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Eye on Somalia: crisis mapping and vector data formats available

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Patrick Meier, PhD, director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and previously co-directed Harvard’s Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning, has a blog, where he outlines a project of the “Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF)” new team recently launched called the Satellite Imagery Team. This team is in Somalia due to a partnership with UNHCR, DigitalGlobe, Tomnod, SBTF and Ushahidi.

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United Nations-backed meeting on GIS technologies held in Seoul, Korea this week

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A five-day series of United Nations-backed meeting is being held from October 23-28 in Seoul, Korea for the purpose of improving the management of geospatial information technologies and using them to tackle global socio-economic challenges. Representatives from 90 countries and delegates from dozens of international organizations and civil society numbering approximately 350 are expected to attend.

The use of geospatial information goes beyond national borders, according to the UN Programme on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM). The proliferation of natural disasters has heightened the need for urgent response and quick, accurate and specific geospatial solutions.

Participants will strive to bring countries together to “share their experiences in how to organize their geospatial information infrastructure plan policy priorities and handle privately-sourced information and that produced by national authorities.”

UN-backed meeting considers better use of geospatial technology, UN News Centre

Welcome to the GISCafe Voice

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Welcome to our new offering, the  GISCafe Voice. This is a new editorial blog-type content that will provide more timely coverage of breaking news to be posted two-three times per week. The articles will provide rich editorial content on topics important to GIS and geospatial professionals, including conference coverage, coverage of geospatial being used in emergency response and disaster recovery, and new products and trends that shape the industry.

Why the GISCafe Voice at this time?

We’re noticing that as geospatial information and geographic information systems become more pervasive, they are becoming critical in more industries than ever before. They are a part of the defense military and homeland security departments, tracking and identification of weather systems such as hurricanes , tsunamis, floods and earthquakes. Organizations without large GIS departments still need access to GIS information which is possible now with technologies that allow individuals to view, markup and access GIS information on the internet or in the cloud. Crowdsourcing has added another dimension to GIS and geospatial, opening up the technology to anyone who wants to contribute current information about an event, community or disaster.

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Leaf peepers take note: Track the link between changing leaf color and climate change

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Citizens can help track climate change by noting the timing of aspen leaf changes and other plant and animal species and logging onto the USA National Phenology Network and recording their findings.

Go to USA National Phenology Network and click on “Nature’s Notebook”

Phenology is the study of the seasonal life-cycle events in plants and animals. Phenology has been shown to be a key indicator of climate change. Data collected is used to track how climate change impacts forests, through fire, insects and disease.

Another
reason to view the aspens:
Santa Fe New Mexican, Monday, October 3, 2011

Smart Collar measures how animals move and eat

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The “smart collar” — in development in academia and intended for commercial production in the next few years, use a combination of global positioning technology and accelerometers for measuring an animal’s metabolic inner life in leaping, running or sleeping.

The smart collar measures how animals move and eat and live their lives — and could fundamentally transform how wild populations are managed, and imagined, biologists and wildlife managers say.

‘Smart Collar’ in the Works to Manage Wildlife Better August 29, 2011, The New York Times (registration required)

Mapping out Cuba a labor of love for one Cuban American cartographer

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Juan Jose Valdes, project manager of the National Geographic Society’s first major rendering of Cuba since 1906, says that “To a Cuban, there’s nothing more iconic than a map of the island.”

Two new provinces have been added to the 3×2 foot wall map, which took six months to create. Valdes was moved from Cuba as a boy several months after the Bay of Pigs invasion.

 

National
Geographic’s map of Cuba is labor of love for Cuban American mapmaker
Wall Street Journal

Everyblock offers neighborhood news

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

EveryBlock is a new news data site to follow neighborhood news and connect with your neighbors in 16 U.S. cities.

News included can come from data such as public records like crime reports, to neighbor discussions, to photos people have taken in your neighborhood.

http://www.everyblock.com/

The Vast Reach of the European Environment Agency

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Since Jacqueline McGlade of the European Environment Agency was a keynote speaker at Esri this week, I bring back this article on the agency from GISWeekly:

The
Vast Reach of the European Environment Agency, GISWeekly, June 20, 2011

Fire evacuees can use aerial technology system for up-to-date view of their homes

Friday, July 1st, 2011

­Los Alamos National Laboratory and a New Mexico aerial technology firm on Thursday deployed a cutting-edge surveillance system­normally used to help U.S. conventional military forces in combat ­for a peaceful purpose: helping Las Conchas fire evacuees see an up-to-date view of their homes.

A higher resolution version of the system, known as Angel Fire, was developed by LANL and the Air Force Research Laboratory for the Department of Defense. It’s described as a surveillance camera for a city-sized area, complete with instant replay and the ability to zoom in to see, for example, someone planting an improvised explosive device.

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Better mapping and spatial data come to Kenya

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Improved
Internet Access Brings Better Mapping and Spatial Data to Kenya
June 22,
2011, World Resources Institute

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