• Spatial Happenings

    October 2015
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Forest-Mapping Instrument for Space Station

written by NASA  22 Sept 2015 for Sensors & Systems

A laser-based instrument for mapping the 3-D structure of Earth’s forests has passed a major milestone toward deployment on the International Space Station (ISS). The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), led by the University of Maryland, College Park, and built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, successfully transitioned to “Phase B,” moving from requirements development and mission definition to preliminary design. GEDI will provide the first comprehensive, high-resolution measurements of the vertical canopy structure of Earth’s temperate and tropical forests.


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Google Trends Visualizes The European Migration Crisis

From Forbes/Tech Sept 15, 2015 by Kalev Leetaru

Mapping migration through google searches:

As the migration crisis in the European Union captivates global headlines, what can web searches tell us about the world’s reaction to the crisis and which countries refugees are most interested in immigrating to?  While web searches obviously capture the interests and beliefs of only a fraction of the world’s population, they are nonetheless a powerful real-time lens through which to understand global interests and concerns.  Google alone accounts for almost 70% of all web searches worldwide and 90-97% of searches within Europe, so examining the most popular Google searches relating to migration could offer unique insights into the current crisis.  In fact, the Google Trends team recently put together a series of charts, lists, and maps visualizing the European migration crisis through the eyes of the world’s Google searches, which the remainder of this article will explore.

Full article:

Forbes Migration Google

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Interesting Link: Sensors & Systems

Great link from Sensors & Systems Newsletter Vol 10 Issue 39


Safe to Fly Drone Map:

ICAO Drone Safe to fly (study)



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Rapid UAS Processing and Online Content Hosting

Sensors & Systems Sept 16, 2015 by Hexagon Geospatial

NORCROSS, Ga., Sept. 16, 2015—Hexagon Geospatial is pleased to introduce an early access program for technologies associated with the Hexagon Smart M.App experience. The two applications available in the early access program are M.App Chest and GeoApp.UAS.
M.App Chest provides a simple means to quickly upload, organize, and share imagery and point cloud data in the cloud. M.App Chest also provides optional compression capabilities along with streaming and delivery via web services.
“M.App Chest provides a better experience to easily upload, store and share geospatial data,” said Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial. “M.App Chest can standalone or compliment other Hexagon Smart M.Apps, providing a simple, cloud-based environment for managing imagery and point clouds.”
GeoApp.UAS was built by Hexagon Geospatial’s partner, Geosystems GmbH. GeoApp.UAS enables rapid processing of UAS data at the speed it is captured. With an intuitive workflow, GeoApp.UAS enables robust photogrammetric processing of UAS data on the cloud.
Interested individuals can register for the opportunity to participate in the early access program on the M.App Chest or GeoApp.UAS product pages. Hexagon Smart M.Apps will be launched at HxGN LIVE Hong Kong in November 2015. Find out more at h ttp://http://www.hexagongeospatial.com/smartmapp.
– See more at: https://www.sensorsandsystems.com/news/top-stories/corporate-news/37022-hexagon-geospatial-announces-early-access-to-cloud-apps-rapid-uas-processing-and-online-content-hosting.html#sthash.HGBSYbLG.dpuf
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From Sensors & Systems News Marketing

Two interesting links from their TOP 5 Links of the Week:

http://map.norsecorp.com/  Live map of cyber attacks

https://fallingfruit.org/  wiki map for foragers of fruit


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The NASA DEVELOP Program is currently recruiting for the spring 2016 term. This is a 10-week paid contracting position open for current students, recent college graduates, and career transitioning professionals including veterans of the Armed Forces. Although the term is only 10 weeks, there are many opportunities to advance through the program to year-long contracts.

This is a great opportunity for individuals who are interested in practical applications of remote sensing and GIS, specifically in the field of Earth Science. Our projects focus on addressing local and international community concerns while utilizing NASA’s Earth observations. Participants work in teams, with guidance from NASA and partner science advisors, to demonstrate to partner organizations how NASA remote sensing imagery can be used in water resources, disaster management, ecological forecasting, and other applications to address environmental community concerns. DEVELOP’s projects are interdisciplinary in nature, so applications are welcome from all academic backgrounds.

