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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
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 »

London Olympic medals mapped by Esri story map

August 6th, 2012 by Susan Smith

According to an Esri story map, which maps the distribution of London Olympics medals worldwide, the most medals have been won by China, U.S., UK and Russia. Check it out:

Story Map of the London Olympic Medals

Esri User Conference 2012 Plenary Morning Session

August 1st, 2012 by Susan Smith

Each year the Esri User Conference in San Diego marks some kind of milestone in GIS technology usage and forward thinking. This year the theme of the conference was “GIS opening our world,” which is being achieved by the extensive use of GIS technology permeating all facets of life.  With the advent of the cloud and mobile GIS, the ability to reach more people inside and outside the geospatial field has truly arrived.

This year’s conference kicked off with an opening plenary session with Jack Dangermond talking about the various important uses for GIS, and the presentation of the Special Achievement in GIS Awards. Those who won this award represent 1/10 of 1 percent of Esri’s user base.

Will Rogers and Breece Robertson, director of conservation vision and GIS for the Trust for Public Land were awarded this award this year for their work creating more livable cities.

The President’s Award was awarded to the Environmental Protection Agency. They have been GIS users for three decades, and they have worked in the last three years to integrate science into public policy using GIS.

GIS is getting easier to use and moving to a new platform, Cloud GIS. This allows GIS to be more pervasive, according to Jack, using more measurement, data, computing and faster and more available applications. GIS is also co-evolving with science. There are now 2 ½ billion people connected by devices.

Cloud GIS integrates all types of geospatial information, such as maps, data, imagery, new dimensions of social media and crowd sourced information, sensor information, bringing this all together in an accessible platform. So much can change with this model because it breaks down workflows. Web maps provide the medium for understanding and subsequent better collaboration and sharing.

Eye on Earth, a brainchild of the European Environmental Agency, has been recognized by the Rio+20 United Nations for Sustainable Development delegation as the foundation for organizational environmental data for the entire planet.

ArcGIS Version 10.1, fully cloud enabled, was released a few weeks ago, fully cloud enabled. Esri’s Scott Morehouse envisioned this release as a complete system with servers, cloud parts and desktops closely integrated, as well as a whole plethora of new apps on devices, and a huge amount of content.

Esri has been buying commercial data to build community based systems.

Jack describes the new environment of the cloud, which isn’t that new now, as a new “agile environment unlike the database cans of the 80s, which didn’t make it.

The content inside ArcGIS is growing rapidly. Esri is building base maps by integrating available data, buying commercial data and working with GIS professionals to build community based systems. In the next six months, they will be integrating new imagery from GeoIQ and the merger of GeoEye and DigitalGlobe.

The new imagery to be part of ArcGIS Online will be 30 centimeters for the U.S., 60 centimeters for Europe and 1 meter for the rest of the world.

10.1 has a better desktop with a new generalization, map automation, Mapplex engine for high quality, rule based labeling as part of all desktop products, streamlined, edited, integrated QA/QC tools, editor tracking, advanced analytics in the platform. “With the service pack 1 of this product we will release 64 bit geoprocessing for the desktop,” said Jack. “Core spatial analysis tools are much faster, raster is 30 times faster. This will advance geographic science but also advance new tools for problem solving, particularly in analytics, advanced 3D capabilities also on the analytic side, faster globes, ability to handle bigger datasets, virtual cities, buildings and landscapes.”

New analytic 3D tools for shade analysis come by way of the acquisition of  CityEngine last year. This is rules-based technology now integrated with ArcGIS. Esri will release CityEngine 2012 to create rules based cities in a matter of minutes. This technology is tailor-made for Geodesign with its ability to extrude a building and 3D editing and designing of a building.

10.1 unlocks lidar data. Lidar sees through trees and measures topographic surfaces. By integrating lidar files through LAS files the power to visualize lidar data is unleashed.

10.1 fully integrates image processing. Many common tasks such as classification, high quality visual display, color balancing, full motion video, information from drones or aircraft are all supported.  The following tools are available– full image processing system, automatically rectify new image to image that’s there on the server side, very fast color mosaicking and data management of imagery, open platform and open to partner, Exelis.

10.1 offers authoring and serving, where you can right click, send the data into a package and make it into a service. You can do same thing with analytics and models, and if you don’t have a server you can send it into the cloud.

In 10.1 Esri has re-engineered almost the entire platform to make it easy to use and faster. It also includes many lightweight apps and Linux support equal to that of Windows.

The mobile apps run on all the popular devices, and include rich functionality – editing, field editing, field data collection, that run in the native mode on each of these devices.

10.1 empowers developers with provided runtimes and APIs that run behind the scenes and run on all devices.

10.1 finally supports solution templates, that address common workflows and patterns of different industries such as local governments and utilities, that are open sourced with maps and data models you can download and configure

ArcGIS Online integrates with the entire suite of tools, and will make integration of your own servers and desktops easier to do. You can use cloud servers, and it supports many clients. It is easily configured for your organization.

