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Regional Australia needs more surveyors and GIS professionals

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

A University of New South Wales professor said surveyors and GIS professionals are sorely needed in the rural areas. Fewer locals are taking courses or returning from college to their country roots to work in those areas.

More rural surveyors needed, April 14, 2010, ABC News

GLANSER for emergency responders

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

“Many incidents (such as the events of 9/11 and the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire that killed six firefighters) have highlighted the need for an accountability system to accurately locate, track, monitor, and visualize the locations of responders on a geospatial map. This will allow incident commanders and tactical-decision makers to virtually observe personnel movements in real time to avoid loss of life.”

This article talks about the “development of the geospatial location accountability and navigation system for emergency responders (GLANSER). The system is a ‘cocktail solution’ in which several components have been fused together to provide an estimate of the user’s location, whether inside or outside a building. We have combined GPS, IMU, ultrawide-band ranging radio, Doppler radar, as well as a magnetometer, compass, pedometer, and altimeter, to fit into a 2×4×6in3 wearable electronic unit. This combination of sensors works in harmony so that when GPS is not available, or in periods of suboptimal RF ranging, other signals are exploited”

Tracking emergency responders in challenging environments, by Jalal Mapar, April 13, 2010, SPIE

Rolta acquires One GIS

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Rolta acquires U.S. firm One GIS, April 14, 2010, Reuters, India

Geospatial as underlying component for Autodesk product line

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

At AU it appeared that geospatial had an uncertain future at Autodesk. Senior director, Infrastructure Modeling Product Line Paul McRoberts stated at Autodesk’s AEC Technology Day this week that geospatial is the underlying component for all of Autodesk products. The FDO platform is extensible open source software that can be noted in transportation, water and waste water, land development, power and energy.

McRoberts said that 24% of the gross revenue collected by AEC firms is for planning, according to an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) study. It might appear that the role of geospatial at Autodesk is visual in nature: modeling and visualization for water, transportation, energy and water and wastewater, where getting public approval is primary to getting projects off the ground. What is needed here is a way to show a workflow including location and geospatial data. The technologies spoken most about – 3ds Max for visualization and Dynamite VSP Exporter are for showing how problems can be solved, interoperability, and being able to migrate information to others.

The laser scanning environment and lidar data play a part in this. McRoberts said that surveying may become a thing of the past. With the need in many places for ground truth data, particularly in areas that aren’t readily accessible with laser scanning equipment or lidar, I think it may be a long time before this is realized.

“Digital cities,” a hot buzz term of a year or two ago, will now go by the name “sustainable cities” as one part of a greater vision including extension of assets such as tranmission lines into rural communities. It is part of the scope of LandXplorer, in its quest to address large scale projects and visualization. McRoberts said LandXplorer holds a GIS layer underneath that contains real data.

Mobile Epiphany announces Touch Inspect

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Touch Inspect is a handheld inspection app that runs on Windows Mobile 6, 6.1 and 6.5, with the Mobile PC and tablet edition running on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

This app was designed to capture a wide variety of data types in the field and employs GPS to allow workers to map the location of individual assets as well as search for them by proximity to the user. The company Mobile Epiphany got its start in the video game industry, so it naturally makes use of  multimedia features, so users can have detailed visual information on assets. “For example, a utility inspector could take a picture of a metal power pole then use the drawing tool to circle rust spots in the picture and save it to the inspection history. Inspectors who see the pole at some later date could then call up the picture for comparison, to see if the rust spots have grown, and decide whether or not to recommend maintenance. Mobile epiphany refers to this as one part of field decision support.”

Mobile Epiphany’s CEO, Glenn Kletzky said that the application is already built so users can start using it almost immediately.

Data is stored on the handheld device itself, and transmitted to the database when a connection is available. Data is not lost if a connection is lost, rather, it is stored on the device until a transmission is available. Data can also be transmitted in real time and reports can be auto-generated in moments.

