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Experts Say Open Data Needed for Emergency Response and ManagementOpen in a New Window


From the Esri User Conference in San Diego, CA last week, Joe Francica of Directions Magazine reported hearing the same theme repeated by three experts in the know. In a nutshell, the United States needs an open geospatial data policy in support of theEmergency Services Sector.  The article and two of the presentations can be found below:

(Directions Magazine, July 14, 2014)
(Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, NOAA Administrator) 

(Dr. Robert Griffin, Director, DHS First Responders Division)
Comment: Great to see folks at the top of the food chain are finally tuning into this issue.We've been camped out on it since at least 2008 when the Republican National Convention came to town. Followed up by the Twin Cities GECCo in late 2011 and associated the After Action Report/Improvement Plan in 2012. In fall 2013, the MetroGIS Policy Board sent letters to all county Administrators and Board Chairs in the seven core counties of the Twin Cities metro encouraging them to eliminate geospatial data fees and licenses. One of the beneficiaries is certain to be the Emergency Services Sector. For more see:

(EPC Updates, December 23, 2013)

 

OnTheMap for Emergency Management Version 4 ReleasedOpen in a New Window


The U.S. Census Bureau's (USCB) OnTheMap for Emergency Management product continues to improve since we last reported on it in July 2012. Recently, the Council for Community and Economic Research hosted a webinar to report on the latest developments. Find below links to play back the webinar, view presentation slides, or use the application:
Comment: Again, kudos to the U.S. Census Bureau for their effort in this area - some of the very first questions asked after any disaster: "How many people are in the disaster area and what's the economic impact?". Accurate answers to both of these questions can now be provided much quicker thanks to this effort by the USCB.

 

Summer Break - Back in Two WeeksOpen in a New Window


I'm off to wander the countryside on a summer break.  
Back in two weeks.

All the Best,
Steve 

 

Test Your Patriotism - A 4th of July QuizOpen in a New Window


It's easy enough to say your patriotic, but do you have sufficient command of the facts to back up the boast? Find out below with 50 questions about the 4th of July and related events that have made this country great:    
(20 questions)
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 3, 2014)

(30 questions)
(Toast.net, July 3, 2014)


Wishing You and Yours the Very Best on this Independence Day Weekend!

 

HAZUS Annual User Conference is Only One Month AwayOpen in a New Window

It's coming on like gangbusters and before you know it the 7th annual HAZUS Users Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana will be here. Deadline to register is July 26! Details below:


 

Sector Risk Snapshots Released by DHSOpen in a New Window


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a document meant to serve as an executive level briefing on the 16 sectors of infrastructure that have been designated as critical by the Department. The 52-page guide provides a brief overview of each sector, and then offers "Threats and Hazards of Concern" for that sector. Find it at the link below:

(DHS, May 2014)


Comment: Kudos to DHS - this is a well done document with one exception. Missing from consideration is the infrastructure that brings meaning to ALL other infrastructure. That would be the nation's geospatial infrastructure. Please see the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and GITA's GECCo program to understand the point.

     

    The Guardian on Predictive PolicingOpen in a New Window


    It's the newspaper that has been the most vocal proponent of Edward Snowden. Now, as part of its Resilient Cities series, The Guardian has started to examine some of the issues associated with the emerging technology of "predicative policing". More below: 

    (The Guardian, June 25, 2014)



    Comment: In defense of this approach to law enforcement, I believe story quote byUCLA professor P Jeffrey Brantingham is key: 
    “Minority Report is about predicting who will commit a crime before they commit it. This is about predicting where and when crime is most likely to occur, not who will commit it.”

