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Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

How soon until we see a seamless high-resolution digital Earth?

It’s been a while since we’ve had a truly breakthrough mapping platform. We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of the creation of Google Maps (Feb. 2005) and the corresponding commercialization of Google Earth (June 2005). The open source NASA World Wind is another mature, but open source, variety of online world viewer, and there

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Will we recognize the meaning of the word ‘map’ in the years to come?

Historically, a map is an abstract recording of reality that communicates information about our surroundings and the relationships of things to place. It incorporates direction and scale to allow us to navigate. In its traditional paper format, a map ranks with a book in its ability to capture knowledge in a compact and portable way.

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Have we progressed beyond geospatial arrogance?

A conversation that took place at the industry’s largest geospatial gathering this summer is hard to erase from memory. There, a long-time industry veteran who is well respected to the point of holding office in a major industry association and giving many keynote addresses at regional events made a statement along the lines of, “we

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Is it time for another spatial analysis revolution?

Earlier this month, noted geospatial author and spatial analysis pioneer Joe Berry gave a series of talks marking his retirement. His 40-year perspective on the evolution of GIS technology takes in a remarkable progression from punch cards to digitizers and on to personal and portable computers. Much of the changes to GIS were driven by

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Is the convergence of geospatial technology ripe to cause disruption in natural resource industries?

A new population projection from the United Nations pushes past predictions beyond marks made just a decade ago. The new numbers show that we have an 80 percent chance of reaching 11 billion people by 2100, up from today’s seven billion number, and well beyond the prior estimate that showed growth rates leveling off. With

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Has your geospatial consulting business been smacked by the convergence of social, mobile, analytics and cloud?

There’s a clever acronym for the convergence of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC). With SMAC there’s a great deal of opportunity for improved efficiency of services for government and enterprises that engage a large customer base through websites, social media and mobile applications. Using these many touch points yields a large volume of data

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Is there any progress on location privacy protection?

There has long been a call for some safeguards for location privacy, not only to put some checks on the surveillant state, but also to curb some of the bold uses that marketers are making with our data. There are many examples of corporate and government abuses of our location privacy, and they only seem

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

What does real-time computing add to geospatial analysis and system performance?

One of the more amazing things to come out recently in the geospatial sphere is the coupling of GIS functionality with SAP HANA, the platform as a service that returns real-time analytics with its in-memory processing. The speed at which this predictive analytical engine operates, coupled with Esri’s GeoEvent Processor for real-time data feeds in

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Will there be backlash to free open location data when more for-profit providers pounce?

The justification behind free and open municipal data largely centers around improved transparency between government and citizens, and the means for the citizen to create apps to better serve their own and other people’s needs. While this ambition is being fulfilled, there are also those aggregating open information in larger datasets with the intent to

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Is mapmaking becoming as easy as PhotoShop for the planet?

At the rate that earth observation platforms are advancing, daily and even more frequent images of our world are becoming available. These regular updates are coupled with more automated processing tools as well as an increasing number of digital tools for cartography and artistic mapping. The continuum for more accuracy in our work has been

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