Geospatial Media and Communications is an internationally accredited organization that provides networking and knowledge-sharing platforms for geospatial technology. Read some great geospatial blogs with posts from Geospatial Media staff and our guest bloggers. Get to know about GIS, Remote Sensing, UAV trends and more.
buildingSMART International has appointed Léon van Berlo as its Technical Director. Van Berlo has previously served a variety of roles at the National Institute for Innovation (TNO) in the Netherlands. This includes positions as BIMserver Program Manager and Senior BIM Innovator.
Léon van Berlo, Technical Director buildingSMART InternationalBIMserver, openBIM, TNO
At TNO, Van Berlo’s work has been focused on creating a data-driven industry through technological adoption and developing new concepts. One example is the enabling of prototypes through consensus building and collaboration. From there, Van Berlo developed new products for market-based demand, including large EU funded projects. During this time, van Berlo also worked on several open standards and BIM standardization initiatives for international audiences. In a press release, BuildingSMART states: “As a thought-leader on BIM and openBIM initiatives, Léon provides the right expertise to the growing community of buildingSMART.”
buildingSMART board programs
As an international authority for the set of standards known as the Industry Foundation Class (IFC). In order to fullfill this task, buildingSMART International organises its work in three board programs: the User Program, the Solutions and Standards Program and the Compliance Program. The User Program’s focus lies on front line (BIM) users around the world. The primary focus of the Solutions and Standards Program is to develop new technical solutions followed by international consensus-building leading to new international industry standards. Lastly, the Compliance Program promotes verification and certification schemes. These schemes are necessary to support effective deployment and deliver confidence in data exchange and the use of standards.
Léon van Berlo was very likely appointed as a Technical Director as a further step in the development of these programs. He may also assist the building and construction community in delivering successful outcomes and building confidence about future technical plans. In this role, Léon van Berlo will work closely with the community to develop a forward-looking Technical Road Map. He will be the chair of Standard Committee Technical Executive (SCTE), addressing technical harmonisation across activities. Van Berlo will also facilitate structured engagement with vendors focused on implementations. Another major component is the support of innovative approaches to standards maintenance, open source software providers, and reference implementations of buildingSMART standards.
Mercury levels soared past 40 degree Celsius in most European capitals in the month of June. Scorching heat made life unbearable in European capitals like Berlin and Paris. This record-high temperature coincided with another event and is likely to be triggered by it – lowest ice cap levels in the arctic.
The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). So far, 2019 is already the hottest year on record. The situation is really alarming and portends unmitigated devastation.
“Greenhouse gas concentrations are once again at record levels and if the current trend continues we may see temperature increases 3-5°C by the end of the century. If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher”, says WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
Melting arctic ice
In June this year, the extent of arctic ice plunged to an all-time low of 10.901 million square kilometers. This is worrisome for a number of reasons: melting ice caps causing ecological imbalances and signifying the spread of global warming. What’s ominous is the fact that the ice extent could fall further this year. Not surprisingly. June was the also hottest on record, as per the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
According to scientists, dwindling level of arctic ice cover – which is almost half today compared to 1979 – would have a spiraling effect on ecology, ensuing polar cap meltdown and decrease in the average gap between the temperature in Far North and temperate zones.
Accurately predicting variations in the arctic is really complex, but it is speculated that 2019 would have the lowest ice extent. Decrease in ice would be catastrophic for all aspects of human survival and habitation.
Melting ice near Alaska and Bearing sea. Image Courtesy: . Image courtesy of Universitat Bremen.
Almost every year, Arctic sea levels are lowest in the month of September. This is a routine affair. Annual variations in ice levels are caused by a change in weather patterns, making the fluctuations harder to predict. However, 2019 has got ice-watchers really worried. Current arctic conditions uncannily mirror 2007 when scientists anticipated lowest-ever ice levels. Though 2012 and 2016 were even lower than 2007.
Data analysis from NSIDC shows that Arctic sea ice for November 2016 was 9.08 million square kilometers, the lowest November in the satellite record. This is 800,000 square kilometers less than November 2006, the previous lowest November, and 1.95 million square kilometers below 1981 to 2010 long-term average for November.
Ripples around entire region
There have been record high temperatures in the arctic region this year, especially around Alaska where ice cover was negligible in the Bearing Sea by March.
Researchers are fast reaching to the conclusion that temperature difference between arctic and temperate zones create jet streams, which are rivers of air in the Northern Hemisphere. With disappearing ice caps and a spike in arctic temperatures, the variance between temperature levels in these regions is shrinking very fast.
