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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 »

Choosing a Mobile Solution

 
May 3rd, 2012 by Susan Smith

Tom Brenneman and Lloyd Heberlie give tips on selecting the best mobile solution for your industry.

New GIS software to help New Zealand foresters with steep terrain harvesting

 
May 1st, 2012 by Susan Smith

According to Rayonier New Zealand’s Philip Elworthy, the new Cable Harvesting Planning Solution (CHPS) will help foresters in New Zealand and possibly around the world, to harvest logs from very steep plantations more efficiently. This announcement was made to delegates at a forestry geographic information systems conference organised by Scion in Rotorua.

Some steep terrain harvesting was already taking place in New Zealand, but most of this planting occurred in the early 1990s and would be ready for harvest in the next five to 10 years, creating “huge challenges” for harvest planners, said Elworthy.

On this type of land, this is generally done by cable harvesting, where felled trees are lifted on cables to a central hauler that can be cost effectively reached by trucks. CHPS combines planning software with Esri ArcGIS software to allow planners to model a plantation and configure the most effective locations in which to position the hauler and cables for least environmental impact.
CHPS has been developed by Rayonier, Geographic Business Solutions (GBS) and Atlas Technology, with input from various industry group, including Rotorua’s Scion crown research institute. It will be presented in the United States next month at a conference organised by Esri.

-The Daily Post, April 27, 2012

DARPA hopes to advance robotics with new contest

 
April 26th, 2012 by Susan Smith

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s  new PETMAN robot expresses none of the fatigue of a human soldier, and whether he can leap buildings with a single bound is yet to be discovered. This innovation fof DARPA’s has sparked the new contest that aims to develop technology that advances robotics to the next level. The level at which robots can do what we do, go where we can’t, and change shape as necessary.

Read the rest of DARPA hopes to advance robotics with new contest

ForWarn monitors forest disturbances across the U.S.

 
April 24th, 2012 by Susan Smith

ForWarn is a satellite-based forest disturbance monitoring system for the conterminous United States. It delivers new forest change products every eight days and provides tools for attributing abnormalities to insects, disease, wildfire, storms, human development or unusual weather. Archived data provide disturbance tracking across all lands since 2000. Interactive maps are accessible via the Forest Change Assessment Viewer.

ForWarn.forestthreats.org

-USGS

WorldView-3 promises to be a “superspectral satellite”

 
April 24th, 2012 by Susan Smith

Jeff Culwell vice president of operations, DigitalGlobe talked about what led up to their anticipated WorldView-3 satellite and the details about it. The satellite is slated for launch in mid-2014. The announcement was made at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.

Midwest flooding, Cairo, IL

Read the rest of WorldView-3 promises to be a “superspectral satellite”

Esri demonstration of using Lidar for situational awareness

 
April 18th, 2012 by Susan Smith

At the Esri Federal User Conference 2012, Brett Rose demonstrates how to use lidar and terrain data for surveillance and situational awareness.

Read the rest of Esri demonstration of using Lidar for situational awareness

Google’s Street View case is unresolved because engineer refuses to talk

 
April 17th, 2012 by Susan Smith

One of the most audacious projects ever to come out of Google was the plan to photograph and map the inhabited world, one block at a time. But a report over the weekend from federal regulators has rekindled questions over exactly what the company was doing — questions the search giant has spent years trying not to answer.

Read the rest of Google’s Street View case is unresolved because engineer refuses to talk

Utilities workflow in Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013

 
April 17th, 2012 by Susan Smith

While Autodesk does not talk about GIS much these days, embedded in their Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 is a Utilities Workflow that offers intelligent model based software for meeting the complex needs of the SmartGrid, with GIS products built in. The emphasis appears to be on helping transform planning, design and management processes by capturing conditions at the start of the design process, useful for both designers and GIS professionals.

Read the rest of Utilities workflow in Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013

The importance of U.S. commercial satellite imagery

 
April 13th, 2012 by Susan Smith

High resolution imagery of sub-meter – less than 40 inches – is only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. It is what the stuff of Google is made of. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S.  government. There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications.

Read about why U.S. commercial satellite imagery is important:

The Fate of U.S. Commercial Satellite Imagery – and why you should care LBx Journal

Envisat stops sending data to earth

 
April 13th, 2012 by Susan Smith

After just having celebrated its 10th anniversary of service on 1 March 2012, ESA’s Envisat stopped sending data to earth. The last contact between the satellite and the ground station in Kiruna, Sweden was established on Sunday, ever since no data has been received. ESA’s mission control is working to re-establish contact with the satellite. Launched in 2002, Envisat has orbited Earth more than 50 000 times delivering thousands of images and other data used for example for climate change studies or natural disaster mitigation supporting more than 4000 projects in over 70 countries.

One of the last images to be transmitted before the loss of contact. Picture: ESA

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