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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.

Velodyne Partners with BoE Systems to Deliver LiDAR Sensors to UAV Fleet

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

On November 1, Velodyne announced that it is partnering with BoE Systems to integrate its VLP-16 Puck and VLP-16 Puck LITE LiDAR sensors into BoE Systems’ UAV fleet for geospatial data collection and analysis. This partnership delivers full 360° imaging of geography and equipment for a multitude of industries with a critical need for quick, safe, and accurate aerial inspections, including transportation, utilities, telecommunications/infrastructure, construction, aggregate, forestry, and agriculture.

Golf Course


High Flying SORA 200 3D LiDAR Sensing Solution from Cepton Provides High-Rez, Low Cost Mapping for UAVs

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Cepton Technologies, Inc.’s Head of Business Development Wei Wei  and Vice President of Engineering and co-Founder Dr. Mark McCord talked about the Silicon Valley company’s growth and their latest announcement. In October, Cepton Technologies, a provider of 3D LiDAR sensing solutions for automotive, industrial and mapping applications, announced the launch of SORA 200, a lightweight 3D LiDAR sensor.


Utilities and Government Go “Digital” at Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2017

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

The Bentley Year in Infrastructure conference held in Singapore October 8-12, kicked off with a Media Day on Monday, October 8th.  Among the forums that were offered was one on Utilities and Government, which showcased the company’s commitment to geospatial technologies that are inherent in all of their utility and government applications.


Imagery Collection from Any Moving Vehicle with New NCTech 360-Degree Camera for Google Street View

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Neil Tocher, CTO at Edinburgh, Scotland-based NCTech, reality imaging systems developer, spoke with GISCafe Voice about NCTech’s recent demonstration of a new 360-degree camera designed to be mounted on any vehicle in order to capture and generate virtual street-level imagery.

NCTech Street View camera on vehicle

Google is set to trial the new camera for Street View capture in three countries (not currently announced).  Details of the new product were presented at the recent Google Street View Summit 2017 in Tokyo.

From the Exhibit Hall: GEOINT Symposium 2016

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

The GEOINT Symposium 2016 attracted a great many exhibitors all focused on providing excellent resources for the geo-intelligence community. Tools for mobility, analytics, cloud, open source, business and location intelligence, moving data back and forth between unclassified and top security listings, and much more abound in this showcase of commercial offerings.

IMG_5117 (more…)

How to Integrate Data Capture, BIM, CIM, GIS and CAD

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

At an industry session held at SPAR3D 2016 in April in The Woodlands, Texas, Steve Hutsell, Chief, Geospatial Section U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Seattle District, and Lou Bush, Director of Survey, Bowman Consulting Group, gave a talk entitled: “Integrated Data Capture, BIM, CIM, GIS and CAD – Owner and Industry Perspectives on Products, Processes and Policies for Informed Decision Making.”

CIMmodel (more…)

SPAR3D 2016 Expo and Conference Special Report

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The four morning keynotes kicking off SPAR3D 2016 Expo and Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, Tuesday morning included Eddie Paddock, Engineering/VR Technical Discipline lead, NASA Johnson Space Center, Greg Bentley, CEO Bentley Systems, Inc., David Smith, CTO, Wearality, and Curtis Chan, technical evangelist, Autodesk.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard


GISCafe Insights from Autodesk University 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Autodesk CEO Carl Bass opened the mainstage presentation of Autodesk University 2015 in Las Vegas at the beginning of December by talking about how companies are “reframing” the way they think about their work. “Sometimes we have to reframe our view toward entire industries,” he said. Access to data was a big topic at the conference, as the building industry also has to grapple with the management of huge datasets, as does the geospatial industry.

Apple building in Cupertino

Apple building in Cupertino


Contribute Ideas to our Trends/Predictions Article for 2016!

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Hello Readers!

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