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 »
September 11th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Since September 11th, 2001, geospatial technology shifted its emphasis to be more focused on emergency response, disaster recovery, terrorist action and other domains of the federal, state and county governments. Indoor mapping derived from this event, when it became evident that knowing where assets were located in buildings, would be vitally important in a time of disaster or terrorist action. If there is any one single event that showed the need for geospatial information, this was it.
The need for disaster management and recovery has escalated with the greater number of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, floods and other acts of nature that have torn the fabric of the U.S. as well as other countries. Geodesign has emerged since that time, tracking requirements for marrying geographic sciences with design professionals and information technologies and the data provided by the people in a geographic location. There must be some overlap of these perspectives which would not overlap if not for the desire to merge information into a cohesive whole.
Other disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, have shaped the way geographic information has been disseminated to the public. Each time one of these disasters hits, there is more to learn about how to disseminate information to the public, how to find resources during a disaster and how to save lives and manage the recovery from these events.
September 11th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, practically announced that Facebook would have a search engine during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. He also said that the last two years the company had wasted time building cross-platform mobile apps based on HTML5 rather than snappier, smoother native apps. He believes that more people will be using mobile than desktop applications, and is moving forward with that huge priority. They now have a native iPhone app that is based on code contributions to apps. He said he basically lives on his mobile phone himself.
Facebook Search All But Announced by Mark Zuckerberg – Wired Magazine
August 29th, 2012 by Susan Smith
NOAA researchers have a new instrument unofficially named “Seahorse” that is used on the ocean floor to study sea scallops. Named Seahorse because it is spiny and curved, the instrument is a sophisticated, up-to-date version of a survey system developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and used on sea scallop resource surveys conducted by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).
August 28th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Hurricane Isaac has shifted its path from threatening Florida and the Republican National Convention and has moved far west, now following a path through the Gulf very similar to the one Hurricane Katrina traveled seven years ago.
It is predicted to be a weaker Category One storm when it makes landfall, with sustained winds of between 74 and 95 miles per hour, yet it’s still said to be a hurricane. The hurricane is prompting the governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to declare emergencies (and in Alabama’s case, the governor to order mandatory coastal evacuations).
August 27th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Global climate change on the Atlantic coast is in fast-forward mode — swamping and eroding beaches, wetlands and farm fields, according to scientists. Shorelines from North Carolina to Boston are in a ‘hotspot’ for sea-level rise and will see water levels rise at double the rate of most places on the planet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. What is the cause of this is a double geological activity.
August 27th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Esri’s Hurricane tracking map offers continuously updated hurricane information that shows the projected paths, storm surge, weather warnings, and precipitation.
August 21st, 2012 by Susan Smith
A mobile app developed for the city of Omaha, Neb. allows citizens to contribute videos and photos of potholes, fallen tree limbs, or things that pertain to zoning, and can identify or plug in location, etc.
August 14th, 2012 by Susan Smith
TerraGo Technologies, maintained by Carahsoft, recently previewed their latest release Mobile for Android and announced the acquisition of Geosemble, which brings into the fold GeoXray.
Parent company Carahsoft is a government IT solutions provider providing software solutiosn for federal, state and local government agencies. Under the company umbrella are solutions from not only TerraGo, but Adobe and other geospatial intelligence solutions.
Jim Sheen, vice president of products and services for TerraGo , Jessica Sunday, technical account manager and Nathan Jones, vice president of engineering spoke about the recent news in a webinar.
TerraGo’s claim to fame is its unique GeoPDF format, which allows for geospatial information to be accessed and displayed in a PDF format. TerraGo covers collaboration and workflows for deploying GeoPDFs for maps and imagery.
For the enterprise, TerraGo provides a suite of applications that help both small and large enterprises and Fortune 100 companies to produce, access and share geospatial information with anyone, anywhere. These applications are for those who are not GIS experts and don’t have access to GIS software, as well as those who do.
Round trip workflows can be designed with TerraGo that travel from the enterprise to the outside edge of the enterprise. The upcoming TerraGo V6 serves as a platform for geospatial applications and for moving spatially aware information among different users and systems throughout the workflow.
“Field users don’t have to be GIS experts, so that users represent a wide range of different skill sets,” said Sheen. “We make solutions as simple to use and economical as possible. They can be used online and in a disconnected offline way.”
This is very important when communications are unavailable and in military communications.
“TerraGo Publisher plugs into your existing GIS to deploy the geospatial assets as GeoPDF maps and imagery,” said Sheen. “So it allows you to take the complexity built into your maps and imagery in the GIS system, simplify it and make it interactive and portable, so it can be used downstream collaboratively.”
PDF maps and imagery can be further extended using TerraGo Composer, to build and configure different types of geospatial apps, for example, GeoPDF mapbooks or digital atlases, that can be deployed to the field with either the TerraGo Toolbar or TerraGo Mobile. Toolbar and Mobile enable end users to interact with the maps and imagery, gather on-the-ground intelligence and collaborate with other users. Once that’s done, in some cases, the end result for the customer is to get data out to the field where the remote workers can collaborate with one another. The field data that has been updated can be entered into the enterprise GIS.
The new version 6 to be available in a couple of months, will contain TerraGo Publisher for ArcGIS, Composer for Acrobat and TerraGo Toolbar.
New enhancements in annotation and geomarking have been added to Toolbar and Composer so end users can use Adobe Reader with Toolbar to add, edit, annotate and add geomarks on any PDF produced directly in the TerraGo system. As you create GeoPDFs they become immediately available.
Geoforms are data entry forms that can be attached and georeferenced to geomarks and annotations. Those forms can be distributed to field workers for field data collection and real time sharing and that data can also be reconsolidated into the enterprise GIS.
Also in the news, TerraGo announced the acquisition of Geosemble Technologies located in Manhattan Beach, Calif., founded in 2004. This company is a spin-off from the University of Southern California, where new technology is being developed. Geosemble’s flagship product is called GeoXray. GeoXray mines and processes content from various sources including new social media and blogs, and can analyze that data by place, time and topic. It is able to find this information and present it in a way that it is easily consumable. It can reduce the amount of time analysts have to spend sifting through data.
Users can discover relevant spatial content through GeoXray and find other content to compose dynamic intelligence apps and reports to collaborate both online and offline.
TerraGo Mobile App for Android, available in coming months, will take the best of Android and the TerraGo Toolbar, with which it shares some functionality. Any user can use geospatial in connected or offline enviornments. TerraGo Mobile for Android can help with situational awareness, simplifies collaboration and data exchange in the field through geoforms, allowing users to take photos and geotag them. Users can share both structured and unstructured data with this app.
In summary, TerraGo has been well positioned to move into the mobile and non-GIS expert market, making GIS and geospatial accessible to a broader number of users by extending the reach of GeoPDF. It will be interesting to see where the company goes with the new offerings. With its simple but elegant link to Adobe PDF, coupled with the recent acquisition of Geosemble for data mining, the possibilities look endless.
August 8th, 2012 by Susan Smith
Today’s launch of a new web portal called MapSAR from Esri supplies “search and rescue (SAR) personnel with GIS tools, educational materials, and a virtual community for learning and sharing.”
The website is designed to help Search and Rescue operations find lost people. GIS and SAR professionals from Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Esri, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Mountaineer Rescue Group worked together to develop the MapSAR application. MapSar gives all SAR personnel the tools and knowledge needed to effectively use GIS in their operations, no matter what their technical background. Mapping and planning functions will be able to be carried out within the incident command structure (ICS). GIS skills will be used to track search teams and assets for greater efficiency and safety.
According to press materials, the MapSAR site includes the following: