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Archive for the ‘citizen science’ Category

School Safety GIS Ups the Ante with Social Media and Georeferenced Floor Plans

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

The U.S. has been rocked by tragic school shootings and other violence over the past years, with very little deterrent to this increasing trend.

At the Esri User Conference 2018, a talk entitled “School Safety GIS – Survey123” was conducted by GIS specialist for Detroit Public Schools, Randall Raymond, and Officer Adele Gardner, Detroit Public Schools Community District Police Department, who outlined the work they have been doing over the past year to use social media and other geospatial tools to detect, analyze and visualize potential dangers to kids in schools.

“We were able to create a social media mapping feed that was out-of-the-box Esri available and discovered while it did what we wanted it to do in some ways, it was very manual and labor intensive,” said Raymond. “You needed someone to constantly be looking at the feeds that were coming in. We partnered with Esri and they suggested a company named DataCapable, that was doing social media for event detection, event notification and event mapping for the power and gas industry. We figured it was the same for a big power company and they would be interested in what we’re doing. They retasked some of what their software does to give us more analytics and give us more understanding of potentially dangerous situations happening at schools by monitoring for specific events. We could use machine learning and artificial intelligence to go through messages and quickly determine the validity of them, confidence in them and decide if there is action that needed to be taken.”

Raymond retired from upper administration in the Detroit Public Schools in 2013 and has continued the work with the school system since that time, helping with high school programs and consulting with their police department. He works with Officer Gardner helping them to continue to learn to use their ArcGIS tools and do more strategic thinking about deployment of police resources.

The value of social media has been long recognized by Officer Gardner, who has extensive examples of problems with kids in Detroit Public Schools and social media being used to organize the meetings where kids to go to events in the city and rob people and steal from cars, etc. But privacy is obviously a very big issue, according to Raymond.
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Boundless Ventures Offline with the Offline Tile Server

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Anthony Calamito, chief geospatial officer at Boundless talked about the Boundless Offline Tile Server that delivers rapid access to basemaps around the world, drilling down to the street and building level, to professionals who can’t rely on internet connectivity out in the field.

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Special GISCafe Coverage: Geospatial Data Providers and Services

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, and asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), 3D scanning, and spatial computing and analysis and much more.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging

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Geotechnical Focus for Bentley Systems’ Corporate Update

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley kicked off the Bentley Corporate Update webinar last week with a discussion of how the annual corporate update is different than in previous years. Journalists in 28 countries attended the 2017 Year In Infrastructure Thought Leadership Conference and Awards held in Singapore.

Leighton Asia Hong Kong Boundary Crossing – BIM Advancements in Construction – Be Inspired Award Winner (photo courtesy of Bentley Systems)

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Esri’s Africa GeoPortal Provides Technology, Data and Training for Users

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Esri announced the launch of its Africa GeoPortal, #AfricaGeoPortal, a cloud-based platform that provides rich content and solutions from Esri and its partners for those wanting a vast resource for African nations.

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Every Breath You Take: BBC Showcases Clean Air Initiatives with EarthSense Air Pollution Sensors

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

 In a recent BBC TV broadcast, EarthSense Systems,  in close collaboration with resident groups, television producers and personality Dr Xand van Tulleken, went to the Kings Heath suburb of Birmingham, UK in December 2017 to demonstrate the air pollution challenges faced by typical urban communities with busy shopping areas and congested major streets.

EarthSense Zephyr sensor

According to the press materials, as part of a day long campaign of action, residents were urged to leave their cars at home, instead using public transport or walking or cycling for the daily commute and school runs. Volunteers carried out people and traffic surveys and Dr Xand van Tulleken showed his support presenting for the BBC TV programme “Fighting for Air” which aired on January 10th. The experiment utilized special air pollution sensors, developed by EarthSense, which monitored changes in air pollution on the day compared to recordings elsewhere in Birmingham.

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK. It has been determined that 16 of UK cities have illegal level of toxic fumes. It is estimated in one study that air pollution costs the UK  £20 billion a year in medical costs and lost labor.

