Top Stories
Top Stories
Top news stories from Sensors & Systems online magazine.
New NASA Studies to Examine Climate/Vegetation Links

NASA has selected proposals for two new instruments, including one from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, that will observe changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station. The sensors will give scientists new ways to see how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate or in land use.

Spire (formerly Nanosatisfi) Announces $25 Million Series A Financing

Spire, a satellite-powered data company, announced today that it has raised $25 million in Series A funding. Spire is changing its name from Nanosatisfi, with rebranding rolling out through the end of the year.

Velodyne's 3D LiDAR Sensor Enables Embry-Riddle to Take First PLace in International Roboboat Competition

Navigating a floating obstacle course with aplomb, an autonomous LiDAR-equipped boat from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ( captured first place overall at the 7th Annual International RoboBoat Competition held July 13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Preparedness Grants

As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Secretary Jeh Johnson today announced final allocations for seven FY 2014 DHS preparedness grant programs, including the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), and Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP). These seven allocations total more than $1.6 billion to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector.

The New FEMA Flood Map Service Center

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The latest generation MSC serves as a streamlined product portal that provides both general and advanced users with intuitive, powerful and completely free of charge access to flood hazard products and tools.

New Esri Book Proposes Changes to US Land Records System

Modernizing American Land Records: Order upon Chaos examines the history of American land concepts, governance, and records systems and their use. The book considers institutional land record trends and the latest technical developments of location-oriented land data systems such as geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS). Both the institutional and technical concepts are reconciled in the authors' proposed design of a modern American Land Records System (ALRS) that is consistent with current attitudes, practices, and technological development.

New York Storm - Tide Sensor Network Strengthened

Vital coastal storm-tide information needed to help guide storm response efforts following major storms affecting New York will be more accessible than ever due to a new monitoring network the U.S. Geological Survey is currently building.  

The U.S.Virgin Islands Maps Now Updated by Crowdsourcing Volunteers

Since August 2013, all 50 states have been available for editing with the USGS The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) volunteered geographic information project. Starting this month, TNMCorps is pleased to add the United States Virgin Islands to that list.

ENVITIA Awarded G-Cloud 5 Supplier Status

Envitia, the leading SME provider of geospatial software and solutions, has been awarded a position by the Crown Commercial Service to supply Cloud-based GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and services to the UK public sector through the G-Cloud framework.

TeleCommunication Systems to Supply X/Y Tracking Antenna Systems to Planet Labs

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc., a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, today announced that it has entered into a contract with Planet Labs to supply a global network of X/Y Tracking Antenna Systems. These precision systems are designed specifically for low-Earth orbit (LEO) and medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites used for Earth observation, remote sensing, as well as telemetry, tracking and control applications. Planet Labs is utilizing TCS' antenna systems to track "Flock-1", the world's largest, single constellation of Earth-imaging satellites.

Surrey Satellite US Announces Second Orbital Test Bed Ride-Share Mission

Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) today announced plans for a second Orbital Test Bed (OTB-2) ride-share mission dedicated to carrying demonstration payloads, subsystems, and equipment into low-Earth orbit aboard a flight-proven satellite bus. Targeted for launch in the second quarter of 2016, OTB-2 will fly SST-US’s own experimental optical payload alongside third-party payloads.

E-book Details How GIS Technology Has Become The Newest Crime-Fighting Tool

American Sentinel University’s new e-book, ‘GIS for Crime Analysis, Law Enforcement and Public Safety,’ profiles how geographic information systems (GIS) has become an effective new crime-fighting tool used by law enforcement agencies to uncover criminal patterns that would be otherwise impossible to identify.

COWI Assists in Drawing the Border Between Malawi and Mozambique

COWI won the assignment of mapping the watershed line between the two African countries in an international tender by German Development Cooperation GIZ. The project supports the border programme of the African Union in its endeavour to demarcate all African borders by 2017.

Esri Canada Launches GIS Centres of Excellence in Higher Education

Esri Canada, the leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of its GIS Centres of Excellence initiative which is aimed at encouraging innovation in GIS research and promoting teaching excellence in spatial data management and analysis in higher education across Canada. Initially, there will be Centres at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, McMaster University and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, McGill University in Quebec, and a joint centre between Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College, Centre of Geographic Sciences in Nova Scotia. Over the next three years, Centres will be opened in the Prairie provinces, followed by additional Centres in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Keystone Aerial Surveys Announces Leadership Transition

Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. announced today the appointment of its new leadership team. John Schmitt will assume the position of President and David Day that of Executive Vice President, effective October 6, 2014 with the planned departures of Mary Potter and Ken Potter, respectively, the current office holders. The Potters will continue to serve as advisors and Mary Potter will remain on the Board of Directors.

Chuck Croner to be Inducted Into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce the induction of Charles M. Croner, PhD into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame. The honor will be officially recognized during GIS-Pro 2014 in New Orleans this September.

