GISCafe Weekly Review September 5th, 2013

Ski Boots & Data
September 4, 2013  by Ryan Hamilton

Ski racers demand super stiff boots in order to push through fast turns. Unfortunately, misinformed ski boot shoppers believe that because fast racers use stiff boot those same boots will help them achieve higher speed. In fact the opposite is true, the stiff boots put the amateur skier in an inappropriate position for their abilities and they are unable to exhibit the force into the boots required to make them work. Instead of going faster, our poor skier ends up off balance and out of control with a significantly lighter wallet.

Consumer desire for increased DEM resolution is akin to buying ski boots. I often hear “I need the highest resolution data available for this area.” Sometimes this statement proves to be a true requirement but often when asked what the DEM data will be used for the actual DEM requirements for the application don’t warrant ‘high’ res terrain data. So the consumer ends up with a high cost for storage and processing of a heavy dataset that is overkill for their project. Just like the weekend warrior on race boots, using a data resolution higher than you need will slow you down and cost you money.

Microsoft moves to acquire Nokia
September 4, 2013  by Susan Smith


It looks as though Microsoft Corp. is moving into a paradigm shift with its move toward a $7 billion acquisition from Nokia to thrust it into the mobile market. Nokia will still remain a company after Microsoft buys the company’s handset business. While Microsoft is acquiring what Nokia is best known for, the Finnish company is holding on to two if its major businesses: networking and mapping. Microsoft has been hoping to take a slice of the mobile market from smartphone moguls Apple and Google, and meanwhile has been partnering with Nokia for three years.

5 New Apps for Local Governments to Share Information
September 3, 2013  by Matt Sheehan

New advances in technology with cloud and mobile computing offer new and exciting ways for local governments to share information with the general public. WebMapSolutions have been developing a range of apps which run across devices, allowing citizens to discover local information quickly, and intuitively when and where they need it. Below are our favorite 5 new apps for local governments to share information:

Parks Finder
The Parks Finder application provides residents and visitors an easy way to find parks and recreation areas near them. Designed with ease of use in mind, search, routing and detailed facility information is provided. Advanced functionality includes the ability to gather comments from citizens on individual facilities.
See a demo here.

Radar Image Interpretation
September 3, 2013  by M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors “see” the ground in a different way from optical sensors such as SPOT, aerial cameras, or the human eye; therefore, radar images have certain characteristics that are fundamentally different from those in images collected by optical sensors. The key then to understanding and interpreting radar images lies in the answer to this question: What happens to the electromagnetic energy in a radar pulse as it meets the terrain being imaged, interacts with the terrain, is recorded by the radar sensor, and subsequently is processed to generate a radar image? Answering this question is not easy. However, with the resolution of SAR sensors are getting better and better, details provided in, for example a 50 cm pixel, help our eyes to discern topographic features more readily than ever before.

GeoDigital: PCM
Trimble – Terraflex

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