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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) faces the regular challenge of collecting, managing, fusing, using and sharing data during emergencies. While the process is getting better, the agency is looking for enhancements. And, it's looking to the cloud.

The vision is to move geospatial data to the cloud to provide federal, state and local agencies and other partners with real-time access to critical data during emergencies, per a request for information titled FEMA’s Disaster Management and Support Environment (DMSE) Program Management Office, under FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery is leaded the effort.

DMSE currently uses Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which got a good workout during Hurricane Sandy. Demand was so high another server had to be added. The interface is ArcGIS Online. While there is a "sign in" option on the main page of the FEMA Geoplatform, one need not log in to see public data per the RFI. The page is essentially the same as ArcGIS Online, a page I find innapropriate for the public.

Questions are due Feb 28 and responses March 11.


by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 08:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At a meeting on Feb 26, the Redlands Planning Commmision approved via a 6-0 vote a new Esri building which will house about 170 existing and 150 new Esri empolyees. As part of the agreement, Esri will remove dead and dying vegetation on New York Street. The company intends to replant the area update traffic crossing to ensure smooth traffic flow.

- Press Enterprise

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 08:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) department of geography was awarded $250,000 to develop an online GEOINT certificate program. This online program will allow access to Mizzou’s GEOINT curriculum for those who cannot attend classes on campus.

After proposing a plan of action to the Mizzou administration last year, the geography department received funding earlier this month for the online program, which is set to launch in the fall 2013 semester. The new online GEOINT certificate program will coincide with Mizzou’s traditional GEOINTcertificate program, which is accredited by USGIF and has been in place since 2008.

- Trajectory Magazine

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is now accepting applications for its 2013 Scholarship Program. The Foundation is dedicated to helping students succeed within the field of geospatial sciences with its scholarship program, which in turn helps further the advancement of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft. Students interested in the geospatial intelligence field are encouraged to submit their application before the April 19 deadline. Applications can be downloaded at USGIF's scholarship page.  

- Trajectory article, USGIF "news"

The University of Mary Washington is implementing a graduate degree in geography in 2014.

In the fall of 2014 the geography department will have a new master degree program in geospatial analysis, making it the first new graduate program in the last 10 years.

The program, aimed at making its graduates better prepared for the job market, was originally submitted by Brian Rizzo, geography professor and director of the Geographic Information Science program, for state approval during the fall of 2012.

The program is designed to accommodate 18 students each semester and will require a total of 30 credit hours.

Geography professors Rizzo, Stephen Hanna, and Jacqueline Gallagher will make up the faculty.

Currently, George Mason University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute are the only other universities in the Commonwealth that offer similar programs.

The geography department currently offers a Certificate in Geographic Information Science.  It was implemented during the 2007-2008 academic year, and 197 enrolled in the program during the 2011-2012 session.  The certificate requires 18 course hours and is similar to a minor.

- UMW Bullet

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 05:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

After the deaths in Benghazi, the State Dept is looking to update a nine-year-old tracking system that keeps tabs on its foreign staff. The new implementation will use transmissions from mobile devices including cell and satellite phones, use Oracle products, show locatoins on Google Earth, Esri tech and FalconView and be capable of alerting staff when they cros geofences. The procurement requires a company with Top Secret clearance to build and maintain the system.

State already has a system, from Thermopylae Sciences and Technology, for diplomatic staff in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. It uses beacons attached to cars and people.

- InformationWeek via @gisjourno

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 04:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Directions Magazine's Joe Francica covered the event in a series of blog posts, but the mainstream, government and tech media were present as well.

The totally awesome future of GIS - FCW Blog

Federal CTO Todd Park wants mapmakers and geospatial developers to lead a “whole new wave of awesomeness for our country,” in which open-data innovation produces “new products, features, insights to create jobs and [still more] general awesomeness.”

Saving Money at the Esri Federal GIS Conference - ImagerySpeaks (Excelis Blog)

The Esri Federal GIS conference is currently happening at the Walter E. Washington convention center in Washington D.C. With all of the financial uproar happening in Washington right now, I think it’s more important than ever for industries to understand how the implementation of GIS and image analysis techniques can provide tangible cost-savings.

Mapping Portal to Link Government, Other Data in Geospatial Platform - Data Informed

The purpose of the new online geographic information systems (GIS) portal [] will be “to provide data that people can make maps with, as well as to provide tools to help people make maps,” said the Department of the Interior’s Geospatial Information Officer Jerry Johnston. Johnston is a member of the Federal Geographic Data Committee and leader of the project. The site was presented at the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 25-27, attended by approximately 3,600 government geospatial managers, specialists and analysts, as well as chief information officers and geographic information officers. Esri is a technology provider for the new portal. 

Future of GIS- Esri Federal GIS User Conference - GovLoop Blog 

On Monday I attended Esri's annual Federal GIS User Conference. This conference brings together over 2,700 GIS professionals, managers, and government executives for three days of intensive learning and sharing. In the morning plenary session, Jack Dangermond, Esri President, discussed how GIS technology and mapping are helping government employees do their job better and more efficiently like never before. From understanding human health to emergency management and facility planning, GIS as a platform is transforming our world, and specifically how federal agencies are meeting their missions and improving services. 

How industry collaboration helps the U.S. government share and safeguard information - Smart Blogs

“It would be like trying to clap with one hand.”

That is how the man tasked with leading the U.S. government’s effort to share and safeguard information describes the prospect of trying to accomplish that goal without collaboration from the geospatial community. Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the government’sInformation Sharing Environment, says that while the government’s role in cybersecurity has been all over the news lately, the ISE is in no way new to the information-safeguarding landscape. Born out of the events of 9/11, the ISE was created to help various government agencies share data with an eye toward enhancing national security.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 04:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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