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Perspectives

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

What is the next wave of geospatial innovation needed for ecological research?

In honor of Earth Day, it seems fitting to tackle the role geospatial technology plays in the greater understanding of our environment. These tools have played an unprecedented role in our comprehension of the complexity of Earth systems, but they are only scratching the surface of the types of insights that are yet to come.

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Is the Real Issue About Comparing GPS to GLONASS to BEIDOU?

Have you been watching the rise in media that is increasingly comparing GPS to GLONASS to BEIDOU and others? In some cases the comparisons seek to outright claim one is ‘better’ than another. In others, the comparison is framed as a ‘challenge’ , and yet others see Europe’s GALILEO as having a major influence currently

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Would the lack of federal government mapping be a good thing?

Trading off this week’s highly-charged political theme of a potential federal government shutdown in the United States, it’s worth discussing the implications of a lack of federal mapping. Elimination of federal mapmaking is really out of the question as the federal government needs to map for so many policy and security reasons, yet there has

Friday, April 1st, 2011

How Do Sustainable Design and Geospatial Technologies Relate To Each Other?

The principles of sustainable design can be traced to the growing awareness about the world from an environmental perspective. Biology, ecology, earth processes and human geography all entered into the design sphere. While many architects and design professionals connected with the design in terms of the landscape, the notion of sustainable design was strongly oriented

Friday, March 25th, 2011

How does the gap between sensors, systems and analysis get filled?

The idea of networked sensors informing systems for intelligent infrastructure to improve efficiency has been a topic of coverage here for a while, and it’s reaching a whole new mainstream momentum. Of course, much of this is due to the push of one high-profile vendor, with a sustained advertising campaign that promotes smarter water, smarter

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Are GIS for Airports More Closely Linked to 3D Digital City Models Than We Realise?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly being used for airport management. They integrate runway operations, advertising spaces, emergency services and provide valuable functions for construction and general airport infrastructure management – airports are small cities. The goal of these city-like places may connect more closely to urban planning and wider economic factors for major cities

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Does the layering construct of GIS stand in the way of more holistic approaches?

A recent conversation with a marketing professional at a geospatial data provider sparked some thought about the construct of layers within GIS, and how layers have their limits. That conversation revolved around vendors and organizations that are so focused on the layers that they produce (imagery, vector data, elevation, 3d buildings, roads, etc.) that they

Friday, March 4th, 2011

How Do Agro-ecological Farming Practices Link With GIS?

Agro-Ecological farming practices are in the spotlight as food prices rise and new opportunities in agricultural production are evaluated. Sustainable agricultural production takes into consideration economic, environment and social factors – food production as a system. Geographic information systems (GIS) support high-value sustainable agricultural production because they can embrace complex modern food production factors.

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Is it time for an impartial auditing board on spatial data accuracy?

The recent news that a deadly PG&E gas line explosion was being blamed in part on the lack of reliable information in a mapping system has raised some issues about risk and liability. If you haven’t yet read the exposé by the San Francisco Chronicle that seems to assert that the database and mapping system

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Is High Accuracy GNSS Now a Basic Need?

Advances in geospatial technologies ranging from laser scanning to geographic information systems (GIS) to remote sensing satellites are so advanced today, that they are beckoning both users and policy developers to re-think how they are operating, to consider the services they are providing and to reorient beyond location alone. Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) technologies

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