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Posts Tagged ‘GIS’

Stop-and-frisk map profiles New York City Police Department’s controversial practice

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop, question and frisk” practices have prompted a lot of press and speeches, zeroing in on just what the statistics are on these people who have been stopped. So far the percentages are as follows: 53 percent of the people stopped by the NYPD in 2012 were black, 89 percent were innocent, 0.5 percent resulted in an arrest.


New Avenza free PDF Maps app 2.0 available

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Tristan Lyttle, Applications Manager App for Avenza Systems, discussed the launch of PDF Maps app 2.0 for iOS, a popular free app that has incorporated suggestions made by its users to further enhance tracking features such as real-time tracking and notes on elevation. It is the only geospatial PDF and GeoTIFF reader on Apple iOS for travel, outdoor activities or business purposes out in the field.

“You don’t need a cell or wi-fi connection to locate yourself, while you are in a foreign city, out in the bush, or hiking, so the app will allow you to use its features as long as you have the app loaded beforehand,” explained Lyttle. He said Avenza has their own online map store. Since print maps are being made obsolete by digital media, “we are creating a way that maps can be taken advantage of – you can purchase maps in the map store and then use them in the field.”

With the latest updates in PDF Maps 2.0, these features are included:


  • Tracking real-time movement with GPS which includes noting speed and elevation statistics
  • Saving, exporting and importing tracks in KML format
  • Saving measurements to line data as well as importing and exporting lines in KML format
  • “Map Features” list for easy organization of placemarks, lines and tracks including folder enhancements
  • Improved export accuracy

Many vendors such as the U.S. Forest Service upload maps for seasonal use, for snowmobiling, motor vehicle use maps, cross country skiing maps, and hiking maps. Smaller vendors also have outdoor use maps that change winter to summer.

“We have a simple tool for users to contact us on the app with changes, and we will send their changes right over to the vendor, and the vendor makes the changes themselves,” said Lyttle.

Currently the app is only available on the iOS platform but an Android version is in beta version right now.

“The biggest feature we’ve just released in PDF Maps 2.0 is the GPS tracks which was the most widely requested feature,” said Lyttle. “It is the ability for the app to track you as you move while you’re on your map and drop a path that you could then add attributes to and export out for use in other GIS programs. You can export out as KML files or can share between other apps, that’s the iOS program. Android doesn’t have the degree of attribute customization that the iOS has and the measurement tool is not in the same spot. You can save measurements as features on your map and then export them. The biggest requests for the future are multi-page PDFs. Right now they have to be added as single page maps to the atlas. People want to be able load multi-pages, and have better compass functionality.”

The app can already import GeoPDFs. Since they are proprietary to Terrago, and they do their own annotation, it will depend upon the annotation already done before it can be imported.

 PDF Maps app 2.0 is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal and private use. Commerical, government and academic use licensing is available for a nominal fee. For more information about PDF Maps, visit the Avenza website at or the PDF Maps website at  Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps app in-app store.


New app for children to find families in disaster and war zones

Friday, September 6th, 2013

With the number of disasters that occur in the world today – both natural and unnatural – children get separated from their families with increasing frequency. Jorge Just, a student in a class called “Design for Unicef,” at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, wanted to make a an app for people who were under emotional stress. His idea went beyond the usual app for those with great Wi-Fi connections and cell service available in the inner cities.

Children in third-world countries certainly don’t have these advantages, and what Just found in his five visits to Uganda was that lost children were relegated to old systems where paper-based forms were manually entered into large databases, and the children themselves may not be that distant geographically from their parents.


Rim Fire near Yosemite shown in three different views by Esri Story Map

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Esri’s Rim Fire Perspectives Map is available for ongoing wildfire coverage. This story map contains three different views of the fire and shows which areas and infrastructure are threatened by the fire, how the fire has grown, and where fires have burned near Yosemite in the past.

Autonomous robotic vehicles destined to appear in the next decade

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Readers may remember “Herbie” the runaway “autonomous” car in the Fred MacMurray movie of many years ago that created entertaining havoc.  According to ABI Research, in North America, the first driverless vehicles will appear in the beginning of the next decade, evolving to more than 10 million robotic vehicles shipping in 2032.


Upgrade of ZEB1 mobile mapping system announced

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

ZEB1, a truly mobile handheld rapid laser mapping system from 3D Laser Mapping, has been used to explore Aboriginal cave markings in South Australia. The strange markings, called finger flutings, were thought to have been left in the Koonalda Cave between about 30,000 and 10,000 years ago.

These finger flutings are the creation of hands dragged along existing grooves in soft limestone cave walls. It’s amazing they have lasted this long as the limestone is very fragile and crumbles easily at a mere touch. With the help of the ZEB1 handheld mobile mapping system, researchers have been able to create a detailed 3D Survey of the cave system. Combining this 3D survey data with high resolution photographs and analysis of the flutings,  archaeologists from the SA Museum can analyze them.


Esri and MapmyIndia announce strategic alliance

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In July, Esri and MapmyIndia announced a Strategic Business Alliance that is designed to expand the use of geospatial technology in India. MapmyIndia has extensive data covering all of India’s 600,000 towns and villages, approximately 10 million points of interest and 1.9 million kilometers of highway and street network. The company plans to migrate its entire data production environment to the ArcGIS platform, so that it can take advantage of Esri’s cartographic tools and workflows. Over 80 percent of all automotive navigation systems installed in India use MapmyIndia data and the company sends out data updates every four to six months.


Australian Telecom builds entire cable system around GIS

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Ben Somerville, Spatial Systems Manager for Thiess, Pty, Ltd. In Queensland, Australia, talked about the work they are doing with the Australian Telecom at the Esri UC 2013 Survey Summit. He began by saying that Australia is 70% the size of the U.S. and has a population of 23 million. Less than 1 % of the population is connected by cable. They have over 45 million yards of cable designed with a project estimated cost of $40 billion which “may be different in reality.”


New AutoCAD 2014 geolocation feature available

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Project Basejump for AutoCAD Map 3D 2013 and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 graduated from Autodesk Labs to become an AutoCAD 2014 Geolocation feature. Check out the video here:

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro Debuts

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.


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