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Archive for the ‘GPS’ 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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Special Coverage: UAS: Disruption in the Skies

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Unmanned Aerial Systems is one of the disruptive technologies of this century. Whomever would have thought that small flying planes, that look very much like the hobbyist planes that people fly remotely, would someday take the role of carrier pigeons in delivering packages and also providing aerial surveillance, both on a government and citizen level.

Trimble UX5

Trimble UX5

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Special Coverage: Greater Clarity from Space — Update on Satellite Imagery

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Satellite imagery has undergone a paradigm shift in the past couple of years.

 

Airbus MOJ Tracker

Airbus MOJ Tracker

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PDF3D conversion and publishing software addresses merging GIS and CAD data from diverse sources

Monday, September 8th, 2014

PDF3D 3D PDF conversion and publishing software has released their latest version update with more features of their advanced PRC technology for GIS users. The development timeframe has been speeded up to bring this technology to market early.

LiDAR draped over hills

LiDAR draped over hills

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LizardTech’s GeoGofer finds, organizes and tracks geospatial imagery

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Jon Skiffington, LizardTech director of Product Management, spoke to the GISCafe Voice about the latest release of GeoGofer, LizardTech’s latest software solution for finding geospatial imagery quickly and efficiently, regardless of where it is located is now available for only $250. 

lizardtech (more…)

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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Police boxes still found in the UK mapped

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

One might not think too much about the historic police boxes that look like American telephone booths that used to dot the UK landscape. Now, only a handful of them are left. Here is a map of all the original ones currently known, as well as replicas of originals.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 11.19.37 AM

I’m wondering if the renewed interest in this now defunct form of 911 is as a result of the popular “Dr. Who” PBS series, in which the infamous Doctor goes into his “Tardis” which is in fact, a replica of a 1929 police box.

That’s where the resemblance ends, however, as the Tardis is “much bigger inside than it is outside” with all forms of technology for fighting evil forces within its four walls.

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Traisr for web-based asset-management launched

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

In an interview with Brian Berdel, CIO of McMahon Associates, Inc., a national Philadelphia-based engineering firm, he talked about the new release of their Traisr web-based infrastructure asset-management application that relies on a GIS to help users track, manage, maintain and report on vital assets — on the road or off. It is already being used by municipalities along the east coast. McMahon Associates officially launched Traisr at the Esri User Conference two weeks ago in San Diego.

workcentrlReport (more…)

From the Exhibit Floor: Esri UC 2014

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The Exhibit Floor reveals industry trends, as vendors respond to requests of their customers with timely products and services. The emphasis at Esri UC 2014 was on data and apps, reflecting the trends discussed in Monday’s Plenary session. Global data, the mining of crowdsourcing data, spatial analytics to business users, the launch of WorldView-3 that will open up worlds of data previously unable to be explored – are just a few of the exciting areas covered in the exhibits and special vendor presentations.

TomTom Traffic

TomTom Traffic

This year marked the 22nd Esri conference for veteran company TomTom, which derived originally from the company GDT and later TeleAtlas. According to John Cassidy, vice president of sales and James Pardue, licensing, TomTom’s focus has evolved from the original interest in making Census data better back in the GDT days, to spatial navigation in the present day. Hardware, analytical, navigation and spatial are the primary areas of their business.

“Everyone wants global data,” said Cassidy. “TomTom is heavily invested in the crowdsourcing model.”

Cassidy said that in 2013, 6 billion pieces of information per day were processed by TomTom. In 2014, already 9 billion pieces of information per day have been processed. Their focus has become quality accuracy and quality control.

“Real world users are more valuable,” said Cassidy. “A lot information is gathered using smartphones.”

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GIS companies embrace integration with Building Information Modeling workflows and field layout

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Since last year,  traditional GIS positioning companies such as TopCon, are getting into the act of providing integration of Building Information Modeling workflows and field layout with their recent collaboration with Autodesk.  This collaboration involves an Autodesk BIM 360 app for iPad to make it easier to locate BIM coordinates precisely on a construction site. Designed for general contractors and MEP professionals, the app controls a robotic total station and the LN-100 3D positioning system from Topcon. As-built data can be fed back into the design model via BIM 360 for quality assurance. Topcon was traditionally considered a geospatial company but they have extended their reach into many other industry segments now, including the area of BIM.

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