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Archive for the ‘crowd source’ Category

Bentley’s “Year in Infrastructure 2014” announces new geospatial releases

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

In the “Utilities and Government” breakout session on Media Day at the Bentley “Year in Infrastructure 2014” event held in London last week, a number of Bentley executives spoke on various aspects of utilities and government, with new developments for 3D cities.

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference, London

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference, London

The event showcases work being done with Bentley Systems’ software, with presentations by all the Be Inspired Award finalists for the year, topped off by a gala Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Cyndi Smith, senior director of Application Advantage at Bentley, introduced speakers. Aidan Mercer, senior industry marketing manager for Government spoke on “Advancements in Government and Life cycle Management of Infrastructure.” He also spoke about “Advanced BIM for cities,” which includes the various BIM levels used in 3D cities: Level 1: 3D visualization and design; Level 2: performance improvements; Level 3: extending into the operations at the complete asset level and this contributes to a smarter city. He mentioned a really excited finalist in the BE Awards this year, the City of Eindhoven, a city that uses MicroStation, Descartes, ProjectWise, and Navigator in its development of new city infrastructure.

Know What’s Underground

Rachel Rogers, Applications Advantage for Civil, Geospatial, Hydraulics and Hydrology, announced Bentley Subsurface Utility Design and Analysis in OpenRoads will be available in early 2015, and will be a game changer in terms of knowing what’s underground.

The product automatically creates a 3D model and brings together the information needed, provides 3D modeling of all underground utilities, that you can readily update into your GIS database. This gives you a true picture of what’s underground.

One of the highlights is that you have visualization clash detection which can drive construction costs down.

Utility Industry with Cyndi Smith

An industry trend seen recently: convergence. “With the convergence of information technology and operations technology, some projects I’m seeing are bringing in engineering technology,” said Smith.

Better utilities performance catalyzed by:

  • Drivers and enablers
  • Smarter networks and technology
  • Regulations
  • Economic factors
  • Organizational evolution
  • Results better performing utilities infrastructure

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Google acquires Jetpac iPhone app

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Not to be outdone by some of Google’s larger acquisitions, Jetpac, a contextual image company, has been acquired by the search engine giant. What Google wants from Jetpac is their iPhone app that helps users find destinations using shared smartphone photos. It is also a very powerful crowdsourcing tool.

JetpacCityGuides_iPhone (more…)

Uber may be taking on Google and Amazon

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Five-year-old Uber, a company whose expertise is in getting you from one location to another, wants to add the service of how to deliver goods to people’s homes also.

Corner Store items can be delivered within the shaded areas.

 

Recently Uber announced Uber Corner Store, a pilot program which is a service that would enable Uber users in the Washington D.C. region to order grocery or pharmacy items such as toothpaste delivered from local stores, much like some mom-and-pop stores used to make home deliveries. The pilot is expected to only last for a few weeks, but signals what the long term vision of the company is. This would put Uber at more than a location company to a bonafide logistics company.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s idea of the Corner Store could position the company in direct competition with the two superpowers Google and Amazon, who have been going after that same-day delivery market for a number of years.  The on-demand economy is growing and both companies have their version of instant gratification for that economy. The other part of that is to keep shoppers engaged in their one service so they don’t shop elsewhere. Google has added new retailers to its Shopping Express offering. Amazon expanded it’s Get It Today service to six new locations.

Uber  has not figured out a way to make this service earn money, and currently the service is free for customers. Uber has an advantage in that it has been in the forefront of educating users to treat their smartphones like “remote controls” so that they can get anything by using an app or just touching a button on their mobile device.

 

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Special Coverage: Online GIS Courses Change the Face of Geospatial Education

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The face of GIS and Geospatial education has changed dramatically over the past few years, with online courses being offered in numerous subjects, ranging from GIS fundamentals to Spatial Analytics and Geodesign. 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.

