Josh Egan, product manager for Juniper Systems, talked about the first rugged notepad to the UK market to be released at GEO Business 2014. The Mesa combines the advantages of a PC tablet and a rugged handheld computer, without the disadvantages expected with either. This is the first time the Mesa has been on show at a UK trade event and Juniper Systems will also be hosting a workshop at the event which takes place in London from the 28th to 29th May 2014 titled “How to get the most out of your rugged handheld.”
People who work with GIS or with a variety of related technologies for photogrammetry and remote sensing applications often are focused on the underlying technology and what’s best of breed. Rightly so! Keeping up with the latest methods, technologies, and techniques is essential to efficiently run geospatially-oriented aspects of a business or enterprise. However, undue focus on technology without a larger purpose-driven context can lead to dualistic thinking which can lead to strategies that move organizations away from maximizing return on their investments in time, training, and software for their GIS. An interactive map tied into the authoritative geospatial and other data sources as well as enterprise access and authentication back-ends rolled up in the cloud is certainly desirable, advanced, capable, versatile, and many other adjectives and superlatives as well. Is that better than a paper map? Is that better than a flat map shoved into a PowerPoint? Maybe. It depends on the application.
This year, there was more interest among the presenters at the GEOINT 2013* conference in open cloud-based geospatial solutions and collaboration. The reason for this is that these solutions save money and are technologically advanced, allowing more information to be gathered in a timely and critical fashion. Also, collaborative technologies allow the collection of data during crises to occur quickly and can make it possible for more lives to be saved. This is certainly a change from the attitude of federal government and intel professionals who have been highly concerned about security and distrustful of sharing data and any solutions that allowed the sharing of data.
The State of the Map US 2014 conference, a two-day conference covering all things OpenStreetMap, was held last month in Washington, D.C. As a recent member of Boundless, it was nice to attend as part of the Boundless contingent.
Aside from the inspiration provided by the gorgeous weather and the cherry blossoms, there was also inspiration in abundance at the conference for cartographers. Every cartographer should become familiar with OpenStreetMap data if they aren’t already. It’s a bit of a bear to work with because it is in a different structure than we are normally used to (nodes and ways mean anything to you?) but you’ll see the benefits if you download a state-wide or city-wide extract from one of several sites (such as geofabrik or Metro Extracts) and start using it in your map-making medium of choice. The dataset provides a comprehensive collection of roads, buildings and building types, points of interest, and so on. And it’s free! There were many talks I didn’t get to see because there were two concurrent tracks, but the ones that I attended focused heavily on tools that for using OpenStreetMap data, including GeoGit, TileMill, Esri, QGIS, and PostGIS. However, there were still some cartographic takeaways.
George Demmy, CTO, TerraGo answered some questions for GISCafe Voice about the company’s recently announced TerraGo Workgroups, a subscription bundle that brings GeoPDF collaboration capabilities to smaller groups with flexible, cost-effective plans that meet their special requirements.
Mobile GIS can be used in so many different ways. In combination with the cloud, this is a powerful new way to view, analyse and gather location based data.
And yet we remain in a world where paper and pen are still the main tools used in the field. In many organizations there is a reluctance to move to new mobile GIS technology. Many factors are behind this resistance:
1) Data security concerns.
2) Concerns over budget.
3) Worries over integration with existing business systems.
4) Lack of understanding of what is now possible.
5) Resistance to change.