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 [...]
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So far Richmond Hinneh has created 28 blog entries.
In this article, we speak to Paul Ramsey about how both PostgreSQL and PostGIS can provide a solid foundation for any small to large organisational GIS architecture. Paul, a Solutions Engineer at Carto, has been working with geospatial software for over 15 years: consulting to government and industry; building a geospatial software company; and programming on open source software. He co-founded the PostGIS spatial database project in 2001 and is currently an active developer and member of the project steering committee. In 2008, Paul received the Sol Katz Award for achievement in open source geospatial software, and he speaks and teaches [...]
Countries such as Nigeria are beginning to embrace the potential of geospatial technology and information in order to develop their economies. This is particularly so in fields such as land administration and real estate development where relevant stakeholders are taking advantage of increasingly affordable software and ever-growing volumes of crowdsources and open data. Unlike developed countries, which were limited by the slow roll-out of heavy telecommunications infrastructure, these industries are being fast-tracked by more easily-deployable Wi-Fi networks to both urban and remote regions. Bolaji Afolabi explains how this is happening. In the real estate service industry, it is not a question [...]
Last November KaarbonTech won the 2014 Association of Geographic Information (AGI) award for Best Use of Geospatial for Business Benefit with their Gulley SMART highways asset management software package. Their managing director, Mark Entwistle, explains how proactive drain cleaning can improve highways departments’ performance while saving time and money. Managing drainage and water flow into roadside gullies may seem one of the more traditional and perhaps low tech roles carried out by local government. In fact, the reverse is true: twenty-first century highways asset management is high tech, digital and mobile. The award recognised the results achieved by a project KaarbonTech [...]
FOR HIS GIS MASTERS DISSERTATION at the University of Edinburgh, Alex Mackie chose to mix two subjects close to his heart: books and maps. There is undoubtedly commercial value to mapping books but this has been largely ignored by the industry. If books are properly georeferenced then location-aware e-readers and tablets can use their user’s location to recommend locally relevant books or provide the option to search for books relating to intended holiday destinations or places of interest. This extends the principle that physical bookstores already recognize a demand for locally relevant books, with Waterstones and other retailers stocking shop windows [...]
THREADS ON THE RELATIONSHIP between GIS and the wider world of ICT are common on social media. While posts like “is GIS splitting?” appear contrived to stir debate, others seem genuinely confused over the distinction between the concept of a geographic information system and geospatial technology in general. Such distinctions can be dismissed as semantic, but the focus on ‘GIS’ can reflect an implicit assumption that spatial is somehow apart from general ICT. Should we be concerned by posts like “where should a GIS unit belong in an organisation” or “is it important to keep GIS out of the IT department”? [...]
Everything is speeding up but I’m going to suggest slowing down. My guess it that the phrase ‘slow learning’ is new to many readers. Slow learning is a vision for less formulaic, less time-driven learning. It’s self-directed (students select the topics to learn), long-lasting (more like lifelong learning than finishing a course, grade or degree), authentic (based on real world activities), and supports, and is supported by, a learning community. Slow learning joins other slow movements such as slow food, which aims “to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, to counteract the rise of fast life…” and slow [...]
At conferences students ask me to suggest projects for course or capstone projects*, even after they have completed two or more courses (or years!) studying geospatial technology, science and use. Posts on a variety of GIS forums and discussion areas seek the same kind of help. How can educators and those of us in the field mentor students in this important part of their education? Why is Selection so Hard? Most of the queries I get are from undergraduates and masters students. In most cases, they can explore anything of interest that ties into GIS, geography and spatial analysis, in any [...]