Jet streams create atmospheric dynamics, including low and high pressure. This is a grave concern because jet streams can peter out while waves remain steady. This causes the weather system to get stuck.
California and Rocky mountains witnessed blistering cold spring of contorted jet stream configuration. Tornadoes in the American Midwest in May this year were also caused due to warming arctic. Jet Stream winds crossed mid-section of US. Also, cooler winds from the West and North clash with warmer air from the Southeast, leading to severe weather conditions.
The biggest iceberg breaks off Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf - YouTube
While increase in global temperatures in the near future is an inevitability predicted by many, Crowther Lab’s interactive map shows how global warming will impact 520 cities by 2050.
The map shows how how global warming will impact 520 cities around the world by 2050
A lot will change by 2050. For instance, the city of Budapest will have climate similar to Skopje (Republic of Macedonia) and London’s weather conditions will match with Barcelona’s. While increase in global temperatures in the coming future is an inevitability predicted by many, the Crowther Lab has explored how global warming will impact 520 cities around the world (Also Read: Europe heat wave sets maps on fire). The Lab has further matched the predictions with cities that currently experience those temperatures.
To find out which city’s climate your native city will resemble in 2050 as a result of global warming, just click on your city on the Future Cities interactive map. When you click on a city on the map, you can also view information about the expected annual increase in temperature, along with the expected rise in temperature in the warmest and coldest months.
Impact on US
American President Donald Trump recently again denounced the Paris climate deal as “unfair, ineffective and very, very expensive”. In 2017, Trump had announced that the United States was pulling out of the Paris agreement, which aims to limit global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. The President may have walked out of the pact, estimates suggest that the US has reasons to worry. Crowther Lab’sexploration suggests that in future, New York City’s winters will have the weather of today’s Virginia Beach (damp and cold) and wet Seattle will be like drier San Francisco. As far as the Capital City of Washington D.C. is concerned, it will be more like today’s Nashville, but with greater variation in temperatures and precipitation. By 2050, the annual temperatures in these cities will increase by 2.9 degrees centigrade, 2.6 degrees centigrade and 3 degrees centigrade, respectively.
The worst affected
According to the Future Cities interactive map, the sharpest temperature rise will be witnessed by St. Louis in Missouri. By 2050, the city is expected to see an increase in annual temperatures of 3.6 degrees centigrade. St. Louis will therefore experience a climate similar to that of today’s Dallas. Similarly, Baku, the low-lying capital city and commercial hub of Azerbaijan, and Baltimore in Maryland, will witness a 3.4 degrees centigrade increase in annual temperature by that time. Belgrade in Serbia (3.5 degrees centigrade) and Dnipro in Ukraine (3.2 degrees centigrade) will also witness a sharp rise in temperature in the future.
Research in past
This map was shared by ‘Wired’ on Twitter. You can find your 2080 climate twin using The Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm map
Crowther Lab is not the first to use future climate analogs to explain the effects of global warming. Earlier, an interactive map was released that allowed users to find their climate analog for 2080. You can also find your 2080 climate twin using The Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm map. By entering your location, or clicking on it, you can view the town or city in the world, which has a climate now that is similar to the climate you can expect in your location in 2080. The map uses two different climate models that allow a user to find his/her climate twin for a global heating scenario of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees.
US: With the increasing number of both active satellites and debris objects in orbit about the Earth, the space domain is quickly becoming more congested and contested. For the last decade, Numerica Corporation has been developing solutions to improve the collective understanding of the evolving space environment and is demonstrating the utility of its commercially augmented mission operations (CAMO) system for enhanced space situational awareness (SSA) under a new partnership with the Air Force
Research Laboratory (AFRL).
AFRL leveraged the Defense Innovation Unit and the Commercial Solutions Opening process to competitively and rapidly award agreements with non-traditional, venture-class companies who have mature commercial solutions to view, characterize, and predict the changing physical location of objects in orbit around the Earth.
Numerica’s SSA team is building the most complete, commercially-available, on-demand deep-space catalog, and under CAMO, is sharing a real-time data feed to support government activities including operations and research and development efforts.
This data feed of information is produced from the Numerica Telescope Network (NTN) of more than 130 optical sensors positioned worldwide that provide complete and persistent nightly coverage of geostationary orbit (GEO).
With its best-of-breed space surveillance tracking software, the Multiple Frame Assignment Space Tracker (MFAST), Numerica improves the security of both commercial and government interests in space.
