GISCafe Weekly Review May 8th, 2014

Paper maps remain at the core of what many commercial real estate GIS departments produce. In this fast paced sales environment often these maps are needed yesterday. But this maybe about to change. The popularity of mobile devices: smartphones and tablets, and advances in mobile GIS technology could mean the dominance of paper maps in commercial real estate is ending.

Putting Business Intelligence on the Map
May 7, 2014  by Tim Calkins

Business Intelligence (BI) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been fusing over the last couple of years. Why are we seeing this fusion and, perhaps more importantly, why is this something beneficial to analysts? The simple answer is that data displayed using map visualization, when compared to basic charts, is visually more powerful.

Did you know that over 80% of business data has some kind of location component? It’s no wonder why Cognos, MicroStrategy, Business Objects and Information Builders have invested in mapping technology, specifically Esri’s mapping technology, to integrate location analytics seamlessly into their solutions. Even SAS and Tableau have built integration points in their products that can consume and produce geospatial intelligence. So what’s the point? The point is that when 80% of all your data has some kind of location component, it makes sense to visualize the data geospatially.

HxGN Live 2014 Breakout Session: Big Data Management and Distribution
May 7, 2014  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial

Do you ever wonder how much data is produced on any given day for a small business? From expenditures, to incoming revenue, from daily operations, to payroll and taxes, there’s no limit to the data that can be tracked and analyzed. Now imagine how much data that any government has to handle.

Government agencies face the daily challenge of managing massive amounts of geospatial data, which come from ever increasing sensors and other sources. This includes data from imagery, LiDAR, and mapping/feature data.

The answer is it can when GPS stands for Geographic Population Structure tool. Scientists at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences and the University of Southern California have developed a DNA analysis system that can trace your origins geographically, back one thousand years. Apparently, the test results are accurate to the nearest town or village, as the case may be. See article in Nature Communications.


What are the biggest challenges today faced by pipeline companies when it comes to data collection and management?

Cost is maybe number one. Many of the current PODS systems are very expensive. Inefficiency and inaccuracy is a close second. Still paper and pen are an important part of how data is collected in the field. This then has to be collated and input into the central company system when back in the office. Often this can take weeks or even months.

Today using cloud and mobile technology, there are far better and cheaper ways to collect and manage field data. Imagine a real scenario faced by pipeline companies; tracking encroachments. The video below shows an iPad application which dramatically improves on old methods:

Esri and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) have entered into a partnership to build more resilient communities with geospatial technology.

Announced at the Abu Dhabi Ascent conference on Sunday, May 4, the goal if for the two organizations to develop a cooperative program aimed at growing the global community of resilient cities through GIS science and capabilities. This is modeled after the support that Esri is giving to President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative and resilience in the U.S. The partnership with UNISDR will provide support, service and capabialities on a global scale for UNISDR’s existing Making Cities Resilient campaign by providing resources aimed at helping communities advance from planning to implementation.

Caliper releases Maptitude 2014
May 2, 2014  by Susan Smith

Stewart Berry of Caliper Corporation talked about their latest release, Maptitude 2014, geographic information system and mapping software.

Maptitude Health Coverage Map by County

Maptitude Health Coverage Map by County

The evolution of digital content creation has unleashed the productivity of engineers, designers, creative professionals and students everywhere, but it has also set corresponding expectations incredibly high for that productivity as well, making it crucial for those individuals to use the proper tools to help their visions to come to life. Professional and aspiring engineers and designers cannot do their job these days without specialized applications for 3D modeling, digital content creation, and computer aided engineering and design such as Adobe Creative Cloud and AutoCAD. The problem is, for some, they’re being forced to run these applications on notebooks or desktops that don’t have enough power to generate the performance they need because they can’t afford a traditional workstation.

Dell Precision M2800

Dell Precision M2800


If we all look in the same place we will never find those elusive nuggets of gold.

I read that sentence years ago, and it always stuck in my mind. To me it meant set your own path, don’t follow the herd. The most discussed and publicized opportunities are no longer opportunities. Discover the yet to be discovered.

As GIS comes out of the shadows, opportunities abound. The audience for, and applications of the technology has dramatically increased. But like gold the opportunities are not sitting on the surface, they are there to be discovered. Go where everybody else is looking and success may well be elusive. Read what the GIS community is discussing; hot topics and trends. New, focused conferences are popping up left and right. All very interesting, and no doubt valid, but …..

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