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Landsat 5 satellite on the blink, paves way for Landsat 8 scheduled launch 2013

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

According to a press release issued by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) November 18, the Landsat 5 Mission may no longer remain in operation. The reason for this is the USGS has stopped acquiring images from the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite due to a rapidly degrading electronic component.

A Landsat 5 image of the Wallow Fire acquired on June 15, 2011. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey

A Landsat 5 image of the Wallow Fire acquired on June 15, 2011. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey

When Landsat 5 was launched in 1984 it was designed to last 3 years. The USGS assumed operation of Landsat 5 in 2001 and managed to rescue the aging satellite back from the brink of total failure on several occasions following the malfunction of key subsystems.

“This anticipated decline of Landsat 5 provides confirmation of the importance of the timely launch of the next Landsat mission and the need for an operational and reliable National Land Imaging System,” stated Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “The USGS is committed to maintaining the unique long term imaging database that the Landsat program provides.”

The amplifier that is in jeopardy is essential for transmitting land-surface images from the Landsat 5 satellite to ground receiving stations in the U.S. and around the world. In the past 10 days, amplifier problems have significantly diminished the satellite’s ability to down load images.

Now USGS engineers have suspended imaging activities for 90 days so that they can explore possible options for restoring satellite-to-ground image transmissions.

The USGS-operated Landsat 7 is actively in orbit collecting global imagery. Launched in 1999 with a 5-year design life, Landsat 7 has experienced an instrument anomaly which reduces the amount of data collected per image. A new satellite, Landsat 8, currently named the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is now scheduled to be launched in January 2013.

Apple acquisition of C3 Technologies for 3D mapping

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

In October, Apple publicly announced its acquisition of its third mapping company since 2009 when it acquired C3 Technologies. C3 Technologies is a 3D mapping technology, Apple’s second acquisition of 3D mapping, after Poly9 was acquired last year.


Although it has just been announced, the acquisition actually occurred last year and is said to be worth around $240 million. The acquisition is expected to change Apple’s relationship with Google Maps, from which it outsources technology for its GIS mapping technology. This could ultimately really change mapping on the iOS platform.

Some pundits call C3 Technologies’ mapping solutions “Google Maps on steroids,” as the video shows.

Apple said that it is working on a crowdsourced traffic database to improve its traffic mapping service and speculation suggests that they will use their mapping database provided by Placebase, another of their acquisitions. This would mean cutting ties with Google, but that shouldn’t be happening any time soon as Apple recently renewed its partnership with Google.

Creation of new iceberg captured by aerial imagery

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

On October 14, 2011, scientists participating in NASA’s IceBridge mission, saw a huge crack in the ice running about 29 kilometers (18 miles) as they flew across Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier in a DC-8 research plane.

“The rift was 80 meters (260 feet) wide on average, and 50 to 60 meters (165 to 195 feet) deep. It marks the moment of creation for a new iceberg that should eventually span about 880 square kilometers (340 square miles) once it breaks loose from the glacier.”


Witness the Birth of an Iceberg
Earth Imaging Journal

Create Citysourced Facebook app yourself

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

CitySourced customers can create a custom Facebook App so they can report new issues directly from Facebook. Check out the blog below to see the how-to tutorial with a three step step-by-step guide to create a tab on a Facebook page for reporting new issues directly within Facebook. Follow this easy three step process to create you own version.

Citysourced app

Geolocated world news at Maplandia

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Maplandia offers latest world news on a Map, geolocated world news.
Maplandia

Be Inspired: Day Two

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Tuesday opened with a series of keynotes that further pushed home the message of Bentley’s direction and clarified where they were headed with GIS.

CEO Greg Bentley
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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.

(more…)

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

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