Eric Webster, vice president of Exelis Weather Systems, talked recently about the company’s efforts along with NASA Langley Research Center to evaluate an Exelis instrument to determine its effectiveness for measuring CO2 from space.
As public safety moves closer to a nationwide Next-Generation 9-1-1 system, Geographic Information Systems will play an ever-increasing part.
By guest writer, Anthony Haddad, Sales Engineer, Intrado
The use of geographic information systems (GIS) is not new to public safety. It first came on the scene as an important tool with the introduction of wireless 9-1-1 service when location information could not be derived from a fixed service address. In today’s legacy architecture, geocoding or plotting X,Y coordinates is often used in conjunction with mapping applications to help dispatch responders to the correct location, but that has been the extent of its application.
Public safety agencies have been collecting GIS information for decades in order to populate the information found in selective routing database (SRDB), automatic location information (ALI) and master street address guides (MSAG). When an emergency call comes into a legacy GIS-equipped PSAP, associated addresses or X,Y coordinates are delivered as well, though the coordinates are meaningless on their own. In order to be valuable, this data must be plotted on a map in either the call-processing or computer-aided dispatch (CAD) environment. Once plotted, the information can be applied to perform dispatch functions. In this way, GIS is a supplemental tool used to verify location alone.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.