    Graphic Credit: PredPol

     

    Yarnell Hill Fire - One Year Later, Changes Still NeededOpen in a New Window


    It's been one year since 19 wildland firefighters lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fireon June 30, 2013. Have we done everything we can as a nation to keep an incident like this from happening again? Pause for a moment and consider:

    (Al Studt, June 27, 2014)


    Photo Credit: USA Today

     

    The Challenges of Drones in U.S. AirspaceOpen in a New Window


    Ah, the weekend. It's summer and that means it's time to be outside enjoying the weather. But if you should find yourself trapped inside this weekend, offered below for your consideration are three articles from a series by the Washington Post which examine some of the issues that must be addressed as drones (UAVs/UASs) are brought into the most heavily used airspace in the world:  
    (The Washington Post, June 20, 2014)

    (The Washington Post, June 22, 2014)

    (The Washington Post, June 23, 2014)

    Wishing You a Fabulous Weekend Full of Sun and Fun!
    Graphic credit: Washington Post

     

    Warrantless Cellphone Data Searches Ruled Illegal by Supreme CourtOpen in a New Window

    A unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court leaves little doubt someone has been doing something wrong. And that's exactly what happened on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 when the justices ruled 9-0 on the issue of police searching a suspect's cellphone data without a warrant. More below:
    (The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014)

    (Supreme Court of the United States, June 25, 2014)


    Comment: Although this case settles the issue of cellphone data searches without a warrant (to include location data), and a previous case found a warrant must be issued before GPS tracking can be used (United States v. Jones), apparently left unanswered is the issue of police using alternate means to track a cellphone's location (tower records,StingRay). Given findings in the two benchmark data cases settled to date, the handwriting is on the wall concerning this third issue and the law enforcement community would be wise to take notice before facing another ruling which overturns convictions.

     

    Report Chides Wildland Firefighter Leadership on DeathsOpen in a New Window

    Out of concern not enough was being done to ensure the safety of wildland firefighters, on Monday, June 23, 2014, a group of retired experts from that community ("Safety Matters") made known their viewpoint by issuing a 17-page report detailing needed changes.  Passages below from the Executive Summary tell the story of what you'll find in the report: 
    “A year has passed since the deaths of 19 firefighters on the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. Another fire season is now underway. The agencies managing wildland fire have not made any significant changes to existing procedures, nor have they announced any plans for procedural or policy updates for the future. This reflects the apparent perception that the existing system is working as well as can be expected. Safety Matters disagrees.”
    “Safety Matters has identified the following areas in need of immediate change, in order to provide for maximum firefighter safety. They include:
    • A benefit analysis of values at risk (homes, private property, public lands) vs. the risk to firefighter’s lives. 
    • Development of an independent investigative body for serious accidents and fatalities. 
    • Direct involvement of agency administrators and program managers, especially when fires escape initial attack and incident management teams are mobilizing or in transition. 
    • Establishing standardized emergency communications protocol. 
    • Establishing uniformity in mapping systems.“
    Read the full report at the link below:

    (Safety Matters, June 23, 2014)


    Comment: Wow! This is a well documented, thought provoking report written by individuals who obviously care about the safety of wildland firefighters. Community leadership must now make a choice when responding to this report: Defend the institutional status quo by doing nothing, or fix issues brought to light and thereby enhance wildland firefighter safety. Of particular note from the perspective of EPC Updates is the discussion on pages 16-17 about the need for a standard "language of location" in the wildland firefighting community - U.S. National Grid

     

    Open GIS Data and Information Sharing Being Considered in NebraskaOpen in a New Window


    Another voice is being heard on the issue of GIS open data and information sharing. This time it's a Nebraska State Senator, and he's leading the charge in the Cornhusker State Legislature. More below:

    (Government Technology, June 5, 2014)


    Comment: We love it! More men and women like Senator Dan Watermeir are needed in legislatures across the nation!

     

    App Teaches Children About Severe WeatherOpen in a New Window


    As a way to help children in the Tornado Alley section of the United States better understand severe weather, undergraduate students at The University of Oklahomarecently completed an iPad app called Storm Tracker. Based on the premise that one of the easiest ways to teach a topic is through game play, the app challenges players to route airplanes around storms to avoid trouble:

    (Emergency Management, June 11, 2014)



    Comment: Rain rain go away, come again another day - this app couldn't have shown up at a better time!

