Waverly C. Ray of the Education Programs at the National Geographic Society wrote to me about the 'Speak Up For Geography: The 10,000 Letter Challenge' in the United States.
Here's what Waverly had to share: "You may not realize that our nation is facing a crisis in geographic literacy. American young adults rank at the bottom in geographic literacy surveys of the world’s most developed countries and 63% of them cannot locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East (Roper Poll, 2006). There is a shortage of job candidates with geospatial technology skills (U.S. Department of Labor, 2005). And, geography education is key for developing the knowledge and skills of the modern workforce (DiBiase, 2010).
So please join the public campaign "Speak Up For Geography: The 10,000 Letter Challenge". As a leader in the geospatial industry, your support of geography education in K-12 schools is needed now more than ever.
The goal of the 10,000 Letter Challenge is simple: to send 10,000 letters to Congress in support of the bipartisan Teaching Geography is Fundamental (TGIF) Act by November 18, 2011. This date marks the ending of Geography Awareness Week 2011 and the last day of the Congressional session before the Thanksgiving recess. It's easy to send letters to your Members of Congress at http://speakupforgeography.org.
For free downloads of 10,000 Letter Challenge resources--display ads, postcards, flyers, and a widget--go to https://sites.google.com/site/speakupforgeography/.
Show your support for geography education: Let Congress know that the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act is important to you. Ask others to join the Challenge by blogging, podcasting, and tweeting about SpeakUpForGeography.org. Post the widget on your website. Spread the message that the time to act is now!"Google Plus One
Over the weekend, MacRumors shared news of the confirmation that Apple Did Acquire 3D Mapping Company C3 Technologies.
From their entry: "C3 Technologies made a big splash at CES 2011 when it began demoing its technology on both Android and iOS devices. The company uses formerly classified missile targeting technology to achieve its impressive 3D mapping effects. The company's official YouTube videos have been pulled, but some examples remain."
Head to the website for videos and screenshots. We did mentioned C3 Technologies three times since 2008.Google Plus One
Slashdot runs a discussion named Hackers Briefly Controlled US Government Satellites.
Their summary: "Two U.S. satellites have been tampered with by hackers — possibly Chinese ones — in 2007 and 2008, claims a soon-to-be released report by the the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The two satellites, Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1, had been interfered with on four separate occasions, allowing the attackers to be in command of the satellites for two to over twelve minutes each time. Luckily, both of the satellites are used only for observing the Earth's climate and terrain, and the hackers never actually misused their control over them in any way."Google Plus One
Batch Geonews: ArcGIS for Android 1.0 Released, GeoIQ Social, Business Interiors in StreetView, Income Inequality, and more
First, I'm sorry for not publishing the "batch mode" version of the geonews for the last two weeks - along with several other responsibilities, taking care of two young daughters at home is certainly fun, but engulfs all available time. In this batch mode edition, there are certainly a few geonews that could deserve their own entry - click on what interests you to learn more!
From the Google front:
- In my previous Google entry earlier today, I forgot to mention the GEB entry detailing even more major improvements of Xavier Tassin's Google Earth Flight Simulator, now at version 0.7
- This one via APB, Google Maps rolls out business interiors in Street View
From the Esri front:
- Via VerySpatial, ArcGIS for Android 1.0 has been released
- Two weeks ago, mandown informed us that the ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 3 Now Available For Download
From the miscellaneous category:
- GeoIQ launched GeoIQ Social, "the first and only product that provides self-service analysis of social media data by time and location"
- On the OGC blog, there's an interesting short entry on "Big Data" vs SDI in geospatial
- Clearly, WebGL is en vogue, mapperz mentiones the new Nokia Maps 3D WebGL, and Nokia is readying LiveView, which blends maps and augmented reality for their upcoming Windows Phone
- Apple expanded iPhone 4S GPS capabilities with GLONASS support and Apple Siri's support for maps and local search is coming to international customers in 2012
- MapQuest refreshed their Developer Network
- The name Atanas Entchev ring a bell to you? He's an active member of the geospatial community and he needs our help, he's facing deportation from the U.S.
