GISCafe Weekly Review August 8th, 2013

Developing a Digital Atlas of All Natural Disasters in Greece
August 8, 2013  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial

Educational institutions often play a key role in developing the GIS research and insights for allowing any nation to be better prepared to handle natural disasters.

In addition, with natural disasters on the rise, many countries are looking to both enhance their overall planning efforts, as well as better leverage geospatial technologies in ways that increase overall response efforts – with the ultimate goal being more lives saved.

Intergraph recently announced that Kavala Institute of Technology’s Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Environment is doing precisely this for the country of Greece.

The educational institution is using Intergraph®’s ERDAS APOLLO 2013 for the management, analysis and delivery of geospatial data for disaster response in Greece.

Working closely with Intergraph’s channel partner in Greece, Geosystems Hellas, the Kavala Institute is collecting and cataloguing digital material in a spatial data infrastructure to support the detection, prevention and management of natural disasters. It is also leveraging the exploitation and visualization capabilities of free web services from international certified organizations.

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro Debuts
August 7, 2013  by Susan Smith

Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.

This week The Atlantic and APM’s Marketplace announce a new joint reporting project, “American Futures,” documenting life in small towns and cities across the country, spearheaded by James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a pilot, and his wife, the linguist and author Deborah Fallows. The couple has traveled extensively both abroad and in the U.S. with particular interest in small towns and areas that are not necessarily tourist destinations. Fallows spoke about the project at the Esri User Conference 2013 in San Diego in July.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic

For this project, they will travel from one small-town airport to the next in their propeller-driven Cirrus SR-22 airplane, spending time in towns and cities that are off the beaten path of most people. Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace, and his team will report from various legs of the trip.

We have been interested for some time in using our offline mobile editing app in combination with Esri’s Mobile Collector App to build a storymap. This years Esri UC gave us the perfect opportunity to do just that. More than that our intrepid CEO – who was planning to be in San Diego – was up for the challenge. So we packed him off with instructions to visit two towns in the San Diego area and collect data.

Our goal was to build two storymaps which were focused on the military banners campaign that a number of cities have put in place. These campaigns involve hanging banners in key streets in the city honoring veterans of foreign wars. We chose Escondido and Chino Hills for this work; giving our CEO careful instructions.

We adapted one of the Esri storymaps for this task, following carefully the instructions for the data schema. Once ready we published two hosted feature services to ArcGIS Online; and created web maps for each. In the field our CEO logged into the respective web map with the collector app, and edited away. He moved from one banner to the next, taking photos and recording information about each honoree; notably the name and service. In a number of cases he found Wi-Fi connectivity spotty. In these cases he switched to using our offline mobile ArcGIS Online data editing app. And uploaded the results when back in Wi-Fi range.

Stephen Usmar, Telecom New Zealand, with a background in marketing business intelligence systems, introduced GIS in 1998 to Telecom New Zealand and reactivated it about 18 months ago. One of its uses is to support their sales teams.

Telecom NZ provides fixed mobile and IT products and services to consumer, small and medium sized enterprise corporate and wholesale customer segments.

A door-to-door team goes door-to-door to sell broadband. They log 4-6 hours shifts, have 450,000 conversations, and travel 20,000 miles. They knock on 1 million doors.

“This began for me in one evening in July when a Telecom NZ sales rep came to my door. Since I was a customer why was he there?” said Usmar. “It got me thinking there’s a better way, somebody in the office photocopies a map, draws a boundary, sends people out to knock on every door in five hours and then we pick up you up. The problem is every other household is a Telecom customer, so the calls on those become service calls. The goal is to exit as soon as possible from these calls and move on to a genuine prospect.”

There was an existing Telecom NZ GIS capability.

“I knew where every customer was. I took their paper maps, married it with our GIS app, digital maps and customer data, “said Usmar. “There were three types of households identified: contact prospects with no telecom, customer – no telecom and broadband but access and/or mobile, and skip customers.”

For prospects they usually only have their address, and when they last marketed to them. “With the use of the GIS, we went from little sales data to rich sales data that could be analyzed.”


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