Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google’s Cloud-based Earth Builder

Maintaining and scaling a GIS server can be challenging. In today’s economy, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations struggle with shrinking public budgets and fewer resources. Rod Erickson of Next Tier Concepts provides provides a solution using Software-as-a Service (SaaS).

A GIS requires the following components: hardware, software, databases, and people. A GIS server facilitates the storing and sharing of geospatial information such as imagery and vector data. Maintaining and scaling a GIS server can be challenging. In today’s economy, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations struggle with shrinking public budgets and fewer resources available to support a GIS; while concurrently incurring a greater demand from an increased number of users requesting map data and imagery as a web-based service. Google’s Earth Builder eliminates multiple layers of infrastructure and allows GIS data provider’s to focus on data without maintaining hardware, software, or databases.

The Earth Builder is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS); it eliminates the need for highly-trained information technology staff to administer and maintain a GIS server. As a result, users of Earth Builder such as United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of Defense can focus on their missions and support their users without the concerns, costs and overhead of maintaining a traditional GIS. Earth Builder enables organizations to pool resources and collaborate, which facilitates data sharing and reduces duplication of data hosted on multiple servers.

The Google Earth Builder SaaS interface and approach is based on the successful, intuitive Google Applications model for services such as Gmail and Documents already familiar to many users. Many consumers of geospatial data and imagery take advantage of products like Google Earth, and as professionals we may encounter the need to leverage a common and reliable geospatial base map as a resource. As of October of 2011, over one billion users have downloaded Google Earth. Regardless of user type, affiliation or service needs we all consume Google Earth from the same, single web-based resource.

The Earth Builder solution by Google is an innovative approach to storing and sharing geospatial data. Using this alternative to a traditional GIS solution, data managers and stewards such as NIFC reduce time and budgets required to serve geospatial data, imagery and a common base map. Expensive middleware and complex administration processes are replaced by a simple, intuitive Google Applications interface. It is time to stop serving the same pixels and vectors over and over again. Serve once and share many, many times.

Written By:- Rod Erickson

Monday, May 28, 2012

Satellite images help doctors count people from space

For the first time, the population of an entire city has been estimated from space through a pioneering project to speed up medical and disaster relief efforts. By analysing satellite images of disaster zones and famine, war or disease-hit areas where census data is unreliable, or cities unreachable, researchers hope to make rapid and more accurate estimates of how many people might need help.

"Population numbers are crucial to everything we do," says Ruby Siddiqui of the global charity, Medicins Sans Frontières, a collaborator in the project to evaluate the satellite counting technique. "We need to plan the size, scale and mode of interventions, and without population numbers we can't do this," she says.

At present, groups like MSF rely on the "quadrat" method to estimate population size. Surveyors visit a sample of individual households to find out how many people live in each type of dwelling. From this, they estimate the population of the entire town or refugee camp. But the method is slow, it demands teams of up to a dozen samplers, and requires careful data analysis afterwards. Also, such operations can be hazardous or impossible to carry out in conflict zones such as Syria.

To overcome some of these obstacles, Chris Grundy of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has led a project to estimate the population of Am Timan in Chad using satellite images.

The entire population is to receive meningitis vaccinations, and MSF wants to know how many doses to order.

Preliminary results presented last week in London at the annual research meeting of MSF revealed that the satellite method matched the quadrat method for accuracy. Also, it took about half the time to deliver an answer, although Grundy says that with refinement it has the potential to be much faster.

Surveyors, including Siddiqui, still had to visit households in Am Timan to estimate how many people typically lived in each kind of building, but they could then make a city-wide estimate by counting the total number of each type of dwelling in the satellite image, either through a computer automated analysis or by manual counting.

The quadrat method, which required sampling visits to 1160 dwellings, gave a population of 49,722. The satellite technique, which required sampling visits to only 348 dwellings, gave estimates of 46,625 for the manual and 45,400 for the automated method.

"These results are very good, and there's no doubt they'd be good enough for what MSF wants to do," says Grundy. But the team hopes to make it faster still, potentially eliminating the need to sample dwellings first.