In the maps category:
- Mapperz mentions the UK car crash map
- Ok, not exactly a map, but trying to find what are the Wall Street protestors are so angry about, here's a breakdown of income inequality, the Gini coefficient, by countries
Recent Open Source Geonews: Open Elevation Service, Denmark Complete in OpenStreetMap, QGIS Improvements, and more
Here's the recent open source / open data geonews covering the last two weeks.
- The OSGeo and the International Cartographic Association (ICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding
- This Dr JTS entry mentions MapQuest's Open Elevation Service, that we never mentioned before - unrelated, Dr JTS aka Martin Davis, just got hired by OpenGeo
- OpenStreetMap for Denmark is now 97.2% complete, yes, crowdsourcing and open data can succeed, but the servers does cost money, hence the new OSM Tile usage policy
- Here's an entry on expression-based labeling now in QGIS and the new expression builder, another one on QGIS Topological Editing and we even got a new QGIS Plugin Builder
- R algorithms can now be called from SEXTANTE
An important Google announcement that will impact all major users of the Google Maps API is the Introduction of usage limits to the Maps API.
The HEO blog summarizes it this way: "Beyond the free limit of 25,000 views per day, sites will start having to pay $4 per 1,000 views." The details are actually in the Google Maps API FAQ. This 25,000 limit will impact only heavy traffic websites, which may be interested in the more cost-effective Maps API Premier license. But still that's the end of the free Google Maps API. Enforcement will begin in early 2012.
In the Google announcement: "We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning. However with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API we need to secure its long term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable. By introducing these limits we are ensuring that Google can continue to offer the Maps API for free to the vast majority of developers for many years to come."
The second announcement is Google Map Maker now available for Canada. And as a bonus (and less important), here's the official entry for this week's imagery update to Google Maps and Google Earth.Google Plus One
Slashdot Geonews: Holographic Desk, Throwable Panoramic Camera, Time Zone Database Lawsuit, and more
Here's the geospatial-related geonews discussed over Slashdot during the last two weeks, in batch mode:
- Here's an "Holographic" Desk Allowing Interaction With Virtual Objects
- A Throwable 36-Camera Ball Takes Spherical Panoramas
- A discussion on the Time Zone Database Has New Home After Lawsuit
- The Origo prototype, 3D Printer For Your Kids
- There's a interactive population map attached to this Earth Officially Home To 7 Billion Humans story
- Google Releases Geothermal Potential Map of the US
- And another Google story named How Google's Autonomous Vehicles Work
- In order to reduce the costs of satellites, DARPA Proposes Ripping Up Dead Satellites To Make New Ones
- A recurring theme, Senator Introduces Bill To Stop Warrantless GPS Tracking
- Sensor Enables 3D Mapping of Rainforests
Google Plus One
In June 2009 we announced the release by the METI and NASA of the free global topography dataset named "ASTER GDEM", and Version 2 with significant improvements has just been released earlier this month.
From the article: "The improved version of the map adds 260,000 additional stereo-pair images to improve coverage. It features improved spatial resolution, increased horizontal and vertical accuracy, more realistic coverage over water bodies and the ability to identify lakes as small as 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter. The map is available online to users everywhere at no cost. [...] The ASTER data cover 99 percent of Earth's landmass and span from 83 degrees north latitude to 83 degrees south. Each elevation measurement point in the data is 98 feet (30 meters) apart."
Here's a direct link to the ASTER GDEM website. See also previous news regarding ASTER GDEM. Of course, if you have an interesting in the ASTER GDEM, make sure you know about the SRTM-DEM CGIAR-CSI Version 4 too.Google Plus One
While being present at one of the main geospatial event in Quebec (Canada) called: Géomatique 2011, I will do the same as Alex and give some of my impression on the event. I was there mainly to link with my peers as well as discover the new data, apps or development project in the region. I was appealed by two main conference themes: data management and augmented reality.
