at  Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps app in-app store.


Autodesk announces new “Pay-as-you-go” rental model

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

This morning Autodesk announced a pay-as-you-go model for all the company’s desktop software including the latest Design and Creation Suites, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Maya LT. A “hangout” was held this morning on Google this morning where Andrew Anagnost, SVP, Industry Strategy & Marketing for Autodesk and other industry specialists, discussed this new offering.

Businesses are increasingly adopting this type of model for consuming services and products as opposed to owning software. Options generally include renting, sharing or purchasing subscriptions such as this “pay-as-you-go” model. This way designers, engineers and architects no longer will have to be concerned about purchasing the next version of the software. New comers will also be able to get up and running on the software with few up-front costs, and get projects started with this software.


New app for children to find families in disaster and war zones

Friday, September 6th, 2013

With the number of disasters that occur in the world today – both natural and unnatural – children get separated from their families with increasing frequency. Jorge Just, a student in a class called “Design for Unicef,” at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, wanted to make a an app for people who were under emotional stress. His idea went beyond the usual app for those with great Wi-Fi connections and cell service available in the inner cities.

Children in third-world countries certainly don’t have these advantages, and what Just found in his five visits to Uganda was that lost children were relegated to old systems where paper-based forms were manually entered into large databases, and the children themselves may not be that distant geographically from their parents.


Microsoft moves to acquire Nokia

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013


It looks as though Microsoft Corp. is moving into a paradigm shift with its move toward a $7 billion acquisition from Nokia to thrust it into the mobile market. Nokia will still remain a company after Microsoft buys the company’s handset business. While Microsoft is acquiring what Nokia is best known for, the Finnish company is holding on to two if its major businesses: networking and mapping. Microsoft has been hoping to take a slice of the mobile market from smartphone moguls Apple and Google, and meanwhile has been partnering with Nokia for three years.


Rim Fire near Yosemite shown in three different views by Esri Story Map

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Esri’s Rim Fire Perspectives Map is available for ongoing wildfire coverage. This story map contains three different views of the fire and shows which areas and infrastructure are threatened by the fire, how the fire has grown, and where fires have burned near Yosemite in the past.

Autonomous robotic vehicles destined to appear in the next decade

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Readers may remember “Herbie” the runaway “autonomous” car in the Fred MacMurray movie of many years ago that created entertaining havoc.  According to ABI Research, in North America, the first driverless vehicles will appear in the beginning of the next decade, evolving to more than 10 million robotic vehicles shipping in 2032.


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