Sensors and Systems
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Perspectives

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

Monday, July 14th, 2014

What are the top ten promises of wearables for greater geospatial awareness?

The wearables are certainly coming. We’ve seen the future in Google Glass, and the Android wear watches that are extending our handheld devices to be more hands free. We know that there is great value in extending technology to be more in tune with our actions, and less intrusive to our navigation.

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Can we afford to ignore the importance of Earth observation for carbon and climate accounting?

We’re on the eve of the launch of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory – 2, a direct copy of a satellite that was lost in a rocket failure more than five years ago. This sensor’s promises to accurately account for the global measure of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere, both for CO2 emitted, and

Monday, June 16th, 2014

What’s the significance of Google’s purchase of Skybox, and the removal of imagery restrictions?

Last week was a remarkable one for earth observation announcements. First was the news that Google would purchase Skybox Imaging and their low Earth orbit satellites and planned constellation for more than $500 million. Then there was the news that the Commerce Department was lifting imagery resolution restriction on DigitalGlobe, opening up what the company

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

How might NGA’s immersive mission impact mainstream geospatial technology?

At the recent International Space Symposium, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Letitia Long, set forth the mapping agency’s mission to move beyond integration and toward immersion through next-generation mapping and location technologies. This bold future direction is being made in an austere budget environment where programs that don’t meet this mission will lose

Monday, May 19th, 2014

From the cloud to the fog, how do localized nodes improve visibility and aid understanding?

There’s an evolution occurring that blends the move toward hosted services in data centers with our always-connected devices, morphing from ‘the Cloud’ to ‘the Fog’ as our devices start to interconnect rather than to route all interactions through networks to large data centers. This more distributed model is deja vu in terms of past network

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Where’s the whammy in WAMI and other motion imagery inputs?

  Wide Area Motion Imagery is a growing data source in the geospatial intelligence arena. There are a number of interesting platforms and programs from the Gorgon Stare that captured several square kilometers to the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance (ARGUS) system with coverage of more than 100 square kilometers. The Air Force Distributed Common

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Is Nokia poised to be the location leader of the future?

Nokia was on the ropes before the Microsoft acquisition of its device and services business, and now that the deal has closed it’s focusing strongly on its future. The new organization is much leaner, with a focus on networks, location and aligned technologies. With this new birth comes a new strategy that could well make

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Why is mapping for climate action, resilience and adaptation a game changer for the geospatial industry?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released their latest report, warning that delaying action will raise risks and impact economies. This mission to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to ensure stability means that global participation will be necessary. The path to a cleaner and more sustainable world will require greater monitoring and

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Is innovation of geospatial technology destined to always be driven by military budgets?

  Many of the roots of innovation in the geospatial toolbox come from military initiatives, including the Global Positioning System (GPS), many earth observation satellites and sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and a phenomenal push in the last decade away from paper-based maps and toward global map databases. Innovation follows investment, and the budget and market

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