87. Geospatial Review: News & Updates - first half of 2017

 
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If you are a straight to the point professional, then Linkedin is a probably the best platform for finding out about what is happening in the geospatial world. This week’s post shares just a sample of the eye-catching geospatial news and updates from the first half of 2017. The geospatial industry is truly alive and well.

 
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Opensource Everything!

As well as open-sourcing some of its most powerful algorithms such as the TensorFlow Object Detection API, its artificial intelligence engine, Google has recently relaunched its Google Maps platform which is expected to deliver a whole host of new functionality to geospatialists. Google is clearly giving businesses and professionals little excuse to get left behind by innovation.

 

 
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Score for Opensource

Boundless Spatial, the provider of geospatial tools and services for managing data and building applications has scored big on government contracts. The company was recently awarded a $36 million contract by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the primary source of GEOINT for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Community. This contract win is proving that opensource is now being taken as seriously as proprietary software and is sure to inspire bootstrapping geospatial startups around the world.

 

 
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50 million Irish Objects

In January, Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), Ireland’s national mapping agency launched a National Mapping Agreement (NMA) which will give government departments and public sector bodies unrestricted access to most of OSi’s geospatial data (consisting of some 50 million Irish real-world objects). When asked if geospatial technology and information is gaining momentum in Ireland, OSi responded: “to be sure”.

 
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Freshly baked Australian Satellites

In order to keep pace with the rapidly advancing Earth Observation field, Australia recently sent its first satellite into space in 15 years. Although the three satellites, which were launched through NASA’s Cape Canaveral station are each only the size of a loaf of bread, they have massive potential for the country’s ambitions in the global satellite market. Fair dinkum.

 

 
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Esri joins the Creative Community

Esri is realising its ambitions to break into the ‘digital-artistic’ community by releasing a plugin for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop and Illustrator products. Cartographic purists will obviously be delighted with the expanded range of brushes, fonts and palettes. You can expect to see some very hip-looking GIS professionals hanging in trendy cafes near you soon.

 

 
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Business Intelligence/Geospatial Intelligence

According to the Google promoted ads section, Tableau, the provider of business intelligence software for data visualisation, now seems to be strengthening its association with GIS. Just type in 'GIS data visualisation' and you'll see for yourself. According to Tableau's website: “Incorporating maps into your analysis, reports and dashboards should be as common as creating another bar chart, pie graph or data table.” Optimism aside, if only map-making and GIS was that easy!

 

 
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ONS - 'Getting it right'

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK is redefining what it means to be a statistician by leveraging some powerful new resources. Its new data science campus at its headquarters in Newport, Wales, is planning on harvesting Big Data from traffic sensors, mobile phones and satellite images in order to gain a better understanding of what is actually happening in the UK. It is expected that by upskilling statisticians on the latest technologies and information shock election and referendum results in the digital age will soon become a thing of the past!

 

 
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Spatial Bright Lights

NASA has announced that it is releasing new global maps of Earth at night which are expected to open up possible real-time applications for any geospatialist with a touch of imagination and (noctural) vision. The maps will provide the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across the planet and will be updated on a daily basis. Who said mapping was only a daytime activity?

 

Please feel free to add any other news or updates in the comments section below.