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Archive for the ‘field GIS’ Category

Special Coverage: The Global Reach of Online GIS Education

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

For several years, colleges, universities and some geospatial vendors have been offering online classes in various capacities. As companies offer fewer training courses within their facilities, and professionals have less time to travel to classes, we have seen the rise of these courses offered by universities and even software companies. What do these classes contribute to the whole educational fabric of GIS?

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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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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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Structural Integrity Chooses TerraGo Magic to Build Field Data Collection App

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Structural Integrity (SI) provides innovative engineering services and proven solutions for structural evaluation and repair. TerraGo announced recently that Structural Integrity has chosen TerraGo Magic to build a field data collection and collaboration app for field inspectors, engineers and others involved in their projects to improve efficiency of field reporting, inspection workflows and data management.

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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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Pokémon Go the Geospatial Gamechanger: Six Months Out

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Six months ago the location-based augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released. Developed in partnership by Niantic and Google, it is really a data mining type of game developed for iOS and Android devices, where players can nab the historic Pokémon in their own local environments. The marriage of geospatial and augmented reality is a gamechanger for the geospatial industry, evidenced by just how many people can be reached with over 100 million Android downloads in the first month of its entry onto the market.

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Geospatial Predictions for 2017 from Boundless CEO, Andy Dearing

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

As I wrote last year, 80 percent of all business data contains a location component, yet most organizations are not using it or don’t know how. Boundless’ open, cloud-based and highly scalable platform, allows developers to deploy an entire scalable GIS infrastructure with just one line of code, and analysts can visualize all of their geospatial data in real time without any licensing fees.

This development solution addresses the increasing demand for an alternative to proprietary geospatial solutions (Esri and Hexagon, for example). Boundless offers greater functionality than Esri’s ArcGIS at 10 percent of the cost.
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Following the Route of Climate Migrants

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Climate Migrants is an Esri Story Map that tells the story of people misplaced geographically by climate change and in some cases, other change factors. Allan Carroll of Esri and his team wanted to create a climate change map that was oriented toward people.

The primary goal of the team is to produce apps that enable other people to tell stories. An analysis report by the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. was an influence in the development of the Story Map, which charts what factors contribute to people becoming “climate migrants.” In some cases, such as Syria and Darfur, droughts have precipitated migrations and led to violence and war.

“Some like these, are caused by both climate change and political indicators, sometimes by shortsighted government policies, but climate is a factor in all of them,” said Carroll.
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Esri GeoConX, Smart Grid, Interoperability of Systems and DataCapable

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

In mid-October, Esri held their new annual GeoConX conference in Phoenix, AZ, now a combination of their former EGUG electric utility conference, and the Telecommunications User Group (TelUG).

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