On the data management side, ESRI Canada presented its new community driven project which offers a complete platform to publish data for free and hosted by ESRI Canada using ArcGIS Online as framework: https://www.esricanada.com/documents/MunicipalWorld_June2011.pdf. The project's main goal presented at Geomatique 2011 was to support open data initiatives in public organisation (http://www.esricanada.com/en_products/4046.asp) especially at municipal level, such as the one made for the City of Nanaimo, Toronto, Kamloops and Moncton, but elsewhere in municipality around Canada, like Sherbrooke in Quebec (and federal and provincial levels, if data are available).
In terms of mobile technology and augmented reality, a young developer Team from Fujitsu presents what has been developed during the Quebec Open Jeep Volleyball tournament (http://quebecopenjeep.com) in Quebec City in summer 2011. This generic apps for the public has been quite simple but demonstrate the use of augmented reality. This apps was showing point of interest and beer location on-site with 2D/3D moving objects added to the scene taken by mobile phone. The next Open Volleyball event in 2012 might be more innovative and integrating more 3D models. Like explained in the summary of Alex of Slashgeo (http://slashgeo.org/2011/10/19/G%C3%A9omatique-2011-Presentation-Notes) about the topic of augmented reality in the presentation made by Sylvie Daniel, the challenge and perspective of augmented reality are still huge, but right now augmented reality is still made for fun and exploration game and product. In summary, geospatial professional needs to stay in touch with opportunity related to augmented reality, but cannot see it as an easy way to develop serious geo-engineering / surveys project in today’s world. The slides and video of all presentations at Géomatique 2011 will be available soon, once it is on-line, Slashgeo will publish the news.Google Plus One
MapQuest introduced MapQuest Vibe in beta: "Today, we’re launching MapQuest Vibe, which is your shortcut to becoming a local, anywhere. This early beta cuts through the clutter of ratings, lists and pins on a map, by giving you actual rankings of places based on key criteria within a local neighborhood context. [...] The “local knowledge” is generated with a new patented algorithm called VibeRank. This blended social-algorithmic formula takes several implicit signals (like searches on MapQuest and cartographic data), creates a baseline ranking and then layers on explicit social signals from the new Vibe pages. Based on this algorithm, MapQuest Vibe profiles more than 50,000 neighborhoods, 27,000 cities and 50,000 hotspots in the U.S., reaching 98 percent of the population."
MapQuest Vibe presents neighborhoods from a different angle than other mapping sites and it's integrated with Facebook. Directions Mag offers a round up of early MapQuest Vibe reviews. In other recent MapQuest news, they now have a map widget for GoDaddy-hosted websites.Google Plus One
Google Geonews: Launch Video of Google Earth Builder, YoubeQ 3D Social Network in Google Earth, New 45° Imagery for 16 Cities, Football Resources, and more
Here's the recent Google geonews.
From the official sources:
- Here's the 3-minutes launch video of Google Earth Builder at the Google Geo summit, I like it when Ed Parsons says "Geospatial technologies is moving away from [...] the specialist, it's now available to everyone", since you're reading Slashgeo, you probably are a specialist, should we be afraid or is this just our jobs' natural evolution?
- There's new 45° imagery available for 16 cities: "Europe: Caceres, Spain; Graz, Austria; Montreux, Switzerland; Zurich, Switzerland; US: Bakersfield, CA; Boise, ID; Canton, OH; Centennial, CO; Columbia, SC; Davenport, IA; Des Moines, IA; Enumclaw, WA; Grand Rapids, MI; Kansas City, KS/MO; Lawrence, KS; Los Angeles, CA; Merced, CA; New Orleans, LA; Omaha, NE; Payson, UT; Portland, OR; Springfield, MO; St. Louis, MO; The Woodlands, TX;"
- There's new StreetView imagery of the Swiss Alps, taken from railways
- The tool that allows you to get notified when new imagery is available, Follow Your World, is now available in 43 new languages
- We've been invited to Explore the history of Mexico with Google Earth
From other sources:
- The GEB shares the location of the Turkey earthquake and Gaddafi's death
- The GEB also describe YoubeQ, a 3D social network using the Google Earth plugin: "YoubeQ puts you on a Segway to drive around the globe, with the option to quickly teleport to any location that you wish to visit. You can click on other users to chat with them, collect stamps as you travel the globe, and it has a variety of other features (with many more coming)."
