Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
April 16th, 2014 by Susan Smith
In the latest edition of ABI Research’s quarterly Market Data “Location Technologies”, it looks like 2014 could be a breakout year for indoor location technologies in retail environments. Early adopters are shifting from trials to full-scale deployments of the technology, as they are entering the end of the three-year adoption cycle.
Low-cost BLE/iBeacons and Wi-Fi solutions are creating a wave of second generation start-ups to fuel new growth and use cases across all major verticals. This activity is estimated to result in over 30,000 indoor location installations in 2014.
Major grocery and pharmacy chains are really moving towards this technology, and adoption and resulting revenues for all indoor location technologies are available across 11 major verticals. In fast food, for example, a small percentage of improvement in queue lengths can translate to a savings of millions of dollars. Many chain stores are doing trials of the technology just to see if indoor location is right for them. Read the rest of Push for indoor location technologies in 2014
April 11th, 2014 by Susan Smith
According to an article in The Telegraph, an unprecendented crowd-sourcing effort was launched to scour the internet looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
April 8th, 2014 by Susan Smith
In an interview with James Fairweather, Vice President of Architecture, Technology and Experience for Pitney Bowes Inc., he answered the following questions about the new collaboration on IBM’s “BlueMix” platform-as-a-service. This collaboration is designed to develop new hybrid cloud location intelligence services that help businesses unearth deeper customer insights based on geography, enabling them to deliver more personalized services and contextually relevant experiences.
1) Can you tell me how hybrid cloud location services are different than other location based services?
“Applications that need to leverage big data-residing in both public and private clouds, especially real-time data and analytics, benefit from hybrid cloud location services. For developers, it’s a system that significantly reduces the time needed to create an application. For businesses, it’s a system which allows line-of-business users to easily create applications without needing a high level of technical know-how.
April 2nd, 2014 by Susan Smith
Designed by Julie Waldman, and developed and maintained by DATA Inc., Digital Footsteps is a mobile app and re-usable framework for the travel and hospitality industry. The mobile app is designed to act as a “digital concierge” to drive traffic to local businesses and tourist attractions in the area of a hotel or other facility.
April 1st, 2014 by Susan Smith
Nice to see Esri has a sense of humor with it’s Happy April Fool’s Day offering – the world’s first “scratch-and-sniff” interactive story map. The map allows you to navigate through a list of scents from around the world. These Datastory ScentMaps are built on Esri’s ArcGIS Online technology.
Scents may be valuable in determining which apartment to rent, or where you might decide to put your next office. I don’t think we need a map to determine which restaurant to eat at, if we get close enough to the location.
March 27th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Fragments of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are believed to have been found in the Indian Ocean, according to a press conference by Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak. Inmarsat satellite data was instrumental in finding the debris. It is one of those events that baffles technologists, as the plane disappeared mysteriously two weeks ago, off the radar, and even now, the evidence is not conclusive that this debris belongs to the missing airliner.It is further proof that all the technology in the world cannot make sure of our safety and can also be manually turned off if someone has the desire to lose a plane.
Right after the aircraft disappeared, Inmarsat was involved in the search for the plane. Although the main aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (which would usually transmit the plane’s position) was turned off, one of Inmarsat’s satellites continued to pick up a series of automated hourly ‘pings’ from a terminal on the plane, which would normally be used to synchronize timing information.
Inmarsat analyzed these pings and was thereby was able to establish that MH370 continued to fly for at least five hours after the aircraft left Malaysian airspace, and that it had flown along one of two ‘corridors’ – one arcing north and the other south. This was shown in various news reports, but this information was given by the Doppler effect, the change in frequency due to the movement of a satellite in orbit. This gave two predicted paths for the flight – one northerly and one southerly route. Inmarsat engineers came up with this prediction which had never been done before, according to senior vice president of external affairs at Inmarsat, Chris McLaughlin. He said that the technology to track position and speed of the aircraft can be made available on planes for less than a dollar and hour. The plane was reportedly flying at a cruising height above 30,000 feet.
Although this information was given to Malaysian officials by March 12, the Malaysian government did not acknowledge it publicly until March 15, according to the Wall Street Journal. This delay in responding has been sharply criticized in the press and is thought to have contributed to a considerable loss of valuable time in recovering the lost aircraft.
Inmarsat’s engineers continued with their further analysis of the pings and came up with a much more detailed Doppler effect model for the northern and southern paths. They compared these models with the trajectory of other aircraft on similar routes and were able to confirm a matching between Inmarsat’s predicted southerly path with reading from other planes on that same route.
These pings from the satellite coupled with assumptions about the plane’s speed, made it possible for Australia and the US National Transportation Safety Board to narrow down the search area to just 3 per cent of the southern corridor on March 18th.
“We worked out where the last ping was, and we knew that the plane must have run out of fuel before the next automated ping, but we didn’t know what speed the aircraft was flying at – we assumed about 450 knots,” said McLaughlin. “We can’t know when the fuel actually ran out, we can’t know whether the plane plunged or glided, and we can’t know whether the plane at the end of the time in the air was flying more slowly because it was on fumes.”
The analysis was given to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) by Inmarsat this week. So far, the cause of the crash remains unknown.
March 24th, 2014 by Susan Smith
LizardTech will showcase its Express Server® 9 software at ASPRS 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky this year. Express Server is an image-delivery software for compressed raster imagery, including multispectral imagery.
In the latest version is the ExpressZip web application for exporting imagery straight from the web browser as well as offering improved upgrade functionality. The process of migrating all image catalogs automatically is part of the upgrade functionality, making it easier for users to install their new version of Express Server. They won’t have to manually update all their catalogs during upgrade. Also, Express Server integrates with third party applications such as ArcGIS Server to speed up the delivery of raster imagery.
March 21st, 2014 by Susan Smith
Holistic City Limited has just announced their latest release of CityCAD, version 2.6.
Several sharp improvements characterize this release as well as stability and performance upgrades:
March 19th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Esri is launching a comprehensive effort to help communities work smarter and more efficiently, therefore growing their resilience, in response to the White House Climate Data Initiative. The GIS company is also launching a climate-focused geo-collaboration portal today, March 19th.
The White House Climate Data Initiative is one of the most important and timely initiatives of our times. In its community outreach, Esri plans to focus its initial efforts on 12 large and small communities, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Wake County, North Carolina; and Tamarac, Florida, to develop practical methods and approaches based on GIS technology that address the most critical requirements of the communities. Esri will continue its plan by publishing a series of maps and apps developed in conjunction with these communities that will be shared openly. Communities around the world can use the solutions to make progress toward becoming more resilient.
March 14th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Dr. Linda Loubert, PH.D from Morgan State University created Women in GIS: Helping Map a Better World, an interactive and crowd-sourced map that features women in making influential impacts using GIS in education, business, non-profits, and government. Thousands of women around the world are geographic information systems professionals.
Women are encouraged to contribute their information to the map, which has been created on Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform.