GSS Monthly

Nine American cities demonstrate how data can improve lives

February 15, 2018By
New Orleans has 15,000 fewer blighted properties thanks to BlightStat, a data-driven performance management program that’s helped the City strategically address the issue. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Making cities cleaner, providing better services and housing, and decreasing pollution are all achievements of nine cities recognized for using data to improve citizens’ lives. In January, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that nine cities have achieved What Works Cities certification, a first-of-its-kind national standard of excellence in city governance. What Works Cities certification rates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured Stories, GSS Monthly

A search engine for the planet? Try the demo

November 15, 2017By
Descartes-search

Where are all the windmills on Earth? Or oil derricks? How about baseball stadiums? You could scan through the millions of satellite images snapped by hundreds of satellites now circling the planet. Or you could try Descartes Labs’ demo search engine. Satellites are snapping images of the Earth every day. Alongside Planet Inc. and DigitalGlobe satellites, constellations are planned from companies such as Urthecast... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured Stories, GSS Monthly, Imagery, Technology

The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 — GIS-style

August 17, 2017By
Figure 1- 1979 total eclipse path through the US. Source: NASA

The media is buzzing about the Great American Solar Eclipse that takes place Monday, Aug. 21.  It’s a historic event that last occurred 99 years ago. To be clear, 99 years ago is when the last total solar eclipse traversed the entire continental United States (lower 48 states). To put that timeline in perspective, only one of the following inventions... read more

GIS users come from every field

July 20, 2017By
GeoSLAM-art-scan-W

I just returned from the 38th Annual Esri International User Conference (Esri UC), which is the largest gathering of GIS (geographic information systems) professionals in the U.S. No GIS event in the U.S. is close to its scale. Every year for the past 38 years (I presume, as I’ve only attended the last 11), Esri President Jack Dangermond begins by... read more

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in GSS Monthly, Mapping

UAVs, high-accuracy GNSS: Red-hot, right-now tech

June 22, 2017By
Figure 5- Site topo with projected UAV launch point

High-accuracy GNSS technology and UAV technology are hot trends — red hot. Geospatial Solutions Editor Eric Gakstatter offers a rundown on the latest GNSS, GIS and UAV technology. read more

This article is tagged with , , , , , and posted in GNSS/GPS, GSS Monthly, Opinions, Technology, UAS/UAV

Eyes in the Sky: Advanced survey technologies give 20/20 view of remote assets

April 3, 2017By
Time-lapse of fixed-wing aircraft collecting near-shore topobathy lidar after Superstorm Sandy near Holden Beach, North Carolina. (Photo: Brett Murphy)

By Will Fellers Remote sensing technology has come a long way and is delivering serious benefits across a wide range of industries. Since the early 1970s, when the first LANDSAT satellites were launched, there has been rapid technological innovation in platform architecture and sensor technology used to collect both active and passive spectral information. These advancements have dramatically changed the... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured Stories, GIS News, GSS Monthly, Lidar, Technology

Esri cultivates mobile GIS apps

March 16, 2017By
Esri Collector

I’ve attended a couple of Esri events these past couple of months. They are on the move. For a big software company (est. $1 billion in annual revenues), they are reasonably nimble. Of course, if you’ve worked with Esri software, no doubt you’ve been frustrated at times, but considering the size of the organization and the dynamic nature of GIS... read more

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in GIS Software, GSS Monthly, Technology

3D GNSS data and the GEOID

January 19, 2017By
20160803_163538

As high-precision GNSS horizontal and vertical data becomes less expensive to collect, greater attention must be paid when reconciling vertical datasets. In 2013, I wrote two articles entitled “Nightmare on GIS Street: Accuracy, Datums, and Geospatial Data” and “Part 2: Nightmare on GIS Street – Accuracy, Datums, and Geospatial Data” as well as conducted some webinars on horizontal datums. Reconciling... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in GIS Software, GNSS/GPS, GSS Monthly, Technology

How to use structure from motion to produce 3D models

December 19, 2016By
sfm-2d-model

Structure from motion (SfM) is a photogrammetric range imaging technique for estimating three-dimensional structures from two-dimensional image sequences that may be coupled with local motion signals, according to Wikipedia, which I think is reasonably accurate in this case. Simply put, one can snap a series of photographs using the camera in your smartphone, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or other photographic... read more

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in GSS Monthly, UAS/UAV

Going beyond GPS is the new order of the day

November 17, 2016By
Demonstration site facing north, illustrating the array of equipment.

Times have changed, and the technology landscape is much, much different today than it was as recently as ten years ago when GPS was the driving-force technology for geospatial users and geospatial equipment, and the exclusive concern of many companies in the industry. In that era, their challenges were to design the best performing receiver in terms of accuracy, size,... read more