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Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

Google Goes to Antarctica

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

For those Antarctic enthusiasts, Google has been exploring Antarctica with its special Street View backpack carrying a special Trekker camera. It persuaded researchers at the Polar Geospatial Center to carry the trekker, a 42 pound backpack with 15 lenses. Starting with easy to obtain images using , Google has now added a range of hard to reach places.

Imagery courtesy of Google Street View Imagery


What’s new in geo at Autodesk University 2013

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Robots for the future jobsite, flying drones for delivering packages and reality capture were all part of the show at Tuesday morning’s Mainstage presentation at Autodesk University 2013. Clearly, these technology directions are dependent upon location and geospatial technology.


Iris the robot


Spike smartphone IkeGPS laser based device features measurement with snapshots

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Spike (Smart Phone ike!) from IkeGPS is a laser based device that attaches to your phone to ensure that you can rapidly & accurately measure & model an object up to 200 yards (600 feet) away just by taking a snapshot of it.  For ten years, Ike has been designing measurement and modeling systems for industrial customers.Using the IkeGPS technology, Spike makes use of the smartphone’s technology and adds its own features. It incorporates a digital camera, 3D compass, a laser range finder and GPS that snaps onto the back of your phone and fits into your pocket.

Spike integrates your smartphone’s current technology with some specialized features of its own. It amalgamates a digital camera, a 3d compass, a laser range finder and GPS. It fits neatly into your pocket yet is robust enough to use every day.

According to Darrell Etherington of Techcrunch, “The benefits of the Spike and its powers are evident…telecom and utility companies, architects, city planners, builders and more would be better served with a simple portable accessory and the phone they already have in their pocket than by specialized equipment that’s heavy, bulky, requires instruction on proper use and lacks any kind of easy instant data portability like you’ll get from a smartphone app’s “Share” functions.” (more…)

Locata signs agreement with the Air Force Institute of Technology

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Locata Corporation announced that it has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). This cooperation could ultimately bring completely new capabilities to GPS receivers, including resistance to jamming and spoofing. In the long run, the addition of Locata technology to GPS could finally make precise indoor positioning a reality. Locata’s CEO Nunzio Gambale answered some questions about this announcement:
GISCafe Voice:  What do you think will be the most important development as a result of this agreement?

Locata technology is now evolving at such a rapid rate, and our progress is so solid, that our developments can now start to improve GPS systems as well. In developing the Locata system to work indoors and in GPS occluded environments, we’ve had to find a way to overcome “the devil” – the nemesis of reliable radiopositioning – and it’s called multipath. This is the phenomenon whereby a radio signal bounces around and off objects in cluttered environments like indoor areas. This is a hard problem which has eluded a viable solution for decades, yet we needed to solve it if we wanted to deliver on our indoor positioning vision. So, Locata has had to invent a completely new genus of antenna which allows us to “see” the multipath and deal with it. Remember, this is happening at the speed of light so it’s not a trivial issue. The best way to understand why our claims sound like science fiction is to watch the animation and video of the VRay antenna on our website, here:, which hopefully will show why this antenna is producing results which impossible…


Portable GPS-enabled device market continues to grow

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Findings from ABI Research show that the portable GPS-enabled device market is destined to hold its own because of the growth of dedicated HUD/eyewear, cycling and health/tracking devices. The market was not expected to do as well because of the continuing decline of PNDs, and the growing use of smartphones, smart watches and eyewear.

ABI Research’s quarterly GNSS Database forecasts the new and emerging markets for GPS-enabled devices, and where the opportunities lie in terms of device formats and vertical markets. The report also considers the impact of competitive formats such as smartphone applications, wearable sensors, smart watches, and smart eyewear, providing a complete picture of drivers and inhibitors in this market.

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments, “The overall market is forecast to grow from 33.3 million units in 2012 to 36.79 million in 2018, following a brief dip in 2013 as PND declines outweigh growth in other areas. Total revenues will undergo a brief period of fluctuation from 2013 to 2015, before rising to $7.14 billion in 2018.”


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.


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.


CitySourced reports on City of St. Charles new smartphone app

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

CitySourced reported on the launch of a new Smartphone app by the city of St. Charles that allows citizens to identify and report non-emergency civic issues, such as public works, quality of life, and environmental issues. This mobile reporting platform will improve how St. Charles delivers services to its neighborhoods.

“St. Charles Connect” allows a user to capture a photo, video, or audio of the problem. The user then uploads the media and, along with GPS location information pulled directly from the device, submits a report directly to the appropriate department. Once a report is submitted, feedback is provided to the user based on the action taken by the department handling the report. The application verifies that the item that is reported is within the city limits. If an issue is outside city limits a GPS tracking service from the device the sender is using will identify the location and notify the sender.


3D Mapping & 3D Modeling Report from Research and Markets

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

The following is an announcement of a report from Research and Markets. They have announced the addition of the “3D Mapping & 3D Modeling: Global Advancements, Worldwide Market Size and Forecasts (2013 – 2018)”report to their offering.

The past decade witnessed a giant leap in various industries, with 3D technology being implemented in various electronic devices and other objects. The need for 3D mapping arose after an attempt to make 2D maps more advanced and look more real. This was done by introducing sensors, cameras, scanners, GPS components, and other acquisition devices to capture the real time 3D images which are created into models incorporated into maps. This type of technology is often used in modern computer programs to provide a lifelike view of a place or thing on a map.

Portable GPS devices use 3D mapping technology to provide automated directions. These devices have small screens that display a three-dimensional view of roads and maps. This is a good tool for people who travel or go for hiking to unfamiliar areas because the device uses satellites to pinpoint its exact location. Building schematics are blueprints used for the construction of houses. 3D mapping technology is often used to create construction schematics. This tool makes it easy to draw a three-dimensional version of a house plan. These plans are typically used to get building permits and construction material before any building starts.

The improvised 3D experience in smartphones, tablets, notebooks, PCs, cars, etc. is set to revolutionize the mobile device market and other GPS-enabled device market by broadening the horizons for the users to locate things easily using any device. This report looks at the various applications of 3D modeling and mapping applied in various business verticals. It analyzes the challenges and opportunities for 3D mapping and modeling as well as its impact in the marketplace. The report also gives insights into the global adoption trends, key market players, future scope, drivers, and restraints in the market, along with growth potential across different geographies. It also analyzes various factors that will drive and restrain the market over the next 5 years.

Key Topics Covered:

1 Introduction

2 Executive Summary

3 Market Overview

4 3D Mapping And Modeling: Market Size And Forecast

5 3D Mapping: Market Size And Forecast, By Applications

6 Market Size And Forecast By 3D-Enabled Devices: Its Influence On 3D Mapping

7 3D-Enabling Devices: Its Influence On 3D Mapping

8 3D Mapping And 3D Modeling: Market Size And Forecast, By Verticals

9 3D Mapping And 3D Modeling: Market Size And Forecast, By Regions

10 Competitive Landscape

11 Company Profiles

Companies Mentioned

– 3D Laser Mapping

– 3D Mapping Solutions Gmbh

– Apple

– Astrium

– Autodesk

– Cybercity 3D

– Esri

– Firmatek

– Google

– Hover Inc

– Igi Mbh

– Intermap Technologies

– Mira Solutions

– Optech Inc

– Pix4D

– Riegl Usa

– Saab

– Topcon

– Trimble

– Velodyne Lidar Inc

For more information visit

-Research and Markets

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