Mid-January 2013 air quality proved to be dangerous to the health of Beijing residents and those of many other cities in China. Authorities warned people to stay indoors as the nation faced one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. Factories were government-ordered to scale back emissions. According to news reports, hospitals experienced more than 20 to 30 percent increase in patients complaining of respiratory issues.
According to NASA Earth Observatory, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these natural-color images of northeastern China on January 14 (top) and January 3, 2013. The top image shows extensive haze, low clouds, and fog over the region. The brightest areas tend to be clouds or fog, which have a tinge of gray or yellow from the air pollution. Other cloud-free areas have a pall of gray and brown smog that mostly blots out the cities below. In areas where the ground is visible, some of the landscape is covered with lingering snow from storms in recent weeks. (Snow is more prominent in the January 3 image.)
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 Monday Apple introduced a new version of its mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads that will bring a host of new features, including maps that let users soar over a three-dimensional rendering of a city, according to an article in The New York Times.
As was mentioned in this blog of a pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile “(Pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile made at Google event”) last week, the new map software replaces Google data with Apple’s own mapping system. This is a big step for a company that has considered Google a close partner up until now. Since Apple introduced the iPhone, it has relied on Google data to drive the mapping software. When Google released its Android platform, however, relationships between the two companies began to disintegrate. Not surprisingly as Android is the top mobile operating system in the world, putting Apple and Google head to head in several different markets.
Karymsky Volcano has erupted regularly for more than ten years. This natural-color satellite image shows the volcano’s typical low-level activity. A white gas plume rises above Karmymsky’s summit, and fresh volcanic material coats the eastern slopes. This image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard theEarth Observing -1 (EO-1) satellite on May 3, 2012.
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.
Jeff Culwell vice president of operations, DigitalGlobe talked about what led up to their anticipated WorldView-3 satellite and the details about it. The satellite is slated for launch in mid-2014. The announcement was made at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.
While Autodesk does not talk about GIS much these days, embedded in their Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 is a Utilities Workflow that offers intelligent model based software for meeting the complex needs of the SmartGrid, with GIS products built in. The emphasis appears to be on helping transform planning, design and management processes by capturing conditions at the start of the design process, useful for both designers and GIS professionals.
High resolution imagery of sub-meter – less than 40 inches – is only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. It is what the stuff of Google is made of. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S. government. There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications.
Read about why U.S. commercial satellite imagery is important:
The Change Matters viewer from Esri can show how your area has changed over a given time period, say for instance, from 1988 to 1990. Las Vegas is known for its phenomenal sprawl over the past four decades. Time-lapseimages from the Landsat earth monitoring satellites reveal in false-color, multispectral imagery how urban sprawl has stretched out from Nevada’s “Sin City” over the past four decades.
This latest video was posted by NASA in honor of the 28th anniversary of Landsat 5’s launch on March 1, but the pictures actually go back to 1972, when the Landsat program began.