Focus on the Vine: producing focused web solutins that bear real fruit
eNews Archive

eNewsletter June 2012

International Space Station to Host Earth Imaging System from Teledyne

A Cooperative Agreement was awarded by NASA to Teledyne Brown Engineering to foster the commercial utilization of the International Space Station (ISS). Teledyne Brown will develop the Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES), an Earth imaging platform, as part of the company’s new commercial space-based digital imaging business. MUSES is designed to host earth-looking instruments, such as high- resolution digital cameras, and provide precision pointing and other accommodations. It can host up to four instruments simultaneously and offers the ability to change, upgrade, and robotically service those instruments. Teledyne expects to provide the first commercial imaging system on board the ISS.

MUSES will help expand the research capability of the space station and provide other commercial companies with a cost-effective means to collect Earth images. “This new venture combines our rich 50-year history in human space flight with Teledyne’s world- class digital imaging expertise to access the growing space-based Earth imaging market,” said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of  Teledyne Technologies.

The MUSES design is based on a flight releasable attachment mechanism, or FRAM, a universal mounting platform that Teledyne Brown has manufactured for over 10 years. Teledyne Brown is finalizing the design of MUSES and will fabricate, assemble, test, integrate, and qualify the platform for delivery in late 2014 to NASA. Launch of the MUSES system is scheduled to occur in early 2015.

Read more: http://www.tbe.com/index.php/news/article/teledyne-to-develop-space-based-digital-imaging-capability

Google Grant Helps NGOs Protect Forests

Google has provided a grant to Eyes on the Forest and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to visualize and protect Indonesia's forests and endangered wildlife. The mapping of important biodiversity – including rhinos, tigers, elephants and orang-utans – is made possible through the use of Google Maps Engine under a grant from the Google Earth Outreach team.

The project will provide a public view into change in the country's land cover, land use, biodiversity, and naural resources, compiled by a large number of coordinating agencies over decased. the aim is to highlight the loss over time as well as the value of the resources.

The rate of forest loss has been dramatic, with more than half disappearing since 1985. By illustrating the loss over time, the impacts hit home, with habitat quickly shrinking and disappearing for a large number of species. Chinese and Indonesian conglomerates are quickly depleting the forests for pulp, paper and palm oil, with adverse impact on multiple species.

Read more: http://www.asmmag.com/201205253759/google-grant-helps-ngos-protect-forests.html

China Plans a National Geographic Conditions Monitoring Database

In late May, representatives from China's National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation pledged the creation of a "national geographical conditions monitoring database" by 2015. This new national resource aims to combine remote sensing imagery, geographic information systems, and other monitoring information to provide real-time information on the country.

Applications will include the monitoring of geological change, traffic networks, land use, and other elements of change.

The announcement came as the country celebrated the delivery of high-resolution satellite imagery from the Ziyuan III satellite that was launched on January 9. As of May 18, the satellite has collected and delivered 45.79 million square km of imagery of the globe. Data from the satellite populates the MapWorld website, as well as being used for mapping, aviation management, and natural disaster prevention.

China has been aggressively launching earth observation satellites, including two in a period of four days in May, as reported earlier, and plans to launch a number of additional high-resolution satellites in the coming years. With this growing constellation of satellites, and a coordinated and centralized effort to catalog, monitor, and analyze this imagery, China could make breakthroughs with their planned system.

Read more: http://www.asmmag.com/201205243754/china-plans-a-national-geographical-conditions-monitoring-database.html

Jeff Jonas Becomes IBM Fellow

Jeff Jonas was one of seven IBM employees who entered into the exclusive fraternity of IBM fellows, the top honor the company bestows on technical experts. (In a company with more than 425,000 employees worldwide, there are only 77 active Fellows.) Jonas arrived at this pinnacle of achievement via a strange route: He dropped out of both high school and college; the first company he started went bankrupt; he has been homeless; and he has spent a lot of time in Las Vegas casinos.

In the past, IBM Fellows have provided the creative genius for some of the company's most storied technical breakthroughs—from the Fortran computing language to the world's first disk drive to the Scanning Tunneling Microscope to the Watson system. This year's class, credited with 273 patents collectively, represent the epitome of IBM technical eminence. They are driving technologies central to the smarter planet agenda, including real-time analytics, high-performance computing and intelligent storage.

Jeff Jonas’ blog (great reading!): http://jeffjonas.typepad.com/

News from LBx Journal: Location in the Language of Business

Imaging Notes readers, you will be getting a few emails from SmartBrief, asking you to subscribe to our free eNewsletter called Location SmartBrief: Business Game Changer. Please watch for these emails, or you can sign up here.

Sign Up for your FREE Location-in-Business resource

More than 2,200 of your peers use this weekly resource to stay abreast of the people, policies and information affecting the business applications of local information, services and technology. Our editorial staff analyzes all of the latest news articles and summarizes only the most relevant and informative stories. In other words, we read everything and you get what matters.