CartoDB Enterprise: Next-generation GIS Cloud Solution for Groups

CartoDB is the easiest way to create amazing maps with your data. The interface is creating a new standard for user experience in the mapping and data analytics community. This has allows us to work with users from diverse backgrounds to create maps. From hobbyists, educators, researchers, and general business, we are enabling a new generation of mappers to work with their data.

Streamflow Increasing in Eastern Missouri River Basin, Decreasing Elsewhere

Streamflow in the eastern portions of the Missouri River watershed has increased over the past 52 years, whereas other parts have seen downward trends. U.S. Geological Survey scientists recently studied data from 227 streamgages in the Missouri River watershed that had continuous records for 1960 through 2011. The scientists found that almost half of the streamgages showed either an upward or downward trend in mean annual flow since 1960, while the rest showed no trend.

International LiDAR Mapping Forum Announces Call for Papers for 2015 Event

SPAR Point Group, organizer of International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF), has announced a Call for Papers for the 2015 event which will take place in Denver, Colorado, USA, February 23-25, 2015. The Call for Papers invites any interested parties to submit abstracts by the deadline of September 1, 2014 using the online submission form.

FACT SHEET: Empowering America’s Agricultural Sector and Strengthening Food Resilience through the President’s Climate Data Initiative

In March 2014, the Obama Administration unveiled the Climate Data Initiative—a key deliverable of the President’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution in America, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. The Climate Data Initiative leverages the Federal Government’s vast and open data resources to stimulate the kinds of innovation and entrepreneurship that can empower America’s communities and businesses to take action against climate change and prepare for the future.

Esri Supports White House Climate Data Initiative Food Resilience Efforts

In response to President Obama’s call to action via the Climate Data Initiative Food Resilience effort, Esri is launching a new campaign that will use geography to better visualize, understand, and improve our global food systems.

Amazon Launches a Climate Research Grant Program

Amazon announced ac all for proposals designed to drive innovative climate change research with a focus on computational analysis. In early September, AWS will award grants of free access to supercomputing resources running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

California Drought Impact of $2.2 billion and 17,100 Agricultural Jobs

A new study reveals that California's historic drought will cost the state $2.2 billion in 2014 and result in the loss of more than 17,000 jobs. 

Society of Satellite Professionals International Launches Web Site Making the Case for Satellite as Essential to the World

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) today launched How Satellites Make a Better World (, a Web site cataloging the enormous contributions of satellite technology to human welfare, the economy, peace and security.   The site is part of a long-term campaign, Making the Case for Satellite, which seeks to raise awareness of satellite as one of the world’s essential communications platforms, in support of the industry’s growth and in defense of its right to spectrum.  To carry out the brand-building campaign, SSPI has joined in an alliance of industry associations –  including the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), the European Satellite Operators’ Association (ESOA), the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), and the World Teleport Association (WTA) – that contribute content and spread the campaign’s message.

Aerial Mapping Company Bluesky Expands with New Appointments

Aerial mapping company Bluesky International has expanded its commercial operation with a number of new appointments at its Leicestershire based headquarters. Sarah Wright has been appointed as Project Manager and Joshua Aves as GIS Analyst. In addition Alys Hudson joins as Sales Executive while David Beniston takes on the role of Office Administrator.  

First Satellite Masters Conference Set to Launch in Berlin

The first Satellite Masters Conference will provide a unique marketplace for sharing innovations based on satellite navigation and Earth observation capabilities and connecting with the world's leading network for downstream satellite business.

ASU Alum's Mapping Project a Finalist in Google Impact Challenge

As a child, ASU alumnus Adam Kiefer loved going on road trips to visit U.S. national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Graduating from ASU in 2004 with a degree in geography and skills in computer-based mapping, Kiefer carried that love of natural environments into his professional life.

Report: Earth Observation Priorities 2014

Within the borders of the world’s third largest country resides the most dynamic and technologically advanced economy on the globe. From smartphones and cars to supercomputers and nanotechnology, the United States is a global leader in innovation. As a vast country with a diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, plains, coasts, wetlands, lakes, and forests, and an equally diverse populace, the United States must rely on its technological innovation to guide a secure future for the more than 318 million people that make this nation their home.

Preparations Underway for International Map Year

The International Cartographic Association has decided to celebrate an International Map Year during the years of 2015 and 2016 and has also formed a working group to plan and organise that task. The working group has set up a website (which can be reached via the ICA website) where more information will be made available. The ICA expects that all ICA member countries will participate in order to give their citizens a broader knowledge of maps – how they are produced and used for many purposes in society. Another goal is to give school children and university students an opportunity to learn more about cartography and about its neighbouring geospatial sciences geodesy, photogrammetry, remote sciences and surveying. ICA has about 80 national members, and the UN will be helpful in establishing contact with all other countries in the world, so that International Map Year will be celebrated worldwide.

Supergeo to Provide Free Online GIS Web Courses

To well promote GIS technologies in real case application, Supergeo is going to provide free online GIS web courses. From basic to advanced, the courses will introduce GIS software on various platforms. Through the course, users can not only gain geospatial knowledge but have a comprehensive understanding of SuperGIS software operation and application.