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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

     

    OGC seeks public comment on OGC WaterML 2 - Part 3, Surface Hydrology Features Conceptual ModelOpen in a New Window

    Wayland, MA - 18 January 2017: The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) seeks public comment on its WaterML 2 - Part 3, Surface Hydrology Features Conceptual Model. The OGC WaterML 2 - Part 3, Surface Hydrology Features Conceptual Model (HY_Features) is part of an intended ‘OGC WaterML 2’ suite of standards that groups water-related...

    Read More

     

    Supergeo’s New Reseller in Pakistan – Chaudhery BrothersOpen in a New Window

    Taipei, Taiwan -Supergeo Technologies Inc. is glad to announce a new partner in Pakistan. After close contact for a short time, Supergeo decided to authorize Chaudhery Brothers as an official distributor to provide SuperGIS series products in the local market. Established in 1987, Lahore, Chaudhery Brothers is an experienced consulting firm focused...

    Read More

     

    Abstracts Invited for GIS in Transit ConferenceOpen in a New Window

    Des Plaines, IL -The National Center for Transit Research, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and the Transportation Research Board are jointly sponsoring the 10th National GIS in Transit Conference, September 6-8, 2017, in Washington, DC. Martin Catala, Director Advanced Geo-Spatial & Informatics Lab, at the Center for Urban...

    Read More

     

    PCI Geomatics Marks Milestone in Cloud-Based Image ProcessingOpen in a New Window

    Markham, Ontario, Canada - January 17, 2017: PCI Geomatics, a world-leading developer of remote sensing and photogrammetric software and systems, announced today that it is six years since it began providing clients with cloud-based processing. Big data is a challenge that the remote sensing industry has grappled with for several...

    Read More

     

    OGC seeks public comment on candidate InfraGML encoding standardsOpen in a New Window

    Wayland, MA - 17 January 2017: The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) seeks public comment on its candidate InfraGML standards. The candidate OGC InfraGML Encoding standards define the implementation-dependent, GML encoding of concepts supporting land and civil engineering infrastructure facilities. InfraGML is a GML implementation...

    Read More

     

    Esri Releases Advanced Analytics to Increase Retail SalesOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics technology, today announced a partnership with GISinc to analyze customer behavior to help retailers increase sales. Esri will integrate its cutting-edge spatial analytics platform with GISinc's indoor mapping capabilities to analyze data collected by sensor-enabled overhead smart lighting...

    Read More

     

    RapidSOS and GeoComm Partner to Provide Accurate Location and Enhanced Data to 9-1-1 CentersOpen in a New Window

    601 W Saint Germain Street, Saint Cloud, MN 56301 -St. Cloud, MN:GeoComm and RapidSOS are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to provide public safety agencies that use GeoComm 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) mapping systems with accurate location and additional data from the RapidSOS...

    Read More

     

    SuperPad 10 – A Revolution in Spatial Data CollectionOpen in a New Window

    Taipei, Taiwan -Supergeo Technologies Inc. is going to unveil a brand-new version of its one of most popular GIS software in field surveying – SuperPad 10 before the end of January 2017. Designed for spatial data collection, SuperPad is mobile GIS software supports both Windows Mobile and Windows OS. Recently, with the growing popularity of tablet...

    Read More

     

    GRMC Announces Complete Scan-to-BIM and BIM Modeling ServicesOpen in a New Window

    New York - January 12, 2017 - Global Resources Management Consultancy Inc. (GRMC), announced their complete Scan-to-BIM and BIM Modeling Services providing “Your Facility on Your Desktop” … the fastest and most comprehensive building documentation available, literally providing your entire building/facility on your desktop with accurate “as-is”...

    Read More

     

    Esri Takes the Stage at the NRF ConventionOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics technology, today announced its participation in the National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention and Expo, to be held January 15–17, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The NRF Convention and Expo, nicknamed Retail's BIG Show, is the largest annual retail convention in...

    Read More

     

    Esri Powers New Long Beach Data HubOpen in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Global smart-mapping leader Esri today announced the launch of DataLB, Long Beach, California's comprehensive data hub. The hub makes the city's geospatial analytics data available online to the public. This technology enables citizens, businesses, and academic institutions to use geographic information for better decision-making. Since...

    Read More

     

    Matrox to Exhibit Collaborative Nature of Products at Integrated Systems Europe 2017Open in a New Window

    Montreal, Canada -   Newly Released Maevex 6100 Quad Encoder Card to be Featured; Entire Matrox Video Wall and H.264 Based AV-over-IP Portfolios on Display  — At ISE 2017 (Amsterdam RAI, Feb. 7-10, Stand: 12-E38), Matrox will be presenting its complete ecosystem of AV-over-IP and video wall products, offering system builders and integrators a...

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    International LiDAR Mapping Forum 2017 Keynotes Announced LiDAR experts from the UN, FEMA and Academia to Address Audience Feb 13 – 15 in DenverOpen in a New Window

    portland,ME -  -  The organizers of International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF), the world’s leading technical conference and expo covering the newest airborne, terrestrial and underwater LiDAR as well as emerging remote-sensing and data collection tools and technologies, announced the 2017 keynote lineup today. The event takes place February 13-15 in...

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    Master Esri’s Collector in New 3-Day WorkshopOpen in a New Window

    Sedona, AZ, USA - 3-Day, Hands-On Workshop to Take Place March 20 - 22, 2017 January 11, 2017: GeoMattix is pleased to announce a new 3-day workshop on Designing and Deploying Foolproof Collector Projects for those new to GIS field data collection with Esri’s Collector app. The hands-on workshop will take place in Sedona, Arizona, March 20 -...

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    Oracle Spatial Summit 2017 - Innovations in Geospatial Databases, Big Data, Cloud and Analytics, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, San FranciscoOpen in a New Window

    The Oracle Spatial and Graph SIG user group is partnering with Oracle’s Business Intelligence, Warehousing, and Analytics (BIWA) SIG on the Oracle Spatial + BIWA Summit: THE Big Data + Analytics + Spatial + Cloud + IoT + Everything Cool User Conference (http://www.biwasummit.org). The event takes place at Oracle's headquarters in Redwood Shores, California...

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