The Esri User Conference 2013 Plenary Session kicked off yesterday morning with CEO Jack Dangermond recounting the various ways in which GIS is permeating the lives of people across the globe, and commending those GIS professionals in the audience who are instrumental in spreading that message.
According to Jack, there is more citizen involvement in the areas of disaster reporting, voting, and utility concerns. Story maps have proliferated in the past year and there is a new narrative for the Tour de France this week. Organizational portals, citizen data access, open data, government infrastructure, internal are just some of the areas that are growing in their use of GIS.
This year the “Making A Difference Award” was awarded to Jack (John) Wennberg, MD for looking at healthcare practices in terms of cost, outcomes, etc. based on location, in his book, “The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.”
The Enterprise GIS Award was presented to the Lands Department of the government of Hong Kong, accepted by Dominic Wai Ching Su,JP
The President’s Award was presented to Direct Relief, with Dorothy Largay, Board Member and Andrew Schroeder, Director of Research and Analysis. They invested in GIS four years ago and have impacted “millions of people” since. Direct Relief International used Esri technology to create an interactive online mapping application for Haiti relief efforts.
DMC International Imaging (DMCii) is in the business of helping The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to predict the spread of locust plagues across North Africa. This effort is part of an aggressive approach to tackle the age-old problem of locust infestation using satellite imagery.
Bill Okubo, Exelis enterprise product manager. spoke on the ENVI Services Engine from Exelis. Exelis Visual information Solutions developed an enterprise-enabled processing engine that provides remote users access to the power of ENVI image analysis and IDL applications from a web or mobile client interface. The working name for this capability is the ENVI and IDL Services Engine (ESE). This engine now enables the remote user to gain access to the same compiled ENVI and IDL functions and procedures that remote sensing scientists have utilized for decades at the desktop level.
Bill Emison, senior account manager for Geospatial Solutions at Merrick & Company, talked about their new QC module in Version 7.1 MARS (Advanced Remote Sensing Software).
Airborne LiDAR – urban area
Merrick Advanced Remote Sensing (MARS software suite is a comprehensive, production-grade Windows application designed to visualize, manage, process and analyze LiDAR point cloud data.
The Quality Control module is designed to provide an automated tool for verifying compliance of a LiDAR point cloud dataset to the LiDAR Base Specification Version 1.0 from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). The application sits on top of MARS as an extension.
“As a data vendor there have been many contracts where we’ve had to comply to those specs, and in an effort to do that effectively, we started to build tools two-three years ago,” said Emison. “We competely automated the entire specs. Our goal is to deliver data one time and not have to do rework, it was important to identify issues before the dataset went out the door.”
On January 31, 2013 DigitalGlobe, Inc.and GeoEye, Inc. announced the completion of their merger, creating one global leader in earth imagery and geospatial analysis, under the name DigitalGlobe. According to the press release, the combined company will trade on the NYSE stock exchange as DigitalGlobe under the symbol DGI. Based on the closing price of DigitalGlobe stock on January 30, 2013, the combined company has a market capitalization of $2.1 billion.
This story I wrote in July 2012 recounts the background of the two companies up to that time.
Geodesign is a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). “Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts.” – Wikipedia
In a webcast presented by Carahsoft, Intermap representatives talked about the fact that they have “the world’s largest 3D terrain database with the one meter LE 90 accuracy and consistency.” LE 90 is a linear air of 90 percent, and is commonly used for quoting and validating DEMs. LE 90 value represents the linear vertical distance of 90 percent of control points, and the respective twin matching counterparts acquired in an independent geodetic survey should be found from each other. For the U.S., which most on this call is interested in, Intermap has mapped the entire lower 48 plus some of Alaska.
On Friday, May 4, GeoEye held an investor webcast announcing that it proposes to acquire DigitalGlobe, Inc., seen by DigitalGlobe as a “public hostile offer.” The combination of these two satellite imaging companies would form the world’s largest fleet of high resolution commercial imagery satellites, according to GeoEye.
Matt O’Connell CEO and President of GeoEye, said that the two companies combined would result in “greater capabilities to meet national security needs, be more cost effective to the U.S. government during a fiscally restrained period, improve value to decision makers, warfighters and shareholders.”
A quick overview of the proposed acquisition: DigitalGlobe shareholders will receive $17.00 per share in total consideration, payable $8.50 per share in cash and $8.50 in GeoEye stock, or 0.3537 shares of GeoEye stock for each share of DigitalGlobe stock. This price represents a 26% premium to DigitalGlobe’s closing share price on May 3, 2012. According to O’Connell, the proposal is structured to provide DigitalGlobe shareholders with the opportunity to participate in the dynamic future growth of the combined company.