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GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2019

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

GISCafe will focus on specific editorial for 2019, so be sure to check in with our Editorial Calendar to find out when might be a good time for your story to be shown. Throughout the year, we provide space for Current Events, as the technology industry is evolving, and we can’t know at the time of this writing just what will be new, groundbreaking and/or disruptive in the coming year.

 

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GISCafe Voice Newsmix

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

News this week takes a look at satellite imagery and machine learning for agricultural intelligence products, Dronecode platform-based products, traffic management using intelligent analytic rerouting, artificial intelligence and analytics, and AI and machine learning.

Google Driverless Car

The first two partnerships feature insights from the sky to earth. Herndon, Virginia-based Radiant Solutions, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.), and TellusLabs, a satellite imagery and machine learning company, announced a partnership to offer agricultural intelligence products to provide insight on the world’s food supply, for the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere’s 2018 agricultural growing season and into the start of the Southern Hemisphere’s growing season. Those stakeholders such as food companies, government agencies and commodity traders who need a better understanding of the world’s current crop conditions and end of season expectations will benefit from this alliance.

Radiant Solutions’ Weather Desk™, an information platform enabled by advanced analytics applied to weather data, provides daily agricultural insights into how weather conditions are impacting agricultural markets. TellusLabs’ Kernel, enabled by machine learning applied to satellite imagery, provides insights into crop yields and agricultural forecasting. The offerings combine to deliver users an information to help them leverage the power of advanced analytics applied to persistent and pervasive weather and imagery data to derive insights into the agricultural supply chain dynamically and at a global scale.

3DR and Yuneec, two founding members of the Dronecode Software Consortium, announced a U.S.-headquartered joint venture to bring Dronecode platform-based products to market. The joint venture, which will operate as 3DR Government Services, will focus on serving the security and open platform needs of U.S. government customers and their vendors in the construction and engineering industries.

3DR Government Services will combine Yuneec’s hardware expertise and manufacturing scale with 3DR’s software. The first product from 3DR Government Services is the Yuneec 3DR H520-G, which is being unveiled at the InterDrone Conference in Las Vegas this week.

From traffic in the sky to traffic on earth, the following research study and enterprise data platform provider focus on AI and analytics and in the last case, takes into account blockchain technology.

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New Resource Center Hazard HQ from CoreLogic Offers Public Access to Analysis and Data Insights

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, recently announced the launch of its new publicly-accessible risk information resource center, Hazard HQ(tm). This new information hub will offer individuals, media and companies high-level analyses and up-to-date data insights on the immediate risks natural catastrophes pose to properties across the country.

The latest risk summary for Hazard HQ focuses on the ongoing California wildfires. As comprehensive risk assessment needs increase alongside growing economic losses from natural catastrophes, Hazard HQ offers a high-level risk perspective for individuals and companies who wish to understand how hazards like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe convective storms, wildfires, wind and volcanic activity can impact their regions.

Senior leader of content and strategy for CoreLogic, Maiclaire Bolton Smith, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the new resource center and how it is dedicated to offering catastrophe insights about events while they are happening.

Does Hazard HQ take in citizen information?

No, it focuses on information from CoreLogic. Corelogic can provide insight and information, whether wildfire, hurricane, earthquake or flooding, and offers insights on number of properties that could be at risk, or on an area that could be impacted and the home value that could be lost. No information is pulled from citizens. It’s our opportunity to share information with others to help them protect themselves and be able to restore from financial catastrophe.

It really evolved as a way for us to share information easily.

We’ve had all these devastating wildfires this summer already. We always try to learn from the events that have happened. We’ll always be providing more information on research. For example, with regard to the wildfire that happened in Sonoma County, California last year that impacted Santa Rosa, over the past six months we’ve done a lot of research looking at the reconstruction from that wildfire and the state of the homes being rebuilt and looking at some of the insurance impacts and implications from that event happening. An event doesn’t end when an event ends, it’s a long process afterwards to really recover from it, so we will continue to share more information on an ongoing basis as we continue to research events.

How do you expect risk analysis you’ve done last year is going to impact or help in the assessment of the damage of the Mendocino fire, as an example, right now?

The biggest factor is that it brings awareness to the impact that these devastating events do have. We hear about the hundreds of thousands of acres burned, but a lot of times the fires are burning in remote areas and there are not a lot of properties at risk. It’s devastating to see the area burned, but what we want to focus on is bringing awareness to insurers and other people about where there are homes and properties at risk, and focus on the human aspects of it. What people can take away from our previous research, is

  1. Being prepared for hazards that could happen, whether it be a flood, earthquake, hurricane, etc. We’re prone to disasters all the time in various parts of the country.
  2. Awareness of the events that can happen, and our main goal is to work with insurance companies and help them understand what properties are valued at to be able to insure properties properly.
  3. The general public needs to know they need insurance for a lot of these hazards. Insurance can really help them recover from events when they do happen. Hopefully they won’t be impacted but if they are, to know their risk and to be able to accelerate their recovery is a huge bonus.

