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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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:
For those not familiar with Geodesign, the following blog post links to some videos from the 2013 Geodesign Summit and coverage for that event:
Predicting where a dangerous wildfire is going to start can be very difficult, but geographic information systems (GIS) can quickly analyze geographic data about fire-contributing conditions to aid in effective wildfire planning and prevention.
“GIS is an ideal technology to predict the characteristics of a wildfire because it excels at analyzing multiple data layers,” says Gabe Schmidbauer, GIS professor at American Sentinel University. “The complex nature of wildfire dynamics requires the analysis of multiple disparate datasets such as housing, vegetation and weather for wildfire planning and prevention and can help predict when the current conditions are right for a wildfire,” says Schmidbauer.
That’s been the situation recently in Colorado as more than a dozen large fires burn in four national forests and eight other areas.
GIS Impacts Communities
Recently, a major online GIS mapping system was created to show the precise extent of the burning by GIS software vendor Esri to help residents, firefighters, emergency response workers, officials and others interested in the situation on the ground. It demonstrates how GIS experts can have a major impact on their communities.
“As GIS analysts model their prediction of wildfire behavior, they simulate changes in fire direction, intensity and geographical extent of a burned area over time to help predict where a potential fire will occur, as well as where a current fire will spread. This gives officials a leg up in fire prevention prediction analysis,” says Schmidbauer.
Esri’s map system scrolls in or out to cover the area the user wants to see. Pull back and you notice that not only are there the well-publicized problems in Colorado, but large fires in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Idaho. Esri wildland fire map
Social network hotspots are also included on the map. There are also other helpful annotations. For example, the map shows current wind patterns, color-coded to show strength. Wind is an important factor in how fires develop. The information can help predict how they might spread, which will affect firefighting efforts and the decisions made by officials and residents of the potentially affected areas.