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Archive for the ‘subsurface utilities’ Category

Special GISCafe Coverage: Geospatial Data Providers and Services

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, and asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), 3D scanning, and spatial computing and analysis and much more.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging

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Geotechnical Focus for Bentley Systems’ Corporate Update

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley kicked off the Bentley Corporate Update webinar last week with a discussion of how the annual corporate update is different than in previous years. Journalists in 28 countries attended the 2017 Year In Infrastructure Thought Leadership Conference and Awards held in Singapore.

Leighton Asia Hong Kong Boundary Crossing – BIM Advancements in Construction – Be Inspired Award Winner (photo courtesy of Bentley Systems)

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Calling All Geospatial Data Providers for Upcoming GISCafe Special Coverage

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), and spatial computing and analysis, data provided by drones, and much more.

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

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An Underground Map of the World

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Mark Smith, CEO of Geospatial Corporation, spoke this week with GISCafe Voice about the challenges of mapping the underground, which includes mapping underwater. The company’s goal is to create an underground “map of the world,” by doing it “one pipeline at a time.” This is a sensible approach to a project that may seem a bit like trying to eat an elephant (start with the toes!). With the help of sensors and Geospatial’s cloud-based GIS platform, GeoUnderground, it looks like the goal is highly attainable.

  1. What are specific challenges to mapping underground utilities? 

The most obvious challenge is that the pipelines and conduits are underground or underwater and that makes the selection of the data acquisition methodology very important.  I like to say that the difference between locating and mapping is pretty straight forward. Locators attempt to “clear” an area for a specific reason, such as in preparation for a construction project. At Geospatial Corporation, we approach a project in a very “holistic” manner. We know there is no “silver bullet” that will allow us to accurately map every type of buried infrastructure within a facility, right of way or municipality.  We know that we need to use many types of data acquisition technologies to obtain a complete “picture” or “map” of the underground.  In addition, getting this vast amount of data properly into a GIS platform from the field, often with numerous techs collecting below and above ground over large areas is in itself a trick.  For this we have developed GeoUnderground, our proprietary cloud-based GIS platform built on Google Maps. GeoUnderground provides an economical, SaaS based, powerful yet very simple to use GIS Platform accessible from any phone. Our goal is to have every data acquisition tool seamlessly integrate into GeoUnderground.

  1. What solutions do you provide to achieve goals?  

At Geospatial we consider our data acquisition technologies to be simply “sensors on a platform”.  The platform could be designed to run inside of a pipeline or conduit and have various types of gyroscopic or electromagnetic sensors. These technologies are extremely accurate under most conditions and allow us to accurately map in x,y&z pipelines and conduits as small as 1.5 inches in diameter to 20 feet in diameter.  These technologies are often used on projects for telecom, (Such as AT&T, Comcast & Verizon).  This is also applicable for sewers, gas lines and numerous other types of infrastructure. We have developed a method of combining technologies to geo-reference the video collected inside a pipeline during periodic inspections. This allows the pipeline owner to locate any defects within the pipeline, providing an exact xy&z location of the defect.  This also allows the video data to be stored and viewed, edited and shared on GeoUnderground. We are constantly looking for new types of data acquisition and data management technologies to be added to GeoUnderground. To this end, we are creating strategic alliances with numerous sensor companies.

  1. Are you creating a map of the world’s underground infrastructure and if so, when do you think that will be completed and how will it be maintained? 

Yes, our slogan is that we are creating a map of the world’ underground, one pipeline at a time.  In reality we are aggregating data of behalf of our clients that is slowly, but surely creating a map of the underground.  As more and more of our clients realize the benefits of mapping and knowing the location of their critical assets, the mitigation of risk and the ROI obtainable from sophisticated analysis, they will accelerate the mapping of their underground and above ground assets. More and more infrastructure stakeholders are beginning to plan to map their entire facility.

