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Newscycle Through the Eyes of Maps

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

This week the news hit close to home: my son was working in the Manderley Bay Hotel when the shooter opened fire on Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas outside. He was safe thank God, but terribly shaken by the event as visitors poured into the hotel with panicked stories and later, the hotel was in lockdown for several hours. The level of fear and panic generated by this event was hard to contain as most people didn’t know what was happening and heard only shots  coming from up high.

Rather than rehashing the news here, which everyone has read already via TV or popups on their phones, I’m going to blog through maps that show factual information on this and other recent disasters that have hit close to home, both manmade and natural. Maps put events in perspective, take one incident out of isolation and place it in context.

From The Guardian: The United States owns way, way more guns per capita than the rest of the world. And the best research on gun violence suggests that’s probably contributing to our homicide problem — as exemplified by Sunday night’s horrific shooting.

Here’s a map of firearm ownership around the world, using 2012 data compiled by The Guardian. The United States has nearly twice as many guns per 100 people as the next closest country, Yemen — 88.8 guns per 100 as opposed to 54.8 in Yemen:

We have also the aftermath of the devastation from three hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda and others, plus an earthquake in Mexico. Fortunately maps are abundant in the GIS world for tracking and analysis of the events, plus disaster recovery efforts.

In many parts of the world people do not have physical addresses, nor defined property boundaries. The importance of identifying location by addressing/location with just three words is brought to light in this video by what3words:

This Esri Interactive Map presents the enriched Shakemap of the M 7.1 Earthquake near  Puebla, Mexico to show the potential impact to population and households in the area.

Clicking on the shaded areas allows you to view the impact for that intensity:

Orange (very strong): 447k total population; 114k total households

Yellow (strong): 10.2m total population; 2.6m total households

Green (moderate): 8.7m total population; 4.8m total households

Blue (light): 43.1 total population; 10.8m total households

Esri Disaster Response – Hurricanes & Cyclones

While there are still many places that are not on the radar of technology after catastrophic events such as hurricanes, cyclones and earthquakes, map technology may be used to locate victims and learn where to provide desperately needed services. From company materials: Esri is supporting organizations that are responding to hurricane/cyclone disasters with software, data, imagery, project services, and technical support. If you are in need of software or support, complete the Request Assistance form on the webpage above. All requests should be justified in the message section of the form and are subject to approval.

Web mapping applications related to Hurricane Maria provided from the Esri Disaster Response Program and agencies involved in response to and monitoring of the hurricane. There is also an identical page for Hurricane Irma.

CrowdRescueHQ is an organization powered by volunteers, who gather data from social media to support rescue efforts and victims of natural disasters.  This CrowdSourceHQ Observations dashboard is updated every half-minute and displays latest observations reported in Puerto Rico related to Hurricane Maria.

Woolpert Hurricane Irma maps

Woolpert, working under two separate contracts that had very technically different requirements, collected and posted high-resolution, before-and-after imagery of areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma to assist with flooding and damage assessment.

From company materials: Miami-Dade County contracted with Woolpert for post-storm imagery as Hurricane Irma approached, while Woolpert’s work with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is part of an existing five-year, statewide contract for emergency mapping services.

“Miami-Dade wanted imagery from after the event, documenting damage assessment, while FDOT wanted to see how high the water got at the peak of the flooding to gain current flood conditions,” Woolpert project manager Mike Zoltek said. “For FDOT, we captured 1,000 square miles of imagery along the St. Johns River in a single day as the water was cresting. The imagery was collected across four counties—St. Johns, Duval, Putnam and Clay—from Palatka to Jacksonville.”

The FDOT project is complete, while the Miami-Dade project continued as weather allowed throughout the week.

The collections have included 6-inch and 1-foot ground sampling distance (GSD) orthoimagery. The smaller the GSD, the higher the image resolution. As part of this process, Woolpert captured aerial imagery, processed the data, paired it with comparable imagery collected prior to the hurricane, delivered it to clients and posted it on a before-and-after online slider for use by anyone affected by the disaster.

The resulting online maps, aggregated with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google, enable viewers to look up an address, navigate to an area of concern, and zoom in and out.

Woolpert, whose planes had just returned from mapping the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey when contacted by Miami-Dade, credited the county for preparing for recovery efforts before the storm hit.

Two Koreas Story Map

Two Koreas

Tensions between the U.S. have escalated rapidly, with a lot of chest thumping and threats of nuclear war. The conflict is not new, and has roots reaching all the way back to World War II. It is a conflict over control of the Korean Peninsula, pitting the North against the South.

While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. This Esri Story Map takes a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and offers some analysis of where the crisis could go from here.

Share this map:

https://arcg.is/0yGri0

 

 

 

 

SPAR3D 2016 Expo and Conference Special Report

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The four morning keynotes kicking off SPAR3D 2016 Expo and Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, Tuesday morning included Eddie Paddock, Engineering/VR Technical Discipline lead, NASA Johnson Space Center, Greg Bentley, CEO Bentley Systems, Inc., David Smith, CTO, Wearality, and Curtis Chan, technical evangelist, Autodesk.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

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Avenza’s PDF Maps and Affiliate Program for Digital Natives

Friday, January 15th, 2016

In a world that is rapidly becoming less paper based and more dependent upon digital products, the introduction of a map app that copies the model of iTunes and Kindle is an appealing commodity. Avenza’s PDF Maps does just this: makes PDF maps downloadable on mobile devices to be available anywhere – while abroad, in remote areas and in the back country.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

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GISCafe’s 2016 Trends Report

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Top trends that we can expect to see dominating the geospatial landscape in 2016 are trends driven in large part by world events and climate change. Technologies play a large part in how well we will be able to manage climate change and attendant disasters, world events that include terrorism, and disease.

intergraph_green (more…)

Contribute Ideas to our Trends/Predictions Article for 2016!

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Hello Readers!

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GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2016*

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

GISCafe

Editorial Calendar 2016*

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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.

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In-car navigation steps up to the competition of smartphone navigation

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I’ve been wondering what would happen with in-car navigation as a result of the new turn-by-turn navigation now available in smartphones. In-car navigation is much more expensive than the $50 app that allows you to use turn-by-turn navigation on your cell phone. The big plus of in-car navigation is the fact that you don’t have to hold your device while trying to navigate busy streets. But the higher price tag of in-car navigation has car manufacturers thinking up ways to utilize the smartphone navigation system.

Solutions are in the works, according to an article in today’s New York Times: Ford has teamed up with the navigation company Telenav to enable Telenav’s Scout software to run on compatible vehicles outfitted with Ford’s Sync system and software called Applink. A $25-a-year app, Car Connect, lets drivers connect Android phones to the dash. (An iPhone version is in the works.)

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Mobile mapping diverges with Apple and Google

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Apple’s iPhone 5 maps aren’t anywhere near as good as Google’s Maps, according to an article in ZDNet, but it doesn’t seem to matter because the two companies needed to separate since they are competitors in the mobile mapping market. What may occur however, is that new options might be in the stars.

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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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