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Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

URISA’s GISCorps’ Behind the Scenes Support for Hurricanes and Other Disasters

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

URISA’s GISCorps has a volunteer presence all over the world who contribute their GIS expertise through data, creating easy to consume visuals for those decision makers and public safety officials to be able to respond to various threats and allocate resources where needed. Using ArcGIS Online, volunteers in one part of the world can provide help remotely without needing to be onsite or using limited onsite resources.


In an interview with 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.

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.]
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Hurricane Harvey Early Predictive Analysis with Wind and Storm Surge Data

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Front and center in the news right now is Hurricane Harvey and resulting devastation, which will most likely remain in the news for awhile.

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HP Unveils HP Mars Home Planet and New Wearable HP Z VR Backpack

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

In a webinar this month, HP executives talked about the exciting new approach and commercial solutions for virtual reality (VR). Together with NVIDIA, they have teamed up with Autodesk Fusion, LaunchForth, Technicolor, Unreal Engine and HTC VIVE  to launch HP Mars Home Planet, a global project using virtual reality to simulate what a human population of one million could look like on Mars. HP has also unveiled what appears to be the first professional wearable VR PC – the new HP Z VR Backpack. Crafted to bring the full potential of VR to-life, it is designed to be a secure and manageable wearable VR PC.

HP Z VR Backpack used for training purposes.

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PufferSphere Makes the World Go Round with Spherical Displays

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Since 20o4, when Edinburgh-based Pufferfish co-founders Oliver Collier and Will Cavendish had an idea for an innovative digital display that will give a physical presence to digital content, Pufferfish has been gaining in popularity as a digital display medium of extraordinary versatility. PufferSphere is a compact, acrylic globe with on-sphere touch interactivity for the inflatable range. I saw the PufferSphere at the Esri UC in the Start-Up Gallery, and thought then what an innovative and engaging tool it would be for many geospatial uses. While other companies offer spherical display, Pufferfish has continued to increase its expertise in exclusive touch technology with professional signage range, and pushes the envelope for innovation in spherical displays and data visualization.  

Pufferfish PufferSphere

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Deadline for Entries Extended! Special Coverage on Online GIS Courses!

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Dear Readers:

The deadline for those entries to our Special Coverage of Online GIS Courses has been changed to August 14th, 2017.

The face of GIS and Geospatial education has changed dramatically over the past few years, with new online courses being offered in numerous subjects, ranging from GIS fundamentals to Spatial Analytics and UAVs. What is more phenomenal is that these courses reach out to all corners of the earth, making a GIS/geospatial education a possibility for almost everyone on the planet.

Our coverage will include a listing of all the top online GIS courses offered today, enrollment information and costs, as well as comments from instructors, employers and current or graduated students from some of the programs.
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Coming up: Special Coverage on Online GIS Courses!

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

The face of GIS and Geospatial education has changed dramatically over the past few years, with new online courses being offered in numerous subjects, ranging from GIS fundamentals to Spatial Analytics and UAVs. What is more phenomenal is that these courses reach out to all corners of the earth, making a GIS/geospatial education a possibility for almost everyone on the planet.

Our coverage will include a listing of all the top online GIS courses offered today, enrollment information and costs, as well as comments from instructors, employers and current or graduated students from some of the programs.
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Esri UC 2017 Plenary Report

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

We look forward to the Esri UC Plenary session each year, as it always profers an important vision, but also new insights, thoughts and surprising technologies.

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OrbitGT Announces Mobile Mapping Cloud Platform 3dmapping.cloud

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Peter Bonne, OrbitGT Geospatial Technologies, CEO, spoke with GISCafe CEO Sanjay Gangal at SPAR3D, about Orbit GT’s new SaaS platform www.3dmapping.cloud Bonne shared more about the product line with GISCafe Voice after the conference.

“Sharing your data with anyone in the world just by a single click, that’s what we’ve been promising and what we are delivering,” says Bonne. “Owners of a 3D mapping dataset, such as Mobile Mapping coverage, can now share with a single person or with many users within an organization in one quick action.  This simple concept will open up vast business opportunities for every data owner.”

Still a major challenge for people in many firms is sharing access to complex datasets such as Mobile Mapping data containing multiple imagery and LiDAR point clouds amongst co-workers. This capability has been available from day one in www.3dmapping.cloud.  Now you can make the same data accessible for anyone outside your organization as well as those within it. Whatever users could do on the desktop they can now do on the cloud. Transportation, telecommunications, and some government agencies are eager to use this technology, so that they can utilize it within many departments within one organization.
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DigitalGlobe Announces Agreement with Rise Broadband

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

DigitalGlobe, Inc. this week announced an agreement to provide elevation data to Rise Broadband, a fixed wireless internet service provider (WISP), to enable faster and more efficient deployment of wireless internet services in the United States.

Wireless networks are becoming denser and base station location is critical to service quality. Digital Surface Models provide the accuracy that planners need to optimize urban network performance. photo courtesy DigitalGlobe, Inc.

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Advanced Weather Data from Earth Networks Helps Save Critical Assets

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Anuj Agrawal, CMO at Earth Networks, answered some questions for GISCafe Voice about Earth Networks’ weather data services that offer customers the ability to gain faster alerts, better predictions and risk mitigating data that can save companies money and time.

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