Say a customer is obtaining insurance for things they expect but what about these events that happen way beyond anyone’s expectations?

Unfortunately, those rare events are the wild card that are really beyond planning scenarios. I’m actually a seismologist by training and I spend a lot of time training people to know their earthquake risk. I always say the number one thing people can do to prepare for an earthquake, is believe that it can happen, and that’s the same with all disasters. The possibility is there that it may occur. These are hard for people to conceptualize and plan for.

At CoreLogic we do risk modeling where we look at the range of events that can happen – the more common events to the very extreme events. That’s the information we provide to insurance companies, including what could the worst-case scenario even look like.

I have spoken to CoreLogic many times. In the past the company has said with the fires we’re expecting an increase in losses to homes because people have built closer to forests, and forests are not cleared as often, we run the higher risk.
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School Safety GIS Ups the Ante with Social Media and Georeferenced Floor Plans

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

The U.S. has been rocked by tragic school shootings and other violence over the past years, with very little deterrent to this increasing trend.

At the Esri User Conference 2018, a talk entitled “School Safety GIS – Survey123” was conducted by GIS specialist for Detroit Public Schools, Randall Raymond, and Officer Adele Gardner, Detroit Public Schools Community District Police Department, who outlined the work they have been doing over the past year to use social media and other geospatial tools to detect, analyze and visualize potential dangers to kids in schools.

“We were able to create a social media mapping feed that was out-of-the-box Esri available and discovered while it did what we wanted it to do in some ways, it was very manual and labor intensive,” said Raymond. “You needed someone to constantly be looking at the feeds that were coming in. We partnered with Esri and they suggested a company named DataCapable, that was doing social media for event detection, event notification and event mapping for the power and gas industry. We figured it was the same for a big power company and they would be interested in what we’re doing. They retasked some of what their software does to give us more analytics and give us more understanding of potentially dangerous situations happening at schools by monitoring for specific events. We could use machine learning and artificial intelligence to go through messages and quickly determine the validity of them, confidence in them and decide if there is action that needed to be taken.”

Raymond retired from upper administration in the Detroit Public Schools in 2013 and has continued the work with the school system since that time, helping with high school programs and consulting with their police department. He works with Officer Gardner helping them to continue to learn to use their ArcGIS tools and do more strategic thinking about deployment of police resources.

The value of social media has been long recognized by Officer Gardner, who has extensive examples of problems with kids in Detroit Public Schools and social media being used to organize the meetings where kids to go to events in the city and rob people and steal from cars, etc. But privacy is obviously a very big issue, according to Raymond.
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 Inspiring What’s Next at Esri User Conference 2018

Friday, July 13th, 2018

President and CEO of Esri, Jack Dangermond, was proud to point out at his Plenary at the Esri User Conference this year, this is the 38th conference, and the purpose of the conference is the same as it was 38 years ago: to be together, share knowledge and have fun.

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2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report Predicts Risk for Coastal Areas

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

The 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report was released Thursday by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” said Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

As the U.S. enters hurricane season, the report shows that more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of damage from hurricane storm surge surge with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of more than $1.6 trillion (Table 1).

Already according to predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2018 hurricane season is expected to have near- to above-normal activity. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms. While not all of them will develop into hurricanes, NOAA predicts five to nine of these will develop into hurricanes, and one to four are predicted to reach Category 3 classification or higher.

According to the report, risk from hurricane-driven storm surge for homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines across 19 states, as well as for 86 metro areas is analyzed in the risk CoreLogic analysis. Homes are categorized by five risk levels: Low (homes affected only by a Category 5 storm), Moderate (homes affected by Category 4 and 5 storms), High (homes affected by Category 3, 4 and 5 storms), Very High (homes affected by Category 2, 3, 4 and 5 storms) and Extreme (homes affected by Category 1-5 storms). RCV figures represent the cost to completely rebuild a property in case of damage – including labor and materials by geographic location – assuming the worst-case scenario at 100-percent destruction.

Regionally, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.9 million homes at risk of storm surge with an RCV of more than $1 trillion (Table 2), an increase of around $30 billion compared to 2017. The Gulf Coast has more than 3 million homes at risk with over $609 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage, with over $16 billion increase compared to 2017. Areas with less coastal exposure but with lower elevations that extend inland tend to have more total homes at risk because the surge water can travel farther inland. Additionally, due to market conditions and previous storm surge damage, construction costs can increase despite having a lower number of at-risk homes compared to other states or Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs).
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Special GISCafe Coverage: Geospatial Data Providers and Services

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, and asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), 3D scanning, and spatial computing and analysis and much more.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging

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Esri’s Africa GeoPortal Provides Technology, Data and Training for Users

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Esri announced the launch of its Africa GeoPortal, #AfricaGeoPortal, a cloud-based platform that provides rich content and solutions from Esri and its partners for those wanting a vast resource for African nations.

