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New app for children to find families in disaster and war zones

Friday, September 6th, 2013

With the number of disasters that occur in the world today – both natural and unnatural – children get separated from their families with increasing frequency. Jorge Just, a student in a class called “Design for Unicef,” at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, wanted to make a an app for people who were under emotional stress. His idea went beyond the usual app for those with great Wi-Fi connections and cell service available in the inner cities.

Children in third-world countries certainly don’t have these advantages, and what Just found in his five visits to Uganda was that lost children were relegated to old systems where paper-based forms were manually entered into large databases, and the children themselves may not be that distant geographically from their parents.

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Microsoft moves to acquire Nokia

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

 

It looks as though Microsoft Corp. is moving into a paradigm shift with its move toward a $7 billion acquisition from Nokia to thrust it into the mobile market. Nokia will still remain a company after Microsoft buys the company’s handset business. While Microsoft is acquiring what Nokia is best known for, the Finnish company is holding on to two if its major businesses: networking and mapping. Microsoft has been hoping to take a slice of the mobile market from smartphone moguls Apple and Google, and meanwhile has been partnering with Nokia for three years.

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Rim Fire near Yosemite shown in three different views by Esri Story Map

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Esri’s Rim Fire Perspectives Map is available for ongoing wildfire coverage. This story map contains three different views of the fire and shows which areas and infrastructure are threatened by the fire, how the fire has grown, and where fires have burned near Yosemite in the past.

Autonomous robotic vehicles destined to appear in the next decade

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Readers may remember “Herbie” the runaway “autonomous” car in the Fred MacMurray movie of many years ago that created entertaining havoc.  According to ABI Research, in North America, the first driverless vehicles will appear in the beginning of the next decade, evolving to more than 10 million robotic vehicles shipping in 2032.

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Esri and MapmyIndia announce strategic alliance

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In July, Esri and MapmyIndia announced a Strategic Business Alliance that is designed to expand the use of geospatial technology in India. MapmyIndia has extensive data covering all of India’s 600,000 towns and villages, approximately 10 million points of interest and 1.9 million kilometers of highway and street network. The company plans to migrate its entire data production environment to the ArcGIS platform, so that it can take advantage of Esri’s cartographic tools and workflows. Over 80 percent of all automotive navigation systems installed in India use MapmyIndia data and the company sends out data updates every four to six months.

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Documenting life in small towns project announced by The Atlantic and APM’s Marketplace

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

This week The Atlantic and APM’s Marketplace announce a new joint reporting project, “American Futures,” documenting life in small towns and cities across the country, spearheaded by James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a pilot, and his wife, the linguist and author Deborah Fallows. The couple has traveled extensively both abroad and in the U.S. with particular interest in small towns and areas that are not necessarily tourist destinations. Fallows spoke about the project at the Esri User Conference 2013 in San Diego in July.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic

For this project, they will travel from one small-town airport to the next in their propeller-driven Cirrus SR-22 airplane, spending time in towns and cities that are off the beaten path of most people. Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace, and his team will report from various legs of the trip.

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Geoenabling Telecom New Zealand’s field sales team

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Stephen Usmar, Telecom New Zealand, with a background in marketing business intelligence systems, introduced GIS in 1998 to Telecom New Zealand and reactivated it about 18 months ago. One of its uses is to support their sales teams.

Telecom NZ provides fixed mobile and IT products and services to consumer, small and medium sized enterprise corporate and wholesale customer segments.

A door-to-door team goes door-to-door to sell broadband. They log 4-6 hours shifts, have 450,000 conversations, and travel 20,000 miles. They knock on 1 million doors.

“This began for me in one evening in July when a Telecom NZ sales rep came to my door. Since I was a customer why was he there?” said Usmar. “It got me thinking there’s a better way, somebody in the office photocopies a map, draws a boundary, sends people out to knock on every door in five hours and then we pick up you up. The problem is every other household is a Telecom customer, so the calls on those become service calls. The goal is to exit as soon as possible from these calls and move on to a genuine prospect.”

There was an existing Telecom NZ GIS capability.

“I knew where every customer was. I took their paper maps, married it with our GIS app, digital maps and customer data, “said Usmar. “There were three types of households identified: contact prospects with no telecom, customer – no telecom and broadband but access and/or mobile, and skip customers.”

For prospects they usually only have their address, and when they last marketed to them. “With the use of the GIS, we went from little sales data to rich sales data that could be analyzed.”

 

Bentley Map Mobile Debuts

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The first version of Bentley Map Mobile, a Bentley app that empowers infrastructure professionals to share Bentley Map geospatial information with field technicians via Android-based mobile devices, was released recently.

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Big data and services were hot topics at Esri UC

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

 

Big data and services to manage big data were among the hot topics of Esri UC 2013. Companies that provided these opportunities were in large part Esri partners.

As a result of the cloud and mobile/location intelligence, we can now ingest data that previously required an enormous amount of effort to be made usable. The question still remains as to who is qualified to access the data, but data now breaks out of its previous stagnancy with the growth of technology potential.

Who can use GIS now? Just about everyone.

Although the federal government was not well represented at the conference because of steep cutbacks, the products and services showcased catered to the federal, state and local governments, with disaster response, emergency preparedness, intelligence and other related fields. There is not a geospatial company out there that doesn’t tailor their application/server platform to that market.

Some of the companies visited that fall within these categories include:

DigitalGlobe FirstLook Premium Services

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Geodesign web-based app shown at Esri UC

Friday, July 5th, 2013

A web-based app to support the Geodesign workflow is in development and will take awhile before it is ready for release.

Geodesign Services Director at Esri Bill Miller sent the following message

“If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing, I will be demo-ing our app at the Esri User Conference in San Diego next week on Wednesday, Noon to 1:00pm, in Room 30E at the SDCC. This will be a limited “showing” to our users interested in geodesign. Here is a preview of the demo:

http://www.screencast.com/t/MjKBQeesbo”

For those not familiar with Geodesign, the following blog post links to some videos from the 2013 Geodesign Summit and coverage for that event:

Esri Geodesign Summit 2013

 

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