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TerraGo Workgroups announced

Friday, May 16th, 2014

George Demmy, CTO, TerraGo answered some questions for GISCafe Voice about the company’s recently announced TerraGo Workgroups, a subscription bundle that brings GeoPDF collaboration capabilities to smaller groups with flexible, cost-effective plans that meet their special requirements.

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HP’s DL380z Virtual Workstation announced

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Jeff Groudan, worldwide director, Thin Client and Virtual Workstation Product Management and Jim Christensen, product manager at HP, talked about the announcement this week of the HP DL380z Virtual Workstation solution that is a combination of HP’s server hardware technology and the integration of it into the true workstation ecosystem, delivered out of the Workstation Business unit.

DL380pG8_8SFF_left (more…)

New partnership between Esri and UNISDR promises to build more resilient cities

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Esri and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) have entered into a partnership to build more resilient communities with geospatial technology.

Announced at the Abu Dhabi Ascent conference on Sunday, May 4, the goal if for the two organizations to develop a cooperative program aimed at growing the global community of resilient cities through GIS science and capabilities. This is modeled after the support that Esri is giving to President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative and resilience in the U.S. The partnership with UNISDR will provide support, service and capabialities on a global scale for UNISDR’s existing Making Cities Resilient campaign by providing resources aimed at helping communities advance from planning to implementation.


Explorer for ArcGIS released for iOS devices

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Esri released recently Explorer for ArcGIS, the GIS app for everyone to access and share maps on their smartphone and tablet. This app is characterized by being “for everyone”, with its  modern, easy-to-use interface that allows non-GIS professionals to use it right away. Right now the release is available on iOS but an Android version will be available in the future.

Explorer for ArcGIS may require some familiarity with Esri GIS tools. For example, users can access any of their organization’s maps authored in ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS. These users are able to search for information about their assets, find out where their assets are in relation to their current location, and share that information easily with whomever they want to know the information. Maps can be shared several ways including text message, email and AirDrop and other methods.

Push for indoor location technologies in 2014

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

In the latest edition of ABI Research’s quarterly Market Data “Location Technologies”, it looks like 2014 could be a breakout year for indoor location technologies in retail environments. Early adopters are shifting from trials to full-scale deployments of the technology, as they are entering the end of the three-year adoption cycle.

Low-cost BLE/iBeacons and Wi-Fi solutions are creating a wave of second generation start-ups to fuel new growth and use cases across all major verticals. This activity is estimated to result in over 30,000 indoor location installations in 2014.

Major grocery and pharmacy chains are really moving towards this technology, and adoption and resulting revenues for all indoor location technologies are available across 11 major verticals. In fast food, for example, a small percentage of improvement in queue lengths can translate to a savings of millions of dollars. Many chain stores are doing trials of the technology just to see if indoor location is right for them. (more…)

Crowd-sourcing search for Flight MH370

Friday, April 11th, 2014

According to an article in The Telegraph, an unprecendented crowd-sourcing effort was launched to scour the internet looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.


DATA Inc. and Digital Footsteps make strides in mobile apps

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Designed by Julie Waldman, and developed and maintained by DATA Inc., Digital Footsteps is a mobile app and re-usable framework for the travel and hospitality industry. The mobile app is designed to act as a “digital concierge” to drive traffic to local businesses and tourist attractions in the area of a hotel or other facility.

DATA Inc.’s Ashis Bhisey accepts the award for ‘Best of the World’ app from NJTC’s Rich Napoli.


From Esri: world’s first “scratch-and-sniff” interactive story map

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Nice to see Esri has a sense of humor with it’s Happy April Fool’s Day offering – the world’s first “scratch-and-sniff” interactive story map. The map allows you to navigate through a list of scents from around the world. These Datastory ScentMaps are built on Esri’s ArcGIS Online technology.

Scents may be valuable in determining which apartment to rent, or where you might decide to put your next office. I don’t think we need a map to determine which restaurant to eat at, if we get close enough to the location.

Inmarsat satellite data key in locating Malaysian Flight MH370

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Fragments of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are believed to have been found in the Indian Ocean, according to a press conference by Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak. Inmarsat satellite data was instrumental in finding the debris. It is one of those events that baffles technologists, as the plane disappeared mysteriously two weeks ago, off the radar, and even now, the evidence is not conclusive that this debris belongs to the missing airliner.It is further proof that all the technology in the world cannot make sure of our safety and can also be manually turned off if someone has the desire to lose a plane.

Right after the aircraft disappeared, Inmarsat was involved in the search for the plane. Although the main aircraft communications addressing and reporting system  (which would usually transmit the plane’s position) was turned off, one of Inmarsat’s satellites continued to pick up a series of automated hourly ‘pings’ from a terminal on the plane, which would normally be used to synchronize timing information.

Inmarsat analyzed these pings and was thereby was able to establish that MH370 continued to fly for at least five hours after the aircraft left Malaysian airspace, and that it had flown along one of two ‘corridors’ – one arcing north and the other south. This was shown in various news reports, but this information was given by the Doppler effect, the change in frequency due to the movement of a satellite in orbit. This gave two predicted paths for the flight – one northerly and one southerly route. Inmarsat engineers came up with this prediction which had never been done before, according to senior vice president of external affairs at Inmarsat, Chris McLaughlin. He said that the technology to track position and speed of the aircraft can be made available on planes for less than a dollar and hour.  The plane was reportedly flying at a cruising height above 30,000 feet.

Although this information was given to Malaysian officials by March 12, the Malaysian government did not acknowledge it publicly until March 15, according to the Wall Street Journal. This delay in responding has been sharply criticized in the press and is thought to have contributed to a considerable loss of valuable time in recovering the lost aircraft.


Inmarsat’s engineers continued with their further analysis of the pings and came up with a much more detailed Doppler effect model for the northern and southern paths. They compared these models with the trajectory of other aircraft on similar routes and were able to confirm a matching between Inmarsat’s predicted southerly path with reading from other planes on that same route.

These pings from the satellite coupled with assumptions about the plane’s speed, made it possible for  Australia and the US National Transportation Safety Board to narrow down the search area to just 3 per cent of the southern corridor on March 18th.

“We worked out where the last ping was, and we knew that the plane must have run out of fuel before the next automated ping, but we didn’t know what speed the aircraft was flying at – we assumed about 450 knots,” said McLaughlin. “We can’t know when the fuel actually ran out, we can’t know whether the plane plunged or glided, and we can’t know whether the plane at the end of the time in the air was flying more slowly because it was on fumes.”

The analysis was given to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) by Inmarsat this week. So far, the cause of the crash remains unknown.

New features of CityCAD

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Holistic City Limited has just announced their latest release of CityCAD, version 2.6.

Several sharp improvements characterize this release as well as stability and performance upgrades:

  • New samples have been added to the settings library (different kinds of residential and mixed-use blocks with a variety of detailed building perimeter objects) to make it easier to get up and running quickly.


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