As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.
Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.
These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.
The Global Mountain Explorer provides information from global scales down to specific mountains, such as Borah Peak, Idaho pictured above. (Public domain.)
On November 1, Velodyne announced that it is partnering with BoE Systems to integrate its VLP-16 Puck and VLP-16 Puck LITE LiDAR sensors into BoE Systems’ UAV fleet for geospatial data collection and analysis. This partnership delivers full 360° imaging of geography and equipment for a multitude of industries with a critical need for quick, safe, and accurate aerial inspections, including transportation, utilities, telecommunications/infrastructure, construction, aggregate, forestry, and agriculture.
The Bentley Year in Infrastructure conference held in Singapore October 8-12, kicked off with a Media Day on Monday, October 8th. Among the forums that were offered was one on Utilities and Government, which showcased the company’s commitment to geospatial technologies that are inherent in all of their utility and government applications.
For several years, colleges, universities and some geospatial vendors have been offering online classes in various capacities. As companies offer fewer training courses within their facilities, and professionals have less time to travel to classes, we have seen the rise of these courses offered by universities and even software companies. What do these classes contribute to the whole educational fabric of GIS?
Orbit Logic announced recently that they have released a new version of their Collection Planning & Analysis Workstation (CPAW) software with enhanced constellation collection planning optimization. A mission planning and scheduling software for imaging satellite operations, CPAW is deployed operationally on multiple commercial and government programs. specializes in mission planning and scheduling solutions for aerospace and geospatial intelligence. Orbit Logic’s operationally proven COTS products create efficient plans with fewer resources for all mission phases.
Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.
According to a press release, on February 24th, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA”) (TSX: MDA), a Canadian multinational communications and information company providing technology solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide, and Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, Inc. (“DigitalGlobe”) (NYSE: DGI), a global leader in Earth imagery and geospatial content, announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe for US$35.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock.
Nishinoshima Volcanic Island Growth. Image Courtesy of DigitalGlobe
Amazingly, 80 percent of all business data contains a location component, yet most organizations are not using it or don’t know how. On Nov. 15, Boundless expanded its open GIS solution into an ecosystem of geo-aware open source data, content and expertise that makes the latest GIS data easily available to developers and analysts in both public and private sectors.
What was the most exciting attraction in the Exhibit Hall at the Esri User Conference 2016? Hard to say, as the 14,000+ attendees flocked to see the plethora of exciting exhibits from third party companies, and of course the numerous demonstrations of Esri products and services. Drones, imagery, field solutions, utilities, navigation, spatially enabled business apps, data management, all vied for an audience at the conference. Esri’s Drone2Map was a huge hit, and Collector for ArcGIS was a product that garnered an enormous amount of attention at its demonstrations and technical workshops, offering the promise of providing mapping to professionals in the field workforce that would in turn, improve the accuracy and currency of spatial data.