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Monday, October 08, 2012

Did you miss day #1 of GEOINT's "pre-conference" sessions? Perhaps you were just arriving, missed your flight or out on the golf course. Here's a recap of the day's activities (and even more pithy accounts on Twitter):

  1. The sessions focused on several key themes:
    • Open source geospatial solutions and open standards
    • Gaming and how that impacts the GEOINT Tradecraft
    • Tradecraft may be a misnomer; some want to elevate it to "profession" (ala Sue Kalweit of Booz Allen)
    • There is a greater need to understand the impacts of "human geography" (culture, ethnicity, shifting populations, etc.) and its contributions to geospatial analysis
  2. Opening session address provided by Ted Cope, NGA's director of Basic and Applied Research. Cope identified many emerging challenges to the applications of geospatial intelligence including:
    • A quantum leap in the complexity of issues: there are more people, more mega-cities, more competition
    • There is a re-emerging geoint value proposition because of the following impacts:
      • There are many "bad actors""
      • People who are not bad yet
      • More failing states/regions
      • Several states/regions that have not failed yet
    • Know the earth; show the way; understand the world
    • ANTICIPATE where something is; why it happens and what may happen.
    • Move from being TARGET-BASED to ACTIVITY-BASED analysis
    • Change the tradecraft toward using an analyst's peripheral vision to incorporate activity other than purely geospatial information.
  3. Open source panel started by defining what open source is in order to get attendees on the same page. This in itself was telling in that there may be confusion as to the licensing and intellectual property rights of open source. Here is a quick synopsis of thoughts from the panel:
    • One case study that was presented started with using GOTS (government off the shelf software) and transitioned the project to GOSS (government open source software) with the final objective of moving to FOSS (free and open source software).
    • Lt Col Quaid USAF says gov needs to use "commercial best practices" to build apps and help warfighter get geospatial capabilities "down range" as quickly as possible.
    • Ben Tuttle of the NGA is working on mobile apps developed with open source software. One of these apps is called "MapCache" - app built for "offline" data caches. It's built on Android and iOS is coming soon. The app was built within three weeks and developed in partnerhsip with the Discovery Lab.
    • Ollie Guinam of Skybox, the micro sat developer, noted that they expect 1 Terabyte of data per day to process with their constellation.
    • And speaking of data, Budhendra Bhaduri of Oak Ridge National Labs focused his presentation on data storage. His finding: out of every minute, only 24 seconds is spent on "processing" data; the rest is spent on "moving" data. ORNL is involved in doing work on population density in the world's trouble spots. See more info on population data tables at
  4. Human geography and the Arab Spring
    • The most compelling issues in these sessions was a focus on understanding the impact of social media on events. Some believe that the source (a tweet, Facebook post, etc.) and the actual event are difficult to disambiguate. Sometimes the source location impacts what is reported and the event location impacts what happens.
    • Obviously, counterintelligence and counterinsurgency operations have a difficult time with understanding the context of social media. The challenge, as a few presenters noted, is the ability to "detect and respond at Twitter speed."
  5. Jeff Jonas, IBM Distinguished Fellow, was the luncheon keynoter. To be able to do justice to what Jeff says in a 30-minute span of time would be folly. Jonas is an analytical thinker of the highest order and you simply need to be present to appreciate his insights. So, I'm "punting" on the analysis of Jeff's talk. But in a nutshell, here are the gold nuggets:
    • Space and time enables absolute disambiguation
    • Jonas' theory of "big data, new physics" results in the fact that "Errors in the data become your friend." "More data yields better predictions, lower false positives and lower false negatives.
    • "Where and when are the single most powerful data points for context accumulation"
    • More on "big data new physics" - IT'S A MUST READ, PEOPLE.
by Joe Francica on 10/08 at 05:48 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

As I noted last month, Esri expected to launch a tool to better estimate credti use in ArcGIS Online in September. The ArcGIS Online Credit Estimator launched today.