- A week ago the same site offered an entry on what Google Earth can do for responding to the Thailand Floods
- Here's a round-up of the great (American) Football resources in Google Earth
- If you have interest in it, here's how to tweak the Google Earth Flight Simulator
- Last Wednesday, there was new imagery released to Google Maps / Earth
That's the name of a recent O'Reilly article, Visualization deconstructed: Why animated geospatial data works.
From the article: "Sebastien shared a great quote, attributed to Paul Butler, which read: "Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle." [...] Central to the impact and effectiveness of these designs is the simple animation of the data over time. Some exist with just a play/pause button; others have more interactive options to control the speed, flow and progress of the timeline. For the viewer, there is palpable excitement when anticipating how the patterns will evolve; when the data spread will increase or decline; when the data activity will speed up or slow down; and when it will pop up in new, previously uncharted territories."Google Plus One
Guns & Roses, or: 3D GIS anyone? behind the colorful history of Teapot Dome in Wyoming, US and its current incarnation that released a comprehensive 3D petroleum dataset, lies this challenge: how is GIS approaching comprehensive 3D treatment (truly with overhangs and multi-Z's per XY, not 2.5D extrusion however useful that may be), with the increasing availability of robust 3D tools some for free (recent slashgeo post). To help with that I posted said dataset on arcgis.com and started revamping my geoscience classes also coming soon to a screen near you.Google Plus One
I haven't found much about it on the popular geoblogs, but I recently learned about the existence of Autodesk's free 123D 3D modeling software. It's at the 'beta 6' stage and available only for Windows. It clearly sounds like Google SketchUp competition from Autodesk. This reminds me of Project Butterfly, which got launched as AutoCAD WS, another free tool from Autodesk.
From the 123D about page: "123D is a free solid modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide. Not an engineer? No problem, with Autodesk 123D you can design precise and makeable objects using smart tools that let you start with simple shapes and then edit and then tweak them into more complex shapes."Google Plus One
On Slashdot, an anonymous reader writes "Political and territorial disputes have been leaking to scientific venues like Nature, Science and Climatic Change. Many recent scientific papers submitted to these journals promote the highly disputed Chinese U-shaped line. One of the authors refused to change her map after being requested by the journals, stating that that her published map was requested by the Chinese government. This practice was condemned by Nature in its latest editorial, which asserts that political maps that seek to advance disputed territorial claims have no place in scientific papers."Google Plus One
Here's what we published so far regarding Géomatique 2011, the geospatial conference in Montréal for which Slashgeo has been a media partner. In this entry, I'll focus on my personal notes taken during the conference. You can refer to the detailed program if you want to learn more.
Day 2 general impressions:
- The organisation of the event has been flawless - congratulations
- I'm wondering why no one from the OGC deemed give a presentation on the state of geospatial standards
- The great second-day lunchtime keynote was provided by Dr. Sonia Lupien, Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress. Last winter I happened to read her excellent book on human stress (which is apparently only available in French)
Here's my talk notes, in chronological order. This is not summaries, you'll find links to talk summaries in the detailed program.
