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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Location-Aware Tweets on the Horizon

Friday, August 21st, 2009

A blog/article in yesterday’s New York Times entitled “Tweets will Soon Come with A Dateline” talks about  how location is now coming to Twitter!

What are the advantages of a location-aware Tweet? Twitter users could choose to read all Tweets posted by people in their general location – be it neighborhood, apartment complex, or city. It might also be useful to locate the whereabouts of loved ones during a catastrophe such as earthquake or flood.

It will be interesting to see what developers come up with to meet this new demand.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/tweets-will-soon-come-with-a-dateline/?th&emc=th

Tweeting for discounts

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Today I noticed that two geospatial companies had made press announcements regarding their presence on Twitter:

1) Spatial Data Integrations, Inc. (SDI),  utility mapping, software development and comprehensive GIS solutions provider, is pleased to announce it is now on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter, both clients and prospects can easily track SDI’s geospatial projects, services and product updates.

2) Airborne 1, LiDAR and oblique imagery remote sensing services provider, is now on Twitter, providing clients with a unique, cutting-edge way to save money on their mapping projects.

Anyone can follow Airborne 1 on Twitter to find out at any given time where Airborne 1’s many LiDAR sensors and oblique cameras are positioned. Clients who have potential projects in those areas can then contact Airborne 1 to take advantage of steep “roadshow” discounts.

What interests me about these announcements is that the Spatial Data Integrations is its assumption that potential customers would seek out their most recent announcements and services on Twitter, rather than on their website. Perhaps, because some websites are not updated as often as one can post an announcement on Twitter, this could be a valuable venue for vendors.

The second, Airborne 1, appears to offer a great way to let customers know the location of LiDAR sensors and oblique cameras so they can then save money in getting a discount when the sensors and cameras are in their areas of interest.

It will be interesting to see what other companies will find interesting uses for a Twitter prsence, rather than other more “traditional” avenues.

Autodesk’s Q2 Fiscal 2010 Results

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Each of the major financial news outlets have by now had their say about Autodesk’s announcement of second quarter fiscal 2010 financial results. Below is a compilation of those reports from different sources.

Reuters sees the news as positive as Autodesk posted “stronger-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday as it cut costs, boosting its stock in after-hours trade.”

MarketWatch’s Benjamin Pimentel seconded that with an upbeat report:

“Management is seeing signs of stabilization and exited the second quarter with less volatility,” Deutsche Bank analyst Greg Dunham told clients, while the Wall Street Journal was less than positive in pointing out that Autodesk’s fiscal second-quarter profit sank 88% on lower sales and margins as well as restructuring charges.

http://www10.aeccafe.com/nbc/articles/view_article.php?section=CorpNews&articleid=729165

http://seekingalpha.com/article/156040-autodesk-f2q10-qtr-end-7-31-09-earnings-call-transcript

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autodesk-shares-rise-on-results-2009-08-14

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090813-715779.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSTRE57C5BD20090813

http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSTRE57C5BD20090813


First of its kind GIS Training Course in Yemen

Monday, August 10th, 2009
Training course in GIS field kicked off in Sana’a
[08/August/2009]

SANA’A, Aug. 08 (Saba) – A training course in field of Geographical Information System (GIS) (Geomedia) was started here on Saturday, organized Studies and Architectural Training Center of Historical Cities Preservation Authority.

The course, which is the first of its kind in Yemen, includes a field survey on the buildings and the various components in the historical cities.

From: Yemen News Agency (SABA)  read full story: http://www.sabanews.net/en/news190892.htm

Interactive Pen Display from Wacom

Friday, July 17th, 2009

The company Wacom has been around for 25 years with its display technology . I was first familiarized with this company through my work in the AEC industry (architectural, engineering and construction) for which it always seemed like a good fit, with its digitizer tablets and sketching capabilities.

