WASHINGTON — Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
The mountains of northeastern Oman are rugged, dry, and as much as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. Yet millions of years ago, parts of these mountains were at the bottom of the sea. Actually, they were beneath it.
GIS Tools and Workflow Applications for AEC and Operations: Market Analysis and Forecasts
The electrical grid consists of power generation, transmission, distribution, and customer assets that literally cover the face of the earth. Ultimately, the smart grid is all about awareness of the situation of these assets in order to facilitate optimal performance and effectively anticipate and respond to events that might disrupt performance. A geographic information system (GIS) is the method by which utilities capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and manage geospatially referenced information about these assets. Geodata types relevant to electric utilities might include everything from land-based data, streets, ownership/real estate, vegetation, network topology, GPS location data, census data, and many others.
In a session entitled “10 killer apps,” at Esri DevSummit 2012 last week in Palm Springs, CA, Mansour Raad @mraad and Sajit Thomas @spatialAgent show 10 new beta apps developed using Esri technology. The demo in this video shows a UAV shark driven by a Flex Mapping app, the shark is filled with helium and being “flown” around the room powered by a cool Flex mapping app.
According to several top scientists, the March heat wave that has shattered records across a wide swath of the U.S. bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.
In email conversations, those same scientific researchers who specialize in studying the role climate change plays in influencing individual extreme events — a burgeoning field known as “extreme event attribution” — said global warming may have made March’s soaring temperatures more likely to occur, although they add that natural variability has played a key role as well.
Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue. Photograph: Terra/MODIS/NASA
AllTrails‘ 200,000 members have mapped over 45,000 trails. These trails include routes and information pertinent to many different activities including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. They didn’t mention horseback riding, another group that maps a lot of trails.
The big GIS related news from the Autodesk Media Summit this week in San Franciso is the launch of the Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 that provides civil engineering, GIS, planning and utility design professionals with building information modeling (BIM) for infrastructure solution for planning, designing, building and managing civil infrastructure and utility infrastructure projects. This is the first time for the integration of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Modeler 2013 into the 2013 Building Design Suite.
Check on the ArcGIS Resource Center for the new 2010 U.S. Census datasets with their new geometry and attributes that are now available as layer packages on ArcGIS.com. The following are all represented as polygons: Block Group, Tract, County, and State with over 40 attribute fields containing population totals by age and race, along with family and household information. Census Blocks are represented as points with total population and household information.
Keith Besserud, AIA, is the director of BlackBox, a research-oriented computational design resource within the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM). With design partner, Ross Wimer, Keith set up the BlackBox studio in 2007 to lead the development and integration of advanced computational concepts within the multi-disciplinary design processes of the office. This includes reviewing computational tools used in architecture and how they apply in urban design.