  1. How do Blockchain technologies figure in?

It’s a massive undertaking to attempt to map the underground.  Just as we are constantly finding new sensor applications, we are also exploring new software applications utilizing Blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

  1. How do you renovate or replace utility structures that are underwater?

Geospatial doesn’t repair or replace pipelines, but we do have several ways to map pipelines underwater involving either our gyroscopic technologies and our electromagnetic technologies.  We have successfully mapped a telecom conduit under the East River in New York City, also the Harlem River in NYC, The Savanna River in Georgia, the Inner Coastal Waterway in Charleston, along with many other rivers and lakes across the USA.

  1. What do you think will be the result of mapping the outdated infrastructure, and how might it be maintained or retrofit using your data?  

A few years back, no one would have guessed that all of the above ground infrastructure would have been digitally mapped, from the air, from un-manned drones or from the streets.  The underground infrastructure is the last unmapped frontier. We can only begin to speculate the many uses and benefits derived from having an accurate 3D map of the underground. Smart City initiatives, increasing Federal and state requirements for gas & oil pipelines, an abundance of new sensors creating the Internet of Things and the ability to run risk analysis on critical pipelines all require management to know the exact position and depth of our critical infrastructure.

 

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.


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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.)


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GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018*

 

 January:

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

Editorial topics:

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

February:

Editorial topics:

  • Small Sats Update
  • Current Events

March:

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

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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.

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Singapore: Becoming a Geo-enabled Smart Nation

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Getting to stay at a hotel that was crafted using the software of the host company is a really exciting experience. The Bentley 2017 Year in Infrastructure thought leadership event is held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, in Singapore, a marvel of architecture made possible in large part by Bentley software.

Whenever a host city is chosen for a Bentley event, it is chosen based upon that region’s commitment to infrastructure. For many years I’ve attended the Year in Infrastructure events and this one is no different in honoring the geographic region that presents a great deal of industry and innovation in infrastructure. The event showcases finalists and winners in the annual Bentley Be Inspired Awards, that demonstrate excellence in all aspects of infrastructure and land planning – from roads and bridges, utilities, rail, reality modeling and much more.

There are other Be Inspired Award finalist buildings dotted around the bay that also reflect the creative use of Bentley software, and help define the Singapore skyline.

Why are so many of these ambitious projects clustered in one city/state/country? In opening comments yesterday, Chris Barron of Bentley remarked, “The center of gravity for infrastructure is in Asia. One-half of our finalists this year are from Asia.”

While Singapore is a thriving city metropolis, it is also a small nation. It may be one of the first countries to take a leap into being a “smart nation,” far beyond the ambitions of the “smart city.”

There is a stark difference between the Singapore we see today and eight years ago when the Marina Bay Sands Hotel was built. The center of the 720-square-meter island was essentially seawater, and needed to be built up with many tons of soil shipped in to support the ambitious structures that would eventually make up the profile and economy of this city/state/country.

This is where geospatial comes in, and it is indelibly woven into the fabric of how the island came to support such structures and new economic growth. In Bentley’s world view, geospatial is a part of the whole, and it is a part of all the utilities, road, rail and construction offerings as it must be part of the projects themselves.
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Newscycle Through the Eyes of Maps

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

This week the news hit close to home: my son was working in the Manderley Bay Hotel when the shooter opened fire on Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas outside. He was safe thank God, but terribly shaken by the event as visitors poured into the hotel with panicked stories and later, the hotel was in lockdown for several hours. The level of fear and panic generated by this event was hard to contain as most people didn’t know what was happening and heard only shots  coming from up high.

Rather than rehashing the news here, which everyone has read already via TV or popups on their phones, I’m going to blog through maps that show factual information on this and other recent disasters that have hit close to home, both manmade and natural. Maps put events in perspective, take one incident out of isolation and place it in context.

From The Guardian: The United States owns way, way more guns per capita than the rest of the world. And the best research on gun violence suggests that’s probably contributing to our homicide problem — as exemplified by Sunday night’s horrific shooting.

