In an interview with Brian Berdel, CIO of McMahon Associates, Inc., a national Philadelphia-based engineering firm, he talked about the new release of their Traisr web-based infrastructure asset-management application that relies on a GIS to help users track, manage, maintain and report on vital assets — on the road or off. It is already being used by municipalities along the east coast. McMahon Associates officially launched Traisr at the Esri User Conference two weeks ago in San Diego.
The Exhibit Floor reveals industry trends, as vendors respond to requests of their customers with timely products and services. The emphasis at Esri UC 2014 was on data and apps, reflecting the trends discussed in Monday’s Plenary session. Global data, the mining of crowdsourcing data, spatial analytics to business users, the launch of WorldView-3 that will open up worlds of data previously unable to be explored – are just a few of the exciting areas covered in the exhibits and special vendor presentations.
This year marked the 22nd Esri conference for veteran company TomTom, which derived originally from the company GDT and later TeleAtlas. According to John Cassidy, vice president of sales and James Pardue, licensing, TomTom’s focus has evolved from the original interest in making Census data better back in the GDT days, to spatial navigation in the present day. Hardware, analytical, navigation and spatial are the primary areas of their business.
“Everyone wants global data,” said Cassidy. “TomTom is heavily invested in the crowdsourcing model.”
Cassidy said that in 2013, 6 billion pieces of information per day were processed by TomTom. In 2014, already 9 billion pieces of information per day have been processed. Their focus has become quality accuracy and quality control.
“Real world users are more valuable,” said Cassidy. “A lot information is gathered using smartphones.”
During the week of August 18th-22nd, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Online GIS Education Programs.”
Monday morning’s Plenary session at Esri User Conference 2014 kicked off with ESRI CEO and president Jack Dangermond’s familiar talk about the importance of GIS in our lives, this year entitled “GIS – Creating our Future.” 130 countries are represented at the conference, hailing from various industries including utilities and communications, water and wastewater, disaster and emergency response, government, as well human health.
Dr. Tom Jeffrey, senior hazard scientist for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions, spoke with GISCafe Voice about CoreLogic’s release yesterday of its 2014 storm surge analysis that features estimates on both the number and reconstruction value of single-family homes exposed to hurricane-driven storm surge risk within the United States.
The first images gleaned from the SPOT 7 satellite were published by Airbus Defence and Space. The satellite was launched on June 30th and the images were obtained just three days after launch. Within hours, satellite programming and image acquisition, telemetry reception and processing, were all made operational to deliver these first images. These images depict highly diverse landscapes, revealing SPOT 7 range of ability to capture natural resource and urban zone mapping and agri-environmental monitoring.
The entire SPOT 6/7 constellation is now in place and an improvement over the capabilities and performance offered by SPOT 5, the SPOT satellite launched in 2002. Because of the much improved capability of SPOT 6/7, SPOT 5 will be decommissioned from commercial service during the first quarter of 2015. This new constellation offers a higher resolution, greater programming reactivity and a much higher volume of images acquired daily (in monoscopic or stereoscopic mode).
Why SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are so advanced is because they form a constellation of high-resolution Earth observation satellites phased at 180° in the same orbit. According to press materials, this means that each point on the globe can be revisited on a daily basis and wide areas covered in record time, all with an unparalleled level of precision. With both satellites in orbit, acquisition capacity will be boosted to six million square kilometres per day – an area ten times the size of France.
Dr. Howard Botts of CoreLogic spoke with GISCafe Voice this week, to discuss the company’s expansion of its natural hazard risk management capabilities through the addition of Weather Fusion hail, wind and lightning weather forensics to provide near real-time property-specific weather event verification. The combination of proprietary CoreLogic data and analytics with Weather Fusion weather peril verification will enable the insurance and other industries to more reliably identify loss shortly after a weather event occurs through single-source access to multiple weather data sets and solutions.
According to Botts, CoreLogic has made a major effort to acquire a number of synergistic insurance and natural hazard related businesses to augment their traditional offerings of parcel and building characteristic data.
For those who need to know the geographic origin of contributions to legislators by state and by companies and other political contribution information, MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks the influence of money in politics, recently announced the launch of an extensive mapping project. This project examines the following (from the press release): geographic origin of contributions to legislators by state; contributions from companies to legislators by state; and roll call votes by state and district on key bills in Congress.
This project will shed light on how money from outside sources influences local political campaigns and also will show from what geographic locations money is contributed to key legislative initiatives.
These are some of the maps that MapLight has developed so far:
- Legislator Map: Who in Your State Has Contributed to Majority Leader Candidate Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)?
- Voting Map: How Did Your House Rep. Vote on The Farm Bill?
- Donor Map: Comcast Peppers Lawmakers Across the Country with Donations
MapLight uses the latest available data from the Federal Election Commission as of April 14, 2014 to analyze campaign contributions in each of the above cases for a given election cycle of period of time.
According to their website,
MapLight connects money and votes. “We bring together, in one website, the money given to politicians with each politician’s votes.
We provide data, research services, and online tools that work together to make patterns of money and influence more transparent. Connections between campaign contributions, interest groups and votes that would have required days or weeks of manual research are now available at the click of a mouse.
Since last year, traditional GIS positioning companies such as TopCon, are getting into the act of providing integration of Building Information Modeling workflows and field layout with their recent collaboration with Autodesk. This collaboration involves an Autodesk BIM 360 app for iPad to make it easier to locate BIM coordinates precisely on a construction site. Designed for general contractors and MEP professionals, the app controls a robotic total station and the LN-100 3D positioning system from Topcon. As-built data can be fed back into the design model via BIM 360 for quality assurance. Topcon was traditionally considered a geospatial company but they have extended their reach into many other industry segments now, including the area of BIM.