The Future of Mapping is Going Indoors

November 7, 2015, 7am PST jwilliams

The Future of Mapping is Going Indoors | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

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Cartographers have a new world to map, as technology opens up the interiors of malls, museums, and other large spaces to online exploration.

CityMetric reports on the efforts by Google to start mapping the interior of buildings, which presents a whole new area of exploration for cartographers. Sending people into large venues wearing a rucksack contraption, Google is able to map the interior of spaces such as the British Museum in London, allowing viewers to move from the museum’s basement level to the fifth floor to find the location of specific exhibits.

Google has used the rucksack to build up a growing list of indoor maps… Most are large indoor venues, museums or shopping centres – places which often offer their own floorplan maps thanks to their size and the number of services on offer. It makes sense that these maps would eventually transfer to the digital arena, just as outdoor maps have.

Apple appears to be getting into the indoor mapping space as well, launching the “Indoor Survey App”, which CityMetric notes is accessible only through a direct link to the app’s page. “According to the app description, it allows users to map indoor spaces by ‘dropping points’.”

Moving beyond the 2D limitations of Google and Apple Maps, Harvard University is partnering with the Redlands, California-based SmarterBetterCiities to create 3D interior maps of the Harvard campus. SmarterBetterCities uses ESRI’s ArcGIS platform to create 3D models of interior spaces, such as a map prepared for the ESRI User Conference in the San Diego Convention Center, viewable here.

Full Story: Why the indoors could be the next frontier for map-makers



Wildfire Monitoring, Space-Based Sensors To Circle The Globe

From SatNews Daily Nov. 22, 2015

[Satnews] Wildfires can wreak havoc on human health, property and communities, so it’s imperative to detect them as early as possible.

That’s why NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is developing a network of space-based sensors called FireSat in collaboration with Quadra Pi R2E of San Francisco. FireSat would be a constellation of more than 200 thermal infrared imaging sensors on satellites designed to quickly locate wildfires around the globe. Once operational, FireSat would represent the most complete monitoring coverage of wildfires ever from space.

The FireSat sensors would be able to detect fires that are at least 35 to 50 feet (10 to 15 meters) wide, within an average of 15 minutes from the time they begin. Within three minutes of detecting a fire from orbit, FireSat would notify emergency responders in the area of the fire, improving support for time-critical response decisions. The sensors and their associated products for data analysis would also be able to locate explosions, oil spills and other dangerous events involving high heat around the globe.

To read more:


Coursera: Python Data Structures

Coursera through University of Michigan starts December 7th:

About this Course

This course will introduce the core data structures of the Python programming language. We will move past the basics of procedural programming and explore how we can use the Python built-in data structures such as lists, dictionaries, and tuples to perform increasingly complex data analysis. This course will cover Chapters 6-10 of the textbook “Python for Informatics”. This course is equivalent to the second half of the 11-week “Programming for Everybody (Python)” course.

Subtitles available in English
2-4 hours/week