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Posts Tagged ‘USGS’

Northrup Grumman Hosts Panel Discussion on New Technologies

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Partnerships, unmanned spacecraft, technologies and sensors were some of the topics covered in a panel discussion and press luncheon held at GEOINT Symposium 2015 in Washington D.C. recently, by Northrup Grumman.

An E-2C test aircraft assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 conducts an aerial refueling dry-plug engagement with an F/A-18.

An E-2C test aircraft assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 conducts an aerial refueling dry-plug engagement with an F/A-18.

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From the Exhibit Floor at GEOINT Symposium 2015

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The exhibits at GEOINT Symposium 2015 this past week in Washington D.C. reflected the direction the government is heading with regard to new products, technologies and services.

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The new government initiative of doing more with less has generated interest among a group of vendors in partnership with the Centralized Super Computer Facility (CSCF) program. Lockheed Martin, one of the vendors, has developed a Multilevel Secure ecosystem (MLS) using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5+ for both single system image and for a cluster configuration. The focus of this system is to use MLS to enable data fusion and/or consolidate hardware systems rather than promote duplication.

IMG_3229

The companies partnering in this endeavor include Lockheed Martin (Multilevel Secure Ecosystem), Seagate (Multilevel Secure HPC Storage), Red Hat (Open source operating system), SGI (Secure high performance computing solutions), CRAY (multilevel security (MLS) capability), Bay Microsystems (global high-performance fabric extension), Mellanox ( 100 Gigabit per second scalable networking), 35ViON Years (MLS-Ecosystem for Mission Data), Altair (PBS Professional, – job scheduling and management) and new at the conference this year, Crunchy (open source Crunchy MLS PostgreSQL extends PostgreSQL with Multilevel Security support), and Splunk (universal machine data platform).

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GEOINT Symposium 2015 Keynotes

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The message of this week’s GEOINT Symposium 2015 – with the theme, “Opening the Aperture, Charting New Paths,” was really about how to utilize the commercial sector for technologies and the move toward offering services to customers. The topics, “less is more,” “moving toward services” and “innovation” all spoke to the need for change in a federal government limited in recent years by budget cuts . This has not diminished the need for geointelligence excellence, however, in fact, in today’s complicated world, the need is even greater.

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GISCafe at GEOINT 2015

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Next week GISCafe will be flying to GEOINT 2015 Symposium held June 22-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Tradecraft (more…)

Data Links for Nepal Earthquake

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Over the weekend, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal near the city of Kathmandu, followed by aftershocks that also resulted in many deaths and structural damage. Simultaneously, climbers on Mount Everest’s base camp were buried in an avalanche, precipitated by the quake.

The following are some sites that provide some geospatial insight into the events. I’m leaving the links whole in most cases so that they are easy for people to access and will add others as I learn about them. If anyone has any other links that should be added to this list, please contact me at susan.smith@ibsystems.com.

Dharahara Tower, Kathmandu April 2014 before the earthquake, courtesy DigitalGlobe

Dharahara Tower, Kathmandu April 2014 before the earthquake, courtesy DigitalGlobe

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Esri’s new ArcGIS Open Data Site Available for Open Data Sharing

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Esri announced the launch of a new site aimed to help citizens locate organizations sharing open data around the world and provide direct access to thousands of open government datasets. Citizens can search, download, filter, and visualize this data through their web browser or mobile device.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.30.20 AM (more…)

Special Blog Coverage of 3D Cities Coming in November!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

During the week of November 17th, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “3D Cities: Envisioning Communities of the Future.”

smarterbettercity_130021 (more…)

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst software from USGS is here

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

In response to recent catastrophic natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan in 2011, the hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Colorado floods of 2013, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst software has been developed by USGS. The reason for the focus on pedestrians in evacuations is that during the brief period of time between the onset of a disaster and the arrival of the consequences of the event, citizens generally evacuate themselves without a government mandate, and they are usually on foot, across the landscape (according to Wood and Schmidtlein, 2012).

In cases where there is tremendous flooding or tsunamis, evacuation would be to higher ground but that isn’t always available. Evacuation modeling has revealed that some kind of vertical-evacuation structures may be good to have in a critical area.
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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 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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