GISCafe Weekly Review September 21st, 2013

3 Ways GIS is Powering Civic Engagement Initiatives
September 20, 2013  by Steve Ressler

The following post highlights GovLoop’s latest guide on GIS, The Mapping Revolution: Incorporating Geographic Information Systems in Government. The report features case studies and best practices from the Census Bureau, and United States Department of Agriculture and insights from Esri President, Jack Dangermond. (Download PDF or view online below). This blog post is an excerpt from the section, 7 Ways GIS is Powering Civic Engagement Initiatives.

Mobile programs connect dynamic working environments and increase efficiency by providing real-time information to entire agencies. However, mobile is not just useful inside of an agency, but it is also beneficial for connecting government agencies with citizens.

Monica Pratt, Editor of ArcUser magazine, states that two types of civic engagement apps are emerging. Pratt states, “The first type complements existing government services and makes them more accessible. The second, more intriguing type, encourages people to work closely with government to do things no one had thought of doing before, like rounding up volunteers to clean beaches after a holiday weekend.”

Map Geeks are a Unique Breed
September 20, 2013  by Ryan Hamilton

Map geeks are a unique breed that tend to be equally reliant on both the left and right sides of our brain. Call it indecision to form a self identity or call it a balanced intellect, but we fall somewhere between a pocket protecting engi-nerd and a black turtleneck, beret wearing artist.

My own college background is a perfect illustration. I entered college as a fine arts major, realized I would never move out of my parents house if my income was reliant on my artwork and stumbled across cartography as an art form that had actual job titles associated with it. This mix of opposing characteristics makes for a group of people that are usually smart and funny. Yeah I know the dot coms of the world already exploited the nerds just want to have fun vibe and you will be hard pressed to find many geospatial companies that go as far to push creativity as the Googles of the world, but hey, as a ratio of fun to dollars made, I would say mappers are the top of the heap. I mean come on we have a foosball table and our marketing departments encourage videos like these:



Locata Corporation announced that it has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). This cooperation could ultimately bring completely new capabilities to GPS receivers, including resistance to jamming and spoofing. In the long run, the addition of Locata technology to GPS could finally make precise indoor positioning a reality. Locata’s CEO Nunzio Gambale answered some questions about this announcement:
GISCafe Voice:  What do you think will be the most important development as a result of this agreement?

Locata technology is now evolving at such a rapid rate, and our progress is so solid, that our developments can now start to improve GPS systems as well. In developing the Locata system to work indoors and in GPS occluded environments, we’ve had to find a way to overcome “the devil” – the nemesis of reliable radiopositioning – and it’s called multipath. This is the phenomenon whereby a radio signal bounces around and off objects in cluttered environments like indoor areas. This is a hard problem which has eluded a viable solution for decades, yet we needed to solve it if we wanted to deliver on our indoor positioning vision. So, Locata has had to invent a completely new genus of antenna which allows us to “see” the multipath and deal with it. Remember, this is happening at the speed of light so it’s not a trivial issue. The best way to understand why our claims sound like science fiction is to watch the animation and video of the VRay antenna on our website, here:, which hopefully will show why this antenna is producing results which impossible…

ArcGIS MarketPlace: A Big Hit
September 20, 2013  by Matt Sheehan

This week Esri launched ArcGIS Marketplace; a one stop shop for ArcGIS focused applications. Finally users can discover mobile, Web and desktop GIS applications simply and easily. Esri have made the site intuitive, with excellent search capabilities and categories. Want a GIS application targeted at your industry or sector, ArcGIS Marketplace simplifies the discovery process.

NOAA ShipTracker
September 19, 2013  by Susan Smith
Portable GPS-enabled device market continues to grow
September 18, 2013  by Susan Smith

Findings from ABI Research show that the portable GPS-enabled device market is destined to hold its own because of the growth of dedicated HUD/eyewear, cycling and health/tracking devices. The market was not expected to do as well because of the continuing decline of PNDs, and the growing use of smartphones, smart watches and eyewear.

ABI Research’s quarterly GNSS Database forecasts the new and emerging markets for GPS-enabled devices, and where the opportunities lie in terms of device formats and vertical markets. The report also considers the impact of competitive formats such as smartphone applications, wearable sensors, smart watches, and smart eyewear, providing a complete picture of drivers and inhibitors in this market.

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments, “The overall market is forecast to grow from 33.3 million units in 2012 to 36.79 million in 2018, following a brief dip in 2013 as PND declines outweigh growth in other areas. Total revenues will undergo a brief period of fluctuation from 2013 to 2015, before rising to $7.14 billion in 2018.”

Rapid, comprehensive, global satellite coverage is an invaluable asset for responding to major disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tropical cyclones and fires. With five satellites orbiting the globe, DigitalGlobe owns and operates the World’s most agile constellation of high-resolution commercial earth imaging satellites, collects more than 2.5 million square kilometers every day and can revisit the same location daily. Expected to launch in 2014, WorldView-3 will further increase the capability of our constellation with its newly added super-spectral, shortwave infrared (SWIR) and cloud, aerosols, vapor, ice, snow (CAVIS) sensors.

DigitalGlobe’s FirstLook online subscription service for emergency managers and enterprise customers leverages our constellation and DigitalGlobe Cloud Service (DGCS) technology to provide fast, web-based access to pre- and post-event imagery of world events and disasters.   By analyzing the before and after images, DigitalGlobe enables first responders and people on the ground to see the full extent of the situation and effectively plan a course of action following major disasters and events. The collected imagery can be deeply integrated into customer workflows to reduce turnaround time and enable rapid decision making by providing subscription access and standardized data hosting. As we all know, when disaster strikes, there’s no time to waste, so getting this infrastructure set up in advance is critical to a quick response that can often help save lives.

CNIC Navy Energy Program and NSGEM
September 17, 2013  by Amy Hrdlicka

Recently the Navy Shore Geospatial Energy Module went through its fourth successful promotion release in the GeoReadiness Explorer Production environment, and the hype is heating up about it, so I thought I would give everyone a little background on the program and what NSGEM can do….

Commander, Navy Installation Command (CNIC) instated the CNIC Energy Program in order to provide guidance, policy, and tools for implementing mandated energy reduction and sustainability practices.  The main goals of the program (as outlined in OPNAV policy OPNAVINST 4100.5E) are:

  • 50% reduction in energy consumption by 2020.
  • 50% renewable energy source consumption by 2020.
  • 50% net-zero participation by 2020.

Colorado is a semi-arid state, which typically indicates a climatic region that receives precipitation below potential evapo-transpiration, but not extremely. The climate is typically associated with dry winters, wetter springs and summer, highly changeable weather, frequent wind, and the occasional monstrous thunderstorms with damaging hail. Yet, we Coloradans are experiencing catastrophic flood events where, folks on ridges are not free from the reaches of water flowing downhill, from the sky, or from the saturated water table from below. Where has sunny Colorado gone this past week?

GeoDigital: PCM
Trimble – Terraflex
Optech - Intergeo

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