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Archive for the ‘transportation’ Category

Kinesis Tracks Over 2 Billion Vehicle Tracked Miles with Online Monitoring Solution

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Kinesis, the global vehicle tracking solution from Telematics at Radius Payment Solutions in Crewe, UK, recently recorded the milestone of over 2 billion vehicle tracked miles. Since launching in the UK three years ago, Kinesis has installed its state of the art tracking hardware in more than 50,000 vehicles across Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.

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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.

 

Pix4D for Yuneec’s Ground Station Controller and Pix4Dfields

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Yuneec announced the availability of Pix4Dcapture on its H520 ST16S ground station controller. Pix4D is a premier software application that creates professional, georeferenced maps and models from drone imagery, giving users the ability to map flight plans and set customized mapping parameters.

Yuneec H520 ST 16S ground station controller

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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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Every Breath You Take: BBC Showcases Clean Air Initiatives with EarthSense Air Pollution Sensors

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

 In a recent BBC TV broadcast, EarthSense Systems,  in close collaboration with resident groups, television producers and personality Dr Xand van Tulleken, went to the Kings Heath suburb of Birmingham, UK in December 2017 to demonstrate the air pollution challenges faced by typical urban communities with busy shopping areas and congested major streets.

EarthSense Zephyr sensor

According to the press materials, as part of a day long campaign of action, residents were urged to leave their cars at home, instead using public transport or walking or cycling for the daily commute and school runs. Volunteers carried out people and traffic surveys and Dr Xand van Tulleken showed his support presenting for the BBC TV programme “Fighting for Air” which aired on January 10th. The experiment utilized special air pollution sensors, developed by EarthSense, which monitored changes in air pollution on the day compared to recordings elsewhere in Birmingham.

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK. It has been determined that 16 of UK cities have illegal level of toxic fumes. It is estimated in one study that air pollution costs the UK  £20 billion a year in medical costs and lost labor.

In a demonstration, Dr. Xand van Tuileken donned a military grade mask with filters designed for chemical warfare. He said that, “at the moment I am breathing the cleanest air possible.” The air contains high levels of harmful pollution, from industry, construction, but in there in Birmingham, mostly from vehicles.

“To test just how dangerous the air we breathe is, I am first having to “detox” . Free my body from pollution,” said van Tuileken.
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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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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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GENEQ
Canon: oce crystalPoint
Teledyne Optech
Teledyne:
Interdrone 2018



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