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An Underground Map of the World

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Mark Smith, CEO of Geospatial Corporation, spoke this week with GISCafe Voice about the challenges of mapping the underground, which includes mapping underwater. The company’s goal is to create an underground “map of the world,” by doing it “one pipeline at a time.” This is a sensible approach to a project that may seem a bit like trying to eat an elephant (start with the toes!). With the help of sensors and Geospatial’s cloud-based GIS platform, GeoUnderground, it looks like the goal is highly attainable.

  1. What are specific challenges to mapping underground utilities? 

The most obvious challenge is that the pipelines and conduits are underground or underwater and that makes the selection of the data acquisition methodology very important.  I like to say that the difference between locating and mapping is pretty straight forward. Locators attempt to “clear” an area for a specific reason, such as in preparation for a construction project. At Geospatial Corporation, we approach a project in a very “holistic” manner. We know there is no “silver bullet” that will allow us to accurately map every type of buried infrastructure within a facility, right of way or municipality.  We know that we need to use many types of data acquisition technologies to obtain a complete “picture” or “map” of the underground.  In addition, getting this vast amount of data properly into a GIS platform from the field, often with numerous techs collecting below and above ground over large areas is in itself a trick.  For this we have developed GeoUnderground, our proprietary cloud-based GIS platform built on Google Maps. GeoUnderground provides an economical, SaaS based, powerful yet very simple to use GIS Platform accessible from any phone. Our goal is to have every data acquisition tool seamlessly integrate into GeoUnderground.

  1. What solutions do you provide to achieve goals?  

At Geospatial we consider our data acquisition technologies to be simply “sensors on a platform”.  The platform could be designed to run inside of a pipeline or conduit and have various types of gyroscopic or electromagnetic sensors. These technologies are extremely accurate under most conditions and allow us to accurately map in x,y&z pipelines and conduits as small as 1.5 inches in diameter to 20 feet in diameter.  These technologies are often used on projects for telecom, (Such as AT&T, Comcast & Verizon).  This is also applicable for sewers, gas lines and numerous other types of infrastructure. We have developed a method of combining technologies to geo-reference the video collected inside a pipeline during periodic inspections. This allows the pipeline owner to locate any defects within the pipeline, providing an exact xy&z location of the defect.  This also allows the video data to be stored and viewed, edited and shared on GeoUnderground. We are constantly looking for new types of data acquisition and data management technologies to be added to GeoUnderground. To this end, we are creating strategic alliances with numerous sensor companies.

  1. Are you creating a map of the world’s underground infrastructure and if so, when do you think that will be completed and how will it be maintained? 

Yes, our slogan is that we are creating a map of the world’ underground, one pipeline at a time.  In reality we are aggregating data of behalf of our clients that is slowly, but surely creating a map of the underground.  As more and more of our clients realize the benefits of mapping and knowing the location of their critical assets, the mitigation of risk and the ROI obtainable from sophisticated analysis, they will accelerate the mapping of their underground and above ground assets. More and more infrastructure stakeholders are beginning to plan to map their entire facility.

  1. How do Blockchain technologies figure in?

It’s a massive undertaking to attempt to map the underground.  Just as we are constantly finding new sensor applications, we are also exploring new software applications utilizing Blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

  1. How do you renovate or replace utility structures that are underwater?

Geospatial doesn’t repair or replace pipelines, but we do have several ways to map pipelines underwater involving either our gyroscopic technologies and our electromagnetic technologies.  We have successfully mapped a telecom conduit under the East River in New York City, also the Harlem River in NYC, The Savanna River in Georgia, the Inner Coastal Waterway in Charleston, along with many other rivers and lakes across the USA.

  1. What do you think will be the result of mapping the outdated infrastructure, and how might it be maintained or retrofit using your data?  

A few years back, no one would have guessed that all of the above ground infrastructure would have been digitally mapped, from the air, from un-manned drones or from the streets.  The underground infrastructure is the last unmapped frontier. We can only begin to speculate the many uses and benefits derived from having an accurate 3D map of the underground. Smart City initiatives, increasing Federal and state requirements for gas & oil pipelines, an abundance of new sensors creating the Internet of Things and the ability to run risk analysis on critical pipelines all require management to know the exact position and depth of our critical infrastructure.

 

Pix4D for Yuneec’s Ground Station Controller and Pix4Dfields

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Yuneec announced the availability of Pix4Dcapture on its H520 ST16S ground station controller. Pix4D is a premier software application that creates professional, georeferenced maps and models from drone imagery, giving users the ability to map flight plans and set customized mapping parameters.

Yuneec H520 ST 16S ground station controller

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