Friday, October 15th, 2010
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) will now provide Davis County, Utah, with information on the properties the church owns in the county. It will then be stored in the county’s GIS database to help with sheltering evacuees during disasters, processing disaster claims and applying for public assistance.
The church agreed to provide the county the shape files for its parcels. County officials may use this data to contact church-owned facilities that may be used as shelters during emergencies.
Davis County, Utah, Agrees to Share GIS Data With Mormon Church Government Technology
Friday, October 15th, 2010
Developing digital maps highlighting potential landslide hazards on the Big Island is a high priority, to be addressed now by a $60,000 pilot project from FEMA. UH Manoa’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Peter Nicholson will partner with the County of Hawaii Office of Civil Defense and the State Hazards Mitigation Forum to develop a GIS-based mapping and analysis tool.
– Project to identify landslide hazards on the Big Island, Hawaii News Now
Friday, October 15th, 2010
Introducing “The Power of GIS” from the IAFC in conjunction with the U.S. Fire Administration. The video offers a quick 10-minute view of understanding GIS, geared for fire chiefs and other decision makers.
– IAFC Offers GIS Tutorial Video, Fire Chief
Options available for newsrooms who want to incorporate GIS into their workflows.
– Four desktop GIS software suites JournalismGIS
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
OpenTreeMap is “an urban forestry tree inventory and management tool to support collaborative data collection and tree management by municipal government, non-profit organizations, students, and volunteers.”
Azavea (formerly Avencia) announced today that it was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant totaling $90,000, by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
to develop a prototype of a new data management software (OpenTreeMap) that will assist communities with the inventory and maintenance of urban forests.
Azavea will work with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), the City of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and will use the Phase I SBIR funds to test the feasibility of the development of OpenTreeMap. The Phase I project will develop a prototype of Philadelphia to begin with. If this prototype is successful, Azavea will then be eligible for Phase II funding so that they can extend OpenTreeMap to anywhere in the world.
By designing the OpenTreeMap web application as a wiki-style data editing software, Azavea hopes it will enable a variety of users to participate collaboratively in the tree people of many ages and experience levels to participate collaboratively in the tree inventory process.Until now that hasn’t been possible, even though urban and suburban municipal government have really wanted to manage their street trees and public lands more efficiently.
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
The United States GIS Data Repository (USGDR), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “Making Public Data Public”, has partnered with TractBuilder to provide Central Appraisal Districts and certain other county-level GIS programs free licenses of the TractBuilder Tools for ArcGIS, a set of tools counties can use to map polygons and lines according to legal descriptions.
– Free GIS Software for County GIS Departments PRLog
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Frisco’s GIS team was selected for the Esri President’s Award from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide for its efforts in developing Project SAFER, or Situational Awareness For Emergency Response. The program provides information – including live video – to firefighters, police officers and other first responders about Frisco schools and other public places during an emergency.
– Frisco Blog
Boston – Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, announced Monday that the town of Kingston will receive a $1,000 grant to help upgrade its geographic information system (GIS) technology. This program is used to help research, develop, and implement urban and regional planning and will improve efficiency in the designing and mapping of neighborhoods and towns.
– $1,000 GIS grant awarded to Kingston.Wicked Local Kingston
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
Hexagon AB plans to sell bonds to refinance part of the loans used to fund the acquisition of Intergraph Corp.
According to the article below, “The company plans to raise $850 million from a share sale to help refinance some of the debt after it completes the purchase. Hexagon said on July 7 it agreed to buy Huntsville, Alabama-based Intergraph for $2.13 billion to add software that helps companies visualize complex data and design factories, ships and oil rigs.”
Hexagon Plans Bond Sale to Retire Intergraph Acquisition Loans Bloomberg Business Week, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11th, 2010
This past week two geospatial stories have been featured in the Technology section of The New York Times. Although geospatial users may be accustomed to such announcements, it is noteworthy that they made the same major national newspaper within a week of each other:
1) Robotic drivers are being tested by Google’s Prius — drivers who don’t fall asleep at the wheel, get DUIs or speed or get traffic tickets.
How it works – LiDAR provides a continuously updated 3D map of the world at centimeter accuracy that extend for more than 230 feet around the car.
Four standard automotive radars with less resolution and greater range, three in front and one in the rear, are added to the LiDAR. A high resolution video camera is situated inside the car next to the rear-view mirror to detect street lights and moving obstacles like pedestrians and bicyclists. The Prius also has a GPS receiver and an inertial motion sensor.
Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic, John Markoff, October 10, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)
2) Another interesting article featured in The New York Times in the past week highlighted indoor mapping and geolocation. We have been thinking of indoor geolocation with regard to military and Homeland Security applications, however, according to the article – “A number of start-up companies are charting the interiors of shopping malls, convention centers and airports to keep mobile phone users from getting lost as they walk from the food court to the restroom. Some of their maps might even be able to locate cans of sardines in a sprawling grocery store.”
Finding Your Way Through the Mall or the Airport, With a Cellphone Map, Verne G. Kopytoff, October 11, 2010, The New York Times, (registration required)
Thursday, October 7th, 2010
An article in yesterday’s New York Times highlighted how geolocation services are being used by small businesses to find customers.
The article referred to examples from Foursquare – when people used the Foursquare application on their mobile phones within a few blocks of Pacific Catch restaurant that is running special offers, “a special offer popped up on their mobile phones: check in five times and earn a free shrimp ceviche or a Hawaiian poke. Another special rewarded customers who checked in on Foursquare with a free side of sweet potato fries.”
According to the article, these types of offers have helped snag new customers: more than 1,400 people have checked in at Pacific Catch more than 2,800 times.
In a conversation recently with FortiusOne’s Sean Gorman, we discussed their new mobile location analytics platform, Appcelerator, built on their GeoIQ platform. Appcelerator addresses the fact that mobile location developers’ customers want to see an ROI on their investment in couponing programs.
A sample scenario was created for the sake of a demo of a mythical corporation named Pizzaland with 14 pizza locations. This business in the San Francisco Bay Area recently started participating in a mobile couponing service. They want to be able to see where those mobile coupons are being serviced, where redeemed, what kind of ROI they’re getting for investing in building this app into a mobile service and then bringing in some additional information that is used in context.
The app shows activity before 7 a.m. – people looking for coupons before work (represented as dots on a map); for lunchtime, you can see a lot of activity in the suburbs outside the city and then sit starts to pick up inside the city as they start to go into the city for lunch. The screen shows dots where people look for lunch deals and stays pretty active, then around the dinner hour, dots start to spread back out to the suburbs as people go back home to get dinner, and some people stay in the city.
Geolocation Services: Find a Smartphone, Find a Customer by Kermit Patterson, October 6, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)