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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

     

    New Features of SuperSurv 10 that You Cannot IgnoreOpen in a New Window

    The global IT industry is skyrocketing today, and so does the development of geospatial industry, especially the progress of integrating GIS and GNSS technologies into mobile devices. Base on such advancement, everyone can be a surveyor or collector of spatial data. As you have an Android device installed SuperSurv 10, there will be no problem to collect, edit,...

    Read More

     

    Matrox Unveils New IP KVM Product Line for InfoComm 2017: Extio 3Open in a New Window

    Canada -   — Matrox® Graphics today announced its new line of IP KVM products, Matrox Extio 3 Series, featuring both quad- (Extio N3408) and dual-video (Extio N3208) models.   To be featured at the Matrox booth (#1973) at InfoComm 2017, Extio 3 sets a new industry standard by securely extending a single 4Kp60 4:4:4 video signal—or four 1080p60 4:4:4...

    Read More

     

    Descartes Labs to Unveil Cloud-Based Geospatial Analytics Platform at GEOINT 2017Open in a New Window

    Santa Fe, New Mexico -Descartes Labs Inc., a pioneer in cloud-based geospatial analytics, will unveil its global-scale machine learning Platform to the Defense/Intelligence Community at the 2017 GEOINT Symposium in San Antonio. The Platform powers geographic and temporal analysis of remote sensing data to identify objects, forecast change and...

    Read More

     

    Open data –  engine for innovation or simply hot air?Open in a New Window

    germany - - The INTERGEO conference will be hosting what promises to be an exceptionally transparent panel discussion between open data officers. They will be leaving no stone uncovered: Can open data meet the high expectations vested in it as a driver of innovation and engine of industry? Or does reality seem to fall short? If so, what are the sticking...

    Read More

     

    Supergeo Will Showcase Its Latest GIS Products at Geosmart Asia 2017Open in a New Window

    Supergeo Technologies, a leading provider of GIS software and solutions, will attend the biggest event for the geospatial industry in the Asia-Pacific region- GeoSmart Asia, which is held by Geospatial Media and Communications. The location of this annual forum has been traveled to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia since its first gathering in 2002....

    Read More

     

    Drone Detection Startup Dedrone Expands Operations to Government Services IndustryOpen in a New Window

    San Francisco - Dedrone, a security company that developed the world’s first software to detect drones and protect high-value airspace from drone threats, today announced their operations are expanding into serving the federal market, through the addition of two U.S. military veterans to their salesforce, as well as expanding operations to a third...

    Read More

     

    Teledyne Optech to showcase airborne and terrestrial survey systems at GEOINT 2017Open in a New Window

    Vaughan, Ontario - May 24, 2017 — Teledyne Optech is pleased to announce that it will be exhibiting at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s GEOINT symposium in San Antonio, Texas on June 4-7. Visitors can discover the advanced capabilities of the award-winning ALTM Galaxy T1000, now featuring a 1-MHz laser PRF, PulseTRAK and...

    Read More

     

    Esri Brings The Science of Where to Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2017Open in a New Window

    Redlands, CA -Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced it will demonstrate how the hidden value of geography can create real-time predictive intelligence for supply chain professionals at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. More than 1,400 chief supply chain officers and their leadership teams attend the conference to...

    Read More

     

    Visual Crossing Unveils Maps for Microsoft ExcelOpen in a New Window

    Reston, Virginia - – Visual Crossing Corporation has released its enterprise-proven mapping software as an easy-to-use add-in for Microsoft Excel. Visual Crossing for Microsoft Excel empowers spreadsheet users to bring presentation-quality maps and geospatial analysis to their own Excel data whether for business, education, or personal use....

    Read More

     

    Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and EfficiencyOpen in a New Window

    President Donald Trump today proposed a $922.2 million Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the U.S. Geological Survey.  This highlights the Administration’s commitment to increasing efficiency across the federal government and science supporting national objectives and priorities.  The President’s proposed FY18 request reflects a savings of $137.8 million in...

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    PCI Geomatics Expands Business Partner Network in Central AmericaOpen in a New Window

    Canada - -PCI Geomatics, a world leading developer of remote sensing and photogrammetric software and systems, announced today it has expanded its business partner network in Central America with the appointment of Mattie Engineers, S.A. “We are pleased to welcome Mattie Engineers S.A. into our business partner network to address the needs of the Central...

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    Automated data integration contributes to $5 billion saving for US CensusOpen in a New Window

    Cambridge, UK -Conducted every ten years, as required by the Constitution, the US Census is the largest civilian activity in America. The project, which counts and profiles a population of over 318 million and involves checking 135 million addresses, is used to correctly apportion political representation within the House of Representatives. As well...

    Read More

     

    OGC is calling for sponsors for an innovative interoperability initiative, Testbed 14Open in a New Window

    The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has issued a call for sponsors for an innovative interoperability initiative, Testbed 14. The OGC Innovation Programprovides a venue to advance solutions to geospatial data and service challenges through using open standards. In addition to enhancing or extending standards, the testbeds provide a unique platform where...

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    GIS-Pro 2017 Conference Details AnnouncedOpen in a New Window

    Des Plaines, IL -URISA is pleased to announce the complete program details for GIS-Pro 2017. URISA’s 55th annual conference, will take place October 23-26, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. Registration is also open and exhibit/sponsor opportunities have recently been posted. From workshops to keynotes to breakout sessions, we’re offering significant...

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    GISCI 2017 Summer Exam Application Period Closes SoonOpen in a New Window

    701 Lee St, Ste 680, Des Plaines, IL 60016 - Des Plaines, IL (May 23, 2017) The next testing window for the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® as a part of the GISP Certification is scheduled for June 10-17, 2017, and applications will be taken for North American testing locations through the end of May....

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