GISCafe Weekly Review July 10th, 2014

Census Mapping Made Easy with OpenLayers 3
July 8, 2014  by Andreas Hocevar

Three months ago, Paul Ramsey created a tutorial that builds an example census mapping application using OpenGeo Suite. Since then, we’ve released OpenGeo Suite 4.0, which includes early access to OpenLayers 3, and we’ve updated the tutorial to use OpenLayers 3 instead of GeoExt.

A Different Approach
GeoExt, a combination of ExtJS and OpenLayers 2, allows one to create web applications without writing any HTML and CSS, which was useful back when all browsers behaved differently. However, with HTML5 and CSS3 available in all modern browsers, a more modular stack adds flexibility.

With GeoExt, the easiest way to read in the list of available census variables (topics) was to pre-process them and load them as JSON. Rather than spending much time on user interface work, we’ve added Bootstrap to leverage the JQuery dependency and save some lines of JavaScript code. With JQuery, a few lines of code are enough to create drop-down options directly from the lines of the original metadata text file:

Baby Steps

Companies like Esri and Google reach a large audience of customers and potential customers with their compelling Geographic Information System (GIS) and Location Intelligence (LI) marketing messages. But not every business in the USA is ready to hear these messages. For reasons that include out-of-reach investment requirements, technology intimidation, and competing software priorities, many companies press on, year after year, without the benefit of location analysis tools. And still more companies remain simply unaware that location intelligence or business mapping software even exist.

I speak with many businesses new to business mapping software whose requirements can suddenly veer from basic business mapping into the realm of full GIS. Often these companies have no idea what GIS or location intelligence means. If I bring up GIS/LI it can become a distraction to the sales process. A customer new to mapping software is often very busy just getting through their day. To start exploring a whole new technology can be overwhelming – even a non-starter. So I try to take it slow. “Baby steps,” to quote Bob (see movie What About Bob.) After all, Rome’s municipal GIS infrastructure wasn’t built in a day.

First images from SPOT 7 satellite published
July 7, 2014  by Susan Smith

The first images gleaned from the SPOT 7 satellite were published by Airbus Defence and Space. The satellite was launched on June 30th and the images were obtained just three days after launch. Within hours, satellite programming and image acquisition, telemetry reception and processing, were all made operational to deliver these first images. These images depict highly diverse landscapes, revealing SPOT 7 range of ability to capture natural resource and urban zone mapping and agri-environmental monitoring.


The entire SPOT 6/7 constellation is now in place and an improvement over the capabilities and performance offered by SPOT 5, the SPOT satellite launched in 2002. Because of the much improved capability of SPOT 6/7, SPOT 5 will be decommissioned from  commercial service during the first quarter of 2015. This new constellation offers a higher resolution, greater programming reactivity and a much higher volume of images acquired daily (in monoscopic or stereoscopic mode).

Why SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are so advanced is because they form a constellation of high-resolution Earth observation satellites phased at 180° in the same orbit. According to press materials, this means that each point on the globe can be revisited on a daily basis and wide areas covered in record time, all with an unparalleled level of precision. With both satellites in orbit, acquisition capacity will be boosted to six million square kilometres per day – an area ten times the size of France.

Copernicus masters: Sign Up for Earth monitoring Competition 2014

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