The Rise of the Digital Humanitarian

From Trajectory Magazine (make sure you watch the drone footage):

On April 25, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal killing more than 8,500 individuals, injuring thousands, and leaving approximately half a million people without homes. The breadth and speed of the GEOINT Community’s response to such a large-scale natural disaster looks vastly different than it did a decade ago thanks to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the growing number of crowdsourcing volunteers around the globe.

Following the earthquake, the Community immediately responded with copious amounts of imagery, data, and volunteer mapping initiatives. Similar to its Ebola response efforts, NGA released a public website full of unclassified GEOINT data, products, and services the very next day following the earthquake. DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite captured imagery of the region that was released publicly and uploaded to Tomnod’s crowdsourcing platform for volunteers to analyze.

Digital Humanitarianism is growing considerably and becoming a critical asset to disaster relief efforts according to Dr. Patrick Meier, who recently penned a book titled Digital Humanitarians. Among other initiatives led by Meier, his Humanitarian UAV Network has been a boon for Nepal aid. By flying UAVs over the region, the group helped triage damage and determine areas of priority. Paul Borrud, a Humanitarian UAV Network contributor, flew his personal UAV over villages in Nepal 48 hours after the earthquake. See some of the footage he collected in the video below.

Nepal Earthquake 2015 from my drone, Phyllis. By Paul Borrud from Paul Borrud on Vimeo.


Internet of Things or IoT

(So Minority Report!!!!)
by Randy Frantz| Open Digital Ecosystem & IoT   I July 23, 2015

Our digital universe doubles every two years, according to a recent forecast by EMC and IDC. We had 4.4 zettabytes of data in 2013. By 2020, we will reach 44 zettabytes. That is a 10-fold increase in only seven years!

Helping to fuel this data explosion is the expected growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT will connect sensor devices to the internet, which in turn will monitor and measure everything. In the next five years, autonomous IoT devices are expected to increase three-fold, from 15 billion to 50 billion. This means seven connected devices will exist for every man, woman, and child in the world.

To read entire article click on the link:




Role of Mapping Technology for Locating Missing Children

From Crime Mapping & Analysis News:

By Marisa Cowdry

The Florida woman was frantic: her 8-year-old grandson was missing again. Like nearly half of children with autism, her grandson was prone to wandering and could be in danger. Her local sheriff’s office responded quickly, calling on 11 agencies to help search for the child using bloodhounds, ATVs, and helicopters. A call was made to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the leading nonprofit organization working with law enforcement on issues of missing and exploited children, at its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters requesting immediate assistance.

As it does in most critically missing children cases, NCMEC rapidly deployed a member of Team Adam to Florida and had another consultant on standby. A third consultant, Henry Schmidt, who is a search and rescue expert, began working on the case remotely from his home in Utah using a new software mapping tool on his iPad. Developed by one of NCMEC’s partners, ESRI, the software enables law enforcement to visually illuminate patterns on a map from scores of leads, and to plot search areas.

Schmidt plotted the location where the child went missing on a map and noted the various bodies of water that should be checked first. Many children with autism are attracted to water, and NCMEC has seen a spike in the number of children with special needs drowning. In case the child had been abducted, Schmidt was able to add more layers to the map: the locations of registered sex offenders and attempted abductions in the area.

To view entire article, please click on link below:

Missing Children

ASPRS GeoTech Conference 23-24 Sept GMU


The Potomac Region of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is calling for student posters to present at this year’s GeoTech Conference. GeoTech is a two-day technical conference for geographers, image scientists, and engineers that is hosted by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. The focus of the conference this year is Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs.

We are looking for students of all academic levels to contribute their ideas in the spatial sciences in regards to the engineering, data processing, or applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. This is a great opportunity for students interested in learning more about UAVs and spatial technologies as students are given full access to the conference to meet with other students and professionals.

This year, GeoTech will be hosted at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on September 23 and 24, 2015, and will feature a large student presence from many universities in the Potomac/Mid-Atlantic region.

If you are interested in participating in the poster session, please click on the google form here: If you are interested in participating, but you are unsure about the topic, please submit a form anyway, and we will be in contact with you to help create a great project!

If you do not want to submit a poster, you are welcome to register as a student at a reduced rate. Click here for more information about the two-day conference: .

We look forward to your application!

Interesting Meet-Up Opportunity!!

Free In Person Training

Communicating with Maps

Thursday, August 20 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM | Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Congress uses dynamic maps as a way to effectively communicate with the public. At this Meetup, Congressional Staff will show you how they use GIS to present policy initiatives, information about their constituents’ states or districts, and public engagements.

You’ll walk away with new ideas on how your organization can improve public outreach with easy-to-create online maps.

1133 15th St NW, 12th floor
Washington, D.C. 20005


6:00 – 6:30: Registration & Networking Reception

6:30 – 6:50: Online Communicating with Maps
Maps can be used as an effective messaging tool. Whether it’s telling a story, highlighting a policy objective, or communicating information to constituents, mapping should be part of every press shop’s toolkit. Rebecca discusses how mapping has been used in Senator Wyden’s office and its role in their online communications.

6:50 – 7:10: GIS Story Map for Chairman McCaul’s Border Security Blueprint
This session will dive into a GIS Story Map that was created as a visual aid for Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Michael McCaul’s, Blueprint for Border Security. The map highlighted the drug and migrant smuggling threats along the Southwest border, the level of threats by sector, and what resources were needed to achieve security in each sector. It was a powerful tool to show report and plan information visually and interactively.

7:10 – 7:30: Maps in Congress

7:30 – 9:00: Networking Reception

Sign up:


The Differences Between QGIS and ArcGIS

You probably grew up using ArcGIS… or QGIS…

And every day, you sit down at your computer desk

…and you do the same thing:

You open up the same ArcGIS software…or QGIS software (albeit a newer version) because that’s what you know best.

But have you ever asked yourself:

Can I get MORE from using different GIS software?

We navigate you through the differences between ArcGIS and QGIS because you’ll be more efficient and more advanced of a GIS user.. It’s a head-to-head GIS software showdown with the star-studded lineup in the GIS industry – ArcGIS vs QGIS..

To read more, click on the link:


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