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Perspectives

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Friday, December 4th, 2009

So Dude — Does GIS Really Matter Anyhow — Why?

You’ve heard peo­ple say over and over “every­thing is some place” and “you can orga­nize your world” — all through using GIS. You won­der why some of your friends eyes glass over when they start talk­ing about spa­tial infor­ma­tion and GIS, think­ing to your­self “what’s that all about?” So Dude — Does GIS Really Mat­ter Anyhow — Why?

Friday, November 27th, 2009

How will geospatial technology help us adapt to climate change?

There’s not much consensus of opinion regarding the likelihood of a comprehensive treaty on climate change in Copenhagen at the United Nations Climate Change Conference early next month. The “Hopenhagen” campaign and other efforts are promoting the need for strong action, but there are other equally strong detractors.  In recent days there have been indications

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Digital Terrain Models: GPS or Aerial-Satellite Sensing?

Both GPS and aerial-satellite sen­sors are used to gen­er­ate data suit­able for cre­at­ing a dig­i­tal ter­rain model (DTM). In the case of GPS, a series of points are mea­sured through tri­an­gu­lat­ing sig­nals orig­i­nat­ing from a series of GPS satel­lites. Alter­na­tively, aerial-satellite plat­forms that include sen­sors, such Lidar, radar or even using pho­togram­me­try tech­niques may also

Friday, November 13th, 2009

What happened to the metaverse?

Just a few years ago there was a flurry of activity to create virtual digital worlds such as Linden Labs’ Second Life for interaction in spaces some call the metaverse. At that point in time, the prediction was that these worlds would far surpass Facebook and MySpace as the places that we’d want to gather

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The Berlin Wall 20 Years –Through Geospatial Eyes

I thought I would try some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this week given that the fall of the Berlin Wall will be remem­bered Novem­ber 9. The 20th Anniver­sary will give rise to fes­tive occa­sions both within Berlin and Ger­many in gen­eral, but it will also be a time for many other peo­ple inter­na­tion­ally to think about

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

How does sustainable development relate to the business of geospatial technologies?

The idea of long-term maintenance is an essential component of sustainability. Individually, thinking about every purchase is the way to combat our throw away culture, and to place fewer stresses on our planet. Wrapping your business plan around the concept of sustainable development means a long-term commitment to customers that delivers value and maximizes their

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

How Much Geospatial Development Extends from Open Free Data as Compared to Military and Defense Research?

The geospa­tial com­mu­nity has long sup­ported the idea that open data leads to the devel­op­ment of appli­ca­tions and new tech­nolo­gies. The pre­vail­ing the­ory goes some­thing like this; if peo­ple have access to open geospa­tial data then they will use it to develop appli­ca­tions. That seems log­i­cal and is cer­tainly one of the goals many of

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Does geospatial data want to be free?

The latest round of Google Maps innovation, with map updates that mirror the crowdsourced data approach of OpenStreetMaps (OSM), as well as the addition of parcels (a typically high-priced data set) has many data providers worried about their livelihood. The larger question here, beyond just Google’s moves, is whether online geospatial data want to be

Friday, October 9th, 2009

What Does Practicing ‘Good’ GIS Mean to You?

Geo­graphic infor­ma­tion sys­tems (GIS) can be used for a mul­ti­tude of pur­poses and in dif­fer­ent ways to cre­ate, man­age, ana­lyze and rep­re­sent spa­tial infor­ma­tion. The nature of GIS is built upon a will­ing­ness, inter­est and expec­ta­tion to solve a spe­cific prob­lem using both geo­data and GIS. With so many def­i­n­i­tions float­ing around about what a

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

What are the implications of land records and the value of an integrated record system?

Land records are a cornerstone of capitalism and some would argue of civil society. The majority of people in the world lack any enforceable claim to their homes or the land they farm. Without land rights and records, there is a cycle of poverty and social inequalities. The lack of property rights strips the ability

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