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Monday, January 13th, 2014

Technology Intersection: Technological Crises Shed Light on World Systems

  Recent world events that started as technological glitches or dysfunctions have become major objects of debate in politics, geopolitics and the economy. It is useful to consider geotechnology as a tool which enables key players’ strategic decisions based on geospatial knowledge. However, in the unpredictable game of world situations, geotechnology appears as an independent

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The Rise of the [Geospatial] Machines Part 3: New Opportunities in the Coming Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Age

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are advanced robots that will empower many citizens and professionals. In a report published by the McKinsey Global Institute, it is estimated that a potential economic impact of $14 – $33 trillion a year by 2025 from the 12 technologies discussed. One of those technologies is advanced robotics: robots with enhanced

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Public Issue Participation Can Prevail

  Throughout two contentious California lawsuits to uphold Public Records Act (PRA) access to county GIS parcel basemaps, many GIS professionals got involved with this issue.  They informed themselves, they spoke out, they monitored online discussion groups and contributed opinions.  Some GIS professionals used their expertise to analyze the content and structure of contested basemaps;

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Sensor Sensibility: Project Planning and Deployment Considerations

  The wireless sensor network is fundamentally a distributed network of constrained devices. There are a host of considerations that must be taken into account when planning and implementing a wireless sensor network – considerations that are often overlooked in the lavish space in which traditional IT operates with nearly extravagant disk space, CPU and

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Technology Intersection: In the News—Controlling the Explanation of Geographical Context

The objective of this column is to observe world events surfacing on the daily news, focusing the attention on geotechnology and on the way it affects the functioning of world systems. The area of analysis is the intersection between technology, news, business and the digital world, where geospatial issues are more current and better measurable

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Bringing Small Mapping Collection Operators into the Digital Age

To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, reports of the demise of aerial film in our industry are greatly exaggerated. The transition to digital imaging technologies in the geospatial industry may seem ubiquitous, but the numbers tell a very different story. Film is very much alive, and numerous base mapping collection firms have not yet

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The Rise of the [Geospatial] Machines Part 2: Business and Privacy

Part one of this series described an imagined future scenario of pizza deliveries made using unmanned aerial systems (UAS). This is hardly a stretch given Americans’ history of extraordinary innovation. The level of innovation with UAS technology promises to be breathtaking. Since Part 1 was published, I have found real life examples of similar UAS

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Wearable Computing and the Internet of Things

  It is hard to go anywhere now and not see individuals or whole crowds of people staring at their “device”. I was walking past an outdoor café the other day and noticed that every single person on the patio was engaged in texting, searching and scanning. No one was talking. It is pretty obvious

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The Rise of the [Geospatial] Machines Part 1: The Future with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

You order a pizza for delivery. Later your cell phone rings and the voice says “your pizza is at the door”. You reach out and remove the pizza from the unmanned aerial drone, it retrieves payment from your NFC-enabled device, gives you a receipt, and flies off.

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Sensors for a Multi-Purpose World

A lot has changed in the geospatial industry since I started my career back in the early 1980s. GIS software today has a level of sophistication that we could have only dreamed of back then. Digital technology and the Internet have transformed how we do business and how customers utilize imagery. And the geospatial industry

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