GISCafe Voice

Posts Tagged ‘mapping’

New APIs from Exelis for Weather Forecasters and Others

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

I’ve often thought that weather prediction was the only profession where the professionals could be wrong 90% of the time and still get paid a good salary. Perhaps the new application program interfaces from Exelis will change all that for the future of weather and meteorology.

Helios in Amarillo (more…)

Space-Time Insight Takes Situational Intelligence a Step Further

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Technology for electric utilities is not always particularly exciting, but Space-Time Insight raises the bar for the industry in terms of providing virtual reality to actually access and analyze situations arising in utility facilities.

Oculus Circuit Breaker

Oculus view of a Circuit Breaker

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CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Analysis Data Pinpoints High Risk Areas in the U.S.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

CoreLogic recently released new wildfire data, the CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Analysis, that states that nearly 900,000 single-family homes across 13 states in the western U.S. are currently designated at “High” or “Very High,” risk for wildfire damage, representing a combined total reconstruction value estimated at more than $237 billion. Of the total homes identified, just over 192,000 homes fall into the “Very High Risk” category alone, with total reconstruction cost valued at more than $49.6 billion. Other categories include “Moderate” and “Low” risk. GISCafe spoke with Dr. Tom Jeffery of CoreLogic to find out the scoop on this important new information for homeowners, insurance companies and other stakeholders.

Dr. Tom Jeffery: In the past we used what’s called the assessed property value which is based on tax assessment. We’ve actually changed that so it matches what we do with storm surge which is reconstruction value of these homes. This is going to be the cost of labor and materials in each of the different locations to replace the structure that would be lost in the event that a wildfire destroyed the whole thing. California is right at the top of the list, in most cases, because of wildfire risk throughout the state, but Colorado and Texas are also states that are usually ranked very high. They continue to do so through this report. There is one overarching factor that pops out whenever we do these reports. When we see results for the first time, we see how many homes are at risk in the total U.S. and what those values are. They are exceptionally high in those areas.

GISCafe Voice: What determines what states are ranked high?

TJ: Because you have large population centers in California, Texas and Colorado, and those urban areas that continue to grow, the pace of the growth is going to grow from year. All three of those states continue to have urban expansion and new homes constructed continue to push out into areas that have higher risk. There’s a lot of risk in those three states as well. A lot of people and a lot of risk is a combination that put those three to the top of the list.

GISCafe Voice: How do you assess the risk score?

TJ: The risk score itself is really based on several factors we combine, the first is the risk on the property, and that determines our categories of high, moderate high and very high, those determine the risk on the property. It’s based on what fuel is there, based on vegetation, if there’s change of terrain, if there’s a steep slop which enhances the risk, that determines the category. But for the score we actually want to look outside the property boundary to risk in close proximity to that property. So if you own a property maybe you have a nice manicured lawn, decorative trees, you don’t have any risk on the property. But just outside the boundary there could be a lot of chaparall in Southern California, for instance, a dense conifer or pine forest, in other areas. If that exists really close to your property that raises the risk value.

So we measure the distance from a property to what’s around it in terms of risk and then we add that to the category or risk on the property, and we add that to the score. The score is going to be 0-100 numeric-based and anything that’s 80 and above is extremely high risk. We have those broken out in the tables, so you can see even though if you look at the U.S. as a whole, there are going to be 192,000 properties that are listed as very high. And that’s looking at the risk on the property. As soon as we look at the score – and the score 81-100, we go from 192,000 all the way up to 1.1 million. So really those homes on the urban edge pushing out in to the wilder areas are the ones that the score is picking up and that’s why the scores are jumping from 192,000 to 1.1 million. It’s the homes that don’t have the risk within their borders and boundaries but have it just outside that are at most risk.

GISCafe Voice: What are insurance companies concerned with when they consult with you?

TJ: Most of those discussions with insurance company representatives revolve around mitigation, which is, how can homeowners reduce the risk on the property and which properties need that? More and more insurance companies have to write these policies and there are so many high risk policies they can’t ignore. What they’re trying to do more and more is identify the high risk properties, then identify ways they can talk to land and homeowners and clear brush around the homes, make sure it’s not a wood shake roof, all these things do to reduce the risk on higher risk. It helps homeowner in the long run because it’s less risk for their home, also helps insurance companies so they both benefit from things homeowners can do to reduce risk on property.

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GISCafe Special Feature Blog: Emergency Response and Recovery

Friday, March 20th, 2015

In recent years, Emergency Response and Recovery has been tasked with addressing the growing number of natural disasters and manmade disasters worldwide. When a disaster happens, the role of GIS and geospatial is front and center in the identification of location and the location of individuals impacted in the event, as well as the clarification of the physical damage to vital structures. It is also fundamental to the provision of medical care and utilities during a time when those things may be scarce or non-existent.

LWB_1258 - Copy

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Uber acquires deCarta

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Last week, Uber announced that it acquired deCarta, a small location based services (LBS) company. As Uber has made its name as the “ridesharing giant,” a company spokesman said that they hoped to improve Uber’s ETA times as well as carpooling service with the acquisition. It also will reduce the company’s reliance on Google and Apple.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.40.55 AM (more…)

What happens now: Google Enterprise products no longer supported by Google

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

What has been an un-announcement in the geospatial industry is the fact that Google Maps Engine and Google Earth Enterprise are to be discontinued by Google. It’s possible that Google didn’t send out a press release about this because their customers, who are mainly consumers, may mistake the message to mean that Google Maps and Google Earth will be discontinued by Google, which is absolutely not the case.

The Esri/Google architecture in the post Google Earth Enterprise World

The Esri/Google architecture in the post Google Earth Enterprise World

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Intergraph and ETAP form Strategic Alliance to Benefit Utilities Customers

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Michel Gilles, vice president for Utilities and Communications for Intergraph, talked with GISCafe Voice this week about the recent strategic alliance between Intergraph and ETAP, to collaborate on their products’ integration and address the market for utilities and telecommunications. This fast-growing market is now beginning to support new sources of generation and production of energy. The announcement was made at DistribuTECH.

The ETAP Microgrid

The ETAP Microgrid

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Announcement for Vendors: Special Coverage of “Emergency Response Solutions”!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

During the week of March 17th , GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Emergency Response and Management Solutions.

Print (more…)

Bentley acquires Acute3D to advance reality modeling

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Bentley Systems announced that it has acquired the French company Acute3D, provider of Smart3DCapture software for reality modeling.

Acute3D Smart3DCapture has five different editions, two of which are what the company refers to as “prosumer” editions; consumer customers and professionals working on small non-georeferenced projects can use these two editions to simply generate 3D models from photos.

Acute3D (more…)

Drone lands on White House grounds

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Monday’s crash of  a two-foot-long drone on the White House grounds set off the country’s alarm bells on the entire safety surrounding drones and what they represent in terms of national security.

The drone that crashed at the White House

The drone that crashed at the White House

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