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DATAMARK Debuts DATAMARK VEP SaaS for GIS Data

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Sandi Stroud, associate vice president, Public Safety GIS DATAMARK, spoke with GISCafe Voice about DATAMARK, the public safety GIS division of Michael Baker International, and the recent launch of DATAMARK DATAMARK VEP (Validate-Edit-Provision), its new software-as-a-service GIS solution that validates, edits and provisions GIS data. To solve incomplete or poor-quality GIS data challenges, DATAMARK developed DATAMARK VEP to provide highest levels of public safety GIS data completeness and accuracy in the nation’s nearly 5,000 public safety answering points. The new solution is for both current 9-1-1 systems and the transition to next generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems and is augmented with GIS technical services and an expanded DATAMARK team that includes public safety and GIS professionals. NG9-1-1 is an initiative to update the 9-1-1 service infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada to improve public emergency response in a mobile society.

“This year Michael Baker formalized the public safety GIS division, grown into our own line of purposeful business within the company. And our staff has grown. But under DATAMARK we really are a suite of solutions and services. We have really built our team over the last six months to not just address GIS professionals but a lot of folks who have spent their entire careers in public safety and 9-1-1. And part of the reason for that is that we understand there’s a bit of translation that has to happen, depending upon whether we are working with a public safety or GIS client. Our staff is really involved in NG9-1-1 standards and participation in groups. Several of my staff including myself have helped author NG9-1-1 workshops for URISA. We launched that about three years ago at the GIS Pro conference in Washington, taught the workshop about twelve times since, and in fact we’re teaching the workshop at the Esri conference this year, so it’ll be free to conference goers.

We’re very focused on being able to be the GIS experts for NG9-1-1. In addition, we do offer comprehensive technical services, and then we also have solutions that are SaaS solutions. The approach we’ve taken is how can we take a product that helps a GIS stakeholder or data provider support the next gen 9-1-1 requirements, which is maybe a heavier lift than the normal business process they currently support. In addition to the solutions, we’ve also developed a service deliverable that we call a DATAMARK VEP. It allows us to help a 9-1-1 jurisdiction take a step back and look at a solution and really assess what it is they need to address in order to address their public safety or 9-1-1 solution.

What is the difference between traditional 9-1-1 and NG9-1-1?

The current 9-1-1 system – the process of getting the 9-1-1 caller to the right 9-1-1 center. You’ve dialed the 9-1-1 center and are waiting to talk to the dispatcher who sends you help. There is the process of identifying which center based on where you’re at. There is tabular location data that is used to take the location and do a database lookup, it’s not a geocoding exercise. Based on an attribute in that file, it determines where to send your call. In the 9-1-1 center you have your CAD dispatch center, you have a call taking system, and vehicle routing system.  All these can use GIS, but we’ve found it’s very inconsistently applied. Some do not use GIS in those systems, they maintain a separate spatial file within those systems. There are a lot of silos that currently exist between how GIS is used in the 9-1-1 center and the tabular data that is currently being used to decide what center a call goes to.
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2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report Predicts Risk for Coastal Areas

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

The 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report was released Thursday by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” said Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

As the U.S. enters hurricane season, the report shows that more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of damage from hurricane storm surge surge with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of more than $1.6 trillion (Table 1).

Already according to predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2018 hurricane season is expected to have near- to above-normal activity. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms. While not all of them will develop into hurricanes, NOAA predicts five to nine of these will develop into hurricanes, and one to four are predicted to reach Category 3 classification or higher.

According to the report, risk from hurricane-driven storm surge for homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines across 19 states, as well as for 86 metro areas is analyzed in the risk CoreLogic analysis. Homes are categorized by five risk levels: Low (homes affected only by a Category 5 storm), Moderate (homes affected by Category 4 and 5 storms), High (homes affected by Category 3, 4 and 5 storms), Very High (homes affected by Category 2, 3, 4 and 5 storms) and Extreme (homes affected by Category 1-5 storms). RCV figures represent the cost to completely rebuild a property in case of damage – including labor and materials by geographic location – assuming the worst-case scenario at 100-percent destruction.

Regionally, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.9 million homes at risk of storm surge with an RCV of more than $1 trillion (Table 2), an increase of around $30 billion compared to 2017. The Gulf Coast has more than 3 million homes at risk with over $609 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage, with over $16 billion increase compared to 2017. Areas with less coastal exposure but with lower elevations that extend inland tend to have more total homes at risk because the surge water can travel farther inland. Additionally, due to market conditions and previous storm surge damage, construction costs can increase despite having a lower number of at-risk homes compared to other states or Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs).
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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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Vista LiDAR Sensor Unveiled for Autonomous Vehicles

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Cepton Technologies, Inc., a provider of 3D LiDAR solutions for automotive, industrial and mapping applications, recently introduced its Vista LiDAR sensor at the annual NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference, making it immediately available for the autonomous vehicle market.

Vista on the car

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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.

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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 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.
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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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DigitalGlobe Announces Agreement with Rise Broadband

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

DigitalGlobe, Inc. this week announced an agreement to provide elevation data to Rise Broadband, a fixed wireless internet service provider (WISP), to enable faster and more efficient deployment of wireless internet services in the United States.

Wireless networks are becoming denser and base station location is critical to service quality. Digital Surface Models provide the accuracy that planners need to optimize urban network performance. photo courtesy DigitalGlobe, Inc.

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Hexagon Acquisition of GISquadrat GmbH Enhances Reach of Geospatial for Governments and Utilities in Europe

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure acquired GISquadrat GmbH of Vienna, Austria. The acquisition is aimed at enhancing Hexagon’s geospatial, cloud and mobile solutions for governments and utility providers in Europe as well as bringing in more than 300 customers and thousands of users into the Hexagon fold.

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Canon: oce crystalPoint
Teledyne Optech
Teledyne:
Interdrone 2018



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