In a demonstration, Dr. Xand van Tuileken donned a military grade mask with filters designed for chemical warfare. He said that, “at the moment I am breathing the cleanest air possible.” The air contains high levels of harmful pollution, from industry, construction, but in there in Birmingham, mostly from vehicles.

“To test just how dangerous the air we breathe is, I am first having to “detox” . Free my body from pollution,” said van Tuileken.
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GISCafe Trends and Predictions for 2018

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.

Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.

These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.

The Global Mountain Explorer provides information from global scales down to specific mountains, such as Borah Peak, Idaho pictured above. (Public domain.)


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GISCafe 2017 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

2017 tested the resilience of geospatial technologies with many natural disasters.  In reviewing the year, we take a look at products, services and technologies that moved the industry forward and responded eloquently to geospatial need.

Disaster response, weather tracking, and predictive weather analysis drove a great deal of development and put to the test those technologies in place for just such eventualities.

Other areas of interest include new developments in sensors, location and Big Data, small sats, mobile mapping and 3D models for indoor mapping, autonomous driving, and building smart cities.

Under the Weather

In an interview with URISA’s GISCorps founder Shoreh Elhami and URISA executive director Wendy Nelson, they offer a broader understanding of what GISCorps is about and how it can help with natural disasters.

Is ArcGIS Online able to generate a setting for help, i.e., website, app, or whatever resource might be needed, during a natural disaster event? And how soon might that be available to the public? 

ArcGIS Online (AGO) can be used to create a variety of story maps. Those story maps as well as any AGO based web apps can be embedded in any website and very quickly. A good example of that is the web app that our volunteers embedded in Fort Bend County’s website on road closures. Another example is a story map that was built by NAPSG shortly after the disaster, our volunteers also assisted with that project.

How has the GIS relief effort for Hurricane Harvey been handled by GISCorps so far and what are the plans going forward?

26 of our volunteers have been working on mapping road closures in Fort Bend County. The information originates from County’s website, emails, and also tweets. The Web app has been helpful to residents, first responders, and the county staff. The project was lead by two of our volunteers who worked with GISCorps Core Committee members on managing the project. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also requested the assistance of a GIS programmer to pull data from the FEMA site on an ongoing basis. The GISCorps Recruitment team selected a volunteer within 30 hours and put the volunteer  in contact with CDC. We also asked our volunteers to contribute to NAPSG story map. We are currently on stand-by and ready to assist with other projects at this time, be it for Harvey or Irma.

Hurricane Harvey weather map

How do the projects for Hurricane Harvey and Katrina differ or are they the same? What are the priorities?

Quite different. For Katrina, we deployed 30 volunteers onsite, the option to assist remotely didn’t even exist. Volunteers packed up their bags, laptops, and other essentials and head over to the affected areas within a couple of days. For Harvey (and many other disasters of the past few years), we haven’t had to send anyone anywhere. Volunteers work from their home or offices and have been effective in different ways. For Katrina, the priority was to help with the rescue efforts at first (locate people under stress and report to the coast guard) and then, the recovery phase began where volunteers made 100’s of maps and conducted lots of analysis). For Harvey, crowd sourcing and information from social media have become major sources of information for developing interactive maps to first responders and other affected population.]

Tom Jeffrey, CEO of CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, talked about their analysis for the flooding and storm surge as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
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GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018*

 

 January:

01/23-01/25 Esri Geodesign Summit Redlands, CA

Editorial topics:

  • Top Geospatial Predictions for 2018
  • 3D Cities and Geospatial

February:

Editorial topics:

  • Small Sats Update
  • Current Events

March:

23/20-3/21 Esri Federal GIS Conference 2018, Washington D.C.

Editorial topics:

  • Esri Federal Conference Coverage
  • Current Events

Robert Cardillo, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, speaks to the GEOINT 2017 symposium June 5. Credit: USGIF

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GIS Day 2017 is for Everyone

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Dr. Joseph Kerski, Ph.D., GISP, Education Manager for Esri, spoke with GISCafe Voice about GIS Day events and his trip to University of Central Florida (UCF) to participate in GIS Day 2017 there. Coordinating the UCF event is Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems, Principal Investigator, NSF Citizen Science GIS REU Site for UCF.

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