Google Geonews: Official Google Mapping Course, Oklahoma Tornadoes in Google Earth, and more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews in batch mode.

From official sources:

From other sources:

GIS Community Blocks Esri's Geospatial 'Open Standard' REST API

This news made it outside the traditional geospatial community, Slashdot's story is named GIS Community Blocks Esri's Geospatial 'Open Standard' REST API.

Their summary: "The developer of ArcGIS, Esri, has dropped its bid to have the GeoServices REST API recognized as an open standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium, after a community backlash against 'providing a vendor with significant market advantage, erring on the creation of a state-sanctioned monopoly.'"

This is a topic we covered 2 weeks ago. You can also read a useful summary and quotes from OGC officials named OGC heed community pressure regarding "GeoServices REST API": "“Considering the breath of discussion both internal and external to the OGC process since the vote announcement, the SWG members feel that the vote cannot continue until the many questions raised have been addressed. Issues regarding OGC process, vendor advantage, duplication of capabilities, etc. have now overshadowed technical discussions of the merits of the specification. By withdrawing the OGC GeoServices REST API candidate standard, the necessary discussions regarding OGC process, policy, and position can continue separately.”"

Analysis: Which technology to use for disaster management?

Different IT models have been analysed by IRIN (a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs): Quebec (Canada) (open source and GIS), Taiwan (ESRI-ArcGIS+Sahana) and Thailand (Sahana) in this UN news:

For more info on the model of open source and GIS in Quebec, see these links: and

For more info on Sahana, see these links: and

Interpreting Global Flight Maps

Slashdot discusses a story named Interpreting Global Flight Maps.

Their summary: "Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights. While the imagery of the visualization is intriguing, the interpretations are particularly interesting and show how individual background and experience impact they way they view the data."

It's clearly not the first time we mention airplane flights maps, we had previous stories such as Flight Paths and Noise Mapping, Near Real-time Flights over the U.S., OpenFlights database and more.

Convert PDF to AutoCAD Formats for Free

When sharing AutoCAD-created documents, geospatial professionals often receive maps, projects, drawings and models from others in the PDF format. PDF is preferred not only for the fact that it is a compact format and visible on all platforms, but for security reasons as well.

However, editing PDF files is not easy to do, especially when it comes to maps and models. Because of this, users will sometimes need to convert their PDFs back into an editable DWG or DXF format file in order to edit them.

The site can help you here – it converts AutoCAD-designed PDF files back to 3D modeling AutoCAD formats simply, swiftly and completely free of charge.  Even if you are working with larger documents, files up to 40 MB in size can be uploaded and converted quickly and accurately.

The process is very simple: Visit the website, upload your PDF, and enter a valid email address to which the link for downloading your converted file will be sent.  Your email address and files are deleted after 24h in accordance to the service’s strictly regulated privacy principles and policies.

You will see in the converted document that all the elements of your work present in the PDF stay preserved - every line, symbol, grid, text, and scale bars of your project.




SketchUp 2013 Released

Via the GEB, I learned that last week, Trimble released SketchUp 2013. Trimble acquired SketchUp from Google over a year ago.

From the announcement: "For 2013, we built a repository of extensions—an Extension Warehouse, in our parlance—that provides a one-stop shop for anyone looking to customize their copy of SketchUp. This one new feature is actually dozens (eventually hundreds) of new features, all ready and waiting for you to discover. [...]  We decided that the free version of SketchUp needed a name and a brand of its own. Now the word “SketchUp” refers to a product family of which there are two members: SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make. The latter is still free, international, and aimed squarely at every treehouse builder, 3D printing wizard, and pinewood derby all-star in the universe."

RADARSAT-1 Declared Dead after 17 Years of Service

Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite had problems in late March and has been declared no longer operational earlier this month by the Canadian Space Agency. Continuity was planned with RADARSAT-2 which started providing imagery in early 2008 and RADARSAT-C slated for orbit in 2018.

From the press release: "During its 90,828 orbits around the earth it provided 625,848 images to more than 600 clients and partners in Canada and 60 countries worldwide. It assisted with information gathering during 244 disaster events and literally mapped the world, providing complete coverage of the World's continents, continental shelves and polar icecaps. Among its many accomplishments, RADARSAT-1 conducted Antarctic Mapping Missions (AMM) in 1999 and 2000 and delivered the first-ever, unprecedented high-resolution maps of the entire frozen continent. It also delivered the first stereo-radar coverage of the planet's landmass, the first high-resolution interferometric coverage of Canada, and produced complete single season snapshots of all the continents."

gvSIG 2.0 Novelties

During the last weeks several posts about the gvSIG Desktop novelties have been published at the gvSIG Blog. With them we try to make known all these novelties with more details. Until now, the posts that have been publisher are:

  • Scripting, exploit your gvSIG (III): Generate a polygon from a course
  • Symbols library “OSM”
  • “Google” symbols library
  • Scripting, exploit your gvSIG (II). Creating a buffer
  • Mirrors for downloads
  • Add-ons manager
  • How to create symbol libraries (II)
  • Raster data tile cache and WMTS
  • gvSIG 2.0 on 64 bits or Java 1.7 systems
  • Additional feature for managing CRS
  • gvSIG 2.0: Scripting, exploit your gvSIG
  • How to create symbol libraries (I)

In the last weeks new posts will be published, as well as the translation of the last ones in Spanish. Some of them will be related to the new add-ons that will be available for this version. They will be able to be installed from the Add-ons Manager.

Batch Geonews: Debacle over OGC and the GeoServices REST API Standard, OpenLayers vs Leaflet, More Geo from Google I/O, and much more

The recent geonews in batch mode, covering a larger timespan than usual.

On the open source front:

On the Google front:

On the Esri front:

In the everything-else category:

Slashdot discussed a few minor geo-related stories:

In the maps category:

A tale of two cities: web maps new and old

Bloggage update: Vector online GIS appears to be gaining traction. These emerging technologies contrast with Esri who offers a slew of tools on the desktop and in like mature web mapping services and model building. But these newcomers offer a service to process GIS functions online and allow to load data direct from web source further augmenting their web performance. Here I compare how I used a 180K vector dataset from NOAA NGDC described previously on these alternate methods. 

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