In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Sept. 8, 2009) a map of recent homicides that have occurred in the city was published. The map shows geographic trends in homicides across the city by cause, race and gender. Other maps for different types of crime are being created to be shared with the public. Interestingly, a post on Geology.com said the maps are “relatively easy to make” and could be a “good communication tool for sharing the location of geologic hazards with the public – if you have a latitude/longitude database of incidences.”
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According to ABI Research, “the number of people using mobile cloud services will rapidly grow over the next five years, reaching 998 million in 2014. Last year, these kind of services were used by 42.8 million subscribers, which is approximately 1.1% of all mobile users. In comparison, the number of people that are expected to use mobile cloud in 2014 will represent nearly 19% of all mobile phone users.” – Dusan Belic, ABI Research, Sept. 9, 2009
During the recent summer forest fire season, San Diego State University’s Homeland Security program developed a geographic information system that makes GIS data available to firefighters in the field in near real-time – even when they do not have wireless or landline networks available. These datasets, designed for firefighters specifically, are formatted for satellite delivery and include satellite and aerial imagery, weather radar and topographical data in a format optimized for delivery over the Inmarsat Plc. Broadband Global Area Network.
In the past two to three years, GISCafe has run many stories about flood mapping and flood risk solutions that have proliferated since Hurricane Katrina and other flooding disasters have occurred. The technology that meets the demand for more accurate flood mapping has appeared to be a godsend to those attempting to do flood risk analysis and management tasks.
But for homeowners, the technology may not seem like such a great advancement. A five-year, $1 billion project by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to draw new maps pinpointing places that could be affected by the kind of flood that occurs once a century — meaning the flood has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any year – is prompting homeowners to have to go out and buy flood insurance.
For a lot of people, buying flood insurance is not something on their radar, and definitely not in the budget. As a result of this project, every county in the New York region has been remapped. In Monmouth County, NJ alone, 4,300 properties have been remapped and recast as flood-prone. Beginning September 25, those property owners will be required to carry flood insurance that could cost up to $1,700 per year. The areas in question are Middleton, Keansburg, Hazlet and Union Beach – communities that are generally comprised of blue-collar workers who do not generally have the extra money to spend on flood insurance.
New Flood Rules, With a Price Tag by Joseph Berger, September 4, 2009, The New York Times
“Outbreaks Near Me,” a new iPhone application, created by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, gives users the opportunity to track outbreaks of infectious diseases such as H1N1 (Swine Flu) in real time. The power of the online resource HealthMap, is behind the application, which collects, filters, maps and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases. The application offers contextualized data of a user’s location and can pinpoint outbreaks that have been reported near the user. Users can search for additional information on outbreaks or individual occurrences by location or by disease.
A blog/article in yesterday’s New York Times entitled “Tweets will Soon Come with A Dateline” talks about how location is now coming to Twitter!
What are the advantages of a location-aware Tweet? Twitter users could choose to read all Tweets posted by people in their general location – be it neighborhood, apartment complex, or city. It might also be useful to locate the whereabouts of loved ones during a catastrophe such as earthquake or flood.
It will be interesting to see what developers come up with to meet this new demand.
Today I noticed that two geospatial companies had made press announcements regarding their presence on Twitter:
1) Spatial Data Integrations, Inc. (SDI), utility mapping, software development and comprehensive GIS solutions provider, is pleased to announce it is now on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter, both clients and prospects can easily track SDI’s geospatial projects, services and product updates.
2) Airborne 1, LiDAR and oblique imagery remote sensing services provider, is now on Twitter, providing clients with a unique, cutting-edge way to save money on their mapping projects.
Anyone can follow Airborne 1 on Twitter to find out at any given time where Airborne 1’s many LiDAR sensors and oblique cameras are positioned. Clients who have potential projects in those areas can then contact Airborne 1 to take advantage of steep “roadshow” discounts.
What interests me about these announcements is that the Spatial Data Integrations is its assumption that potential customers would seek out their most recent announcements and services on Twitter, rather than on their website. Perhaps, because some websites are not updated as often as one can post an announcement on Twitter, this could be a valuable venue for vendors.
The second, Airborne 1, appears to offer a great way to let customers know the location of LiDAR sensors and oblique cameras so they can then save money in getting a discount when the sensors and cameras are in their areas of interest.
It will be interesting to see what other companies will find interesting uses for a Twitter prsence, rather than other more “traditional” avenues.
Each of the major financial news outlets have by now had their say about Autodesk’s announcement of second quarter fiscal 2010 financial results. Below is a compilation of those reports from different sources.
Reuters sees the news as positive as Autodesk posted “stronger-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday as it cut costs, boosting its stock in after-hours trade.”
MarketWatch’s Benjamin Pimentel seconded that with an upbeat report:
“Management is seeing signs of stabilization and exited the second quarter with less volatility,” Deutsche Bank analyst Greg Dunham told clients, while the Wall Street Journal was less than positive in pointing out that Autodesk’s fiscal second-quarter profit sank 88% on lower sales and margins as well as restructuring charges.
The Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM), a Guatemalan university, in concert with Geosistec, ESRI’s Guatemalan business partner, implemented a dynamic web map that merges modern cartographic tools with the Mesoamerican concept of “living geography,”to depict the conquest of Guatemala.
This digital restoration of the Lienzo de Quahquechollan was shown at ESRI UC and can be seen at the website http://www.lienzo.ufm.edu
It was the first time it was exhibited in the U.S. according to press materials. Among other firsts, the Lienzo is the first known map of Guatemala and the only firsthand account to focus exclusively on the conquest of Guatemala.
Remarkable is the fact that the map was painted using natural pigments on cotton cloth circa 1530-1540 by the Quauhquecholteca of central Mexico. Their historical contribution outlines how the Quauhquecholteca aligned with Hernan Cortes and the Spanish to conquer Guatemala.
The Lienzo’s iconography is difficult to follow after five hundred years of wear, and the conquest route has faded with time. The Universidad Francisco Marroquin launched a project in 2006 to restore the map digitally using ESRI ArcServer and developed with ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight to make it easily understandable and so that viewers could participate in the conquest journey using routes and symbols and relate the journey to modern geography. This brings history to life by letting the user join history and geography using descriptions and historical fact.
Another interesting fact about the Lienzo is that it is part of a tradition of reading aloud. The map was used in community rituals and an appointed narrator would read the history. Thus it makes sense that the Lienzo is now made available to a broader community via technology.
The course, which is the first of its kind in Yemen, includes a field survey on the buildings and the various components in the historical cities.