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Rio+20 Earth Summit tackles broad sweep of sustainability challenges

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

At Rio+20 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil last week, was originally titled the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development. Varying reports have emerged from that conference, with many seeking to find answers to the problems surrounding sustainable development and environmental challenges.

In the beginning the conference’s aim was to set of Sustainable Development Goals that would replace the U.N. Millennium Development Goals—which were agreed to in New York in 2000 and are set to expire in 2015—to address global poverty.

Concerns were more broadbased than that at this Summit as parties recognized and pressed forward with votes to support the need for many progressive changes in the development and environment agenda, such as broad approval for addressing an array of ocean sustainability and agricultural issues and the creation of a new high-level forum that will draft new Sustainable Development Goals by 2014.

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New GIS system to help locate storm victims

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Knowing where a person storm shelter is located is critical to being able to locate victims trapped in them after a tornado like the one that tore through Franklin County, Alabama on April 27th, 2011. A new GIS mapping system will help locate victims trapped in personal storm shelters.

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World’s average annual evapotranspiration web map from Esri

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Most of us understand the hydrologic cycle in terms of the visible paths that water can take: rainstorms, rivers, waterfalls, swamps, etc.  Hydrology takes a different path through a larger volume of water that flows through the air through evaporation and transpiration.  This is very different from hydrology as we think of it traveling through visible paths such as waterfalls, streams, rivers, rainstorms, and swamps,etc. Evaporation and transpiration claim 61% of all terrestrial precipitation, and together are referred to as evapotranpsiration.  Esri’s Mapping Center has produced a web map showing the world’s average annual evapotranspiration to understand how this process works.

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Acxiom spearheads mapping and collecting consumer data

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Conway, Ark., company Acxiom Corporation that not many have heard of has more than 23,000 computer servers that are collecting, collating and analyzing consumer data.

Acxiom is at the forefront of the multi-billion dollar industry of database marketing. According to the article in The New York Times, its servers process more than 50 trillion data “transactions” a year. Company executives have said its database contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States. Such large-scale data mining and analytics — based on information available in public records, consumer surveys and the like — are perfectly legal.

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Hexagon 2012 announces Hexagon Online Marketplace

Friday, June 15th, 2012

At Hexagon 2012 held in Las Vegas this past week,  the opening of the Hexagon Online Marketplace, Hexagon’s Internet-based store, was announced. To many industry watchers, this is unprecedented. According to the press release, “the Hexagon Online Marketplace signifies the first ever Hexagon-level, direct-to-customer venture, and provides customers with a simplified method of purchasing select Hexagon products and services.” Those of us who have watched Intergraph, recently acquired by Hexagon, for many years, would not have thought this type of direct-to-customer marketing venture possible.

It is a sign of the times, however, where an online store allows customers of various professional backgrounds to explore high end offerings that have traditionally been the province of government and big commercial contracts.

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Apple’s new mobile operating system includes new mapping system

Friday, June 15th, 2012

On Monday Apple  introduced a new version of its mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads that will bring a host of new features, including maps that let users soar over a three-dimensional rendering of a city, according to an article in The New York Times.

As was mentioned in this blog of a pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile “(Pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile made at Google event”) last week, the new map software replaces Google data with Apple’s own mapping system. This is a big step for a company that has considered Google a close partner up until now. Since Apple introduced the iPhone, it has relied on Google data to drive the mapping software. When Google released its Android platform, however, relationships between the two companies began to disintegrate.  Not surprisingly as Android is the top mobile operating system in the world, putting Apple and Google head to head in several different markets.

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Jack Dangermond talks about ArcGIS Online, the cloud, and map wars

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Esri President and CEO Jack Dangermond talked to Computerworld magazine about the importance of mobile and cloud, the role of GIS in organizations, big data and consumer vs. enterprise mapping.

Q&A Esri’s Jack Dangermond on cloud, big data and Apple vs. Google map wars Computerworld

Pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile made at Google event

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Pre-announcement of new features for Google Maps and Google Earth for mobile platforms was made yesterday at the “New Dimension of Google Maps” event. These features aren’t available to the public yet, but possibly announced as a precursor to the Apple iOS6 event next week. It is expected that Apple will announce that Google Maps will no longer be the default mapping application on iPhones. Since Apple has been acquiring companies and building their own mapping applications, they will be offering new mapping applications that will compete with what is offered on the Android phone. This may benefit users ultimately.

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Map labeling never looked so good – embedding GeoLabel Pro into GeoMedia

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Intergraph announces it has signed an OEM agreement with MapText, Inc., the  label-placement solutions provider for local, state and national government mapping agencies worldwide. MapText’s GeoLabel Pro product will be fully embedded into the Intergraph GeoMedia Desktop product line, providing better overall labeling capabilities within the product suite. With this product, users can define rules for the placement, content and style of feature-based generated labels that are both dynamic and static.

The embedding of GeoLabel Pro into GeoMedia will allow users to make their maps appear more professional with key data inclusion.

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GNSS-aided tracking may have found its market – monitoring criminals

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Nobody really knows how effective GNSS-aided tracking is in the monitoring of criminals released early from prison, but there is a burgeoning market for this type of GPS tracking, according to a recent study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). Although GNSS-aided tracking has been poo-poohed by rights activists as interfering with citizens’ civil rights, it is thought to be valuable to the whole of society to be able to track those such as high-risk sex offenders as well as parolees. In California alone, that number of parolees numbers over 100,000.

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