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 »
December 13th, 2011 by Susan Smith
An important geospatial data event that commenced yesterday in Abu Dhabi is the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit and Exhibition, a joint initiative of the Government of Abu Dhabi and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), opened today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The Summit has convened leaders from the worldwide geospatial data movement to outline a roadmap for the better integration of the world’s flood of environmental and societal data for the benefit of all, and especially of developing economies.
The patron for this event is His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. The Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit & Exhibition is hosted by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), facilitated by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
At its opening Monday 12 December, H. E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the Secretary-General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: “The reason we are all here today (is) safeguarding our environment for our future generations…This Summit is held in recognition that environmental and societal data should be collected in a concerted manner, at its source, made accessible and affordable and should be used to underpin reporting and support decision making in order to achieve sustainable development.”
The Eye on Earth Summit attracts those in global leadership of the environmental information movement, a group dedicated to maximizing and exposing the benefits of geospatial information to decision-makers worldwide.
December 8th, 2011 by Susan Smith
James Staten of Forrester Research spoke about the cloud at the recent Autodesk University in Las Vegas. He made a case for the cloud by saying that “clouds are more secure than you are.”
December 7th, 2011 by Susan Smith
Recently TomTom introduced the WEBFLEET Mobile Smartphone App, which gives an overarching view of a customer’s fleet to the PC in the office. This can be accessed on any device from anywhere drawing data from the cloud and is particularly useful to small business owners. In an interview with Michael Geffroy, Vice President of Sales, North America for TomTom Business Solutions, he outlined the exciting features of WEBFLEET:
November 30th, 2011 by Susan Smith
Director of Professional Services at IMAGinIT Kevin Breslin said at Autodesk University 2011 this week that they are seeing an uptake of Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler in their work as consultants.
Customers are using it a lot in civil engineering for conceptual design. They can put in roads, move and change things around and tap into their geospatial data and combine that with data in Autodesk Map and Civil 3D. Breslin said the visualization/analysis tool can handle large amounts of data.
November 27th, 2011 by Susan Smith
According to a press release issued by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) November 18, the Landsat 5 Mission may no longer remain in operation. The reason for this is the USGS has stopped acquiring images from the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite due to a rapidly degrading electronic component.
A Landsat 5 image of the Wallow Fire acquired on June 15, 2011. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey
When Landsat 5 was launched in 1984 it was designed to last 3 years. The USGS assumed operation of Landsat 5 in 2001 and managed to rescue the aging satellite back from the brink of total failure on several occasions following the malfunction of key subsystems.
“This anticipated decline of Landsat 5 provides confirmation of the importance of the timely launch of the next Landsat mission and the need for an operational and reliable National Land Imaging System,” stated Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “The USGS is committed to maintaining the unique long term imaging database that the Landsat program provides.”
The amplifier that is in jeopardy is essential for transmitting land-surface images from the Landsat 5 satellite to ground receiving stations in the U.S. and around the world. In the past 10 days, amplifier problems have significantly diminished the satellite’s ability to down load images.
Now USGS engineers have suspended imaging activities for 90 days so that they can explore possible options for restoring satellite-to-ground image transmissions.
The USGS-operated Landsat 7 is actively in orbit collecting global imagery. Launched in 1999 with a 5-year design life, Landsat 7 has experienced an instrument anomaly which reduces the amount of data collected per image. A new satellite, Landsat 8, currently named the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is now scheduled to be launched in January 2013.
November 22nd, 2011 by Susan Smith
Dr. Map from the UC Santa Barbara Geography Department recently came across the extraordinary Metro Wine Map, designed by architectural historian and wine buff, Dr. David Gissen.” This map covers the French wine districts, and the “appellations.”
“The twist is that the map uses the technique pioneered by Harry Beck in the 1930s for the London underground map. Wine districts are colored “lines,” with branches showing the different appellations. One can clearly see, for example the link between Pouilly-Fumé and Vouvray, both from the Loire Valley, but with the former made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety and the latter Chenin Blanc.”
November 17th, 2011 by Susan Smith
In October, Apple publicly announced its acquisition of its third mapping company since 2009 when it acquired C3 Technologies. C3 Technologies is a 3D mapping technology, Apple’s second acquisition of 3D mapping, after Poly9 was acquired last year.
Although it has just been announced, the acquisition actually occurred last year and is said to be worth around $240 million. The acquisition is expected to change Apple’s relationship with Google Maps, from which it outsources technology for its GIS mapping technology. This could ultimately really change mapping on the iOS platform.
Some pundits call C3 Technologies’ mapping solutions “Google Maps on steroids,” as the video shows.
Apple said that it is working on a crowdsourced traffic database to improve its traffic mapping service and speculation suggests that they will use their mapping database provided by Placebase, another of their acquisitions. This would mean cutting ties with Google, but that shouldn’t be happening any time soon as Apple recently renewed its partnership with Google.
November 16th, 2011 by Susan Smith
On October 14, 2011, scientists participating in NASA’s IceBridge mission, saw a huge crack in the ice running about 29 kilometers (18 miles) as they flew across Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier in a DC-8 research plane.
“The rift was 80 meters (260 feet) wide on average, and 50 to 60 meters (165 to 195 feet) deep. It marks the moment of creation for a new iceberg that should eventually span about 880 square kilometers (340 square miles) once it breaks loose from the glacier.”