     

    Flying Friday: New Radar, Turbulent Airwaves, Cheap Flight, Pizza Air, and Flying HighOpen in a New Window


    Time has been flying by since the last time I departed on one of my dysfunctional postings brought on by the lack of oxygen. Hard to believe because there are so many recent developments that are hard to believe. Let's check out the latest departures:

    New Radar. In days gone by, law enforcement needed a collection of bulky equipment to clock low flying, high speed travelers. Not anymore:  

    (Business Insider India, May 21, 2014)



    Turbulent Airwaves. Equipment to jam radar systems has been around for years. Little surprise the New Radar will soon experience same:  

    (Wired, June 3, 2014)


    Cheap Flight. Can't find a cheap ticket to a fun place? Not to fear. Click the link below and 2 minutes later you'll know how to bring the fun back to flying, at a VERY affordable price:

    (The Wall Street Journal Videos, June 8, 2014)


    Pizza Air. By now I'm sure you've heard of the beer company that was planning to deliver its beverages by drone only to be shutdown by the FAA. Heartbreaking development given the ever resourceful folks in India have been working on airborne delivery of the other half of the tasty duo adored around the world:

    The Times of India, May 22, 2014)


    Flying High. Which country has the highest flyers? Graphic above and link below tell the story: 

    (Gizmodo, May 14, 2014)



    Here's Hoping Your Weekend is a Smooth Ride Without Any Bumps!


    Graphic credits:
    Turbulent Airwaves - Huffington Post 
    Flying High - WHO

     

    Supergeo’s New Reseller Program Provides More FlexibilityOpen in a New Window

    With the release of SuperGIS 10 series, Supergeo is adjusting the strategy and strengthening its influence for the global GIS market. Besides providing more product resources and investing more in online marketing, Supergeo has released a brand-new reseller program, aiming to expand the network and to increase the market share. The new choice is called Silver...

    Read More

     

    Airware and senseFly Partner to Bring Survey-Grade Aerial Mapping to the EnterpriseOpen in a New Window

    Airware, which provides end-to-end solutions that turn aerial data into actionable business intelligence for enterprises, has signed a global distribution agreement with senseFly, the world’s leading producer of fixed-wing mapping drones, to bring the survey-grade eBee Plus to its enterprise customers. Airware’s end-to-end solutions for mining, quarrying,...

    Read More

     

    Sentera Introduces Revolutionary Multispectral Double 4K SensorOpen in a New Window

    TRANSFORMING COMMERCIAL DRONES FROM TOYS INTO PRECISION AG FARM TOOLS Today, Sentera announced the release of its Multispectral Double 4K Sensor, offering five precise spectral bands: blue, green, red, red edge, and near-infrared (NIR). This sensor enables users to collect visual band imagery as well as vegetation indices based upon the addition of NIR or...

    Read More

     

    CartoPac Unveils Barcode Scanner Solution for Gas Utility Pipeline MappingOpen in a New Window

    Fort Collins, Colorado -CartoPac International Inc., an enterprise mobile software and services company, has introduced a fully integrated barcode scanning solution for gas utility companies. The solution integrates with the CartoPac Software Suite and enables utilities to quickly and accurately comply with regulations related to the...

    Read More

     

    Enjoying the High-Accuracy Positioning with the Latest SuperPad 10Open in a New Window

    The first stable version of SuperPad 10 has been released for over one and a half months. In the first release, SuperPad 10 not only already equips with numerous practical GIS functions but perform smoothly on both Windows and Windows Mobile OS. Other than abundant GIS tools for users to manipulate freely, as a state-of-the-art mobile GIS product, the...

    Read More

     

    Esri’s Dr. Dawn Wright to Discuss Mapping the Ocean at the Roger Revelle Commemorative LectureOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced that its chief scientist, Dr. Dawn Wright, will be speaking at the National Academy of Sciences’ Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be held April 28 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Roger Revelle lecture is one of the highest...

