GISCafe Weekly Review February 27th, 2012

Esri Applications in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud
February 27, 2012  by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: 

Esri is a global leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and geo-database management applications. For decades Esri has been providing powerful mapping solutions to Governments, industry leaders, academics and NGOs. With the advent of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, Esri saw an opportunity to better serve its GIS customers by enabling them to process jobs faster, launch applications in minutes, and lower their overall operating costs. Customers like the USDA FNS launched their SNAP Retailing application in three weeks and saved 90% versus hosting their application on-premises.

Using cartograms as an alternative mapping solution
February 27, 2012  by Susan Smith

Benjamin D. Hennig at the University of Sheffield will be doing a plenary session at the Population Specialty Group Session at the AAG Annual Meeting in New York this year. He is including a new map of New York City.

New York City: Mapping the melting pot

Custom Mobile ArcGIS – Web Maps &
February 25, 2012  by Matt Sheehan

We launched GeoMobile for ArcGIS to both demonstrate a custom cross platform (one code base which runs on multiple platforms) mobile ArcGIS app, and experiment with porting widgets from the Flex viewer for ArcGIS. The results have been met with enthusiasm by the user community. By adding a configuration file which the mobile app reads at startup, the app allows users to load their own ArcGIS server layers; so those from their own ArcGIS server instance or cloud based. Our work now mostly revolves around building custom tools for use in the mobile viewer.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) calls for participation in a major interoperability testbed, OWS-9. OWS-9 builds on the outcomes of prior OGC initiatives.

Responses are due by 5 pm EST on April 6, 2012.

A bidders’ teleconference will be held on March 9, 2012. More information at the URL below.

The Point of Contact is Nadine Alameh:

The OWS-9 sponsors are:

  • AGC (Army Geospatial Center, US Army Corps of Engineers)
  • CREAF-GeoViQua-EC (CREAF is the European Center for Research in Ecology and Forestry Applications)
  • FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration)
  • GeoConnections – Natural Resources Canada
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • NASA (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
  • NGA (US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
  • USGS (US Geological Survey)


OGC testbed

It is a little frightening to be able to identify by satellite imagery a hidden nuclear facility in Iran.  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the facility was for “uranium enrichment” and was 18 months away from being operational. Satellite imagery company GeoEye has released a photo of what it says is this controversial and underground Iranian uranium enrichment site that was identified a week ago.

The overall view of the Iranian site. The mountain under which the site is built is to the lower right of the image. (Credit: GeoEye satellite image/IHS Jane's analysis)

Autodesk Q4 financial results reported
February 23, 2012  by Susan Smith

Autodesk’s Q4 financial results were reported on in various periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch, RTT News, and Seeking Alpha. Press release issued February 23, 2012 re: Autodesk Q4 financial results and full fiscal year 2012:

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2012.

Ethnic diversity maps on Esri’s storymaps
February 22, 2012  by Susan Smith

U.S. ethnic and racial diversity maps are available from Esri between 2000 and 2010 and show that between those years, diversity increased most dramatically.

According to Esri, a Census Bureau index measures diversity from zero to 100. The diversity score for the U.S. in was 49 in 2000, which means there was a roughly 50 percent probability that two people randomly chosen from the population belonged to different race or ethnic groups. Hispanics, which totaled 35.3 million in 2000, accounted for a significant proportion of this overall diversity.


The City of Boston and a company called Innocentive recently teamed up to develop a smartphone app that allows drivers in the city to help track and predict where potholes develop. Much like the one developed by CitySourced, the Street Bump app keeps track of bumps while driving, as well as their location, and then sends this  data on to the city so that it can address repairs quicker and hopefully, more efficiently.

GRASS 6.4.2 announced by OsGeo
February 21, 2012  by Susan Smith

A new stable version of GRASS GIS 6.4.2 has been announced by OsGeo. This release fixes bugs found in version 6.4.1 of the program and adds a number of new features. It also includes over 770 updates to the source code since 6.4.1. As a stable release series, the 6.4 line will include long-term support and incremental enhancements while preserving backwards-compatibility with the entire GRASS 6 line.

The new wxPython graphical user interface (wxGUI) has been updated with many new features and tools as Python is a fully supported scripting language, including an updated Python toolkit to simplify the authoring of personal scripts, support for NumPy based array calculations, and a Python application interface (API) for the GRASS C libraries. Additionally, Microsoft Windows support continues to mature. GRASS 6.4.2 debuts ten new modules, a new GUI cartographic composer tool, a new GUI object-oriented modeling environment, an interactive Python shell, and improved infrastructure for installing and managing community supplied add-on modules.


Juno series

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