Wacom has now come to GIS with its palette-based DTZ-2100 Interactive Pen Display, making a timely entrance at a time when ESRI’s Bill Miller is working with sketch technology, and the whole notion of “GeoDesign” suggests a way of designing GIS with new tools.

Wacom’s Mike Dana said the company is focused on changing the human to computer relationship. The product consists of a monitor or display, a pen and a driver. The brain power is in the monitor, and the pen is not intelligent but understands pen pressure so that the user will have a “canvas-based response.”

Wacom hasn’t worked out just what features you might be able to have with the pen pressure, however, Dana said that this capability, coupled with the pen’s strength of signal and  tilt direction could be part of 3D of the future.

Dana said that the display, which has buttons on either side of the screen, can be configured as you wish, and you can execute 8-12 repetitive tasks at a time.

There is also a display toggle so that you can work on two screens simultaneously and the image will map directly to the second monitor.

“This product combines the convenience of touch with the precision of penpoints,” explained Dana.

An ESRI Authorized Business Partner, Wacom’s DTZ-2100 will be hanced with flat templates for ArcGIS 9.4. ArcGIS is added to the list of formats in the driver.

“The display is more accurate and precise than the Tablet PC,” claimed Dana. The specialized behavior of the pen, along with the ability to customize buttons to the workflow in office solutions make this a technology to look at.

I did note that the LCD panel is a big draw on power, however, it is powered separately from a PC. Currently, it is not really something you can take out in the field.

Wacom has two models: a  21.3 inch standard size display and a smaller one. The standard size including display monitor, pen and driver retails at US$2,000 and a smaller one is US$1,000.

Imagery Now

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Many government and public organizations have spent billions of dollars over the past 20 years building geospatial datasets. The cost of updating these datasets is currently equal to the cost of creating them.

Lawrie Jordan of ESRI moderated an industry keynote given by Roger Mitchell, vice president of program development, MDA federal Inc. formerly Earth Satellite Corp. (EarthSat), which focused on a more effective way of doing change detection that would save government and other entities money. The current method of doing geospatial change detection involves reviewing aerial imagery to determine if a feature has changed, a laborious process, according to Mitchell. The current use of multi-spectral image differencing has the potential for many false indicators.

New change criteria involves the following:
-locate features
-inexpensive
-reliable with an absolute minimum of false indicators.

Developed by the MDA based on patented cross correlation analysis technology (CCA), the new process uses multiple data to filter out false indicators.

The MDA will disclose the algorithm to the U.S. Government. The solution is nearly 100% automated. It uses any moderate resolution multi-spectral image data. .

For more information contact Roger.mitchell@mdafederal.com

Short Takes from Monday’s ESRI Plenary Session

Monday, July 13th, 2009

esri2009x

GIS and design or “GeoDesign” were themes that ESRI president and CEO Jack Dangermond talked about at this morning’s Plenary Session. He views geography as the “science of our world” with design being another field that looks toward the future. GIS integrates these two worlds.

GeoDesign is a “systematic methodology,” for which we might want feedback and want to know outcomes and impacts, which seems to translate to the ability to do “what if” scenarios. It also appears clearly influenced by the social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter and other options that seek feedback on various topics and issues. This is not something that GIS has done before, but Dangermond said that ESRI is extending its GIS tools to do this.

This year the ESRI UC website also offers Twitter feeds, Facebook and other forms of media to connect with others at the conference, and to generate topic discussions.

One user I spoke to said that he posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at the same time and then sees which one generates the most information. Another said that good ideas can sometimes come from the fleeting blip across the radar that is a Twitter post.

According to Dangermond, maps and GIS are changing and growing richer and smarter. “Mashups and new media will lead us to have geographic knowledge that is pervasive in our society.”

Further evidence of new ways of delivering content: next to the Map Gallery, Lightning Talks were offered — informal presentations promising to be “brief, brilliant and then gone.” Topics included mashups, mobile GIS and Web 2.0 applications.

On another note, 3D GIS will also be integrated into ArcGIS 9.4 Desktop and Server.

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