Grundy's team is also evaluating the counting method in 11 refugee camps around the world, including in earthquake-hit Haiti. "We now know it works, that MSF can do it. The next step is to simplify it," he says.

Written By:- Andy Coghlan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

GIS Cloud

Cloud computing is rapidly emerging as a technology almost every industry that provides or consumes software, hardware, and infrastructure can leverage. The technology and architecture that cloud service and deployment models offer are a key area of research and development for GIS technology.

What Is Cloud Computing? 

Although there are several variations on the definition of cloud computing, some basic tenets characterize this coming revolution. Cloud computing furnishes technological capabilities—commonly maintained off premises—that are delivered on demand as services via the Internet. Cloud GIS offerings can range from data storage to end-user Web applications to other focused computing services. Esri considers cloud computing and technology important in the development and vision of the ArcGIS platform.

Public versus Private Cloud

There are several types of cloud computing deployment scenarios.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is emerging as the preferred provider of the de facto definition of cloud computing and the distribution models, seen here with some Esri examples.

Public Cloud

The public cloud is the most commonly referenced regarding the topic of cloud computing, where the infrastructure and applications are owned by the organization selling cloud services.

Private Cloud

Since many traditional vendors and users are not quite ready to jump into public cloud computing or are restricted from doing so, the cloud service tiers are replicated within a private cloud environment, behind the firewall, and maintained within the parameters of the host organization.

Hybrid Cloud

Many believe that the sweet spot for cost optimization in an organization will rely on a delicate balance of public, or community, and private clouds. However, since this hybrid cloud solution is commonly bound together by proprietary technology, it will only be embraced by enterprise computing in the future as standards are developed.

Cloud Service Models

Three core options compose the service model within the cloud computing environment.

Each service category can be leveraged independently or consumed in combination with other service tiers.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS comprises end-user applications delivered as a service rather than as traditional, on-premises software. The most commonly referenced example of SaaS is, which provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system accessible via the Internet.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides an application platform, or middleware, as a service on which developers can build and deploy custom applications. Common solutions provided in this tier range from APIs and tools to database and business process management systems to security integration, allowing developers to build applications and run them on the infrastructure that the cloud vendor owns and maintains. Microsoft's Windows Azure platform services are often referenced as PaaS solutions at this middleware tier.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS primarily encompasses the hardware and technology for computing power, storage, operating systems, or other infrastructure, delivered as off-premise, on-demand services rather than as dedicated, on-site resources such as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Source:- ESRI Technology Topics

3D Motion Data Capturing Device for GIS

3D ArcGIS Explorer Desktop globe
The Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect is one of most powerful consumer-oriented “Natural User Interface” devices available today. Its near-infrared camera produces 3D motion data of anything in front of the it and coupled with a standard webcam and quadraphonic microphone, the device is jammed pack with input sensors. The Microsoft Education team promotes Kinect and has prepared over a 100 lessons and activities to promote “active” learning. Microsoft also claims the Kinect may be useful as an assistive technology device and in promoting collaboration.

What you might not know is that the Kinect can plug to your computer and be used as an interface device!
Think about young students actively controlling a 3D ArcGIS Explorer Desktop globe – investigating the Earth while moving arms, legs, and torso to direct navigation, display data, or conduct an analysis. What an interesting way to engage young, energetic learners.

Last week, I demonstrated this concept at the meeting of the Esri Education Team. I connected my Kinect to my Windows laptop and we took turns controlling ArcGIS Explorer Desktop! To get the environment setup, I used the USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies recommendations. This set-up requires installing a set of drivers and then running the FAAST toolkit. Basically, FAAST allows you to create a mapping between Kinect-detected body movements to keyboard strokes. So, when I raise my right arm, the World spins right!

How to make the Kinect work for you:
  • Acquire a stand-alone Xbox 360 Kinect or if you have a Kinect, just get an external USB power supply. Locate a computer with Windows 7, ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, and a free USB port. 
  • Visit the USC Institute for Creative Technologies to install drivers and configure the Kinect. 
  • Create your own mapping file or you can start with my simple mapping file.

Remember, these steps might require a little extra “tech-savvyness” and the FAAST toolkit from USC is an open source (neither a Microsoft nor Esri) project. Use at your own risk.

Post your comments and links using the Kinect to control ArcGIS Explorer Desktop below! Everyone should be able to create a fluid interaction with ArcGIS Explorer Desktop using the Kinect. Good luck!

Written By :-  Tom Baker,Esri Education Manager

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Geospatial Technology Competency Model

The Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) is a milestone in the history of our field. Culminating a decade-long quest to define the U.S. geospatial industry and its workforce, the GTCM identifies the expertise that distinguishes, and binds together, successful geospatial professionals of all kinds. David DiBiase of Esri, the coordinator of the GTCM effort, lists the important facts about this endeavor, which was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor.

It’s useful 

Students who aspire to careers in the geospatial industry can use the GTCM to assess what they know, what they need to learn and which educational programs fit their needs. Educators can use it to assess how well their curricula align with workforce needs. Workers can use it to guide their continuing professional development plans. Employers can use it for job descriptions and interviews. Certification and accreditation bodies can use it as a basis for their requirements.

To learn more about the GTCM and related efforts, see: 

  •  DiBiase, D. and twelve others (2010). The New Geospatial Technology Competency Model: Bringing Workforce Needs into Focus. URISA Journal 22(2):55-72.
  •  DOLETA (2010). Geospatial Technology Competency Model. Johnson, J. (2010). 
  • What GIS Technicians Do: A Synthesis of DACUM Job Analyses. URISA Journal 22(2): 31-40.

Source:- Ten Things to Know about the Geospatial Technology Competency Model by David DiBiase Click here for details

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Robots to map environment

The researchers used a PR2 robot,
developed by Willow Garage, with 
Microsoft's Kinect sensor to test
their system. 
Image: Hordur Johannsson
Robots could one day navigate through constantly changing surroundings with virtually no input from humans, thanks to a system that allows them to build and continuously update a three-dimensional map of their environment using a low-cost camera such as Microsoft’s Kinect.

The system, being developed by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), could also allow blind people to make their way unaided through crowded buildings such as hospitals and shopping malls.

To explore unknown environments, robots need to be able to map them as they move around — estimating the distance between themselves and nearby walls, for example — and to plan a route around any obstacles, says Maurice Fallon, a research scientist at CSAIL who is developing these systems alongside John J. Leonard, professor of mechanical and ocean engineering, and graduate student Hordur Johannsson.

But while a large amount of research has been devoted to developing one-off maps that robots can use to navigate around an area, these systems cannot adjust to changes in the surroundings over time, Fallon says: “If you see objects that were not there previously, it is difficult for a robot to incorporate that into its map.”

The new approach, based on a technique called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), will allow robots to constantly update a map as they learn new information over time, he says. The team has previously tested the approach on robots equipped with expensive laser-scanners, but in a paper to be presented this May at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in St. Paul, Minn., they have now shown how a robot can locate itself in such a map with just a low-cost Kinect-like camera.

As the robot travels through an unexplored area, the Kinect sensor’s visible-light video camera and infrared depth sensor scan the surroundings, building up a 3-D model of the walls of the room and the objects within it. Then, when the robot passes through the same area again, the system compares the features of the new image it has created — including details such as the edges of walls, for example — with all the previous images it has taken until it finds a match.

At the same time, the system constantly estimates the robot’s motion, using on-board sensors that measure the distance its wheels have rotated. By combining the visual information with this motion data, it can determine where within the building the robot is positioned. Combining the two sources of information allows the system to eliminate errors that might creep in if it relied on the robot’s on-board sensors alone, Fallon says.

Once the system is certain of its location, any new features that have appeared since the previous picture was taken can be incorporated into the map by combining the old and new images of the scene, Fallon says.

The team tested the system on a robotic wheelchair, a PR2 robot developed by Willow Garage in Menlo Park, Calif., and in a portable sensor suit worn by a human volunteer. They found it could locate itself within a 3-D map of its surroundings while traveling at up to 1.5 meters per second.