Lt. Jackie Cromer, the AFRL CAMO Program Manager, stated “The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate is excited at the opportunity to work with Numerica and to explore how commercial data from their telescope network along with their data analytics algorithms can be used to enhance DoD space operations”.
“Numerica is excited to be a part of CAMO and delivering SSA data to space operators and system developers,”
Todd Brost said, Numerica’s Director of Special Programs. “Our network provides a diversity of locations and sensors which greatly increases the collection opportunity, and when combined with Numerica’s advanced processing, ensures accurate orbital states and a high likelihood of space object detection. We look forward to demonstrating how Numerica data can be a key component to understanding the contested space domain.”
Numerica awarded US Air Force contract for real-time satellite tracking NTN data and information products are now available via the Unified Data Library (UDL). This real-time data feed will continue until at least March 2020. Additional NTN data products and services are coming soon.
France: Airbus has agreed a five-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to manage test and reference services to support the delivery and assured release of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capability for deployed operations around the globe. The contract is valued at approximately £22 million (€ 25 million).
Airbus offers the UK MOD a seamless transition and delivery of a comprehensive, consistent and coherent service model for the Land Systems Reference Centre (LSRC), delivering test and reference capability to support development, integration, approval and de-risking of C4ISR systems and services.
Airbus aims to make the LSRC the UK MOD’s centre of excellence for advice and test, ensuring that MOD networks can accommodate new applications, hardware and services. Major programmes such as Morpheus, which is the next-generation tactical communications system for the British Armed Forces, will be tested in the LSRC.
Located at Blandford Camp in Dorset, the Royal Corps of Signals’ headquarters, the LSRC provides the MOD with a through life ‘Systems of Systems’ Test and Reference service. It provides an appropriate test, integration and transition capability that assures release packages for introduction onto the Defence Network and in support of operations and exercises.
The LSRC can provide support and specialist advice for deployed and base ICT capabilities throughout their lifecycle. The LSRC has the capability to test applications and application upgrades on reference systems to assess their impact on other applications and the network as well as the network’s impact on the application.
Airbus has decades of experience delivering communications solutions to the UK MOD, as well as many governments around the world, both with ground infrastructure networks and satellite communications delivering unrivalled resilience and security to all forces’ operations.
For the smooth functioning of autonomous vehicles, machines and robots would have to take decisions on roads. For that, they would require specialized maps designed for robotic systems. Maps now need to be democratized beyond humans
France: Galileo Initial Services have now been restored. Commercial users can already see signs of recovery of the Galileo navigation and timing services, although some fluctuations may be experienced until further notice.
The technical incident originated by an equipment malfunction in the Galileo ground infrastructure, affecting the calculation of time and orbit predictions, and which are used to compute the navigation message. The malfunction affected different elements on the ground facilities.
A team composed of GSA experts, industry, ESA and Commission, worked together 24/7 to address the incident. The team is monitoring the quality of Galileo services to restore Galileo timing and navigation services at their nominal levels.
We will set an Independent Inquiry Board to identify the root causes of the major incident. This will allow the Commission, as the programme manager, together with the EU Agency GSA to draw lessons for the management of an operational system with several millions of users worldwide.
Galileo provides ‘initial services’ since December 2016. During this initial ‘pilot’ phase preceding the ‘full operational services’ phase, Galileo signals are used in combination with other satellite navigation systems, which allows for the detection of technical issues before the system becomes fully operational. In the fully operational phase, Galileo should function independently of other satellite navigation systems.
Dedicated Notice Advisory to Galileo Users (NAGUs) have been published at the European GNSS Service Centre to inform users on the service impact:
• NAGU number 2019025 on 2019-07-11 14:45 on the potential service degradation;
• NAGU number 2019026 on 2019-07-13 20:15 on the service outage;
• NAGU number 2019027 on 2019-07-18 08:20 on the service recovery;
US: Altitude Angel has announced that it is to launch the world’s first UTM ‘conflict resolution service’ as an API, and in doing so has taken a huge step towards allowing automated drone flights to become day-to-day reality.
Using this service, any pilot or operator can securely check for conflicts in their drone flights quickly and easily, using the firm’s tried-and-trusted safety technology.
Available via Altitude Angel’s developer platform and powered by its GuardianUTM operating system services, the Conflict Resolution Service (CRS) addresses some of the key risks which prevent BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations today.
