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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 Online Tutorials for Network Analysis ReleasedOpen in a New Window

    For most people who live in a metropolis, it is a common experience of not knowing the fastest way from the current position to a specified spot, especially to an unfamiliar one. Or you might have the trouble of choosing the ideal house to rent because it is hard to assess all candidates in a short time. To solve these issues, you could utilize the network...

    Read More

     

    Ann Johnson of GeoTech Center to Receive UCGIS 2017 Education AwardOpen in a New Window

    Ithaca, New York -UCGIS is pleased to announce that Ann Johnson, an Associate Director of the GeoTech Center, will receive its 2017 Education Award. For decades, Ann has held influential roles as a leader and advocate of GIS&T in education at many levels. Her GIS involvement began in the mid-1990s when she developed one of the first GIS...

    Read More

     

    UAV Market On the Global and Regional level will grow during 2016-2021Open in a New Window

    Maharashtra, India - Market Synopsis of UAV Market The global UAV market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 11% during 2016-2021. This growth is driven due to significant demand and procurement of UAVs in civil and commercial application. As per the MRFR analysis, cost effectiveness is one of the key drivers for global UAV market to...

    Read More

     

    2017 UCGIS Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award to Budhu BhaduriOpen in a New Window

    Ithaca, New York -UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. Budhendra (Budhu) Bhaduri, of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been selected for the 2017 Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award. At Oak Ridge, he has nurtured a widely successful mentoring and workforce training program in Geographic Information Science and Technology. The program has since...

    Read More

     

    Next SuperSurv 10 Release Will Add Powerful FeaturesOpen in a New Window

    Equipped with advanced GIS and GNSS technologies, SuperSurv 10 is a cutting-edge mobile GIS app that operates on Android OS. After installing SuperSurv 10, field surveyors only need to bring your lightweight mobile device, and then they would help you efficiently collect, display, and edit spatial data anytime anywhere. Without operating the heavy instrument,...

    Read More

     

    OGC requests public comment on proposed Indexed 3D Scene Layers (I3S) Community StandardOpen in a New Window

    23 March 2017: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) is requesting public comment on the proposed Indexed 3D Scene Layers Community Standard. Indexed 3D Scene Layers (I3S) was submitted by Esri for consideration as an OGC Community Standard. The submission was supported by 13 OGC member organizations. A single I3S data set, referred to as a Scene Layer, is a...

    Read More

     

    TCarta Marine, DHI, DigitalGlobe to Unveil Off-the-Shelf Bathymetric Data Portal at Ocean BusinessOpen in a New Window

    Oxford, United Kingdom -TCarta Marine, a global provider of marine geospatial products, has announced the launch of Bathymetrics, an online portal offering instant access to satellite-derived bathymetric data sets. TCarta Marine will unveil the Bathymetrics portal and initial 2-metre data sets at the upcoming Ocean Business 17 Conference in...

    Read More

     

    Esri Business Partner, GEO Jobe, Announces Release of Admin Tools V 1.0.13 in the ArcGIS MarketplaceOpen in a New Window

    Nashville, TN - Update of top (most popular) application in the ArcGIS Marketplace boasts new functionality, more tools, and user experience enhancements. We're pleased to announce an important update of our popular Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online to V 1.0.13 – The latest version of Admin Tools (consistently a TOP app in the Esri ArcGIS...

    Read More

     

    Esri Teams with IBM to Offer Cutting-Edge Spatial Analytics to Developers in Bluemix CloudOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -At this year's IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, global spatial analytics leader Esri announced that it now works with IBM developers to broaden the customer experience by making Esri developer tools, geoservices, and data available in the IBM cloud environment, called Bluemix. Users can now benefit from the integration of Esri...

    Read More

     

    ArcGIS with Python Workshops and Training for GIS Developers Coming to Nashville, TNOpen in a New Window

    Nashville, TN - GIS and Geospatial Developers have an opportunity to get hands-on training in ArcGIS with Python, Introduction and Intermediate Sessions GEO Jobe, a leading developer of GIS solutions and enterprise cloud services for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise is pleased to partner with Geospatial Training Solutions to bring...

    Read More

     

    Bluesky to 3D Laser Map Environmental Features in IrelandOpen in a New Window

    Coalville, Leicestershire, UK -Working on behalf of the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and state forestry company Coillte, Bluesky is capturing 185,000 hectares of high resolution LiDAR data in Ireland. Using aircraft mounted lasers, the resulting 3D maps will be used to inform various protection schemes for Clean Drinking Water...

    Read More

     

    Transport Canberra and City Services maps tree canopy from aerial laser scan with FME and 1SpatialOpen in a New Window

    Cambridge, UK -Expert consulting services accelerate analysis of aerial LiDAR data; Accurate tree canopy maps enable more targeted management strategies Cambridge, UK, 20 March 2017 (www.1spatial.com) 1Spatial, global leaders in managing geospatial data, today announced that Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) recently engaged 1Spatial to...

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    Esri Brings The Science of Where to IBM InterConnect 2017Open in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced its sponsorship of IBM InterConnect, to be held March 19 through 23 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. InterConnect will demonstrate how some of the world's largest organizations are using the cloud and the Internet of Things for asset and facilities management. In particular,...

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    Esri Introduces Image Platform Bundles for Analysis, Management, and AnalyticsOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today introduced four image platform bundles that enable management and analytics of all forms of imagery in a fraction of the time most desktop or enterprise image processing technologies require. Esri's image platform bundles allow organizations to save time on detailed and precise image...

    Read More

     

    LandViewer: On-the-Fly Earth Observation Imagery Analytics in Your BrowserOpen in a New Window

    Data scientists, GIS engineers and software developers from California-based company EOS have recently launched a cutting-edge cloud-based tool that allows users, journalists, researchers and students to easily search and analyze huge amounts of the most up-to-date earth observation data. LandViewer is an on-the-fly, real-time imagery processing and...

    Read More

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