The website provides a chart for starters:


Service Service Credits Used
Tile Generation 1 credit per 1,000 tiles generated
Feature Services 2.4 credits per 10 MB stored per month
Tile and Data Storage 1.2 credits per 1 GB stored per month
Geocoding 80 credits per 1,000 geocodes
Data Transfer (outbound) 6 credits per 1 GB

There are more details regarding tile generation and geocoding "costs" on dedicated pages. Finally, there is a tool where subscribers can key in their expected transaction parameters to estimate the organization's cost in credits for a full year. As the tool makes clear:

The service credits estimator should only be used as a reference to estimate ArcGIS Online service credits usage. Your actual service credits usage may vary.

via @michael_d_gould

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/08 at 10:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A new map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes it possible to visualize the speed and direction of the Great Lakes' currents right from your computer.

The swirling animation was created by the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory based on technology used to create a map of the U.S. showing wind conditions.

APB covered that cool wind map back in March.


by Adena Schutzberg on 10/08 at 05:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I just learned of:

A Dynamic Web Map Design Competition sponsored by AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group. Hosted by San Diego State University and the AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group (CISG).

It's open to students with two $200 prizes and travel funding ($100) to top five to give talks at AAG.

What tech to use?

Students can use Google Map [sic] APIs, Yahoo Map [sic] APIs, Bing Map [sic] APIs, Opensource [sic] software, OpenStreet maps [sic], ArcGIS online [sic], etc. to develop mashup maps. The map should be accessed via web browsers and be connected at least two different online data resources (for "mashup"). Recommended application areas include, but not limited to: crime, public health issues, transportation, climate, urban planning, and disaster of all kinds.

- details via @AAG

Population Connection is hosting a video contest around the newly minted 7 billion people on earth. 

Create a short video public service announcement (PSA) that illustrates the connection between world population at 7 billion and one of the following: Food Security, Global Status of Women/Girls, or Wildlife Habitat. All high school students are eligible to enter. Cash prizes will be awarded for videos in each of the three topic areas.

The deadline for submitting your video is Thursday, February 21, 2013.

Each of the three topic areas has four prizes:

• One (1) First Place: $1,000
• One (1) Second Place: $500
• Two (2) Honorable Mentions: $250

- contest page via @josephkerski

The Hubway Data Visualization Challenge is a contest to see who can best use data from the Boston-area bike sharing program. (There's a rack within 1/2 mile of my house!) You can download the data or use the API for your graphic.


Up to three members of the winning team (or teams!) will ride off in style with:

  • A one-year Hubway membership
  • Hubway T-shirt
  • Bern helmet
  • A limited edition Hubway System Map—one of only 61 installed in the original Hubway stations.

And, the graphic will be on a few websites and a calendar.

Submissions are due October 31, 2012 and the winner will be announced on November 7, 2012.

Hubway Data Visualization Challenge via GIS Lounge

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/08 at 05:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A webinar from GeoConnections:

The webinar will be structured in two parts. The first part will focus on organizational use of common open source software licensing models, while the second part will explain how organizations can license the software that they have developed for use by others in an open source environment. The session will close with a question and answer period where you will be welcome to pose questions to the presenters.

It's Oct 25, free, open to all. It's not clear if the focus is on geospatial software in particular or open source software in general.

- details via GISUser

After trading numerous blows with apartment mapping service PadMapper, popular classifieds site Craigslist has started to roll out its own “map view” of apartments listed on its site.


Now Craigslist has decided to do mapping on its own, most likely prompted by the many folks around the web that were ticked off at losing access to PadMapper’s Craiglist listings. The new service works similarly to PadMapper, but it is powered by Leaflet’s JavaScript tool and uses information from OpenStreetMap.

Only one issue with the text above, Leaflet is not an organization, but an open source project from Cloudmade. Per the webpage:

An Open-Source JavaScript Library for Mobile-Friendly Interactive Maps by CloudMade

VentureBeat (original source: TNW) via @JWvanEck

The Quantum GIS (QGIS) project is happy to announce that the Asia Air Survey Co., Ltd (AAS), a Japanese international consulting company, has become a Gold Sponsor. AAS has committed to providing 9,000 EUR (~$11,000 US) each of three years, beginning in November 2012.

- Spatial Galaxy

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/08 at 03:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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