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Posts Tagged ‘Google Maps’

NASA needs help from citizen science

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

A recent CNN report announced thatNASA is asking for the help of citizens in viewing hundreds of thousands of images taken from space over the years, from the 1960s Mercury missions to the present images snapped from the International Space Station.

North Korea is barely lit when juxtaposed with neighboring South Korea and China.
North Korea is barely lit when juxtaposed with neighboring South Korea and China.

Via The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, NASA is making these images available for citizens to examine.

NASA says the hope is that the images “could help save energy, contribute to better human health and safety and improve our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. But scientists need your help to make that happen.”

The catalog contains more than 1.8 million photos, about 1.3 million of them from the space station and roughly 30% of them taken at night.

 Photos: International Space Station
NASA gets rare view of black hole
NASA tests supersonic parachute for Mars

Tyson on deep space exploration

The CNN report said that before 2003, night images from the space station could be blurry, even with high-speed film and manual tracking, because the station moves at about 17,500 mph. In that same year, astronaut Don Pettit used a drill and assorted parts he found on the station to cobble together a “barn-door tracker,” a lower-tech predecessor to the European Space Agency’s NightPod, which was installed at the space station nine years later.

According to the report, NightPod’s motorized tripod compensates for the space station’s speed, providing what NASA scientist William Stefanov says are the highest-resolution night images from orbit. Satellites collect data more regularly, but the photos tend to be lower resolution. “Now the pictures are clear, but their location may not be, which limits their usefulness,” the NASA news release says.

Citizen science has a better handle on location than the night images from the space station and satellite imagery. The Complutense University of Madrid is spearheading efforts to get citizen input and organize the photos.  They have broken down the  the images into three components requiring different levels of participation:

1. Dark skies. This is the easiest project, as it requires no scientific expertise. “Anyone can help” by sorting the images into the categories: cities, stars or other objects, said Alejandro Sanchez, doctoral student at Complutense.

“Without the help of citizens, it is almost impossible to use these images scientifically. Algorithms cannot distinguish between stars, cities and other objects, such as the moon. Humans are much more efficient for complex image analysis,” he said.

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From the President’s Cup to Interactive Recreation Map with ArcGIS Online

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In a technical session entitled “ArcGIS Online and Social Media,” two interesting speakers spoke about the use of ArcGIS Online and the use of social media to facilitate operations during an international golf tournament in a community and create an interactive map of a popular recreational region. Brandon Brown, GIS administrator, from City of Dublin, Ohio, spoke at the Esri User Conference 2014 on the topic, “Presidential GIS – ArcGIS Online’s Role in the 2013 President’s Cup.”

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New indepth coverage for September: Satellite Imaging

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

During the week of September 15th, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Satellite Imaging.”

Geospatial3 (more…)

From the Exhibit Floor: Esri UC 2014

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The Exhibit Floor reveals industry trends, as vendors respond to requests of their customers with timely products and services. The emphasis at Esri UC 2014 was on data and apps, reflecting the trends discussed in Monday’s Plenary session. Global data, the mining of crowdsourcing data, spatial analytics to business users, the launch of WorldView-3 that will open up worlds of data previously unable to be explored – are just a few of the exciting areas covered in the exhibits and special vendor presentations.

TomTom Traffic

TomTom Traffic

This year marked the 22nd Esri conference for veteran company TomTom, which derived originally from the company GDT and later TeleAtlas. According to John Cassidy, vice president of sales and James Pardue, licensing, TomTom’s focus has evolved from the original interest in making Census data better back in the GDT days, to spatial navigation in the present day. Hardware, analytical, navigation and spatial are the primary areas of their business.

“Everyone wants global data,” said Cassidy. “TomTom is heavily invested in the crowdsourcing model.”

Cassidy said that in 2013, 6 billion pieces of information per day were processed by TomTom. In 2014, already 9 billion pieces of information per day have been processed. Their focus has become quality accuracy and quality control.

“Real world users are more valuable,” said Cassidy. “A lot information is gathered using smartphones.”

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The History of America’s Maps

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

I’m looking forward to this one:  Esri has developed an application to better access and manipulate maps from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection.

Topography map of Chicago

Topography map of Chicago

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Open developer portal launched for TomTom Bridge

Friday, June 13th, 2014

TomTom launched an open developer portal for the developer platform, TomTom Bridge, this week that allows for  integration of business applications with TomTom technologies. TomTom Bridge is designed for those businesses that run a fleet of vehicles, and the new portal makes it possible for developers, integrators and value-added partners to build business apps. Developers will get access to SDKs, that include tips on the best use of the platform.

Included in the new platform are a fully customizable app store, AppCarousel, for businesses to match their choice of apps, branding and features. Page Up is enabling a series of mobile solutions with Near Field Communication and bar code scanner, digital signature app and connection to a Bluetooth printer. The new open developer portal also provides detailed information on Application Programming Interface, a document library and case studies and links to TomTom Content downloads.

 

 

Skybox to be acquired by Google for $500 million

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Google announced it will acquire Skybox for $500 million yesterday.

skybox-970x450_35999 (more…)

Peter Hansford keynotes at the GEO Business 2014 conference in London

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

I heard Peter Hansford, the Chief Construction Advisor to HM Government, UK speak about the Crossrail project at the Bentley Year in Infrastructure conference in London, 2013. While I’m not in attendance at the GEO Business 2014 event in London this week, Hansford is presenting a keynote at that conference.

With a career that has spanned positions at Amey, Maunsell, the Strategic Rail Authority and Gardiner and Theobald, Hansford has spent the majority of his career on highways and railways with project management largely being his focus. Peter is also an ardent advocate and supporter of the BIM initiative.

 

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Pitney Bowes and IBM collaborate on new “Blue Mix” hybrid cloud location services

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

In an interview with James Fairweather, Vice President of Architecture, Technology and Experience for Pitney Bowes Inc., he answered the following questions about the new collaboration on IBM’s “BlueMix” platform-as-a-service. This collaboration is designed to develop new hybrid cloud location intelligence services that help businesses unearth deeper customer insights based on geography, enabling them to deliver more personalized services and contextually relevant experiences.

1) Can you tell me how hybrid cloud location services are different than other location based services?

“Applications that need to leverage big data-residing in both public and private clouds, especially real-time data and analytics, benefit from hybrid cloud location services. For developers, it’s a system that significantly reduces the time needed to create an application.  For businesses, it’s a system which allows line-of-business users to easily create applications without needing a high level of technical know-how.

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TerraGo and Carahsoft announce geospatial collaboration software

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

George Demming, founding member of TerraGo Technology and CTO of TerraGo, talked in their recent webinar about the release of their Terrago v.6.0.4 geospatial collaboration software, including TerraGo Publisher, TerraGo Composer and TerraGo Toolbar.

TerraGo Publisher provides precise layer control and hyperlinking to documents, photos and files from within GeoPDF maps and imagery.

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