GISCafe Voice

Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

Afternoon Plenary Session, Esri User Conference 2015: The Importance of Location

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Decision making in GIS would not be possible without knowledge of location and with it, a sense of place and culture. The stories of the afternoon plenary session at Esri UC 2015 showcased real life examples of this reality, from fighting the Ebola epidemic to fighting crime in Baltimore.

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Airbus DS Communications Launches Text-to-9-1-1 Solution, Other Upgrades to VESTA® 9-1-1 Suite

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Bob Freinberg, CEO of Airbus DS Communications, an entity of Airbus Defense and Space, talked with GISCafe Voice about the new VESTA Text-to-9-1-1 and upgrades for that company.

VESTA Product Suite Screen Shots (more…)

From the Exhibit Floor at GEOINT Symposium 2015

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The exhibits at GEOINT Symposium 2015 this past week in Washington D.C. reflected the direction the government is heading with regard to new products, technologies and services.

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The new government initiative of doing more with less has generated interest among a group of vendors in partnership with the Centralized Super Computer Facility (CSCF) program. Lockheed Martin, one of the vendors, has developed a Multilevel Secure ecosystem (MLS) using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5+ for both single system image and for a cluster configuration. The focus of this system is to use MLS to enable data fusion and/or consolidate hardware systems rather than promote duplication.

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The companies partnering in this endeavor include Lockheed Martin (Multilevel Secure Ecosystem), Seagate (Multilevel Secure HPC Storage), Red Hat (Open source operating system), SGI (Secure high performance computing solutions), CRAY (multilevel security (MLS) capability), Bay Microsystems (global high-performance fabric extension), Mellanox ( 100 Gigabit per second scalable networking), 35ViON Years (MLS-Ecosystem for Mission Data), Altair (PBS Professional, – job scheduling and management) and new at the conference this year, Crunchy (open source Crunchy MLS PostgreSQL extends PostgreSQL with Multilevel Security support), and Splunk (universal machine data platform).

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GEOINT Symposium 2015 Keynotes

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The message of this week’s GEOINT Symposium 2015 – with the theme, “Opening the Aperture, Charting New Paths,” was really about how to utilize the commercial sector for technologies and the move toward offering services to customers. The topics, “less is more,” “moving toward services” and “innovation” all spoke to the need for change in a federal government limited in recent years by budget cuts . This has not diminished the need for geointelligence excellence, however, in fact, in today’s complicated world, the need is even greater.

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GISCafe at GEOINT 2015

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Next week GISCafe will be flying to GEOINT 2015 Symposium held June 22-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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GIS at Autodesk’s AEC Media Summit

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Last week media trekked to Autodesk’s new Innovation and Design Building in the heart of Boston for the Autodesk AEC Media Summit. While the previous LEED Gold headquarters in Waltham, Mass. was a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainable design, the Innovation and Design Building speaks to their branching out in their innovative capacities.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 & InfraWorks

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 & InfraWorks 2016

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Data Links for Nepal Earthquake

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Over the weekend, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal near the city of Kathmandu, followed by aftershocks that also resulted in many deaths and structural damage. Simultaneously, climbers on Mount Everest’s base camp were buried in an avalanche, precipitated by the quake.

The following are some sites that provide some geospatial insight into the events. I’m leaving the links whole in most cases so that they are easy for people to access and will add others as I learn about them. If anyone has any other links that should be added to this list, please contact me at susan.smith@ibsystems.com.

Dharahara Tower, Kathmandu April 2014 before the earthquake, courtesy DigitalGlobe

Dharahara Tower, Kathmandu April 2014 before the earthquake, courtesy DigitalGlobe

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Space-Time Insight Takes Situational Intelligence a Step Further

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Technology for electric utilities is not always particularly exciting, but Space-Time Insight raises the bar for the industry in terms of providing virtual reality to actually access and analyze situations arising in utility facilities.

