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Posts Tagged ‘data’

Utilities: a Portfolio of Connected Applications

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Aidan Mercer, Bentley Systems’ Industry Marketing Director, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, spoke with GISCafe Voice at the Bentley Year in Infrastructure event in Singapore back in October 2017. We discussed the utilities industry, namely waste and wastewater, and how GIS is a part of all the utility applications at Bentley.

Innovation in Government Finalist: Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development, Dholera SIR, Dholera, Gujarat, India

“We don’t talk exclusively about geospatial technology, we talk about it being embedded in our applications,” said Mercer. “We no longer try to prove spatial awareness because it’s inherent in our software. We don’t tend to have any announcements around geospatial because it’s built into our software.”

In discussing waste and wastewater, Mercer said that industry has been predominantly digital for quite some time. The “Going Digital” theme of the conference runs through the different industries that Bentley represents.

Some of these areas such as water and wastewater, hydraulic modeling, calibrating networks, designing treatment plants –  have been predominantly digital for quite a long time.

Such aspects as hydraulic modeling, calibrating networks, designing of treatment plants, in their own environment have been digital. The goal of Bentley is to have those applications connect in a connected data environment. “That’s providing the ability for a design application for a hydraulic model application or a centered network the ability to talk to one another,” said Mercer.

“It would be opening up information that would be native to a certain application and making it available to another computer system to make intelligent systems. And that’s why you have things like operation analytics platforms  to predict and prescribe those sorts of outcomes. From an overall perspective, that’s continuing the theme of what we’ve been doing as an engineering company, what we would describe as a portfolio of connected applications, built off this Microsoft Azure platform. We’ve been rolling out these applications aggressively because it will take time to bring these applications into these environments. Now we have what we call a more comprehensive portfolio of these products. The Haestad products in particular are available now as a cloud service, great because it’s no longer siloed in this particular environment.”
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U.S. Income, Immigration and Impacts Told Through Maps

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Recently, I began to receive maps pertaining to income, immigration, unemployment and related impacts. It made me consider putting together these maps to show a broader story of what these maps can show us in terms of current as well as historical timelines in terms of income or lack thereof. The following maps also displays communities where the highest number of non-citizen residents and DACA recipients live.

 

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Share Open Datasets Using theMapCloud

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Recently, Scottish Geographic Information Systems (GIS) company thinkWhere announced the launch of a new cloud-based platform for GIS and geographic data, theMapCloud. theMapCloud allows maps, open data and business records to be accessed anytime, and anywhere, through a web-connected computer or mobile device. Using standard web browsers, users can view, retrieve and share maps, geographic data and other open datasets and, as well as providing a platform for GIS and other web applications, theMapCloud can be used for a host of data services and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

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Satellites: Large and Small – Questionnaire for GISCafe Special Coverage!

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

This questionnaire is aimed toward those who do research and development on traditional artificial satellites and “smallsats,” as well as those customers of satellites, and companies providing third party solutions for them. Since companies of larger satellites produce small satellites as well, larger satellites, their features and their pros and cons are included in this questionnaire.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.

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Every Breath You Take: BBC Showcases Clean Air Initiatives with EarthSense Air Pollution Sensors

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

 In a recent BBC TV broadcast, EarthSense Systems,  in close collaboration with resident groups, television producers and personality Dr Xand van Tulleken, went to the Kings Heath suburb of Birmingham, UK in December 2017 to demonstrate the air pollution challenges faced by typical urban communities with busy shopping areas and congested major streets.

EarthSense Zephyr sensor

According to the press materials, as part of a day long campaign of action, residents were urged to leave their cars at home, instead using public transport or walking or cycling for the daily commute and school runs. Volunteers carried out people and traffic surveys and Dr Xand van Tulleken showed his support presenting for the BBC TV programme “Fighting for Air” which aired on January 10th. The experiment utilized special air pollution sensors, developed by EarthSense, which monitored changes in air pollution on the day compared to recordings elsewhere in Birmingham.

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK. It has been determined that 16 of UK cities have illegal level of toxic fumes. It is estimated in one study that air pollution costs the UK  £20 billion a year in medical costs and lost labor.

In a demonstration, Dr. Xand van Tuileken donned a military grade mask with filters designed for chemical warfare. He said that, “at the moment I am breathing the cleanest air possible.” The air contains high levels of harmful pollution, from industry, construction, but in there in Birmingham, mostly from vehicles.

“To test just how dangerous the air we breathe is, I am first having to “detox” . Free my body from pollution,” said van Tuileken.
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Small Satellite Questionnaire for GISCafe Voice: February Special Coverage!

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

This questionnaire is aimed at those who do research and development on “smallsats,” as well as those customers of small sats, and companies providing third party solutions for them.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.

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GISCafe Trends and Predictions for 2018

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.

Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.

