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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Indiana University’s University Information Technology Services received the 2011 Excellence in Geographic Information Systems Award from the 
Indiana Geographic Information Council for its Indiana Spatial Data Portal, which has made 20 terabytes of digital data readily available and 
accessible. The data is available to those who don't have GIS software and the data are OGC compliant (not sure what that means, actually), per the student paper.

- Indiana Daily Student

On Friday, a four-person unit will begin working to centralize the city’s GIS capabilities. They will develop an interactive map of the city that will eventually be available for public use....

On March 7, the Columbia City Council [MO] approved the transfer of the four employees to the city’s Public Works Department to form the new GIS office. The staffing of the office is considered budget-neutral; the $134,096 to pay the salaries, travel expenses and benefits plans for the four employees was transferred from other departments.

- Columbia Tribune

Murray County Board of Commissioners [MN] added a fee schedule for GIS related business. Requests for printing of maps range from $2.00 to $10.00 depending on size of the map. Some existing map products are available at no cost such as a county map. Fees for staff time, CDs or DVDs will also be charged. Available will be GIS data, address points, and parcels with annual updates.

- Fulda Free Press

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/31 at 04:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share


In article about mapping in Fiji several interesting tidbits appear. First off, on many Pacific islands GPS is not recognized for surveying, meaning older practices must be used. I also learned:

Satellite sensors work in way similar to a photocopier, so the image is not distorted.

The user can map on the computer screen immediately using satellite information and images.

- Fiji Times

New Zealand


"Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will commit $3.1 million over six years to establish and support the LINZ Data Service."

The data will be open and the ROI is expected to be 10:1.

- Computerworld


The Ministry of Health launched a GIS to monitor and improve salt iodisation programmes across the country. Implemented and funded by the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), the goal is to monitor the manufacture of iodized salt to spread its use in the country where iodine deficiencies are a problem. Still, use of iodized salt has risen from 17 to 80% in the last 10 years. Data in the GIS is updated monthly.

- Express Tribune

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/31 at 04:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sam Billingsly, managing partner, Geophysical Data Management, a third-generation surveying and GIS data firm spoke at SPAR, the event focusing on 3D and laser scanning.

On the value of accurate GIS and spatial data for augmented reality: “It’s like the Internet but each web page, instead of being in a sequential system, only exists in the spatial space.”

On using off the shelf technology: “For the first time we’re able to give this information, this cheap GIS information, to something our customers are already using, maybe a phone or a tablet. Compare the cost of the average tablet to the cost of a survey grade GIS handheld device. We can leverage the fact that the marketplace is supporting something that we can use."

- Spar Point Group

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/31 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An MIT project uses a vehicle with  an inexpensive low-resolution IR camera (< $1000) has been used to show heat leaks in Cambridge, MA homes and an army installation (Fort Drum in New York). Researcher Long Phan and Research Scientist Jonathan Jesneck, working with Professor Sanjay Sarma, developed the system; they hail from MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering Field Intelligence Laboratory and hope to use the scanner to track exactly where energy savings can be greatest.

- MIT News (via reader Larry)

The Mosquito Abatement Decision Information System - MADIS - for St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana will use satellites owned by imaging company DigitalGlobe to locate mosquito larval breeding habitats and activity at a 0.6-meter level of accuracy. The parish is partnering with aWhere, Inc. of Colorado to test a new imagery based system to locate and analyze potential mosquito breeding sites.

- Nola

"Landsat time analysis with ArcGIS Online coming in May!"

- @josephkerski, details

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/30 at 06:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I was reading the latest ArcNews and took some time to carefully read the Open Source Technology and Esri article. I'm very pleased Esri is beginning to address open source formally. The article highlights some of the misconceptions about open source, which is always welcome. I learned that Esri uses two different open source licenses in its current list of two open source products. The OSM Editor is under a Microsoft Public License and the GeoPortal Extension is under Apache 2.0.  Interesting.

More interesting? This comment about the open API for the file geodatabase:

Esri's most recent API, the File Geodatabase API, while not yet open source, opens up the file geodatabase for developers to create applications that access file geodatabases from a variety of outside environments without using ArcObjects. 

It's that "yet" that struck me. I was not aware Esri planned to open the API up under and open source license. I thought the end goal was "just" an API. Did I read that right? What benefit would the API itself being open source mean to Esri? To the developer community? 

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/30 at 05:32 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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