Ultimately, the algorithm could allow robots to travel around office or hospital buildings, planning their own routes with little or no input from humans, Fallon says.

It could also be used as a wearable visual aid for blind people, allowing them to move around even large and crowded buildings independently, says Seth Teller, head of the Robotics, Vision and Sensor Networks group at CSAIL and principal investigator of the human-portable mapping project. “There are also a lot of military applications, like mapping a bunker or cave network to enable a quick exit or re-entry when needed,” he says. “Or a HazMat team could enter a biological or chemical weapons site and quickly map it on foot, while marking any hazardous spots or objects for handling by a remediation team coming later. These teams wear so much equipment that time is of the essence, making efficient mapping and navigation critical.”

While a great deal of research is focused on developing algorithms to allow robots to create maps of places they have visited, the work of Fallon and his colleagues takes these efforts to a new level, says Radu Rusu, a research scientist at Willow Garage who was not involved in this project. That is because the team is using the Microsoft Kinect sensor to map the entire 3-D space, not just viewing everything in two dimensions.

“This opens up exciting new possibilities in robot research and engineering, as the old-school ‘flatland’ assumption that the scientific community has been using for many years is fundamentally flawed,” he says. “Robots that fly or navigate in environments with stairs, ramps and all sorts of other indoor architectural elements are getting one step closer to actually doing something useful. And it all starts with being able to navigate.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SeqSLAM: a visual-based algorithm for navigation

Dr Michael Milford from Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Science and Engineering Faculty said his research into making more reliable Global Positioning Systems (GPS) using camera technology and mathematical algorithms would make navigating a far cheaper and simpler task.

"At the moment you need three satellites in order to get a decent GPS signal and even then it can take a minute or more to get a lock on your location," he said.

"There are some places geographically where you just can't get satellite signals and even in big cities we have issues with signals being scrambled because of tall buildings or losing them altogether in tunnels."

The world-first approach to visual navigation algorithms, which has been dubbed SeqSLAM (Sequence Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping), uses local best match and sequence recognition components to lock in locations.

"SeqSLAM uses the assumption that you are already in a specific location and tests that assumption over and over again.

"For example if I am in a kitchen in an office block, the algorithm makes the assumption I'm in the office block, looks around and identifies signs that match a kitchen. Then if I stepped out into the corridor it would test to see if the corridor matches the corridor in the existing data of the office block lay out.

"If you keep moving around and repeat the sequence for long enough you are able to uniquely identify where in the world you are using those images and simple mathematical algorithms."

However, the challenge was making those streets recognisable in a variety of different conditions and to differentiate between streets that were visually similar.

The research, which utilises low resolution cameras, was inspired by Dr Milford's background in the navigational patterns of small mammals such as rats.

"My core background is based on how small mammals manage incredible feats of navigation despite their eyesight being quite poor," he said.

"As we develop more and more sophisticated navigation systems they depend on more and more maths and more powerful computers.

"But no one's actually stepped back and thought 'do we actually need all this stuff or can we use a very simple set of algorithms which don't require expensive cameras or satellites or big computers to achieve the same outcome?'" 

 Dr Milford will present his paper SeqSLAM: Visual Route-Based Navigation for Sunny Summer Days and Stormy Winter Nights at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in America later this year. 

The research has been funded for three years by an Australian Research Council $375,000 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mapping the Anthropocene

The 5th of March 2012 marks the 500th birthday of Gerardus Mercator, the creator of the world map that profoundly changed our views of the world. He was not the only one who worked on a conformal map projection in the 16th century, which was still an age of exploration and discovery. But he was the first to do the maths right and complete a world map that allowed ships to navigate around the planet by its ability to represent lines of constant course. That makes the Mercator projection a milestone in the history of cartography and remains one of the central map projections up to the present day. The Mercator projection, however, is not always the most appropriate projection. It is useful in nautical issues, but far less suitable for map purposes in which distances or areas are in the centre of interest. When misunderstood, using a Mercator projection can even lead to some awkward misinterpretations: An infamous example is a map drawn by The Economist showing North Korean missile ranges drawn in circles on a Mercator map. A vast amount of projections has been developed since Mercator released his iconic map in 1569, mostly trying to find the optimal solution to “preserve some properties of the sphere-like body” (see a comprehensive overview of map projections at Wikipedia). Far less consideration so far has been given to the question of different spaces. The spatial turn has been widely discussed, not only in the circles of human geography. Far less thoughts have been spent on an adequate visual representations of new understandings of space as a result of processes of globalisation and global change.