A backcountry take on U.S. Census 2010

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Counting the nation’s residents only comes around once every ten years, and each time it does, new technologies have been created in that period of time that make it easier to get a figure on the population.

What is important about the Census Bureau is that it collects valuable information about city and county trends. This can range from data about the age of residents in a particular county or city, the median household income, jobless figures, and housing data. What effect has the recession had on income and joblessness? What languages other than English do residents speak?

Another less publicized fact about the U.S. Census is that it is not always easy to collect this information. Most households receive their Census forms in the mail. The new forms have a streamlined questionnaire this time around. However, there are some people living in the back country who don’t receive their mail at their homes.

In northern mountain communities in New Mexico, for example, there is significant snowfall and the U.S. Mail just simply doesn’t deliver there in the winter. What has happened this year is that census takers have strapped on snowshoes and cross-country skis to slog their way to some out of the way cabins.

One census taker reported driveways that are three miles long with very deep snow.

Bits and Bytes

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Forest Fire Detection March 1, 2010, P-GIS.com

David Fletcher, CTO, Utah Andy Opsahl, March 1, 2010 Government Technology

Cellphones Let Shoppers Point, Click and Purchase Stephanie Rosenbloom, February 26, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

Video: Bloom Energy unveils the Bloom Energy Server CNET News.com

Olympics notebook: Mapping the Vancouver Games by Ina Fried, CNET News.com

Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Disease Mapping and Surveillance Satellite Imaging Corporation

Indiana Launches Innovative Site Selection Website StateIN.ZoomProspector.com March 1, 2010, PRWeb

Appointments to National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC)

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Today Intergraph Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I) division Senior Vice President Jack Pellicci was appointed to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior.

On February 8, 2010, The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA)  announced in a press release that three key GITA leaders have been appointed to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar appointed a total of 14 individuals to serve as members of the NGAC on Thursday, Feb. 4. The NGAC provides advice and recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues as well as a forum to convey views representative of partners in the geospatial community. The members of the NGAC report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs. The FGDC is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary’s designee.

The appointed individuals include GITA’s 2010 President, Cindi Salas, Director, Land & Field Services, CenterPoint Energy; 2010 President-elect Dr. Robert F. Austin, Enterprise Application Integration Manager, City of Tampa; and Research Committee Chair and Past President David DiSera, Vice President & CTO, EMA, Inc. Past GITA Board and Executive Committee Member Xavier Lopez, Director, Location Based Services, Oracle Corporation, was also appointed.”

Chile earthquake geospatial resources

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

This is what I have so far and will add to it as more information emerges:

Websites:

Google Crisis Response Map of the Chile Earthquake

Google Mapmaker

chile.ushahidi.com

According to a blog at OpenStreetMap, Rapideye has made available to OpenStreetMap satellite images of areas of Chile affected by the earthquake. The images are copyrighted but can be used to add data to OSM.

For information on how to include these images into JOSM and Potlatch see

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/2010_Chile_earthquake/Imagery_and_data_sou…

The MapRoom

Crisis Commons nothing posted here yet.

USGS

Podcast: Lessons From Chile

Articles:

Quake Finds Tsunami Forecasts Still Limited Kenneth Chang, March 2, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Tsunami and Earthquake Disaster Recovery Satellite Imaging Corporation

New online mapping tool for U.S. Census Bureau

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

“With mail-out of the 2010 Census forms less than one month away, the U. S. Census Bureau unveiled a new online mapping tool that allows communities nationwide to prepare for the 2010 Census by seeing how well they did mailing back their 2000 Census forms.

Visitors to the new Google-based map will be able to find the 2000 Census mail participation rates for states, counties and cities, as well as smaller areas called “census tracts.” After the 2010 Census forms are mailed out in mid-March, the online map will be updated to include a tracking tool with daily updates of the 2010 Census mail participation rates for local areas across the nation. Users will be able to compare their 2010 Census progress using their 2000 Census rates as a benchmark..”

–from the press release March 3, 2010

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