Oculus Circuit Breaker

Oculus view of a Circuit Breaker

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CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Analysis Data Pinpoints High Risk Areas in the U.S.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

CoreLogic recently released new wildfire data, the CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Analysis, that states that nearly 900,000 single-family homes across 13 states in the western U.S. are currently designated at “High” or “Very High,” risk for wildfire damage, representing a combined total reconstruction value estimated at more than $237 billion. Of the total homes identified, just over 192,000 homes fall into the “Very High Risk” category alone, with total reconstruction cost valued at more than $49.6 billion. Other categories include “Moderate” and “Low” risk. GISCafe spoke with Dr. Tom Jeffery of CoreLogic to find out the scoop on this important new information for homeowners, insurance companies and other stakeholders.

Dr. Tom Jeffery: In the past we used what’s called the assessed property value which is based on tax assessment. We’ve actually changed that so it matches what we do with storm surge which is reconstruction value of these homes. This is going to be the cost of labor and materials in each of the different locations to replace the structure that would be lost in the event that a wildfire destroyed the whole thing. California is right at the top of the list, in most cases, because of wildfire risk throughout the state, but Colorado and Texas are also states that are usually ranked very high. They continue to do so through this report. There is one overarching factor that pops out whenever we do these reports. When we see results for the first time, we see how many homes are at risk in the total U.S. and what those values are. They are exceptionally high in those areas.

GISCafe Voice: What determines what states are ranked high?

TJ: Because you have large population centers in California, Texas and Colorado, and those urban areas that continue to grow, the pace of the growth is going to grow from year. All three of those states continue to have urban expansion and new homes constructed continue to push out into areas that have higher risk. There’s a lot of risk in those three states as well. A lot of people and a lot of risk is a combination that put those three to the top of the list.

GISCafe Voice: How do you assess the risk score?

TJ: The risk score itself is really based on several factors we combine, the first is the risk on the property, and that determines our categories of high, moderate high and very high, those determine the risk on the property. It’s based on what fuel is there, based on vegetation, if there’s change of terrain, if there’s a steep slop which enhances the risk, that determines the category. But for the score we actually want to look outside the property boundary to risk in close proximity to that property. So if you own a property maybe you have a nice manicured lawn, decorative trees, you don’t have any risk on the property. But just outside the boundary there could be a lot of chaparall in Southern California, for instance, a dense conifer or pine forest, in other areas. If that exists really close to your property that raises the risk value.

So we measure the distance from a property to what’s around it in terms of risk and then we add that to the category or risk on the property, and we add that to the score. The score is going to be 0-100 numeric-based and anything that’s 80 and above is extremely high risk. We have those broken out in the tables, so you can see even though if you look at the U.S. as a whole, there are going to be 192,000 properties that are listed as very high. And that’s looking at the risk on the property. As soon as we look at the score – and the score 81-100, we go from 192,000 all the way up to 1.1 million. So really those homes on the urban edge pushing out in to the wilder areas are the ones that the score is picking up and that’s why the scores are jumping from 192,000 to 1.1 million. It’s the homes that don’t have the risk within their borders and boundaries but have it just outside that are at most risk.

GISCafe Voice: What are insurance companies concerned with when they consult with you?

TJ: Most of those discussions with insurance company representatives revolve around mitigation, which is, how can homeowners reduce the risk on the property and which properties need that? More and more insurance companies have to write these policies and there are so many high risk policies they can’t ignore. What they’re trying to do more and more is identify the high risk properties, then identify ways they can talk to land and homeowners and clear brush around the homes, make sure it’s not a wood shake roof, all these things do to reduce the risk on higher risk. It helps homeowner in the long run because it’s less risk for their home, also helps insurance companies so they both benefit from things homeowners can do to reduce risk on property.

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GISCafe Special Feature Blog: Emergency Response and Recovery

Friday, March 20th, 2015

In recent years, Emergency Response and Recovery has been tasked with addressing the growing number of natural disasters and manmade disasters worldwide. When a disaster happens, the role of GIS and geospatial is front and center in the identification of location and the location of individuals impacted in the event, as well as the clarification of the physical damage to vital structures. It is also fundamental to the provision of medical care and utilities during a time when those things may be scarce or non-existent.

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