BACK IN MAY, Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) shared news that an unmanned aerial vehicle, a UAV, or in common parlance a drone, had helped save the life of a car accident victim. The driver’s car flipped and he was left injured in near freezing temperatures during a Saskatchewan night. Authorities executed a ground search followed by a manned aerial search without finding the victim. Later, a helicopter drone with an infrared sensor pinpointed the driver’s warm body. Firefighters reached him moments later and he soon received medical care. Headlines announced that this event may be the first time a [...]
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So far Richmond Hinneh has created 27 blog entries.
In perhaps its most frightening deployment yet, MapAction has once again demonstrated how its volunteers with standard geographic information technology can make a difference. Working with the UN or other NGOs the volunteers have worked since last September in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali and Ghana, reports Nigel Woof, to support the international response to Ebola. The Ebola outbreak in a village called Meliandou in Southeast Guinea in December 2013 was not, of itself, a new phenomenon in Africa. The disease had first been described 37 years earlier, deep in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Likewise, the employment [...]
Niall Conway, editor of GIS Professional, spoke to Neil Brammall of Utility Information Services Ltd., a UK-based consultancy and services business which focuses on mapping buried utilities. In the following interview, Neil shares his thoughts on the potential of geospatial solutions and services for the purposes of keeping these valuable assets (and the people around them) safe and secure. GIS Professional: Welcome to GIS Professional, Neil. How did you get into the world of GIS? Neil Brammall: My background is in academia where I specialised in cognitive computing (Natural Language specifically), and the start of my career outside academia was in applying [...]
This is the final part of three articles pertaining to what to expect as a GIS Professional on a chosen career path. Part 1 focused on what one can expect if they choose a career in government, while, Part 2 focused on what to expect in the private sector. Utilities are a Diverse Assortment There are a wide variety of utilities. At face value there is water, gas, electric, and sewer. But, take a deeper dive, and you will find that utilities present the greatest opportunities for the GIS professional. Water Utilities, for example, include Drinking Water (Potable), Recycled Water, and [...]
Robin Waters talks across the waves to Andrew Trigg to discover more about latest developments with Land Registry, particularly its download service for INSPIRE Index Polygons. For over 20 years, the Land Register for England and Wales has been available for anyone to view but before 1990 it was “closed” to the public – you needed the permission of the owner of registered land in order to look at the register entries for that land and find out who owned it! And it was only in 1990 that compulsory registration, on transfer of title, reached every part of England and Wales. [...]
THERE IS GROWING CONCERN in the local authorities in England and Wales over the recent papers and responses coming from central government surrounding national addressing. The Shakespeare Review of Public Sector Information and the government’s response suggest that there is a widespread misunderstanding of the national addressing process that is adversely affecting government policy and decision-making. A raw deal? Shakespeare and the response focused on Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey GB as the public sector authorities “dealing with” addresses. This completely discounts or minimises the fundamental role of local authorities, which are the source of, and have the statutory responsibility for [...]
I FIRST ENCOUNTERED GIS WHILE studying geocollaborative decision-making for crisis management over a decade ago. Back then, GIS seemed like an obscure field and its software was used by only a select few who could install it and navigate the different menus and sub-menus to produce actionable results. A lot has changed since then. When I re-entered graduate school a few years back to study cities using data at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, I re-discovered GIS. Except this time, almost everything was on the web and the cloud. Platforms such as CartoDB, Tableau and RESTful methods have exponentially [...]
ACCORDING TO THE BLURB, the Westminster eForum provides ‘the premier environment for policymakers in Parliament, Whitehall and regulatory agencies to engage with stakeholders in timely discussion on public policy relating to technology’. To this end, the forum offers numerous seminars on a wide range of topics (www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk). On March 15th the subject was the Internet of Things. As it turned out the only parliamentarians present were an MP – Matt Warman and the Earl of Erroll from the House of Lords, who also happened to be chairs of the two sessions. There were a number of representatives from government departments, including [...]
FINISHED SCHOOL AT AGE 22 with two degrees and few skills. As one senior consultant put it when I was an intern at a consulting firm, I knew “how to read, write and think.” And, that was a good thing because it meant I could read hundreds of pages, pick out the key details, and compile them into a 20 slide presentation for a corporate client. Of significant importance to that same senior consultant, I could do that far less expensively than he could. I did just that and everyone, including the client, was happy. At that same job I made [...]
I KNOW MANY BRAVE PEOPLE involved in GIS. Some start their own companies. Some work on wildfire GIS maps and applications and then go and fight actual wildfires. Some try to teach challenging software over the Internet to anyone who is interested. I want to celebrate another brave group of people in our industry: the ones who develop standards. Idealistic or just plain unlucky? As I write this column, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the US government committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing and dissemination of geospatial data for the country, is seeking comments about retiring one of [...]