Geologists and environmental scientists have shaped the term Anthropocene for the impact that humanity has on the physical environment. Crutzen speaks of the geology of mankind, which highlights the relevance that our species has in the transformation of nature. The concept has also found a wider attention in the media recently (see e.g. these articles from the BBC and the NYT), showing that the issues related to the idea are becoming ever more pressing for the future of humanity. As stated in the New York Times, “Humans were inevitably going to be part of the fossil record. But the true meaning of the Anthropocene is that we have affected nearly every aspect of our environment — from a warming atmosphere to the bottom of an acidifying ocean.”

Cartography appears to be predestined to show these issues in visual form on maps. The educational Globaia project is one interesting example that produced some stunning imagery of human activity. Like other maps, it uses conventional map depictions in its approach, which may help in understanding the underlying issues, but is not particularly novel. The claim that I made as a result of my doctoral research is that we also need new cartographic concepts to fully understand the full extent of human-environment relationship and to fully comprehend the age of humankind. Mercator had a great impact to lead us into a globalised world, but we are no longer in an age of exploring unknown places, rather than an age of discovering alternative pathways into our own future.

In my plenary speech to the Population Specialty Group at this year’s AAG conference in New York City I showed a map that was made in collaboration with Globaia, showing some key indicators of human activity on the planet projected on a gridded population cartogram projection. The following map shows one example for such an attempt to redraw the impact of humanity on those spaces where people live. The map gives equal space to every person living on the planet, while preserving the geographical reference of the additional layers that are shown on the map. The issues depicted in the map include night lights, major roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, overseas cables, air lines and shipping lanes (see a full account of the data on the Globaia website). Many of the issues have been shown as individual maps on this website or in my PhD thesis, but this map brings some of the key aspects of human (inter)activity on earth together and shows them on an equal population projection:

My talk concluded in a slightly bold manner: Is it too much of an aspiration to take the chance of celebrating Mercator’s 500th birthday by changing our mental map of the world from one that guides ships to one that guides our journey into a more sustainable future for humanity?

Mercator’s map was a great achievement, but we should not forget to move on and find new ways of thinking about our world. A map cannot change the world, but maps can change the way we view the world. It is about time to change our views to see how we can live our lives a bit less stupid to make our impact a bit more sustainable, and create a more equal world for every person living on this planet. Gridded cartograms are not the only way to draw new maps, but stand for one possibility to rethink our view of the world. A gridded population cartogram can therefore be one new basemap for a cartography of the Anthropocene.

The map on this page has been created by Benjamin D. Hennig of the SASI Research Group (University of Sheffield) in collaboration with Globaia. Feel free to use the maps on this page under Creative Commons conditions (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0); please contact me for further details – I also appreciate a notification if you use my maps. High resolution and customized maps are available on request.

Written By :-  Benjamin D. Hennig at the University of Sheffield. (Blog of the author)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Build a simple GIS web application using GeoDjango and Google Maps

Django is a high-level Python web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The India-WRIS project

The India-WRIS project is a joint venture of Indian Space Research Organisation and Central Water Commission.It aims to develop an online, user friendly application that shall bring all information related to the water resources of the nation at single window wherefrom all the interested users can obtain it and make use of it. The vision of the project is to make available all water resources related data in standardized GIS form to the user community by achieving the objectives of creating and collecting all such data available through various sources. It's scope includes the generation and collection of data pertaining to 30 geospatial layers whose comprehensive information will be provide to the end user. This information will be dessiminated to the end user through a web based geo-spatial application which forms an integral part of the deliverables. The proposed web application will be released in a 2D-application form and also with the 3D View.