Needium - using tweet locations to provide services:
- They're salvaging, filtering, categoring and locating tweets to provide services related to the expressed needs in the tweets. Example: someone tweets "I'm feeling sushi tonight", a Needium employee will contact that person telling him where the nearest sushi bar is
- When tweets aren't implicitely geolocated, they infer location using other methods when possible, such as the home city in the user profile and other previous tweets made
- They index over 12 million messages every day
- Only Needium employees reply to twitter users, no automated messages
- Needium makes money by partnering with local businesses that they can recommend whenever appropriate... and it works, they are making money
NRCan - Update on national mapping
- Given by Éric Loubier of Natural Resources Canada
- What's the impact of the overabundance of information on cartographic agencies?
- With the numerous new sources of geodata, including crowsourced ones, can we rely on the data quality?
- There's a siplification of processes and products, so they become more easily digestible
- Redefining the role of government regarding geodata production and dissemination
- And a change of paradigm, more open, quickly provided, enabling added value and easy sharing
- Government must modernize in order to stay relevant
- The dangers of trying of normalizing everything, there is no such thing as one size fits all
Cartography 2.0 - Boris Mericskay
- Non geo-experts are doing mapping now
- They are omnipresent in contributions and uses similar tools as experts
- Along with crowdsourcing, citizens are now the sensors, example of EDDMapS.org
- Little metadata comes with voluntary contributions
Hydro-Québec and their use of LiDAR
- Excellent crash course on LiDAR
- Measuring everything at remote locations with high resolution lidar
- They use lidar wither for overground and underground installations
City of Québec in 3D
Virtual city, made out of Esri and Bentley products, amongst many others
Various levels of details
Sharing it with their partners
From 2D cadastre to 3D
This was initially an undergraduate project
It requires about 20 minutes per building to generate the 3D cadastre, along with over 100 clicks to clean scanned vectors, in other words, it's not that automated
There's plans to have 3D cadastre for 2016 (mentioned by someone from the attendance)
The Geoide Network since 1998
Given by Nicolas Chrisman
320 students, 119 researchers, 27 universities currently (?)
- Informed decisions, science, social needs. Commercialization, local to global
Closing the gap between outdoor and indoor navigation
- Given by Ann Vanclooster
- Challenges = technologies and 3D indoor models
- Bing and Google are poor for existing indoor passages, no incorporation of them, while some others are better, such as Via Michelin, OpenRouteService
- In short, seamless global outdoor and indoor positioning system, we're not there yet
WikiGIS and collaborative Geodesign
- Given by Wided Batita
- The numerous 'geodesign' definitions, essentially combining gis and design
- WikiGIS prototype: wikisig.scg.ulaval.ca
- Given by Sylvie Daniel of ULaval
- Real-world games to teach geospatial via smartphones and tablets, using augmented reality for instance
- Mainly targeting kids
- To be released as open source
- Bentley and Ubisoft are partners
Data aggregation for decisions
- Given by Eve Grenier, ULaval
- No one size fits all solution
Dessau: geomatics in big engineering projects
- Given by Mathieu Arcand, GIS team leader
- Engineers haven't integrated geomatics yet and are not necessarily convinced - lost of control... They don't understand the potential of geospatial technologies - we're not 'just' map makers
- The importance of understanding the domain to which geomatics is applied
- The various phases of big engineering projects - project life cycle
- The importance of data validation
- AutoCAD vs GIS: they do different things and there's a lot of internal competition between CAD and GIS teams
- Technology choice must be well made
Spatial SQL servers comparison
- Given by Simon Mercier, presentation available Mgeospatial.com/database.pdf (in French)
- The data warehouse is central
- The history of SQL servers
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada helped create Oracle 11g
- There are free (but limited) versions of MS SQL Server and Oracle Spatial
- In regards to spatial capabilities, PostGIS and Oracle Spatial are way ahead of MS SQL Server, and both support SQL-MM and offer better spatial indexes / functions and OS.
