GIS Weekly Review October 24th, 2013

Searching for Low Cost GIS Data Collection Solutions?
October 23, 2013  by Matt Sheehan

We are often approached by new clients who are searching for low cost GIS data collection solutions. It was once the case that data collection:

1) Required specialized, expensive equipment
2) Needed GIS trained staff
3) Cost a small fortune
4) Was often delivered in varying formats or required additional work to make use-able.

Thankfully those days are now gone – though you will still find some (expensive providers) trying to pursued you otherwise. So what has changed?

GIS and Image Analysis are Ideal for Natural Disaster Recovery and Response

The recent floods in Colorado exceeded previous assessments of the impact that such a large amount of rain would have along the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Many flood zone maps and other pre-disaster plans were rendered irrelevant as soon as rivers began jumping their banks and re-routing into neighborhoods and fields. The impact to the roadways into the mountains has been unimaginable, forcing road closures and detouring residents for many weeks, causing them to drive hours daily in order to get from their homes out of the mountains.  In the aftermath of this disaster GIS analysts in and around the flooded areas, including the city and county of Boulder, the city of Longmont, , were charged with assessing the flood extent and  impact that the floodwater had on their communities. Initial concerns  included destroyed transportation routes, private and government owned property, the stability of soils near houses and roadways, and much more.

The Human Aspect of Town Planning
October 22, 2013  by Ryan Hamilton

I am currently in the middle of a business trip visiting our data resellers in Europe. Though my days have been filled with meetings and discussions of geospatial data and solutions applications, my evenings have been spent partaking in the British tradition of the Public House. From a geographer’s point of view, the pub is great example of how the design of towns has changed over time. Historically, to become a town in Britain, there needed to be two things: a church and a pub. The church was there to keep morals in line and the pub was there as the place for news and ideas to be exchanged. As towns grew, the pubs and churches multiplied to make sure they stayed within walking distance.

Pat Kannar, Director of Product Marketing, Dell Precision, talked about the release of the Dell Precision M3800 ultra thin and light 15-inch workstation that represents the last product in their portfolio line of ultra workstations. Kannar said this is the first thin and light workstation in the market.

Geospatial data saving the planet?
October 22, 2013  by M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD

Perhaps a dramatic title for today’s blog, but an interesting article from the World Wildlife Fund that I read on Friday has been on my mind all weekend. The gist of the newsletter topic was to investigate how we can produce more with less water and pollution by working with 100 companies and just 15 raw materials (or commodities). If that tagline tweaked your interest, I bet Jason Clay’s speech on this topic would more than get you to where I was on Friday, thinking about this topic for a few days.

As we geospatial users become knee deep in geospatial data, the web, the cloud, and analytical tools for a host of geospatial applications, I wonder how we respond to the type of thought process Jason encourages. I believe that in order to contribute globally, where geospatial data is used to save the planet, you must get every part of the food chain involved, so that an idea can be sustained over long terms rather than one offs. How may we use geospatial data to provide a better, sustainable carbon footprint for all? How can we get everyone to work together to manage the planet with a sense of urgency? To help preserve the planet, we need work together to preserve biodiversity as a starting point. Jason identifies 15 commodities that are produced in bio-diversity rich geographic locations. He also indicates that the top 100 companies control 25% of the trade of all 15 commodities. By working with 100 companies to promote and accept sustainably-derived commodities (which means they will force or push producers to act sustainably) we can start the process of saving our planet.

Engineering Companies are Excited about GIS
October 22, 2013  by Matt Sheehan

If the recent requests we have received for GIS development and knowledge help are anything to go by; engineering companies are excited about GIS. The project needs have been many and varied from GIS support and data services to Web and mobile development. More evidence we think of the widening interest in GIS; from GIS pros to now ever more non-GIS professionals.

Here is a short list of some of these needs:

Mobile GIS Planned Pipeline Visualization

“We are an engineering company who design pipelines. A key part of this work is involving property owners in the process. Driving and walking along the planned pipeline route with these individuals is important. The one thing we lack currently is the ability to visualize the planned pipeline. An iPad with pipeline and related feature overlays would be a huge help.”

DMTI Spatial acquired by Neopost
October 21, 2013  by Susan Smith

In a conversation with John Fisher, CEO of Canadian-based DMTI Spatial, we discussed that company’s acquisition by mailroom solutions provider, Neopost. According to the press release, Neopost is progressively building a portfolio of new activities to enhance its offering and support its clients’ needs in areas of Customer Communications Management, Data Quality and Shipping Solutions, including logistics and traceability.  Neopost has a direct presence in 30 countries, with 6,000 employees and annual sales of €1.1 billion in 2012. Its products and services are sold in more than 90 countries.

Neopost has been growing a software division around data quality for the past several years, and were looking for a company that had deep location expertise to add to the mix. They approached DMTI Spatial and they began working together, and eventually Neopost decided to acquire the location based data quality solutions company.

Today’s organizations are dealing with a tidal wave of geospatial imagery data presenting an ongoing and significant challenge to store, access and manage efficiently.  As a result, many organizations have image archives that are growing exponentially in not only size, but also its impact to IT budgets with increasing storage costs. Coupled with increasing user demand for high performance imagery, historical and current, how can organizations using almost all third-party GIS package leverage one format while shrinking their data storage costs?

Intergraph provides an on-demand webcast, ECW – The Universal Solution for Imagery Big Data, demonstrating how you can utilize ECW within your existing Desktop or Server solution extending from open source QGIS through to Esri’s ArcGIS for Server platform. The Intergraph compression technology allows users to compress big data imagery by 95 percent, while retaining full image quality and at lightning fast display speed. For a quick preview, check out this short video.

Living in the American Southwest, where wildfires during the summer months are a constant threat, we are very grateful for the type of research that CoreLogic does with its risk reports. Not only does the company provide data, services and analytics on wildfires, they also provide information on flooding, which is the predictable aftermath of  wildfires in the Southwest, as there is nothing left to stop rainwater from roaring down mountainsides and filling arroyos.

Topcon
GeoDigital Webinar
Trimble – Terraflex
Optech - Intergeo


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