For accessing portal click here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TileMill: Open Source Mapping Now for Windows

TileMill is built on open source libraries (Mapnik, node.js, backbone.js,express and CodeMirror) and uses CSS styling with its map styling language Carto to render beautiful online maps. For an idea of what you can do with TileMill, the Chicago Tribune demonstrated some of its capabilities in its Making Maps series using PostGIS, Mapnik, TileMill, and Google Maps. Demos of TileMill in action can also be viewed on MapBox’s Maps page.

TileMill can now be used natively in Windows with the latest release. The release of TileMill 0.9.0 also includes a new plugin system: “TileMill UI can now be extended and modified using standalone, JavaScript plugins.” The new release also includes many fixes and updates including shipping with a desktop app client instead of requiring a browser.

TileMill has also released a crash courseto help new users walk through using the open source application. The course reviews:, Importing a basic spreadsheet, Styling a basic point map, Adding tooltips and legends, and Exporting maps and sharing them on the web.

For Downloading TileMill Please Click here

MapNimbus - Online Mapping Portal

MapNimbus is an online mapping portal designed to deliver information to citizens in an easy-to-use interface. Web Mapping Application by GeoTechGroup


MapNimbus boasts a familiar and intuitive interface that is easy-to-use. MapNimbus allows the user to search by address or agency to view crimes in their area. The user can narrow the scope of the search by using a pre-defined buffer. The crimes can be narrowed down even further by specifying a specific date range that you wish to view. To view more information about a specific crime, just click the icon and a map tip will display relevant information about the crime. Online crime mapping is made easier with MapNimbus.


MapNimbus allows the user to view sex offender data for their area. This allows you to keep the public informed of any registered sex offenders residing near their home, work, daycare, school, parks, public library, etc. The user can search for sex offenders near an address. You can click on the sex offender icon and view information about the offender on the mapping interface. MapNimbus also allows the user to click a link and visit the state's sex offender site directly for more detailed information.


MapNimbus informs the public of relevant and important information. When in need of restaurant sanitation grades, lodging grades, child care facility grades, and more look no further than MapNimbus! The easy-to-use interface allows the user to seach by address or pan and zoom the map to the desired location. You can view the inspection date, score and letter grade for each restaurant or view information about building permits in your area. MapNimbus also displays historical grades as well as the current grade for the restaurant. You can sign up for automatic email notification to be notified when sanitation grades change for a user-specified area. MapNimbus allows the user to view a wide array of information about their community. MapNimbus helps you keep citizens informed!


Not only can users view crimes and restaurant data for their area, they can also use powerful statistic and reporting tools to view a summary of the occurrences in their area. The reporting tools show a summary of what is being viewed on the mapping interface, whether it be crimes, restaurant grades, or other data. The user can also view a summary of the entire agency.You can choose to view a pie chart, bar chart, or tabular data. As you pan and zoom the map, the charts automatically update to reflect what you are viewing on the map. Once you have the sample of data that you desire, you have the option to print the information.


MapNimbus allows users to sign up to receive automatic email notifications for changes in their area. They can receive an email when a crime has occurred within a specified distance of the address they choose or when a restaurant grade changes within the area they specify. This allows the public to automatically be notified of important information in their area!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions features an interactive display through which you can view the history of polar exploration and the science of the polar regions. The interactive display is created through the use of the Google Earth browser plug-in and a timeline. You can click along the timeline to see and read placemarks on Google Earth. You can browse through and click on a list of important places in both polar regions. For further investigation and analysis of the polar regions you can activate a number of Google Earth layers within the Frozen Planet display. The display also includes videos about each region although the playlist for the Antarctic region is much longer than the playlist for the Arctic region.

Applications for Education Frozen Planet: 
Explore the Polar Regions could be a good resource for both science and history teachers. In fact, Frozen Planet could be the basis for an interdisciplinary unit at the middle school or high school level.

Here's a fun fact that I learned through Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions, five years after being the first person to stand on top of Mount Everest Sir Edmund Hillary was part of the team that completed the first complete crossing of Antarctica .