Here’s a map of firearm ownership around the world, using 2012 data compiled by The Guardian. The United States has nearly twice as many guns per 100 people as the next closest country, Yemen — 88.8 guns per 100 as opposed to 54.8 in Yemen:

We have also the aftermath of the devastation from three hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda and others, plus an earthquake in Mexico. Fortunately maps are abundant in the GIS world for tracking and analysis of the events, plus disaster recovery efforts.

In many parts of the world people do not have physical addresses, nor defined property boundaries. The importance of identifying location by addressing/location with just three words is brought to light in this video by what3words:

This Esri Interactive Map presents the enriched Shakemap of the M 7.1 Earthquake near  Puebla, Mexico to show the potential impact to population and households in the area.

Clicking on the shaded areas allows you to view the impact for that intensity:

Orange (very strong): 447k total population; 114k total households

Yellow (strong): 10.2m total population; 2.6m total households

Green (moderate): 8.7m total population; 4.8m total households

Blue (light): 43.1 total population; 10.8m total households

Esri Disaster Response – Hurricanes & Cyclones

While there are still many places that are not on the radar of technology after catastrophic events such as hurricanes, cyclones and earthquakes, map technology may be used to locate victims and learn where to provide desperately needed services. From company materials: Esri is supporting organizations that are responding to hurricane/cyclone disasters with software, data, imagery, project services, and technical support. If you are in need of software or support, complete the Request Assistance form on the webpage above. All requests should be justified in the message section of the form and are subject to approval.

Web mapping applications related to Hurricane Maria provided from the Esri Disaster Response Program and agencies involved in response to and monitoring of the hurricane. There is also an identical page for Hurricane Irma.

CrowdRescueHQ is an organization powered by volunteers, who gather data from social media to support rescue efforts and victims of natural disasters.  This CrowdSourceHQ Observations dashboard is updated every half-minute and displays latest observations reported in Puerto Rico related to Hurricane Maria.

Woolpert Hurricane Irma maps

Woolpert, working under two separate contracts that had very technically different requirements, collected and posted high-resolution, before-and-after imagery of areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma to assist with flooding and damage assessment.

From company materials: Miami-Dade County contracted with Woolpert for post-storm imagery as Hurricane Irma approached, while Woolpert’s work with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is part of an existing five-year, statewide contract for emergency mapping services.

“Miami-Dade wanted imagery from after the event, documenting damage assessment, while FDOT wanted to see how high the water got at the peak of the flooding to gain current flood conditions,” Woolpert project manager Mike Zoltek said. “For FDOT, we captured 1,000 square miles of imagery along the St. Johns River in a single day as the water was cresting. The imagery was collected across four counties—St. Johns, Duval, Putnam and Clay—from Palatka to Jacksonville.”

The FDOT project is complete, while the Miami-Dade project continued as weather allowed throughout the week.

The collections have included 6-inch and 1-foot ground sampling distance (GSD) orthoimagery. The smaller the GSD, the higher the image resolution. As part of this process, Woolpert captured aerial imagery, processed the data, paired it with comparable imagery collected prior to the hurricane, delivered it to clients and posted it on a before-and-after online slider for use by anyone affected by the disaster.

The resulting online maps, aggregated with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google, enable viewers to look up an address, navigate to an area of concern, and zoom in and out.

Woolpert, whose planes had just returned from mapping the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey when contacted by Miami-Dade, credited the county for preparing for recovery efforts before the storm hit.

Two Koreas Story Map

Two Koreas

Tensions between the U.S. have escalated rapidly, with a lot of chest thumping and threats of nuclear war. The conflict is not new, and has roots reaching all the way back to World War II. It is a conflict over control of the Korean Peninsula, pitting the North against the South.

While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. This Esri Story Map takes a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and offers some analysis of where the crisis could go from here.

Share this map:

https://arcg.is/0yGri0

 

 

 

 

Teledyne Optech
Bentley: -YII 2018 Awards
Interdrone 2018



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