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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Syllabus for Esri's first MOOC "Going Places with Spatial Analysis" now available via GeoNet (I guess you need an account?). There's also a group on GeoNet

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/13 at 06:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, August 11, 2014

In an article published today in the Wall Street Journal, John Hickey, the No. 2 safety official at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), told a United Nations meeting over the weekend that regulatory approval to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) alongside commercial aircraft is "not going to be as soon as some people tend to think."

This will be troubling news for many in the geospatial community that feel that UAVs offer a cost effective solution for applications in utilities, agriculture, urban planning and emergency response, just to name a few. More delays mean lost business. I spoke with a small company operating a UAV today and the angst with regard to prolonging an announcement about the regulations for commercial UAV flights was palpable.

The timing however, while bad news for UAV startups, may be good news for small sat startups, of which there are many and seemingly more are coming soon. Launching small sats, no matter how much they weigh, is more costly than a small drone, of course. But if the delay in FAA regulations causes companies to close up shop, small sats, launched by well-capitalized entrepreneurs, may close the gap in cost, tasking and timeliness of delivery of remotely-sensed data. Whether its real-time HD video from Skybox or UrtheCast, or the launch of a "flock" of small sats from Planet Labs, earth observation data will be streaming down in massive volumes daily. This will impact the viability of the business model for UAVs and the longer the FAA takes to offer a planned integration of drones into the National Airspace System the more detrimental the effect.

The end game is faster delivery of information. It's not spatial resolution or spectral fidelity. The rush to launch small sats is to increase repeat coverage of the same geographical area daily. And, if there are enough birds in the sky, that time period may be even shorter. UAVs offer convenience, flexibility and cost effectiveness. But they need to have the freedom to operate first. There is a confluence of events taking place. Any delay by the FAA, which is mandated by Congress to have a plan in place by the fall of 2015, or delays to the launch of small sats, due to political events, sanctions or otherwise, creates opportunity for one platform over the other.

Editor's Note: Attend the upcoming Directions' webinar: Operating UAV's in U.S. Airspace - the Legal Implications, August 27, 2 PM Eastern.

by Joe Francica on 08/11 at 11:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Don Cooke's cat fitted with a GPS receiverRemember wardriving? That's the term for driving around with sensors to detect open wi-fi routers with the goal of mapping or using them. This weekend security researcher Gene Bransfield spoke at the DefCon hacker convention about a device to do just that, but for his cat. The collar includs a Spark Core chip loaded with his custom-coded firmware, a Wi-Fi card, a tiny GPS module and a battery. The device, dubbed WarKitteh can be built for under $1000. And, Bransfield made clear he built it to amuse himself rather than to find and abuse open wi-fi. He did report in his talk, however, how many WEP-enabled access points he found. That security system is known to be insecure.

I am impressed at how far we've come since the basic cat-tracking Don Cooke did in his Fun with GPS book from 2005 (right).

Image from Don Cooke's talk at Where 2.0 2006 by Zippy under CC-NC-SA 2.0.

via DTNS

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/11 at 03:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, August 08, 2014

AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Competition

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) invites current undergraduate and graduate students to submit their work to the specialty group’s annual Peter Gould Student Paper Competition. The competition is meant to promote written scholarship by students across the field. Single-authored papers from any medical, health, disability and/or health systems related topic are encouraged.

The deadline for submitting an extended abstract is November 2, 2014.

The prizes are small ($100) but trust me, you want your name associated with Peter Gould's. Details.
 
Official: Rwandan Students, Study Disaster Management and GIS!
Speaking at an international conference on sustainable development on Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees affairs, Antoine Ruvebana, said there are many untapped opportunities in disaster management, and called on students to take up such [disaster management] courses.
Students think there are no jobs, but officials expect there to be disaster management officers in all districts and are encouraging the study of GIS and remote sensing.
 
LBS App for Getting a House Call

The same location-based app technology that drives Uber and Lyft may have a fix for that, too.

Pager, which launched in May, is an app that allows patients to order a house call from a physician, using their smart phones. The service is available on a limited basis in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but it could spread to other cities by 2015.

Cost? $199 for day visits, $299 for evening. Doctors keep 80% of the fees and Pager is working on simplifying insurance reimbursement.

We all Know the Story About Cholera, What about Bubonic Plague?

Richard Campanella, a geographer with the Tulane University School of Architecture and a Monroe Fellow with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, tells the interesting tale in The battle against bubonic plague: 100 years ago, New Orleans waged war on rats.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/08 at 03:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Team Geography LogoAAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Competition

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) invites current undergraduate and graduate students to submit their work to the specialty group’s annual Peter Gould Student Paper Competition. The competition is meant to promote written scholarship by students across the field. Single-authored papers from any medical, health, disability and/or health systems related topic are encouraged.

The deadline for submitting an extended abstract is November 2, 2014.

The prizes are small ($100) but trust me, you want your name associated with Peter Gould's. Details.
 
More Location Intelligence Programs Needed to Support Industry

But UNC-Charlotte discontinued the [location analysis] program in the early 2000s. And with similar programs still not widespread, [John] Crouse [Wendy's director of real estate services] sees most businesses that are looking to embrace location intelligence having a hard time filling analyst positions with people who understand both the geographic and statistical components.

"If you're an organization that's looking to marry the two [skills] in one person, that's challenging," he said. "Programs aren't out there as I think they should be to help people understand this information. It's a very niche industry."

Team Geography
 
Daniel Raven-Ellison is inviting geographers to join Team Geography via Thunderclap. It's an effort to rally practitioners and educators, share ideas, and make some noise, best I can tell.
We can use #TeamGeography to bring together and expand a great community of geographers. 

Supporters include NCGE, National Geographic, AAG and Canadian Geographic Education.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 03:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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