For many years, major governmental agencies, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), have been embracing new and innovative ways for accessing and sharing crowdsourced data through social networks. While this is a natural progression for organizations to access data for decision making, it begs the question: is all of this data truly valid?
Two well-publicized incursions at heavily protected U.S. facilities this summer illustrate the glaring weaknesses that still remain in high-tech perimeter security systems. Although the breaches were ultimately benign, the incidents at JFK Airport in New York and the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee serve as not-so-subtle reminders of the high stakes involved in safeguarding our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Sensor Sensibility. This column will focus on a number of topics related to sensors ranging from sensor platforms to sensor data, standards to architectures. Sensors are transforming the information ecosystem, providing an opportunity for real-time data acquisition of ambient conditions.
Every ten years or so, we achieve a technological breakthrough that drives innovation for the next decade. We are coming out of the age of emergence of the Internet, which has seen this enabling technology move from novel to ubiquitous. By 2010, cell phones and smart phones were on the path to becoming standard, with nearly always-connected Internet capabilities. Suddenly, we have the wealth of information at our fingertips, from maps to phone books, from web browsers to media players. And we’re not only consuming information with our smart devices, we’re generating information at amazing rates.
I recently had the good fortune to attend a GeoDesign workshop presented by Bill Miller, who is the Director of GeoDesign Services at Esri, and one of the people credited with coining the term. It was a fascinating morning, and it was a reflection of how important this topic is becoming that Alex Miller, president of ESRI Canada (and no relation to Bill), attended. I had been hearing more and more about GeoDesign, but only had a vague notion of what it was, and wondered if it was just the latest buzzword.