Automated drones flying BVLOS have so far not been realized on a commercial scale due, in large part, to the inability of drone technology to be able to ‘deal with the unexpected’ – other aircraft or drones, obstacles or airspace closures which weren’t foreseeable before the flight happened, or, would previously have been ‘dealt with’ by a human pilot. CRS goes a step beyond, helping implementers to react in a coordinated and predictable manner, contributing to increased airspace safety.
If concepts such as Amazon drone deliveries and Uber’s flying taxis are to be realized, there is an immediate need to make sure the thousands of drones in the sky are operating safely and can manage circumstances where a conflict might arise either pre-flight or during flight. Now, using CRS, drones and drone pilots can store flight plans with a globally-distributed and reliable service without needing to exchange private or potentially sensitive data with each other, while benefiting from an immediate pre-flight conflict resolution advice.
CRS will come in two classes:
Conflict resolution information is provided to a drone operator during the flight planning phase (pre-flight phase) of the operation by comparing it to other previously submitted flight plans, against ground and airspace geofenced areas available in Altitude Angel’s worldwide data feeds. The system will then propose alterations to the take-off time and/or route to eliminate the conflict, suggesting minimally invasive changes to permit the mission to continue unobstructed. Developers and drone manufacturers can utilise CRS to securely share flight plan data and opt-in to ‘global conflict resolution’, where all flight plans which have been shared will be checked for conflicts. ‘Private’ modes exist for fleet operators who only want to check for conflicts against their own drones or customers.
Tactical CRS will provide information to drone pilots or the drone itself to ensure separation is maintained during the in-flight phase. The dynamic system will continuously monitor the airspace around an aircraft for the ‘unexpected’ such as other aerial vehicles or changes to airspace (such as a Temporary Flight Restriction/Dynamic Geofence around a police incident). After identifying a potential conflict, CRS will make the necessary routing adjustments, allowing the drone to maintain an appropriate separation standard between other airspace users or fly around restricted airspace so it can continue safely (and efficiently) to its destination.
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder said: “The launch of our Conflict Resolution Service cannot be underestimated. It is a massive step forward, a ‘game changer’, for not only Altitude Angel, but for the future of automated flight. The ability for drones and automated aircraft to strategically plan flights, be made aware of potential conflict, and alter their route accordingly is critical in ensuring safety in our skies. This first step is all about pre-flight coordination, between drone pilots, fleet operators and other UTM companies.
“The tactical component of CRS answers the biggest challenge BVLOS flight brings; how do you deal with the unexpected. Being able to predict and resolve conflict mid-flight by providing appropriate and timely guidance will revolutionise automated flight. CRS is one of the critical building blocks on which the drone and automated flight industries will grow.”
Altitude Angel will launch CRS in two phases, with Strategic being online from 23 July and Tactical CRS in September.
CRS represents a significant investment from Altitude Angel and will be subject to continuous future updates and additional functionality, as confidence and capability grow, and as the firm takes more of its ground-breaking technology from R&D to production.
What ArcGIS is a geographical information system (GIS) software that allows handling and analyzing geographic information by visualizing geographical statistics through layer building maps like climate data or trade flows. It’s used by a whole host of academic institutions and departments, both in the humanities and sciences, to develop and illustrate groundbreaking research. Further, it is used by several governments and private/commercial institutions worldwide.
The system has the capacity to create geographical information accessible throughout a company, institution, privately or publicly on the internet. Therefore, the software essentially works as a platform whereby geographical information can be linked, shared and analyzed.
How Does it Work?
Like many GIS software, ArcGIS creates maps that require categories organized as layers. Each layer is registered spatially so that when they’re overlaid one on top of another, the program lines them up properly to create a complex data map. The base layer is almost always a geographical map, pulled out of a range of sources depending upon the visualization needed (satellite, road map, etc). This program has a lot of them available to users and also contains live feed layers including traffic details.
The first three layers are called feature or vector layers, each containing individual functions distinguished through the platform. These are:
points (like landmarks, buildings)
lines (like roads and other 1D schemata)
polygons (like political information and geographical census, called 2D data)
raster images (a base vector layer like an aerial picture)
Data can be correlated with at least one of these spatial layers and can be both mapped and analyzed, be it through features like demographic changes, or via data tables.
