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Monday, March 31, 2014

It's not often you hear much about the spatial features in MySQL but they are being improved, at least a little. In an announcement today, Oracle released information about MySQL 5.7 with one small mention that the "new MySQL 5.7 features includes GIS improvements including spatial index support in InnoDB, as well as improved accuracy and performance."

by Joe Francica on 03/31 at 07:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, March 28, 2014

Geography and Body Mass Index (BMI)

A new study out of the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) found location has an effect on body mass index (BMI), which is used to classify people's weight. In short, data from Geneva revealed

adults' and children's BMI values are "not distributed randomly" on a map of the canton. Rather, the map was divided into regions with predominantly high or low BMI, and a larger region where "neither trend prevailed." 

The study was published in Nature Nutrition and Diabetes.

Tobacco Sales Focused in Poor and Latino Communities

Research published in GIScience and Remote Sensing by Andrew Peterson, an associate professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work suggests tobacco products are more likely to be sold in pharmacies located in poor and Latino communities.

Map: uninsured are and life expectancy in King County, WA

The Seattle Times offers a pair of maps of King County (Seattle) based on ArcGIS Online: one shows where the uninsured are and the other life expectancy. It helps illustrate an editorial from two days before.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/28 at 03:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Since 1999, the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) interoperability program has been an established process for vetting and establishing specifications for OGC Web Services (OWS). It started with the Web Mapping Service (WMS). Some specifications and concepts have advanced to become mature operational standards, according to George Percival, OGC's chief architect, speaking today at the OWS-10 Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. The success of the OWS process supported collaboration and engagement of OGC members through the development of prototypes, testbeds, pilots and interoperability experiments. The methodology that fostered the development of specifications yielded coherent design that can be appreciated today.

Currently, OWS Phase 10 (OWS-10) is underway and is organized around three initiatives, according to the OGC:

  • Cross-Community Interoperability (CCI): Increase Geospatial community interoperability by building on CCI OWS-9 work in semantic mediation, volunteer geographic information (VGI), provenance and data quality, and Global Gazetteer. Explore the potential of interoperability in the hydrology domain and utilizing ontologies to more easily share and visualize geospatial data.encodings.
  • Open Mobility: Explore the geospatial standards requirements needed to support the growing emerging mobile environment where client applications are mobile, information services are mobile, and increasingly distributed across cloud infrastructures. The Open Mobility thread will address these requirements while leveraging on the work achieved in the OWS-9 Testbed in the areas of Geopackages and Geopackaging services and new OWS Context encodings.
  • Aviation: Develop and demonstrate the use of the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) and the Flight Information Exchange Model (FIXM), building on the work accomplished in prior testbeds to advance the applications of OGC Web Services standards in next generation air traffic management systems to support European and US aviation modernization programs.

Lew Leinenweber, initiative director for the OGC commented at OWS-10 meeting that "[OWS-10] interoperability program is all about collaboration. Innovation and shared costs." There are 11 sponsors including:

  • AGC (Army Geospatial Center, US Army Corps of Engineers)
  • ESA (European Space Agency)
  • EUROCONTROL
  • FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration)
  • GeoConnections - Natural Resources Canada
  • Harris Corporation
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • NGA (US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
  • NOAA National Weather Service
  • USGS (US Geological Survey)
  • UK DSTL (UK Defence Science and Technology Lab)

There are also 29 participants with 19 reports generated so far including engineering reports, change requests, etc. with a total estimated value of $2.8 Million (Funded: $1.2M; In-kind: $1.6M). Johannes Echterhoff, the lead for the OWS-10 Aviation component said that their initiative constitutes building blocks for global interoperable aviation information management.

The OWS-10 is only one of the testbeds that have yielded specifications supporting the work of programs that have enormous global impact since its inception.

A demonstration of the OWS-10 was presented during the review meeting in Arlington, Virginia. A video of the project can be viewed below or on YouTube.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 03/27 at 11:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Follow in Mandela's Footsteps

The South Africa tourist board has created a map so visitors can follow in Nelson Mandela, footsteps. It's got a timeline, links and details needed to visit the sites. I suspect it'd also be useful for educators. And yes, you could call it a story map though Esri technology does not seem to be involved.

County Public Spaces in a Story Map

An interactive map from Montgomery County's Planning Department shows public spaces in development projects in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and Friendship Heights. It's a story map. I wonder if that's what readers expected?

University of Minnesota Grad Students Working on Project Tango

Google's 3D cell phone data capture solution, Project Tango, is tapping talent from graduate students at the University of Minnesota as part of a $1.35M grant.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/27 at 03:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Eclipse Foundation's LocationTech Working Group, an open source community wishing to "collaborate in a commercially friendly" environment, celebrated its one year anniversary at a meet-up in Rosslyn, Virginia yesterday. Members of the working group are comprised of a variety of both small and large corporations including Oracle, Google, Boundless and Actuate.

Eddie Pickle, CEO of Boundless and host for the event, opened the session by recapping the historical development of the organization noting that there was a need for a professional organization to support and sustain an open source community. Xavier Lopez, director of Oracle's Spatial and Semantic Technologies, said he saw a need for "combining and consolidating the community of commercial organizations," such as Oracle and Google, that want to participate. Andrew Ross, the director of LocationTech, said that the mission of the organization was such that it exists to provide more than just the access to things like github but also to supply the business rules and technical governance. He believes that LocationTech helps orgainzations along the path of utilizing open source solutions and make the software as widely available as possible "without friction."

Presenters during the meet-up included

  • Anthony Fox, director of Data Science & System Architecture for CCRi, presented GeoMesa, a distributed spatio-temportal index built on Accumulo providing querying capapbilities of very large geospatial data in real-time. How real time? For example, think of data rates of thousands of observations per second (i.e. Twitter which has ~150K tweets per second or Foursquare with 1M check-ins daily)
  • Robert Cheetham, CEO of Azavea, discusses real-time geoprocessing with GeoTrellis,  a high performance geoprocessing engine and programming toolkit.
  • Diego Gomez Deck, the CTO for Glob3 Mobile presented Mobile Map Tools (MMT), a multi-platform (iOS, Android, HTML5) library to visualize almost any kind of data.
  • Juan Marin, the CTO of Boundless discussed geospatial data versioning with GeoGit, enabligh decentralized management of versioned geospatial data and innovative workflows for collaboration.

Marin, Cheetham and Fox will deliver presentations at the Location Intelligence Summit this May 19-21 in Washinton, D.C.

by Joe Francica on 03/26 at 07:39 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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