Jack talks a lot about web maps as a new medium like mashups that can be shared – email it,  look at it from any device, put it in your website, etc.. It supports visualization, pop ups, queries and analytics. ArcGIS now works within Microsoft Office, so that users that use spreadsheets can make a map of them, send the map to ArcGIS Online and make it into a service.

Users who use spreadsheets can make a map of them, and can take that map and send it to ArcGIS Online and make it into a service. They can read the map back into other office environments like Power Point. It is also integrated into Sharepoint.

Bernie Szukalski said there are more Microsoft office users in most offices, who can make their own maps and contribute geospatially at their businesses. ArcGIS Online has an open API. iPads offer a way for executives to stay in touch with vital information. Using ArcGIS online users can deliver GIS to executives and managers who need to make informed decisions.

Read the rest of Esri User Conference 2012 Plenary Morning Session

GeoEye and DigitalGlobe plan to merge

July 25th, 2012 by Susan Smith

In a move that the geospatial industry had been expecting, on Monday, GeoEye announced plans to combine with competitor DigitalGlobe in a deal worth $900 million. This move is in response to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency informing both companies that it plans to curtail funding for its $7.3 billion EnhancedView contract, pieces of which were awarded to both firms in 2010.

The two former competitors provide photos and satellite imagery from satellites that are contracted by the NGA, the products of which are generally sold to federal agencies, the military and other government institutions.

Read the rest of GeoEye and DigitalGlobe plan to merge

Alliance between Esri and Microsoft announced

July 23rd, 2012 by Susan Smith

At the Esri International User Conference held in San Diego today, Esri announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft to assist public and private agencies and communities around the world during disasters. As part of this agreement, Microsoft will display Esri public information maps on its cloud-based Disaster Response Incident Portal, as well as point citizens to the maps via its online outlets, such as MSN and Bing.

Read the rest of Alliance between Esri and Microsoft announced

Japanese website maps post box locations

July 20th, 2012 by Susan Smith

While post offices in the U.S. are closing, in Japan a website called Post Map is mapping the locations of post boxes and addressing issues like post office closures and the privatisation of postal services.

Google Maps is used to provide a crowd-sourced map of post box locations. Citizens can find their nearest post boxes by submitting locations and photographs to the map. If you select a post box then the map sidebar shows you how far it is to the nearest alternative post boxes. This would be good for people new to a neighborhood and for getting up-to-date locations of post boxes as there become fewer of them available.

Marissa Mayer joins Yahoo as CEO

July 17th, 2012 by Susan Smith

Yahoo has had a bumpy ride during the past year as far as keeping executives at the helm and boosting revenues. Just last September former Autodesk CEO, Carol Bartz, was ousted from her position as CEO of Yahoo, followed by Scott Thompason who was forced out in May for padding his resume. The interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, was thought to be next in line for the job.

Read the rest of Marissa Mayer joins Yahoo as CEO

ESA Galileo navigation satellites now interoperable with U.S. GPS

July 12th, 2012 by Susan Smith

The first two ESA Galileo navigation satellites in space can now transmit dummy signals in a modulation scheme designed to allow full interoperability with the US GPS once operational services start.

This is the European version of the Multiplexed Binary Offset Code signal standard which is the agreed upon standard with the United States for the interoperability of Galileo and GPS.

“This is an advanced modulation technique that offers robust protection against signal interference and the misleading signal reflections known as ‘multipath’,” said Marco Falcone, Head of Galileo System Services.

-ESA Navigation

GeoIQ joins Esri

July 10th, 2012 by Susan Smith

Today, GeoIQ announced that they have joined Esri. It is not clear whether this is an acquisition or a merger, or what the nature of this arrangement is, other than the press release says Esri approached GeoIQ about joining their team and “merging technologies.” GeoIQ is a company dedicated to providing “GIS for everyone,” a popular position today, but the company’s goal is to create new mapping interfaces and change the geospatial market by doing so. The relationship with Esri enables GeoIQ to work within the ArcGIS platform and to reach their millions of users.

GeoIQ will be a presence in Esri’s efforts to create the next generation of GeoWeb technologies. Part of that effort will include a new research and development center in the Washington DC area. GeoIQ’s task at the development will focus on engineering core technologies for Esri, clearly utilizing GeoIQ’s experience working with open data and technology communities and real time and large data analytics. An ongoing project is “Twitch” which handles dynamic aggregation and visualitons of millions of points from social media streams with in-browser HTML5 support.

Google Map Maker for South Africa and Egypt added to Google Maps

July 3rd, 2012 by Susan Smith

Google Maps has made available Google Map Maker for South Africa and Egypt.

Read the rest of Google Map Maker for South Africa and Egypt added to Google Maps

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