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Street-Level Images Come to ArcGIS Pro with Mapillary

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Recently, ArcGIS Pro specialists at the company Mapillary answered a few questions for GISCafe Voice:

How long has Mapillary been in existence? What is its primary focus?

Mapillary is a street-level imagery platform powered by collaboration and computer vision. The company was founded in 2013.

Mapillary combines images from any device into a visualization of the world to generate data for improving maps, developing cities, and progressing the automotive industry. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images. Computer vision technology reconstructs locations in 3D and recognizes objects from the images to generate map data at scale. Today, people and organizations all over the world have contributed over 250 million images toward Mapillary’s mission of helping people understand the world’s places through images and making this data available.

What does the new Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro beta contain – what are its primary features?

The Beta focuses on bringing Mapillary public imagery into ArcGIS Pro. In short, it lets customers:

  • view Mapillary imagery as visual reference,
  • view, edit, and create features in street-level imagery,
  • compare imagery to see how places change over time.

What was in the previous release and why did you make certain feature upgrades?

The latest version, available in Public Beta, contains the same general functionality as earlier releases. However, we’ve made considerable performance improvements.

Earlier releases of Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro faced a challenge when rendering the large number of features required to show our imagery coverage. Our previous method of serializing vector tiles into a feature layer came coupled with a decrease in performance. For the Public Beta, we’ve notably increased performance and reduced system overhead by serving vector tiles directly into ArcGIS Pro. This means a faster and more efficient experience using Mapillary Imagery from the add-in.

Is a specific type of camera used?

The imagery on Mapillary is contributed collaboratively by Mapillary users all over the world: individuals, companies, non-profits, and governments. The platform is device-agnostic so every contributor uses a camera setup that suits them best, from Mapillary mobile apps to action cameras to professional 360-degree cameras.

What kind of geotagging of photos is used?

The Mapillary mobile apps (including integrations with some common action and 360-degree cameras) save location information into the image EXIF during capture and is then uploaded to Mapillary directly via the app. In addition, any geotagged images can be uploaded with help of our web uploader or command line tools. It’s also possible to upload image files together with a .gpx file that’s used for geotagging during the upload process.
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GIS News of the Week: From Services to Data to Sensor Support

Friday, March 9th, 2018

This week’s GIS news includes a wide variety of announcements, from IBM’s PAIRS Geoscope to redistricting data from Caliper, of the 2018 edition of Congressional Districts.

There is a great need for services that facilitate working with large amounts of geospatial data from disparate sources. IBM addresses that need with their announcement of PAIRS Geoscope, a new experimental cloud-based service that makes it easier for developers to work with large amounts of geospatial data from across a wide variety of sources. The service handles ingesting, integrating and managing the data and allows developers to focus on their queries.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pywazIg53JM&feature=youtu.be

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Bluesky Develops Low-Cost Measurement Tool for Capturing Accurate 3D Spatial Data with SmartPhones

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Aerial mapping company Bluesky of Leicestershire, UK has completed a research project backed by the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to develop the use of mobile phones for capturing accurate 3D spatial information.

The nine-month research project focused on the use of standard smart phone technology to capture and calibrate video footage, and then convert it to 3D information. Designed for electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNO) and other organizations with a distributed asset base, the low-cost measurement tool can provide an accurate record of the feature’s location and its environment. Accurate measurements of essential infrastructure, such as overhead power lines and other utility facilities, could then be extracted using specially developed algorithms and workflows.


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U.S. Income, Immigration and Impacts Told Through Maps

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Recently, I began to receive maps pertaining to income, immigration, unemployment and related impacts. It made me consider putting together these maps to show a broader story of what these maps can show us in terms of current as well as historical timelines in terms of income or lack thereof. The following maps also displays communities where the highest number of non-citizen residents and DACA recipients live.

 

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Geospatial Corporation Integrates Blockchain Technology with GeoUnderground

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Troy Taggart, president of Geospatial Corporation, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the company’s integration with the popular Blockchain technology, the software behind Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency, with their cloud-based GIS platform, GeoUnderground. GeoUnderground provides energy companies a secure way to manage contracts, assure provenance and track asset maintenance.

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Share Open Datasets Using theMapCloud

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Recently, Scottish Geographic Information Systems (GIS) company thinkWhere announced the launch of a new cloud-based platform for GIS and geographic data, theMapCloud. theMapCloud allows maps, open data and business records to be accessed anytime, and anywhere, through a web-connected computer or mobile device. Using standard web browsers, users can view, retrieve and share maps, geographic data and other open datasets and, as well as providing a platform for GIS and other web applications, theMapCloud can be used for a host of data services and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

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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 Essential Gift Guide 2017

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Gift Guides abound this time of year, but gifts are only as good as their on-the-job usefulness. What would make your job easier, provide more accuracy and save time and money?

From hardware to services to gadgetry, the GISCafe Technology Gift Guide includes items and services you may want to buy for yourself, plus a couple of gadgets loved ones may be able to buy for you, plus some you may just envision in your wildest dreams!

BLK360

BLK360 3D Scanner

While this product was on last year’s Technology Wish List, I believe it is still a winner for 2017. Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.

But the minimalist design has a purpose: the BLK360 3D scanner is designed to be controlled via iPad, thereby eliminating the need for hardware inside the scanner and relying on an external device.

The iPad functionality comes to Leica from Autodesk, with their ReCap 360 Pro Mobile edition that provides a controller for operating the BLK360. ReCap 360 registers scans wirelessly that have been captured by the BLK360 in real time. Autodesk cloud services make it possible for users to share or transfer data into Autodesk design software for generating 3D models, meshing, and other analysis tasks.

While the small size may suggest the BLK360 has limited range and capacity, oddly enough it is capable of capturing 360,000 points per second, making it a very high quality 3D scanner. The range of the BLK360 is 60 meters, accuracy 4 mm, with several scanning methods: infrared sensors for thermal imaging, laser and visible light imaging, are just a few. In just three minutes, the scanner can capture a 360 degree scan, and also is outfitted for HDR and LED flash support.

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New Location Content Information from Nearmap

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

In a conversation with Robert Carroll, VP of 3-D commercial and government for Nearmap, he talked about the latest announcement for Nearmap of new location content information, the Nearmap Panorama and Nearmap Oblique, now available through a  new MapBrowser™ interface.. Nearmap is a location content provider specializing in high-resolution aerial maps. Delivered within days of capture, Nearmap shows changes over time. Users save time and money, reduce site visits, and efficiently plan with current, clear imagery.

 

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University of Denver GIS Program
Teledyne Optech
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