    Read More

     

    Maptitude Mapping Software Team Provides Awards & Prizes for AAG Student Paper CompetitionOpen in a New Window

    Newton, MA, USA - NEWTON MA (USA) - The Business Geography Specialty Group (BGSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) announced the winners of the 2017 Student Paper Competition in Business Geography at the 2017 AAG Meeting in Boston, MA. The purpose of this competition is to promote scholarship and written and oral presentation by...

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    Esri to Showcase Advanced Developer Tools at TechCrunch Disrupt NYOpen in a New Window

    Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced it will be a sponsor and exhibitor at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 hackathon and conference, to be held in New York City May 13 through 17. Esri staff will be on hand to provide information on the free global Esri Startup Program, which helps qualifying developers, emerging businesses, and tech...

    Read More

     

    GeoComm Publishes Case Study Highlighting the State of Iowa’s Path to GIS Data Readiness for NG9-1-1Open in a New Window

    601 W Saint Germain Street, Saint Cloud, MN 56301 -St. Cloud, MN: GeoComm is pleased to announce the release of a case study highlighting the State of Iowa’s journey to NG9-1-1 GIS data readiness. The case study identifies Iowa’s overall goals for the project, the project results, and the challenges they...

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    GEO Jobe to share “The Power of GIS, Simplified” at the 2017 TNGIC ConferenceOpen in a New Window

    Nashville, TN - Esri Business Partner, GEO Jobe, will be in attendance and represent at the annual TNGIC Conference NASHVILLE, Tenn. - April 24, 2017 - PRLog -- Members of the GEO Jobe team will be on the road this week, this time making a stop in Knoxville, TN for the annual TNGIC, Tennessee Geographic Information council conference. The event...

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    AGS Geography Teacher Fellow Program Brings Teachers to the Forefront of Geography and Geospatial InOpen in a New Window

    AGS Geography Teacher Fellow Program Brings Teachers to the Forefront of Geography and Geospatial Innovation [New York City, NY] – [April 24, 2017] — This year marks the second year in a row that Boundless, an AGS corporate sponsor and leading provider of open source geospatial software and services, has sponsored the American Geographical Society’s (AGS)...

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    East View Geospatial Announces Training Data Library for Geospatial Machine LearningOpen in a New Window

    Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA -East View Geospatial (EVG), a provider of content-rich cartographic products, is building a library of highly accurate geospatial training data for use in supervised machine learning applications. EVG is offering at no charge a sample foundation geospatial training data set developed during an R&D pilot in...

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    Unmissable conference line-up featuring keynote presentations from HS2’s Sadie Morgan, Ordnance Survey’s CEO Nigel Clifford, & ESRI’s Charles KennellyOpen in a New Window

    uk - -Leading organisations from across the geospatial industry, including Ordnance Survey, Google, HS2, Department of Transport, ARUP, ESRI, AGI, and the RICS, will feature prominently in GEO Business’ 2017 Conference programme. Returning to the Business Design Centre in London, UK next month, from  23-24 May – the UK’s biggest geospatial exhibition and...

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    ET GeoWizards 12.0 for Windows released.Open in a New Window

    Pretoria, South Africa -ET GeoWizards 12.0 for Windows released. .playa-droppanes a span.open { color: #093 !important; } .playa-droppanes a span.closed { color: #900 !important; } .playa-droppanes a span.Draft { color: #000099 !important; } .playa-droppanes a span.Draft { color: #000099 !important; } .playa-droppanes a span.Draft...

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    OGC seeks public comment on candidate OGC Web Coverage Service 2.0 Interface Standard - Earth Observation Application Profile 1.1Open in a New Window

      The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) is seeking public comment on its Web Coverage Service 2.0 Interface Standard - Earth Observation Application Profile 1.1. This OGC WCS Application Profile - Earth Observation Interface Standard (EO-WCS) defines data structures and operations that together allow retrieval of Earth Observation coverages offered by a...

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