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Archive for the ‘satellite imagery’ Category

GISCafe Special Coverage: The World of State-of-the-Art Satellites, Reusable Spacecraft and More

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Both large full size satellites as well as small satellites are now being used for various purposes around the globe. In addition, constellations of satellites are being developed for specific purposes, such as internet satellites. We also include here maritime surveillance that relies on Satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging


GIS News of the Week: From Services to Data to Sensor Support

Friday, March 9th, 2018

This week’s GIS news includes a wide variety of announcements, from IBM’s PAIRS Geoscope to redistricting data from Caliper, of the 2018 edition of Congressional Districts.

There is a great need for services that facilitate working with large amounts of geospatial data from disparate sources. IBM addresses that need with their announcement of PAIRS Geoscope, a new experimental cloud-based service that makes it easier for developers to work with large amounts of geospatial data from across a wide variety of sources. The service handles ingesting, integrating and managing the data and allows developers to focus on their queries.


Bluesky Develops Low-Cost Measurement Tool for Capturing Accurate 3D Spatial Data with SmartPhones

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Aerial mapping company Bluesky of Leicestershire, UK has completed a research project backed by the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to develop the use of mobile phones for capturing accurate 3D spatial information.

The nine-month research project focused on the use of standard smart phone technology to capture and calibrate video footage, and then convert it to 3D information. Designed for electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNO) and other organizations with a distributed asset base, the low-cost measurement tool can provide an accurate record of the feature’s location and its environment. Accurate measurements of essential infrastructure, such as overhead power lines and other utility facilities, could then be extracted using specially developed algorithms and workflows.


Trimble Announces MX9 Mobile Mapping Solution Addition to Portfolio

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Trimble announced the release of the Trimble® MX9 mobile mapping solution, completing Trimble’s mobile mapping portfolio. A next-generation mobile mapping system, the Trimble MX9 combines a vehicle-mounted mobile LIDAR system, multi-camera imaging and field software designed for efficient, precise and high-volume data capture for a broad range of mobile mapping applications such as road surveys, topographic mapping, 3D-modeling and asset management.

Trimble MX9 Back Perspective

According to company materials, the Trimble MX9 is characterized by its ability to capture dense point cloud data along with 360 degree immersive georeferenced imagery using an industry-leading spherical camera, GNSS/INS technology and dual-head laser scanning sensors. The system’s lightweight design makes it easy to install and setup on a variety of vehicles. Spatial data can be captured at highway speeds from inside the vehicle for safe operation in transportation corridors. The intuitive, browser-based field software, accessible via most tablets or any notebook, enables operators to quickly establish and conduct data acquisition missions, monitor the status of the system as well as assess the quality of the acquired data in real time.

Christian Hoffmann, Market Manager, Mobile Mapping Solutions, Trimble Geospatial spoke with GISCafe Voice about the recent announcement:

GISCafe Voice: Has Trimble had a mobile mapping solution before the MX9?

The Trimble Mobile Mapping portfolio has been in the market for more than a decade with popular products like the MX2 and MX7, which we currently sell. The MX9 completes Trimble’s mobile mapping portfolio, adding a high-end system that is designed for efficient acquisition of survey-grade dense point cloud data and imagery. The lightweight design and a focus on easy, tablet-based operation lowers the learning curve and contributes to maximize ROI.

Trimble MX9 Top View

GISCafe Voice: Is there a limit to how much point cloud data the MX9 can gather?

The system collects up to 2 million points per second plus various imagery, which is one of the highest data rates in the market. 2 x 2 TByte SSD drives allow recording a lot of data, typically for 7-8 hours of constant data recording. Details are dependent on the project specifications. Customers can use additional sets of disks in order to maximize acquisition capacity.

Satellites: Large and Small – Questionnaire for GISCafe Special Coverage!

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

This questionnaire is aimed toward those who do research and development on traditional artificial satellites and “smallsats,” as well as those customers of satellites, and companies providing third party solutions for them. Since companies of larger satellites produce small satellites as well, larger satellites, their features and their pros and cons are included in this questionnaire.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.


Small Satellite Questionnaire for GISCafe Voice: February Special Coverage!

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

This questionnaire is aimed at those who do research and development on “smallsats,” as well as those customers of small sats, and companies providing third party solutions for them.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.


GISCafe Trends and Predictions for 2018

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.

Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.

These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.

The Global Mountain Explorer provides information from global scales down to specific mountains, such as Borah Peak, Idaho pictured above. (Public domain.)


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.

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018*



01/23-01/25 Esri Geodesign Summit Redlands, CA

Editorial topics:

  • Top Geospatial Predictions for 2018
  • 3D Cities and Geospatial


Editorial topics:

  • Small Sats Update
  • Current Events


23/20-3/21 Esri Federal GIS Conference 2018, Washington D.C.

Editorial topics:

  • Esri Federal Conference Coverage
  • Current Events

Robert Cardillo, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, speaks to the GEOINT 2017 symposium June 5. Credit: USGIF


From the Highest Mountaintop to the Arabian Desert with Geospatial

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

While a large percentage of the civilized world has been mapped, the world’s mountains have not been among those areas to be mapped as they most often located in remote landscapes. Now available from the USGS is a new web based browsing tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains, that can be viewed on a cellphone or desktop computer.


Teledyne Optech - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

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