These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.

The Global Mountain Explorer provides information from global scales down to specific mountains, such as Borah Peak, Idaho pictured above. (Public domain.)


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GISCafe 2017 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

2017 tested the resilience of geospatial technologies with many natural disasters.  In reviewing the year, we take a look at products, services and technologies that moved the industry forward and responded eloquently to geospatial need.

Disaster response, weather tracking, and predictive weather analysis drove a great deal of development and put to the test those technologies in place for just such eventualities.

Other areas of interest include new developments in sensors, location and Big Data, small sats, mobile mapping and 3D models for indoor mapping, autonomous driving, and building smart cities.

Under the Weather

In an interview with URISA’s GISCorps founder Shoreh Elhami and URISA executive director Wendy Nelson, they offer a broader understanding of what GISCorps is about and how it can help with natural disasters.

Is ArcGIS Online able to generate a setting for help, i.e., website, app, or whatever resource might be needed, during a natural disaster event? And how soon might that be available to the public? 

ArcGIS Online (AGO) can be used to create a variety of story maps. Those story maps as well as any AGO based web apps can be embedded in any website and very quickly. A good example of that is the web app that our volunteers embedded in Fort Bend County’s website on road closures. Another example is a story map that was built by NAPSG shortly after the disaster, our volunteers also assisted with that project.

How has the GIS relief effort for Hurricane Harvey been handled by GISCorps so far and what are the plans going forward?

26 of our volunteers have been working on mapping road closures in Fort Bend County. The information originates from County’s website, emails, and also tweets. The Web app has been helpful to residents, first responders, and the county staff. The project was lead by two of our volunteers who worked with GISCorps Core Committee members on managing the project. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also requested the assistance of a GIS programmer to pull data from the FEMA site on an ongoing basis. The GISCorps Recruitment team selected a volunteer within 30 hours and put the volunteer  in contact with CDC. We also asked our volunteers to contribute to NAPSG story map. We are currently on stand-by and ready to assist with other projects at this time, be it for Harvey or Irma.

Hurricane Harvey weather map

How do the projects for Hurricane Harvey and Katrina differ or are they the same? What are the priorities?

Quite different. For Katrina, we deployed 30 volunteers onsite, the option to assist remotely didn’t even exist. Volunteers packed up their bags, laptops, and other essentials and head over to the affected areas within a couple of days. For Harvey (and many other disasters of the past few years), we haven’t had to send anyone anywhere. Volunteers work from their home or offices and have been effective in different ways. For Katrina, the priority was to help with the rescue efforts at first (locate people under stress and report to the coast guard) and then, the recovery phase began where volunteers made 100’s of maps and conducted lots of analysis). For Harvey, crowd sourcing and information from social media have become major sources of information for developing interactive maps to first responders and other affected population.]

Tom Jeffrey, CEO of CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, talked about their analysis for the flooding and storm surge as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
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GISCafe Essential Gift Guide 2017

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Gift Guides abound this time of year, but gifts are only as good as their on-the-job usefulness. What would make your job easier, provide more accuracy and save time and money?

From hardware to services to gadgetry, the GISCafe Technology Gift Guide includes items and services you may want to buy for yourself, plus a couple of gadgets loved ones may be able to buy for you, plus some you may just envision in your wildest dreams!

BLK360

BLK360 3D Scanner

While this product was on last year’s Technology Wish List, I believe it is still a winner for 2017. Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.

But the minimalist design has a purpose: the BLK360 3D scanner is designed to be controlled via iPad, thereby eliminating the need for hardware inside the scanner and relying on an external device.

The iPad functionality comes to Leica from Autodesk, with their ReCap 360 Pro Mobile edition that provides a controller for operating the BLK360. ReCap 360 registers scans wirelessly that have been captured by the BLK360 in real time. Autodesk cloud services make it possible for users to share or transfer data into Autodesk design software for generating 3D models, meshing, and other analysis tasks.

While the small size may suggest the BLK360 has limited range and capacity, oddly enough it is capable of capturing 360,000 points per second, making it a very high quality 3D scanner. The range of the BLK360 is 60 meters, accuracy 4 mm, with several scanning methods: infrared sensors for thermal imaging, laser and visible light imaging, are just a few. In just three minutes, the scanner can capture a 360 degree scan, and also is outfitted for HDR and LED flash support.

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New Location Content Information from Nearmap

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

In a conversation with Robert Carroll, VP of 3-D commercial and government for Nearmap, he talked about the latest announcement for Nearmap of new location content information, the Nearmap Panorama and Nearmap Oblique, now available through a  new MapBrowser™ interface.. Nearmap is a location content provider specializing in high-resolution aerial maps. Delivered within days of capture, Nearmap shows changes over time. Users save time and money, reduce site visits, and efficiently plan with current, clear imagery.

 

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