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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

     

    Maxoptra Helps Thornbridge Brewery Keep the Beer FlowingOpen in a New Window

    London, England -Independent brewers, Thornbridge, are improving delivery costs, increasing driver efficiency and minimising the environmental impact of their mobile operation following the implementation of a dynamic delivery route planning solution. The Maxoptra cloud based software is helping the award winning brewery ensure customers receive...

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    Artificial Intelligent drones unveiled by Aerialtronics, Neurala and NVIDIAOpen in a New Window

    Amsterdam,NL -   Real-time cell tower inspections by intelligent drone with deep learning capabilities demonstrated at GPU Technology Conference Video GTC Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bQYzR5kARM Amsterdam, September 29, 2016 – One of the world’s first automated inspections by an intelligent drone with deep learning capabilities was...

    Read More

     

    Continental Mapping Announces Hiring of New President Andy DoughertyOpen in a New Window

    Sun Prairie, Wisconsin - In a major staffing announcement, Continental Mapping announces that mapping industry veteran Andy Dougherty will take on the role of president effective October 10, with current President David Hart transitioning to the role of CEO at that time. During the announcement to staff, both emphasized that this...

    Read More

     

    OGC supports American Geographical Society’s 2016 Fall Symposium, Geography 2050Open in a New Window

    29 September 2016. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) and symposium partners the American Geographical Society (AGS), the Earth Institute, GEO, and USGIF will present the 2016 AGS Fall Symposium, Geography 2050: Envisioning A Sustainable Planet on November 17-18, 2016. Hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the two-day event will take place...

    Read More

     

    Esri to Donate Free Software to Winners of the EPA Smart City Air ChallengeOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Global smart mapping leader Esri today announced it will donate software valued at $80,000 to winners of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Smart City Air Challenge, a program designed to support local communities that demonstrate innovative air quality management. The Smart City Air Challenge rewards communities that capitalize...

    Read More

     

    Brunswick and Topsham Water District Implements MIMS MobileOpen in a New Window

    http://www.tctechnology.com/blog/2016/09/27/brunswick-and-topsham-water-district-implements-mims-mobile/ - Carlsbad, CA – September 27, 2016- TC Technology announces Brunswick and Topsham Water District upgraded its mobile information management system to MIMS...

    Read More

     

    AIAA AND DRONE WORLD EXPO ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF THEIR INNOVATIVE DRONE EXPLORATION AND APPLICATION CONTESTOpen in a New Window

    Winners Will Present Their Designs at Drone World Expo in November   September 28, 2016 - Reston, Va.- The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Drone World Expo (DWE) are pleased to announce the three winners of their Innovative Drone Exploration and Application (IDEA) Competition. The winners will present their designs at DWE,...

    Read More

     

    New 1/200,000 scale baseline mapping for Mali:  the end-of-project seminar will be held on 29th September 2016Open in a New Window

    Maharashtra, India - The European Union called on IGN FI in October 2012 for a project to rework Mali’s 1/200,000 scale national topographic map, create derived projects and services and modernize the Geographic Institute of Mali (IGM). This project was financed by means of the 10th EDF (European Development Funds) and had a dual...

    Read More

     

    Bluesky’s Aerial Thermal Surveys Helps Enfield Identify Illegal DwellingsOpen in a New Window

    Coalville, Leicestershire, UK -The UK’s Enfield Council is using aerial maps from Bluesky to identify outbuildings used illegally for residential purposes. The problem of ‘beds in sheds’ is growing nationally, with nearly 40,000 inspections across the UK resulting in over 3,000 landlords facing further enforcement action or...

    Read More

     

    International Drone Expo to Host Official MultiGP Sanctioned Drone Race in Los AngelesOpen in a New Window

    Los Angeles, Calif. - International Drone Expo (IDE), the largest gathering of the most innovative and leading members of the UAV community from around the globe, will hold its first annual Drone Race inside the Los Angeles Convention Center this December. MultiGP, the sanctioning body and leading drone racing league for first-person view...

    Read More

     

    Esri Becomes Ambassador of NOAA and NWS Weather-Ready NationOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, today announced its participation in the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative. Recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to protect US citizens and fortify infrastructure against the threat of extreme weather, the Weather-Ready...

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    Stan Tillman receives OGC’s Gardels AwardOpen in a New Window

    Wayland, MA - 27 September 2016. At the September meeting of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) Technical Committee in Orlando, Florida, USA, Stan Tillman received the OGC’s prestigious Kenneth D. Gardels Award. The Gardels Award is awarded each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to advance OGC's vision of geospatial...

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    eeGeo Partners With AMP for Interactive Real Estate 3D MappingOpen in a New Window

    San Francisco - The strategic partnership will enable powerful new 3D visualization of internal and external real estate spaces around the world, tapping into powerful capabilities never available before. San Francisco, CA September 27, 2016 - Today eeGeo, the innovative 3D mapping company, announced a strategic partnership with AMP Technologies...

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    Global Mapper v18 Released with Improved User Interface and Full Range Rendering of 3D DataOpen in a New Window

    ME -  - Blue Marble Geographics (bluemarblegeo.com) is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Global Mapper version 18. The culmination of an extensive design and development effort, this major version release boasts a bold new look and feel with new graphics, reconfigured menus; customizable toolbars; and improved layer management. Beyond...

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    Dewberry Selected to Provide Geospatial Services to NOAA Office for Coastal ManagementOpen in a New Window

    Fairfax, VA - Five-year contract spans coastal states and territories Fairfax, VA—September 26, 2016 Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm, has been selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management (OCM) to provide geospatial services in support of coastal resource management...

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