- Comparison of performances difficult to do, and it's also illegal in the terms of license of Oracle and MS SQL Server
- Oracle Spatial vs Oracle Locator explained
- Oracle spatial not cheap, but can worth it in some contexts
- Given by Luc Vaillancourt
- Inspire in Europe
- Metadata becoming mandatory In my governmental contexts
- GeoNode, rating datasets
- Geocommons discussed, which does not use geonetwork
Canadian national elevation strategy
- Given by David Belanger, CITS (NRCan)
- DNEC data, the most popular geobase data
- Constraint and incoherences in the current data
- New database structure giving them increased flexibility
- 3 databases: management db, distribution db + metadata db
- Handling bith vector and raster
- Using PostGIS with PostGIS Raster
- Using geohashtree, using geohash and using GDAL-DEM
- Given by François Riendeau, ViaSat
- Some data providers don't care that much about data accuracy, it depends so much on the use case
- Accuracy != precision, absolute vs relative (in French = exactitude vs precision)
- Error types
- Validation, metadata, documentation
- It's the role of the geospatial specialist to informs clients about precision, projections, datums, etc
State of the 3D data market
- Given by Jacynthe Pouliot of ULaval
- International survey results, made 9 months ago, followup of a previous survey completed in 2007
- 100 people has responded, mostly professionals and business execs
- Not that many people actually work with 3D geospatial data
- Main constraint is data availability, software performances, efforts to acquire and process the data
- Most do 3D for acquiring new knowledge or for client satisfaction
- Most expect that their use of 3D data will increase significantly in the coming years, people plan to spend more for 3D data
- Upcoming 3D GeoInfo Conference in May 16-17th 2012 in Québec City
- 3D privacy and law issues have not been explored
Augmented reality in geoengineering: perspective and challenges
- Given by Sylvie Daniel
- Infrastructure maintenance with AR
- The added value of AR vs existing mobile mapping solutions? There's 3D...
- It must be much more than just superposition to be really AR
- Example, visualization of in-wall electrical wires while roaming in buildings
- Reliability is important, you can't crash or be slow while working on a site
- Numerous constraints and challenges, positioning accuracy, platforms and different hardware (and battery), hostile environments (e.g. rainy days, direct sun), field of view (engineering work are large!), data transfer delays
- Sometimes 2D more efficient than 3D
- Another example, underground installations visualization from the ground
- In conclusion, we're not there yet (especially for Geo-engineering project), but getting closer
- Platforms are not built specifically for AR, dedicated devices coming eventually?
- Augmented Simulation: simulation directly via AR
Mapping Thermal vulnerabilities in Montréal
- Given by Felissa Lareau
- Urban heat islands
- The project's goal = finding vulnerable areas
- Thermal vulnerability: exposition, sensibility, adaptivity , + external factors
- Mapping the vulnerabilities: indices exists for some cities using different methodologies
- Mainly using thermal satellite imagery coupled with demographic data
- Final map shows several small vulnerable areas dispersed over the Montreal island
- Challenges: including ground truth, adaptivity, improved source data
- Conclusion, it works and the results are used during urban heat waves
Geo-Trafic, intelligent transports in Montreal
- Serge Kéna-Cohen & Son Thu Lê
- Traffic is dramatically increasing in the Montreal area
- New intelligent transport system
- Geo-Trafic is a real-time geodatabase for the road network, activities, incidents, snow removal activities
- Goal is streamlining traffic data flow
- Decided to go with off the shelf software instead of building their own - they're at this stage now
- Their data will be openly available and normalized
Québec City Police and mobile mapping
- Given by Jimmy Perron
- Quebec City has half a million citizens
- Its Police has 1000 employees, 140 vehicles and 25 motorcycles, 400,000 emergency calls per year
- Needs: mobile mapping, gps, geocollaboration, touch user interfaces
- Solution "NSim Contour" with vector data tiling, static data is cached, such as orthoimagery, accessing data from multiple sources
- Geocollaboration, real-time sharing of map modifications and enhancements with logs and chatting capabilities
SQ mobile solution for emergencies
- Given by Pascal Dionne
- For Search and Rescue operations
- Using laptop, with GPS, and ArcMap 10 with cached data
- Using established statistics to help narrow searches, "lost person behavior"
- Police Search and Rescue efforts entirely mapped
- Spatial data also used for forensics
- Given by Hassan Mazzene
- Intrado is a large company offering 911-related services and SQ are using their technology
- Manage 240 million emergency calls every year
- Txt2911, using SMS
- Cellphone 911 localization
- Diving into OGC standards for their next generation GIS
The 'Géomatique 20XY' conference in Montréal has recently been hosted every two years (with one exception), so I expect the next one will take place in Fall 2013, if you're in the Quebec province or nearby such as in Ottawa and Toronto, I strongly encourage you considering attending to this great conference unique in the region.Google Plus One
Slashdot is discussing a feature I haven't heard before, Making Sensitive Data Location Aware.
