Hurricane Isaac has shifted its path from threatening Florida and the Republican National Convention and has moved far west, now following a path through the Gulf very similar to the one Hurricane Katrina traveled seven years ago.
It is predicted to be a weaker Category One storm when it makes landfall, with sustained winds of between 74 and 95 miles per hour, yet it’s still said to be a hurricane. The hurricane is prompting the governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to declare emergencies (and in Alabama’s case, the governor to order mandatory coastal evacuations).
Global climate change on the Atlantic coast is in fast-forward mode — swamping and eroding beaches, wetlands and farm fields, according to scientists. Shorelines from North Carolina to Boston are in a ‘hotspot’ for sea-level rise and will see water levels rise at double the rate of most places on the planet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. What is the cause of this is a double geological activity.
A mobile app developed for the city of Omaha, Neb. allows citizens to contribute videos and photos of potholes, fallen tree limbs, or things that pertain to zoning, and can identify or plug in location, etc.
Today’s launch of a new web portal called MapSAR from Esri supplies “search and rescue (SAR) personnel with GIS tools, educational materials, and a virtual community for learning and sharing.”
The website is designed to help Search and Rescue operations find lost people. GIS and SAR professionals from Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Esri, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Mountaineer Rescue Group worked together to develop the MapSAR application. MapSar gives all SAR personnel the tools and knowledge needed to effectively use GIS in their operations, no matter what their technical background. Mapping and planning functions will be able to be carried out within the incident command structure (ICS). GIS skills will be used to track search teams and assets for greater efficiency and safety.
According to press materials, the MapSAR site includes the following:
MapSAR Tool: This free tool runs with Esri ArcGIS 10 software and enables maps to be generated, stored, and printed quickly so that search teams can deploy faster to look for missing people.
SAR E-books: Two newly published e-books give personnel a rich array of information. Using GIS for Wildland Searchand Rescue is a core instruction manual for developing a working knowledge of all things GIS for every team member. MapSAR User’s Manual is for more advanced GIS users and provides an introduction to and a detailed tutorial for MapSAR.
Search and Rescue Forum: This peer-to-peer network provides a place to discuss technical challenges.
In a move that the geospatial industry had been expecting, on Monday, GeoEye announced plans to combine with competitor DigitalGlobe in a deal worth $900 million. This move is in response to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency informing both companies that it plans to curtail funding for its $7.3 billion EnhancedView contract, pieces of which were awarded to both firms in 2010.
The two former competitors provide photos and satellite imagery from satellites that are contracted by the NGA, the products of which are generally sold to federal agencies, the military and other government institutions.
While post offices in the U.S. are closing, in Japan a website called Post Map is mapping the locations of post boxes and addressing issues like post office closures and the privatisation of postal services.
Google Maps is used to provide a crowd-sourced map of post box locations. Citizens can find their nearest post boxes by submitting locations and photographs to the map. If you select a post box then the map sidebar shows you how far it is to the nearest alternative post boxes. This would be good for people new to a neighborhood and for getting up-to-date locations of post boxes as there become fewer of them available.
Yahoo has had a bumpy ride during the past year as far as keeping executives at the helm and boosting revenues. Just last September former Autodesk CEO, Carol Bartz, was ousted from her position as CEO of Yahoo, followed by Scott Thompason who was forced out in May for padding his resume. The interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, was thought to be next in line for the job.
The first two ESA Galileo navigation satellites in space can now transmit dummy signals in a modulation scheme designed to allow full interoperability with the US GPS once operational services start.
This is the European version of the Multiplexed Binary Offset Code signal standard which is the agreed upon standard with the United States for the interoperability of Galileo and GPS.
“This is an advanced modulation technique that offers robust protection against signal interference and the misleading signal reflections known as ‘multipath’,” said Marco Falcone, Head of Galileo System Services.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud announced that metadata from the World Meteorological Organization Information System (WIS) will be made available through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) from 13 July onwards. This means that any data registered in the WIS will be automatically registered and thus accessible in GEOSS. This action responds to the commitment made by the World Meteorological Congress in 2007 “that the WIS, as a system with essential data exchange and data management services, would have to play a core role in the GEOSS as an essential WMO contribution with respect to weather, water and climate data and products.”
This new functionality complements the existing WIS capability for discovering GEOSS data and products via WIS. This capability is available at WMO’s Global Information and System Centres (GISCs – see www.wmo.int/giscs).