However, what sets this method apart from its competitors is the complex platform through this mapping and data can be performed. Therefore, it’s a vast-reaching program subject to the latest improvements and updates. It is currently available on Microsoft Windows desktops, although the online program is accessible on many operating systems. As it operates as a platform, users should not wade through pages of information and data; resources are available to decrease and extract specific information from much bigger geographical datasets. In sum, it’s a one-stop solution to data management and analysis as filtered through map construction. Anyone with a basic computer proficiency and an interest in map-making can learn ArcGIS in just 2 weeks.
Complex Graphics and Data
It allows you to create stunning visual maps and models rapidly, such as three-dimensional renderings and population flow maps. Using a drag-and-drop function, spreadsheets of data could be loaded immediately on the cloud and visualized. There’s also a good mapping tool that suggests the best styles, classifications, and colors to fit your data.
Imagery is offered in high-resolution, obtained from both the recent and historic sources worldwide, allowing for the building of historical maps as well as recent demographic data and information observations. Surface phenomena, like elevation, temperature, rainfall and so on, can also be fully integrated into such visual maps and models with amazing tools for surface analysis.
Where is it Used?
As an industry-leading platform, the package of applications and tools central to this program is used by a majority of companies, institutions, and departments dealing with geographical information analysis. Yet the ease of its interface has also seen its worth jump in media and journalistic use as well.
ArcGIS comes with a strong reputation and history. This simple fact makes it to a staple piece of software for different companies dealing in geographical information systems. In particular, it’s used by state and local governments across the world, including in the USA.
Types of Software
This software comes in many different incarnations, in the standard desktop package to some completely web-based program. The desktop package includes the base package to publish and manage information and data, also giving access to the online and “Enterprise” options. The online version includes lots of functions needed to make web apps and web maps using geographical information. There is a gallery of base maps and styles to select from and also a whole host of data piles to visualize.
Obviously, you can input your personal data too. The advantages of the online program include the sharing of content during as well as outside your organization. Groups can access personal maps on an invite, allowing for collaboration. Additional parts of the software platform include applications, like navigation, collection, and surveying tools, as well as a fast explorer and workforce tools for coordinated fieldwork.
If this interests you, look for an online ArcGIS Training provider or a self-paced learning kit which will help you learn the basics and become a pro.
Note: This is a guest blog by Yashraj Singh Shaktawat, SEO Executive, Edunbox.
Japan: Mapbox and Yahoo Japan Corporation (hereafter referred to as “Yahoo! JAPAN”) have announced at SoftBank World that they are collaborating to transform the digital experience of maps in Japan, and will begin integrating and launching new maps and personalized location experiences across Yahoo! JAPAN internet properties and mobile apps beginning this Autumn.
Yahoo! JAPAN offers more than 100 services – including search, news, weather, shopping and auctions – to smartphone and PC users. In the Japanese iOS app store, apps from Yahoo! JAPAN occupy three of the top five spots in navigation, two of the top five spots in weather, two of the top seven spots in news, and three of the top 50 spots overall. On Android, the company has five of the top 50 apps in the app store.（※）
Through this collaboration, Mapbox will power the maps across all of Yahoo! JAPAN’s mobile and online apps. With its living AI map continuously updated with data from 14 billion anonymous, aggregated sensor readings every day, Mapbox provides developers with the building blocks that enable a high degree of customization. The teams will work closely together to create new experiences tailored to the needs of Japanese users.
“As the most visited destination in Japan, we need to provide the best, most performant map to our users. Integrating with live location platform Mapbox will help us deliver new and customized features for our user base. We pride ourselves on making daily improvements to our services, and using the live location from AI-powered, continuously updated maps will allow us to bring more tailored personalized products and experiences to users,” said Keita Hakoda, Unit Manager of Yahoo JAPAN’s Local Services.
With its continually updated living map, Mapbox will be powering Yahoo! JAPAN’s delivery of next-level personal, localized services online and on mobile apps. The live location platform will help Yahoo! JAPAN deliver advanced Maps for consumers.
Yahoo! Weather powered by Mapbox will deliver accurate, up-to-date weather visualizations. Mapbox brings expertise and experience in weather mapping to Yahoo! JAPAN.
“To be working with the leader in consumer apps with Japan’s largest users, and the most popular online destination is tremendous. We are excited to be partnering with the Yahoo! JAPAN team to deliver next-level maps for consumer apps and services including weather in the country,” commented Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen.
Mapbox powers more than 45,000 applications globally, reaching more than 640 million monthly active users. Every day these devices generate 14 billion anonymous, aggregated sensor readings that are used to deliver precise traffic data and instantly ship over 100,000 daily changes to maps on any connected device.