Geospatial Advancement Canada 2014 (1)

This Monday started the Geospatial Advancement Canada 2014 conference. The conference aims at discussing Geospatial trends around a National Geospatial Strategy for Canada.

If you would like to follow the conference discussion on Twitter, search this tag: #gcan14.

Here are some of the main speakers and key elements of presentations held on Monday:

  • Major General Christian Rousseau explain the role of its GeoSpatial Intelligence Group that needs to find ways of spending less time looking for information and more time for geospatial analysis;
  • Julie Lefevbre expose the main projects of R&D in Defense & Security such as Arctic Intelligence and situation awareness (e.g. MASAS) in Canada, but also what she sees as the future of cloud-based architecture that might be built on collaboration (e.g. Virtual USA, US GeoSpatial platform) and knowledge;
  • Steeve Guillemette present the case of health crisis management in Québec City during legionnaires disease outbreak and how geospatial analytics become the main integrator of information gathered by specialist;
  • Gido Langen explain how he sees 3rd Generation of Web Mapping: establishing a network of REST end points, as the effective way of providing resources to increase quality control and improve capacity of apps deployment;
  • Richard Akerman and Deena Yanofsky identifies current limitations of most of Open Data portal which undermines standardization (e.g. common licence such as the International Creative Common 4.0, stable & unique Digital Object Identifier, etc.) and lack of intermediate tools (less developer centric) for vizualisation and spatial analysis (that might help to decrease data illiteracy & improve data skills of the general public);
  • Trevor Taylor expose his own definition of Big Data (e.g. Volume+Velocity+Veracity+Variety) and what OGC is promoting: One Open Architecture and Open Standards (e.g. not just OGC, but OASIS, W3C, Web3D) and what are the recent emphasis of OGC: Open Mobile, Internet of Things, cloud computing and privacy.

Based on the presentations made on Monday, the concept toward "built in collaboration" and "Service Oriented Architecture" is likely to be the way of doing things in the GeoSpatial world, in which at the same time the development of open and big data seems to overwhelm GIS managers and public users, but challenges the data skills of the tech guys for the good!

Slashgeo as media partner of this event will publish other articles this week on other hot topics of the conference.

Will the UK Environment Agency release its geodata?

Following extensive flooding in the UK there is increasing pressure on the Environment Agency, the government agency tasked with national flood protection, to release open data rather than charging licence fees. These are major geo datasets which effect much of the UK population.

A 'Floodhack' hack day was held at Google Campus, London 16 Feb in conjunction with the EA, the Open Data Institute, and the Cabinet Office. This gained a lot of mainstream press such as the BBC and The Guardian.

During the hack the EA released some of its flood warning feeds for 3 months. Now there are calls by open data activists to go further.

Batch Geonews: GeoPackage Webinar, Esri and Open Data, Future of Google Earth, OpenLayers 3 News, QGIS 2.2, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. I've been struggling with many fires, I currently publish much less frequently than usual, but don't worry, everything major is in there!

From the open source / open data front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

Discussed over Slashdot:

In the everything-else category:

In the maps category:

And thanks to Andrew Zolnai for his recent donation to Slashgeo, we wouldn't be there without the community!

Historical Maps of Australia Pre and Post European Settlement

ESRI Australia and The Australian National Library have produced an interactive story maps of some significant maps pertaining to the discovery of and mapping of Australia

  • Ramsey Abbey:Higden map c.1350
  • Fra Mauro: Map of the world 1448-1453
  • Diofo Ribeiro: Plainshere, 1529
  • Jean Rotz: Atlas 1542
  • Cook and Smith East coast chart, 1770
  • Hew Holland to Australia
  • Finders voyages (NB this was the standard base map until the 70's!)

For those not aware Australia was "officially" settled in 1788 by Captain James Cook but there is much confusion to how they came looking for the "great southern land". Some say the Dutch others say the Spanish or Portuguese maps lead to this rush and the British colonized in 1788 with ships full of convicted criminals or convicts.

Global Sailings (1662 - 1856, English, Spanish, Dutch, French) revisited

Bloggage update: I originally posted CLIWOC (CLImatological database for the World's OCeans) ship's captain's logs location data as uploads to the web. This 250K point data-set is now posted direct to web for easier access on AWS  via GeoCloud2 stack.  Again, this is only the ships' location data: as per its name, there is scope to add climate data from CLIWOC direct-to- web... so important these days to document climate change using a global dataset from 150 - 250 years ago!

Interactively explore the effects of global topography on surface water flow

SCALGO Live Global provides a unique way of understanding the effect of global topography (mountains, valleys, etc.) on the flow of surface water and flood risk. This is possible through interactions with SCALGO's analysis on a big data representation of the earth's surface. SCALGO is making the analysis freely available to the public.

Due to advances in data acquisition technology, detailed and accurate–and thus very big–terrain data is increasingly becoming available. However, much of the data's potential is in the analysis that it enables, and the knowledge that can be extracted from this analysis.  SCALGO Live Global illustrates some of the benefits of the technology using the 60 billion element, near-global, three arc-seconds (90-meter at the equator) resolution SRTM dataset made available by NASA. 

Google Launches 'Project Tango' 3D-Mapping Smartphone

There's already numerous apps to map our immediate environment in 3D with current smartphones, but this new Google project goes beyond, and because it's Google, the adoption potential of obviously significantly increased. MacRumors offers a nice summary along with several links in a story named Google Launches 'Project Tango' 3D-Mapping Smartphone.

From the official Project Tango site: "Our current prototype is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you. [...] What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? What if you never again found yourself lost in a new building? What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places? What if you could search for a product and see where the exact shelf is located in a super-store?"

Here's the 3-minutes video introducing Project Tango.

New Google Maps Launched

Most of our readers were already aware of the new Google Maps interface available in beta for quite some time already, as of yesterday, the new Google Maps is there for everybody.

The highlights according to the announcement:

  • Make smarter decisions. Simply search for “coffee” in your neighborhood, and you’ll be able to see results and snippets right on the map. [...] 
  • Get where you're going, faster. [...]  And with the new real-time traffic reports  and Street View previews, you’ll become a commuting ninja.
  • See the world from every angle. [...]   The new “carousel” at the bottom of the map makes all this imagery easy to access, so you can explore the world with a click.

Here's the 2-minutes video presenting the new Google Maps. It's a significant improvement over the version we're used to.

A new free software that let you fix your shapefile automatically

The Shapefile Fixer has been developed with the aim to get “cleaned” spatial data from most common geometry errors. The software reads a set of shapefiles from an input folder and writes the result to an output folder. The user can decide whether to apply the geometric errors fixing process and / or the coordinates rounding process.

More information at:

Slashgeo is a proud media partner of the Geospatial Advancement Canada 2014 conference in Ottawa

We are happy to inform you that Slashgeo will be a proud media partner of the upcoming Geospatial Advancement Canada conference in Ottawa in March 3-5 2014!

"Geospatial Advancement Canada will bring together Canada’s leaders in Geomatics to continue the discussion on developing a National Geo strategy. You will network and learn from industry experts who will detail, through case study presentations, how you can develop your own program or improve what you‘ve already achieved. Attending the summit will ensure that you are up-to-date on insights from industry leaders, able to defend against critical obstacles, and are implementing effective methodologies into your GIS programs. Register today to confirm your participation at one of the most sought-after events in the industry."

Slashgeo will publish articles during and after the conference on what has been highlighted in presentation and innovative ideas on the geospatial sphere.

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