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Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

URISA’s GISCorps’ Behind the Scenes Support for Hurricanes and Other Disasters

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

URISA’s GISCorps has a volunteer presence all over the world who contribute their GIS expertise through data, creating easy to consume visuals for those decision makers and public safety officials to be able to respond to various threats and allocate resources where needed. Using ArcGIS Online, volunteers in one part of the world can provide help remotely without needing to be onsite or using limited onsite resources.


In an interview with GISCorps founder Shoreh Elhami and URISA executive director Wendy Nelson, they offer a broader understanding of what GISCorps is about and how it can help.

Is ArcGIS Online able to generate a setting for help, i.e., website, app, or whatever resource might be needed, during a natural disaster event? And how soon might that be available to the public? 

ArcGIS Online (AGO) can be used to create a variety of story maps. Those story maps as well as any AGO based web apps can be embedded in any website and very quickly. A good example of that is the web app that our volunteers embedded in Fort Bend County’s website on road closures. Another example is a story map that was built by NAPSG shortly after the disaster, our volunteers also assisted with that project.

How has the GIS relief effort for Hurricane Harvey been handled by GISCorps so far and what are the plans going forward?

26 of our volunteers have been working on mapping road closures in Fort Bend County. The information originates from County’s website, emails, and also tweets. The Web app has been helpful to residents, first responders, and the county staff. The project was lead by two of our volunteers who worked with GISCorps Core Committee members on managing the project. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also requested the assistance of a GIS programmer to pull data from the FEMA site on an ongoing basis. The GISCorps Recruitment team selected a volunteer within 30 hours and put the volunteer  in contact with CDC. We also asked our volunteers to contribute to NAPSG story map. We are currently on stand-by and ready to assist with other projects at this time, be it for Harvey or Irma.

Hurricane Harvey weather map

How do the projects for Hurricane Harvey and Katrina differ or are they the same? What are the priorities?

Quite different. For Katrina, we deployed 30 volunteers onsite, the option to assist remotely didn’t even exist. Volunteers packed up their bags, laptops, and other essentials and head over to the affected areas within a couple of days. For Harvey (and many other disasters of the past few years), we haven’t had to send anyone anywhere. Volunteers work from their home or offices and have been effective in different ways. For Katrina, the priority was to help with the rescue efforts at first (locate people under stress and report to the coast guard) and then, the recovery phase began where volunteers made 100’s of maps and conducted lots of analysis). For Harvey, crowd sourcing and information from social media have become major sources of information for developing interactive maps to first responders and other affected population.]
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Hurricane Harvey Early Predictive Analysis with Wind and Storm Surge Data

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Front and center in the news right now is Hurricane Harvey and resulting devastation, which will most likely remain in the news for awhile.

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HP Unveils HP Mars Home Planet and New Wearable HP Z VR Backpack

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

In a webinar this month, HP executives talked about the exciting new approach and commercial solutions for virtual reality (VR). Together with NVIDIA, they have teamed up with Autodesk Fusion, LaunchForth, Technicolor, Unreal Engine and HTC VIVE  to launch HP Mars Home Planet, a global project using virtual reality to simulate what a human population of one million could look like on Mars. HP has also unveiled what appears to be the first professional wearable VR PC – the new HP Z VR Backpack. Crafted to bring the full potential of VR to-life, it is designed to be a secure and manageable wearable VR PC.

HP Z VR Backpack used for training purposes.

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Topcon Bundles Bentley’s ContextCapture with their UAS

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Charles Rihner, vice president of the Topcon GeoPositioning Solutions Group, talked with GISCafe Voice about Topcon ContextCapture, powered by Bentley Systems ContextCapture reality modeling software, now offered with Topcon UAS (unmanned aerial systems).

Falcon 8 site overview

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New Update from CloudCities

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

CloudCities announced an update to their cloud platform for building insights that adds procedural terrains and advanced search features. CloudCities for AEC professionals and their clients highly simplifies the process of creating 3D plans and combining them with data. The new version makes it possible to immerse the models in beautiful terrains that load quickly and are generated procedurally. The new CloudCities is now available at cloudcities.io.

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DigitalGlobe Acquired by MDA

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

According to a press release, on February 24th, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA”) (TSX: MDA), a Canadian multinational communications and information company providing technology solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide, and Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, Inc. (“DigitalGlobe”) (NYSE: DGI), a global leader in Earth imagery and geospatial content, announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe for US$35.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock.

Nishinoshima Volcanic Island Growth. Image Courtesy of DigitalGlobe

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Knowing What’s Underground with GIS and BIM

Monday, February 20th, 2017

“Disruptive technology changes the face of industries, but we are also in an age of disruptive data.” – Anne Kemp

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Following the Route of Climate Migrants

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Climate Migrants is an Esri Story Map that tells the story of people misplaced geographically by climate change and in some cases, other change factors. Allan Carroll of Esri and his team wanted to create a climate change map that was oriented toward people.

The primary goal of the team is to produce apps that enable other people to tell stories. An analysis report by the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. was an influence in the development of the Story Map, which charts what factors contribute to people becoming “climate migrants.” In some cases, such as Syria and Darfur, droughts have precipitated migrations and led to violence and war.

“Some like these, are caused by both climate change and political indicators, sometimes by shortsighted government policies, but climate is a factor in all of them,” said Carroll.
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what3words Adopted in Côte d’Ivoire to Improve National Infrastructure

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-Founder of what3words, spoke with GISCafe Voice recently about the multi-award winning addressing system’s recent adoption as an addressing standard for La Poste, the Côte d’Ivoire’s national postal system. Côte d’Ivoire is the first African nation – and second country in the world (Mongolia is the first) – to adopt 3 word addresses to improve its national infrastructure.

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2017: Geospatial Musings

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Happy New Year!

The recent presidential election in the U.S. has created so much uncertainty that it is hard to know what the future of any industry will be. For the first time, I feel there is no point in making predictions for the New Year for the geospatial industry, unless one is an insider with special knowledge of the winds of change.

Sevenhugs SmartRemote

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