Their summary: ""In a breakthrough that could aid spies, keepers of medical records, and parents who want to prevent their kids from 'sexting,' a team of Virginia Tech researchers has created software to remotely put smart phones under lockdown. The phones are given permission to access sensitive data while in a particular room, but when the devices leave the room, the data is completely wiped. A general, for example, could access secret intelligence while visiting a secure government facility without fear that his or her smart phone or tablet computer might later be lost or stolen, the team's lead researcher said. 'This system provides something that has never been available before. It puts physical boundaries around information in cyberspace.'" [Slashdot editor adds:] Unless the phone or other device can also take screenshots, or doesn't have that software installed."Google Plus One
During the Géomatique 2011 conference this week I had discussions with some of my previous teachers from when I was a graduate student in geomatics over 10 years ago. While I'm not closely involved in education at the moment, one statistic that surprised me is how geomatics / geospatial, at least in the Québec province, doesn't seem to be attractive and fail to bring a quantity of new students to geospatial that our industry badly needs. How can that be? Geospatial is so exciting and there's so much left to do!
The local geospatial stakeholders are apparently aware of the problem, they even have a plan and website for attracting more students: relevegeomatique.com [in French]. But based on my discussions, it mostly seems to be a 2-parts problem:
- Geospatial is not being presented as cool and ubiquitous as it is. Geospatial is everywhere: web maps and virtual globes, satnav and GPS, on our smartphones, in the news and movies, even in games, etc. Students need to taste the geospatial revolution. Geospatial is part of an inevitable future.
- I've been told that 'neogeography' isn't part of the offered courses anyway. With too many teachers being stucked in their 'paleogeography' era. Sure, theory on GIS, geodetics and remote sensing constitute an essential part of geospatial education, but it must not end there. In today's world, there's virtual globes, location-based services and smartphones, geodata crowdsourcing, augmented reality, Web GIS and Cloud GIS, mature geospatial open source software, and so much more that, I've been told, is not presently part of the programs offered to students.
My feeling is that geospatial will continue to fail to attract more students until those two issues are addressed. To which extent am I wrong? What's more to consider? Let us know what you think! I'm certain other provinces or states don't have this problem - maybe we should learn from them.
More summaries of my attendance to Géomatique 2011 will be published early next week. Have a great weekend!Google Plus One
The improvements are simply described as: "With WebGL your maps experience is much better with 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery and the ability to instantly “swoop” into Street View without a plugin." Particularly in geospatial, changes are easier to grasp when visualized, here's the short video showing the differences between Google Maps and Google MapsGL. You do need Chrome or the latest Firefox.
Other recent Google geonews:
- Here's an official entry on faster updates to local business listings
- The GEB shares an entry on A tribute to Steve Jobs in Google Earth
- And an entry on the Sea Ice Extent Animation updated for 2011
Slashdot discusses a story named Australian Malls To Track Shoppers By Their Phones. That's not the first time we hear about such efforts.
Their summary: "Australian shopping centers will monitor customers' mobile phones to track how often they visit, which stores they like and how long they stay. One unnamed Queensland shopping center is next month due to become the first in the nation to install receivers that detect unique mobile phone radio frequency codes to pinpoint location within two meters."Google Plus One