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 »
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.”
November 15th, 2011 by Susan Smith
CitySourced customers can create a custom Facebook App so they can report new issues directly from Facebook. Check out the blog below to see the how-to tutorial with a three step step-by-step guide to create a tab on a Facebook page for reporting new issues directly within Facebook. Follow this easy three step process to create you own version.
November 14th, 2011 by Susan Smith
Maplandia offers latest world news on a Map, geolocated world news.
November 14th, 2011 by Susan Smith
Most organizations are not necessarily geospatially adept, yet they understand the need for some geographic information to either make their businesses run better or to add interactive web mapping to their web sites. In city and county agencies, there is also the need for tools for creating and analyzing redistricting data for districts, and for elections and precincts, there is the necessity to manage the vast amount of data that is collected and aggregated during elections.
The new version of Maptitude, Maptitude 6.0, is a data visualization and geographic analysis tool that helps organizations understand the impact of geography on their organizations. The newest version includes extensive geographic and demographic data so that you can get started as soon as you open the box. Data are provided in a compact geographic data format that reduces data storage requirements and reduces network traffic. According to Stewart Berry, mapping software product manager, the new version of Maptitude is a “complete refresh” in terms of maps and graphics, routing, database and performance.
November 9th, 2011 by Susan Smith
What would life be without real estate, and without property taxes and property ownership?
In the municipality of Metepec, Mexico, a province with a population of 214,000, property ownership and taxes have not been the norm.
According to Marco Antonio Vazquez Nava, municipal treasurer, Cadastral and Geographic Information System for Metepec, the municipality’s revenue sharing status has decreased substantially during the last few years.
They needed software for property tax collection. Taxes represent between 4-6% GDP. “There is a huge difference in Latin America,” said Nava. “Property tax in the rest of South America is 4%, but 0% tax is collected in Mexico. The National Institute for Statistics for Mexico (NISM) research shows only 42% of municipalities register property to be taxed.”