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For those who need to know the geographic origin of contributions to legislators by state and by companies and other political contribution information, MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks the influence of money in politics, recently announced the launch of an extensive mapping project. This project examines the following (from the press release): geographic origin of contributions to legislators by state; contributions from companies to legislators by state; and roll call votes by state and district on key bills in Congress.
This project will shed light on how money from outside sources influences local political campaigns and also will show from what geographic locations money is contributed to key legislative initiatives.
These are some of the maps that MapLight has developed so far:
- Legislator Map: Who in Your State Has Contributed to Majority Leader Candidate Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)?
- Voting Map: How Did Your House Rep. Vote on The Farm Bill?
- Donor Map: Comcast Peppers Lawmakers Across the Country with Donations
MapLight uses the latest available data from the Federal Election Commission as of April 14, 2014 to analyze campaign contributions in each of the above cases for a given election cycle of period of time.
According to their website,
MapLight connects money and votes. “We bring together, in one website, the money given to politicians with each politician’s votes.
We provide data, research services, and online tools that work together to make patterns of money and influence more transparent. Connections between campaign contributions, interest groups and votes that would have required days or weeks of manual research are now available at the click of a mouse.
Since last year, traditional GIS positioning companies such as TopCon, are getting into the act of providing integration of Building Information Modeling workflows and field layout with their recent collaboration with Autodesk. This collaboration involves an Autodesk BIM 360 app for iPad to make it easier to locate BIM coordinates precisely on a construction site. Designed for general contractors and MEP professionals, the app controls a robotic total station and the LN-100 3D positioning system from Topcon. As-built data can be fed back into the design model via BIM 360 for quality assurance. Topcon was traditionally considered a geospatial company but they have extended their reach into many other industry segments now, including the area of BIM.
TomTom launched an open developer portal for the developer platform, TomTom Bridge, this week that allows for integration of business applications with TomTom technologies. TomTom Bridge is designed for those businesses that run a fleet of vehicles, and the new portal makes it possible for developers, integrators and value-added partners to build business apps. Developers will get access to SDKs, that include tips on the best use of the platform.
Included in the new platform are a fully customizable app store, AppCarousel, for businesses to match their choice of apps, branding and features. Page Up is enabling a series of mobile solutions with Near Field Communication and bar code scanner, digital signature app and connection to a Bluetooth printer. The new open developer portal also provides detailed information on Application Programming Interface, a document library and case studies and links to TomTom Content downloads.
Google announced it will acquire Skybox for $500 million yesterday.
Esri has released CityEngine 2014, the latest version of its advanced 3D GIS urban design software. It is interesting to note that the software is now available in 3D applications that are generally considered part of architectural design and visualization applications.
It demonstrates that this is where Esri may anticipate CityEngine to end up rather than within the traditional geospatial marketplace. Its browser-based capabilities will make it easy for geospatial professionals to access what they need from the architectural design and urban planning aspect of big 3D city design projects, however.
Esri offers a free, 30-day CityEngine trial. The design tool integrates with the ArcGIS platform. Greater interoperability has been built into the latest version, which increases design potential. Developers have also strengthened the product’s stability, enhanced street creation functions, and added an open-space tool for more accurate architectural design.
New features in CityEngine include the library of design rules for facades, buildings, and streets. These preconfigured rules make it possible for users to spend more time designing models and less time coding the rules for them. To add another level of realism to the model, developers can use CityEngine SDK sample plug-ins to interact with the popular game engine Unity or other 3D software such as Maya. Developers can find these samples and download the CityEngine SDK at GitHub. (more…)
Bluesky has an extensive data library that covers 150,000 sq km of off-the-shelf aerial photography. With access to this resource CyberCity 3D will have gain access to urban centers across the UK immediately for 3D Smart Building production. Bluesky’s specialization in the acquisition and processing of aerial photography will benefit CyberCity 3D as it finds the need for “new” flights to produce 3D models for its increasing client base.Earlier this year, CyberCity 3D – utilizing Vertex imagery – completed production of 3D London City Centre as well as an extended area including Nine Elms, South Kensington, and Chelsea. The resulting 3D model has attained acclaim and client interest, and led to this groundbreaking new agreement with Bluesky. By the end of the summer, this data partnership is expected to grow into a 3D data sales agreement involving maps throughout Great Britain.CyberCity 3D will be able to offer precision 3D smart buildings in Great Britain and provide clients with 3D city modeling. The company expects to launch cloud-based 3D buildings services this summer. (more…)
Josh Egan, product manager for Juniper Systems, talked about the first rugged notepad to the UK market to be released at GEO Business 2014. The Mesa combines the advantages of a PC tablet and a rugged handheld computer, without the disadvantages expected with either. This is the first time the Mesa has been on show at a UK trade event and Juniper Systems will also be hosting a workshop at the event which takes place in London from the 28th to 29th May 2014 titled “How to get the most out of your rugged handheld.”
This year, there was more interest among the presenters at the GEOINT 2013* conference in open cloud-based geospatial solutions and collaboration. The reason for this is that these solutions save money and are technologically advanced, allowing more information to be gathered in a timely and critical fashion. Also, collaborative technologies allow the collection of data during crises to occur quickly and can make it possible for more lives to be saved. This is certainly a change from the attitude of federal government and intel professionals who have been highly concerned about security and distrustful of sharing data and any solutions that allowed the sharing of data.