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Monday, December 15th, 2014

Top Ten of 2014

In our regular end-of-the-year reflection, Sensors & Systems looks back over the past 12 months to come up with the top developments of 2014 that will have strong implications for geospatial industry growth and diversity in the coming years. Making the list are technology disruptions, acquisitions, modeling frameworks, mapping efforts and global change.  1. DigitalGlobe

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Are drones more like Segways or smartphones?

With holiday shopping underway, it seems odd that drones are being promoted on so many gift suggestion lists given a parallel backlash that includes a recent near miss at an airport in England. The  reality is that these devices take some skill to fly, with even the autopilot option requiring training, particularly in the need

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

TerraGo Opens Things Up with OpenGeoPDF

For a decade now, TerraGo has worked with an understanding that as uses of geospatial data grow, the number of users grows along with them. That growth is enhanced when the ability to use the data is made easier, both for professionals on the collection and analysis end, and for the decision-maker who can more

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

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