See the GIS Interface by Clicking here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Geospatial Hydrologic Modeling Extension (HEC-GeoHMS)

The Geospatial Hydrologic Modeling Extension (HEC-GeoHMS) has been developed as a geospatial hydrology toolkit for engineers and hydrologists with limited GIS experience. HEC-GeoHMS uses ArcView and the Spatial Analyst extension to develop a number of hydrologic modeling inputs for the Hydrologic Engineering Center‘s Hydrologic Modeling System, HEC-HMS. ArcView GIS and its Spatial Analyst extension are available from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI). Analyzing digital terrain data, HEC-GeoHMS transforms the drainage paths and watershed boundaries into a hydrologic data structure that represents the drainage network. The program allows users to visualize spatial information, document watershed characteristics, perform spatial analysis, and delineate subbasins and streams. Working with HEC-GeoHMS through its interfaces, menus, tools, buttons, and context-sensitive online help allows the user to expediently create hydrologic inputs for HEC-HMS.

HEC-GeoHMS can also generate tables with information on the physical characteristics of water bodies and watersheds. This information is useful when estimating hydrologic parameters.

Additional features include:
  • Data Management: This feature aids in managing the locations of different projects and can also be used for error checking and detection
  • Terrain Preprocessing: This can be done in two modes: step-by-step or batch. In step-by-step mode, the user can examine the model outputs and modify the data set as needed. If the user is confident in their data set, they can opt to run this feature in batch mode which eliminates additional steps and runs unattended.
  • Basin Processing: The user can divide the basin into subbasins (or merge subbasins together) with the results displayed instantaneously. This allows the user to make modeling decisions on the fly, rather than waiting until the end to run the model and then make modifications.
Basic Inputs:
  • Watershed and subbasin information (boundaries, sizes, stream locations, etc)
  • Pre-preared data to apply over the watershed grid
  • Topographical features and drainage information
Basic Output:
  • Spreadsheets and datasets describing watershed and subbasin characteristics
  • Spatial analysis result datasets
  • 2-D and 3-D images including topography, and stream and water body locations
  • Data that can be imported for simulations run in HEC-HMS
How to Run the Model:
  • Import or construct a watershed with subbasins. You can import a file made with HEC-HMS, or use HEC-GeoHMS to build a new one.
  • Modify the watershed, subbasins, and their characteristics as needed
  • Import pre-assembled data to associate with the site. Be sure that the data is compatible with GIS data structures. If you are unfamiliar with GIS data analysis methods and techniques, you may wish to read over some examples in the HEC-GeoHMS users manual.
  • Run a simulation/ perform you analysis and view the results. You may also export the data to HEC-HMS to perform additional hydrologic modeling
Download From Mediafire  password:

Maps give Europeans close-up picture of emissions from industrial facilities

Online maps published by the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), allow users to pinpoint the key environmental data and the main sources of air pollution from industrial facilities across Europe. The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) is the a Europe-wide register that provides easily accessible key environmental data from industrial facilities in European Union Member States and in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland. It replaces and improves upon the previous European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). The register contains data reported annually by some 28,000 industrial facilities covering 65 economic activities across Europe. The interactive map shows where certain pollutants are released from individual industrial plants. . The Europe-wide register aims to help Europeans actively engage in decisions affecting the environment. The map search option provides a geographical approach to the E-PRTR data. The map can even be viewed here in maximized version.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free GIS Datasets

About Website Author (rtwilson)
As a PhD student working in Remote Sensing and GIS, I have spent a lot of time looking for free datasets that I can use in my research. All of the datasets below are free to use for academic and non-profit work, and don't require any special academic registration, although most of them ask you to cite their papers/website. Some datasets will be free to use for commercial work too - please check the terms of use on each dataset's website.

Friday, January 20, 2012

OrbView-3 satellite images

OrbView-3 satellite images collected around the world between 2003 and 2007 by Orbital Imaging Corporation (now GeoEye) at up to one-metre resolution can now be downloaded at no cost through USGS EarthExplorer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LISS-III(24m) data available for download

Resourcesat-1 LISS-III Ortho(24m) is now available for all Bhuvan users to download upto 16 tiles/day. However, data available for download is limited to Middle and Southern part of India( Full India will be made available shortly.