GISCafe Weekly Review October 31st, 2013

Halloween Mapping Fun
October 31, 2013  by Ryan Hamilton

With me being a map geek and my wife a teacher, I am always looking for ways to make mapping lessons that are engaging for my wife to use at her school. Last night, I sat down with my two girls and found an easy way to make mapping fun and practical to sugar-motivated 8 year olds. We went to our neighborhood in Google Earth and decided to map out our plan for Trick or Treating.

The route needed to include the houses we have friends at as well as the houses that we know from previous years have the best candy, or some really scary decorations and haunted front yards. We tagged each of those houses and then drew a route that hit everyone of our tags in the most efficient way. For the kids, this became a treasure map of sorts and they can’t wait to print off multiple copies to share with the neighborhood kids.

Tracking Environmental Change in Europe
October 31, 2013  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial

Major advances involving the use of geographic solutions to enhance environmental management are occurring.  More than ever, modern technologies and applications in remote sensing enable even deeper levels of information to be extracted and exploited.  Intergraph provides modern and effective tools to reveal information that is crucial to managing the environment, and also robust systems for the management and dissemination of that information.

Earlier this year, Intergraph, along with Greek channel partner Geosystems Hellas S.A., participated in the First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment.  This conference brought together scientists, researchers, industry members and students to discuss emerging issues in remote sensing and geo-information of the environment.

Re-Mapping the World on an Hourly Basis
October 29, 2013  by Ryan Hamilton

On my recent plane ride back from Europe I received a question that we have probably all heard before, but is a poignant reminders of how mapping is still not fully integrated into the consciousness of our society. Making small talk with my row-mate, she asked what I did for a living. My response about accurate mapping prompted the typical reply of “isn’t everything already mapped?”

It’s a legitimate question and I don’t fault anyone for asking because of course we have world maps and most countries are mapped to amazing detail. However, two components of the mapping industry that are overlooked by outsiders are accuracy and change. Accuracy beyond a certain level of sub meter becomes irrelevant to most mapping applications, but most of the earth’s surface has not been measured to even the sub 5 meter level, and when it comes to infrastructure mapping, some places are completely unmapped. Fortunately, new technology and international funding projects are slowly emerging which will help many countries catch up to the mapping levels of some of the developed nations.

Geospatial Data for Geological Applications
October 29, 2013  by M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD

Within many of the world’s natural resource rich countries, the mining industry faces a number of key challenges including, but not limited to: prospecting in uncharted land; managing the remote locations of new deposits; gathering multiple datasets to one environment, production delays due to adverse weather; understanding, managing, and averting risk impacts, and bringing supply to market. Moreover, geologists use a vast variety of geospatial datasets that typically include bedrock and surficial geological maps, airborne geophysical survey data, geochemistry of lake-sediment samples, mineral occurrence data, structural lineaments, fold axes and formation contacts, as well as base maps to get the answers they need. Integrating these disparate datasets into one environment is key in understanding natural resource potential, especially in remote locations.

Richard Zambuni, of Bentley conducted the Geospatial and Utilities Breakout Session at Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference in London on Monday.

“We have software from power source to transmission, distribution and point of service, and also communication,” said Zambuni. “We are also very much on the water utility side, managing the entre urban water lifecycle and are number one in the world in hydrology.”

Ivara, a company Bentley acquired over a year ago, is now the underpinning for their AssetWise Ivara Management System. It is described as “an industrial strength process for developing, implementing and managing reliability improvement strategies for infrastructure assets.”

Disaster Management
October 25, 2013  by M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD

Flash floods, typhoons, earthquakes, wildfires, tornados, hurricanes; the list is extensive when it comes to natural disasters! With increased global awareness of worldwide natural disasters, the geospatial community is increasingly getting involved in innovative ways to provide and utilize geospatial data to the field of natural disasters. Without geospatial data, one cannot expect effective and efficient disaster management because geospatial data are the essential element of Emergency Response Systems (ERS).

ERS systems maximize the use of geospatial information to meet the real needs of users across a wide variety of different sectors and disciplines. Over the past decade, we have seen progressive, web-based and data hosting infrastructures coupled with evolving geospatial data and methodologies, which enable the development of unique decision support frameworks for the disaster preparedness and response.

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