January 20th, 2014
As energy efficiency is of paramount importance these days, thermal survey maps can show hot spots and can identify where housing is not heated properly. This situation is called “fuel poverty” and is due to poor insulation or people simply wanting to conserve heat by not turning on the heat. The combination of thermal data with other datasets such as demographic data can help pinpoint buildings where this is the case.
Cloud and mobile technology are ….
Confusing and complicated.
Hard to fit into “how we have always done things”
Difficult seeing and demonstrating the benefits to management.
We have heard these responses and many more from clients. Stepping into the brave new cloud enabled mobile GIS world is hard. But the benefits are considerable.
Better Urban Change Detection
January 16, 2014 by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial
Geospatial questions abound in urban areas. Property Assessors need to know who built an extension to their home to apply the appropriate tax and keep the city coffers full. Urban Planners are interested in green space, changes in green space and whether it provides the necessary continuity for birds and other urban wildlife. Utility companies often look for new construction, and indicators of affluence such as swimming pools to determine the future energy demands of a particular neighborhood.
They may also use LiDAR to manage vegetation encroachment on utility lines. The Water Department needs to understand runoff from impervious surfaces and how this impacts the underground infrastructure of pipes and drains. The health of water bodies is important for health and safety reasons. In some countries, sunlight is highly valued and any construction that casts a shadow on the neighbors is illegal. Transport departments are interested in the road conditions, closures and alternate routes. Emergency services need to understand various flood or storm surge scenarios, in some neighborhoods the fire potential, or simply an understanding of where the crimes or accidents are prevalent.
Cindy Shepel, senior manager at EPCOR, a private utility company in the city of Edmonton, spoke about GIS infrastructure at the company at Be Inspired, London last October.
EPCOR Water Services is a private company wholly owned by the city of Edmonton. EPCOR won the “Innovation in Geospatial Networks” category at the Be Inspired Awards in October, 2013. The company builds and operates electrical transmission and distribution networks, for water and wastewater, treatment facilities and infrastructure.
Their scope of influence includes British Columbia, Alberta, Arizona and New Mexico. They serve a population of over 1 million and have over 240,00 water services connections.“About 25% of the water we produce is delivered to regional water communities that provide water to an additional 70 communities,” said Shepel.
The low cost and popularity of Apple and Android mobile devices has opened many new ways to apply GIS. Many applications GIS development companies like us are building are in part or fully mobile enabled. Mobile presents many new and exciting possibilities. In many ways we have only just begun to scratch the surface of the many opportunities to apply GIS and location service.
One area in which we have received many client requests is the replacement of pen and paper with mobile GIS. Many field based staff still rely on paper maps and note taking. Mobile technology coupled with GIS and location services has the potential to dramatically improve how people work in the field. Eliminating pen and paper will be a huge step forward in terms of efficiency.
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