Screenshot from a Washington College lecture

Screenshot from a Washington College lecture

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NASA needs help from citizen science

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

A recent CNN report announced thatNASA is asking for the help of citizens in viewing hundreds of thousands of images taken from space over the years, from the 1960s Mercury missions to the present images snapped from the International Space Station.

North Korea is barely lit when juxtaposed with neighboring South Korea and China.
North Korea is barely lit when juxtaposed with neighboring South Korea and China.

Via The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, NASA is making these images available for citizens to examine.

NASA says the hope is that the images “could help save energy, contribute to better human health and safety and improve our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. But scientists need your help to make that happen.”

The catalog contains more than 1.8 million photos, about 1.3 million of them from the space station and roughly 30% of them taken at night.

 Photos: International Space Station
NASA gets rare view of black hole
NASA tests supersonic parachute for Mars

Tyson on deep space exploration

The CNN report said that before 2003, night images from the space station could be blurry, even with high-speed film and manual tracking, because the station moves at about 17,500 mph. In that same year, astronaut Don Pettit used a drill and assorted parts he found on the station to cobble together a “barn-door tracker,” a lower-tech predecessor to the European Space Agency’s NightPod, which was installed at the space station nine years later.

According to the report, NightPod’s motorized tripod compensates for the space station’s speed, providing what NASA scientist William Stefanov says are the highest-resolution night images from orbit. Satellites collect data more regularly, but the photos tend to be lower resolution. “Now the pictures are clear, but their location may not be, which limits their usefulness,” the NASA news release says.

Citizen science has a better handle on location than the night images from the space station and satellite imagery. The Complutense University of Madrid is spearheading efforts to get citizen input and organize the photos.  They have broken down the  the images into three components requiring different levels of participation:

1. Dark skies. This is the easiest project, as it requires no scientific expertise. “Anyone can help” by sorting the images into the categories: cities, stars or other objects, said Alejandro Sanchez, doctoral student at Complutense.

“Without the help of citizens, it is almost impossible to use these images scientifically. Algorithms cannot distinguish between stars, cities and other objects, such as the moon. Humans are much more efficient for complex image analysis,” he said.

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From the President’s Cup to Interactive Recreation Map with ArcGIS Online

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In a technical session entitled “ArcGIS Online and Social Media,” two interesting speakers spoke about the use of ArcGIS Online and the use of social media to facilitate operations during an international golf tournament in a community and create an interactive map of a popular recreational region. Brandon Brown, GIS administrator, from City of Dublin, Ohio, spoke at the Esri User Conference 2014 on the topic, “Presidential GIS – ArcGIS Online’s Role in the 2013 President’s Cup.”

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Citizen data can change the world

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Tierney O’Dea Booker, spatial journalist in Support of Citizen Science, with USC Spatial Sciences Institute, gave a fascinating presentation at Esri UC 2014 in San Diego on how citizens can become involved in science, and contribute to data on sensitive projects. Her talk was entitled “Drones, Pigs, Maps and Oil.” Before coming to USC Spatial Sciences Institute, Booker was with NBC working with anchorman Tom Brokaw, and worked with Medic Mobile developing health technology for mobile phones.

droneonfarm

“The most effective way to get involved in science is to do science,” said Booker. She got interested in data journalism while with Medic Mobile, and in spatial data through Ushahidi.

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New in-depth coverage for August: Online GIS Education Programs

Friday, July 18th, 2014

During the week of August 18th-22nd, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Online GIS Education Programs.”

Geospatial3

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Crowd-sourcing search for Flight MH370

Friday, April 11th, 2014

According to an article in The Telegraph, an unprecendented crowd-sourcing effort was launched to scour the internet looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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Conform for real time 3D visualization

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Andrew Tosh, founder of GameSim of Orlando, a 3D visualization and GIS applications used in the gaming and military simulation industries, talked about the plans to expand their product Conform into the GIS market. GameSim is looking at 30% growth (2013). Tosh started the company in 2008 and now they have 33 employess. They will do revenue at $3.7 million this year.

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