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From CityLab

Mapping the Difference Between Minimum Wage and Cost of Living

Tanvi Misra Sep 10, 2015

There’s no county in America where a minimum wage earner can support a family.  The minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $8.54 per hour, after adjusting for inflation. The current $7.25 is far too low for the 3 million hourly workers who earn at or below that threshold, and certainly not at par with the wage hikes instituted by other countries with similar economic trajectories.

Here’s The Economist on America’s embarrassingly low minimum wage:

Given the pattern across the rest of the OECD, a group of mostly rich countries, one would expect America, where GDP per person is $53,000, to pay a minimum wage around $12 an hour. That would mean a raise of about 65% for Americans earning the minimum pay rate.

But while several states have higher local minimums (and some cities plan to raise them further), the U.S. as a whole is not where it needs to be. To visualize the problem, MIT has released a new tool called the Living Wage Calculator, which maps the difference between minimum wage and basic costs of living in cities and counties across America. The map shows that for most minimum wage earners, supporting their families is an enormous struggle.

To work the tool, you can choose three types of households: a parent with a spouse and two children, a single parent with one child, or a single adult. Once selected, the tool maps the difference between living wage (the cost of living required to get by) and minimum wage for this household. The darker red the county or city, the greater the difference.

Please click on the link to read on:

Cost of Living Min. Wage

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Mapmakers: The Unsung Heroes in the Battle Against Wildfires

From the Seattle Post by Jack Broom
Aug. 28, 2015

Greg Tudor, 50, of Olympia, is one of seven such specialists working on the Okanogan fire complex. That’s the most mapmakers Tudor has ever seen at a fire, and he’s been doing this since 2003, first as a state Department of Natural Resources employee and now as a private contractor.

But then, he’s never seen a fire quite like this one, the largest in state history, measured at more than 302,000 acres Friday — about 470 square miles. Another fire to the east, the North Star fire, has reached 300 square miles.

The mapmakers on the Okanogan fire are part of a 50-person incident-management team that also includes experts on fire strategy and fire behavior, as well as those who deal with the many needs of running a massive firefighting response.

“Everything it takes to put a small city together at a moment’s notice,” said fire information officer Bernie Pinieda.

As a mapmaker on wildfires, Tudor has seen his art go from producing hand-drawn maps on a wall to generating and sharing online fire depictions that crew bosses can load onto laptops or take with them on handheld devices. The maps show such details as fire perimeters, cleared fire lines, resupply points, threatened structures and more.  Click on link to read on:





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From ESRI: Tap Into Free Training

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Access 40 recorded technical sessions from the 2015 Esri UC for free! Learn all about the ArcGIS platform, including ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Web App Templates, the Living Atlas, 3D, Imagery and raster data, Global data and Lifestyle Data, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server and more. What are you waiting for? Pull up the E380 site and get started.

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GISCI Announces New Exam; Exam Signup Nears

From GIS Cafe

If you are interested in professional certification (and you should be):

The new GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® for the GISP Certification is coming!

Des Plaines, IL (August 27, 2015) – The Exam date will be announced in the next few weeks and a signup procedure will be provided on the GISCI web site ( www.gisci.org).

Exam Foundations

The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is based on a complete job analysis, guided by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and informed by the GIS & T Body of Knowledge. The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is open to all individuals interested in attaining the GIS Professional certification. GISCI will offer the Examto individuals independent of the application for the portfolio review process. This means that GISP applicants can start the certification process by completing an application and taking the examination any time prior to attaining the professional experience required for the professional portfolio.

Exam content will cover the following knowledge areas

Conceptual Foundations

  • Cartography and Visualization
  • GIS Design Aspects and Data Modeling
  • GIS Analytical Methods
  • Data Manipulation
  • Geospatial Data

The exam will be administered by an exam delivery company providing test locations around the US. The Inaugural Exam will be offered by the end of 2015 and test preparation materials will be available on the GISCI web site several weeks prior to the initial examination date.


The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization, established in 2004, to manage and operate the most overarching professional certification program for the GIS Profession and to promote ethical conduct among GISPs. GISCI offers participants from the first years on the job until retirement, a positive method of developing value for professionals and employers in the GIS profession.  GISCI has certified over 7,000 GISPs, worldwide, and the GISP is increasingly viewed as a preferred certification in job descriptions.

Its member organizations include the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), and the Geographic Land and Information Society (GLIS).

Bill Hodge GISP
Executive Director GISCI
Email Contact

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