Location Data Privacy: The Elephant in the Room

When it comes to privacy, there are basically two ends of the spectrum: Those who are in the “sharing culture” who act and behave in a very open manner, and those who feel privacy is a “protected right” and find any intrusion to be offensive. But, privacy is more complicated than that. In the Information Economy in which we live, personal data and similar forms of information are the currencies. And location data is the universal link between all data, because everything and everyone is somewhere – which means your business is already using location data in some manner, either passively or strategically.

The power, benefits, and risks associated with location data are in its capacity to infer more than the face value of the original information.

One can derive many things from location that are not obvious on the surface and that’s what makes location data unique from all other data.

From a business perspective, this makes location data both a valuable asset to leverage but also, a hypersensitive issue with both customers and employees (not to mention regulators who are taking an ever-increasing interest). Here are some stunning facts about location data followed by the major reasons why location data privacy should matter to you and your company.


The Location Intelligence for Enterprise Conference Report

The 2nd annual The Location Intelligence for Enterprise Conference confirmed that the use of location information, technologies and solutions is indeed a competitive advantage for companies. Jones Lang LaSalle, FedEx, Walgreens, Walmart, and Thomson Reuters, to name just a few, spent 2 days discussing how location intelligence is mission-critical to operations, customer experience, logistics, and development of new products and services.

Some of the mission-critical activities discussed include:

  • For corporate real estate: analyzing location-specific variables such as labor, economic development, infrastructure, health, income, education, company-specific operations;
  • For logistics and transportation: delivery of packages on time; ability to track packages;
  • For retail: development of store profile; store optimization based on customer and product profile;
  • For information services: publishing market impact data before anyone else.


The Where Conference Report (Formerly Where 2.0): The CES of Location

The Where Conference (formerly Where 2.0) has certainly evolved since its inception eight years ago. While still very much a developer conference with a focus on the innovations in location aware applications, it’s starting to feel more like a trade show and that’s a good thing for sponsors. The Esri, Google, and Nokia booths towered over the exhibit floor ń a very different exhibit hall experience than years past.


LBx Journal’s New Infographics Page

LBx Journal has launched a new page of infographics from various sources on the web. Check it this aggregation of images that help you get the point of a story much faster, from the graphic:


The Fate of U.S. Commercial Satellite Imagery (Infographic)

Satellite imagery was something that the general public did not have access to before 2005. People caught glimpses of the stories satellite imagery could tell only from documentaries produced from the likes of Nova and National Geographic. Google Earth changed all that June 2005 and made satellite imagery accessible to anyone with a computer, for free. Google Earth has inspired the world to think differently about the earth because it has made these images accessible.

But what’s the source of all this satellite imagery (or what is termed Earth observation)? There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications. High-resolution imagery (sub-meter—that’s less than 40 inches) for commercial use is currently only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S. government.


Archives Available

Both Imaging Notes (free of charge) and LBx Journal have our entire archives available for download:

Imaging Notes Magazine and Vector1 Media Create Strategic Alliance

Two geospatial media companies, both located in Denver, Colo., announced in April at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam a strategic partnership to better serve both readers and advertisers through combined competencies.

This alliance includes the quarterly Imaging Notes print publication and Vector1 Media’s online publications, Sensors & Systems and Informed Infrastructure, for audience outreach, shared online capacity, extension of editorial coverage, the packaging of marketing opportunities, and the production of events.

Imaging Notes has a long history of serving the earth observation community, with a launch in the 1970's for NAS and Landsat users. EO Sat Notes was re-named Imaging Notes in 1997, and was published by Space Imaging (now GeoEye) until 2004. Imaging Notes has been owned and published by Blueline Publishing since the Summer 2005 issue, when it became independent for the first time in its history.

Vector1 Media launched in fall of 2007, and has built a strong online audience of more than 35,000 e-newsletter subscribers, and double that number of unique monthly visitors to the websites. The V1 Magazine publication that began this effort has recently been re-branded as Sensors & Systems, with a new publication called Informed Infrastructure added. Both deal with the combination of sensors and software for improved monitoring of the planet to improve efficiency and to enhance sustainability.

Both of the principals of this partnership bring lengthy combined experience in the geospatial technology sector as well as strong foundations in media. Imaging Notes’ owner and publisher Myrna James Yoo has an extensive knowledge of print publishing, with a work history that includes stints at Time Warner and Crain’s in Chicago. Vector1 Media’s founder Matt Ball was formerly editor of GeoWorld magazine, and completed the magazine publishing certificate program at New York University.

“It’s exciting to be working closely with an energetic networker who knows the power that media can bring to an organization,” said Matt Ball. “There are increasing opportunities to deliver an advertiser’s message to interested parties in new ways, and we aim to explore and exploit new approaches that emphasize quality of content as well as community connections.”

“Combining our assets, particularly Vector 1's online subscription base and our print subscription base, is very exciting for Imaging Notes,” said Myrna James Yoo. “We will also be offering a very powerful combined ad buy for our clients.” See www.imagingnotes.com, www.sensysmag.com, www.informedinfrastructure.com.

The Spring issue of Imaging Notes included a feature about Google Earth Builder Productizing Server Farms (in case you missed it!)

Google Earth Builder (GEB), which Google released last fall, enables private companies and government agencies to store and process their geospatial data on Google’s huge server farms and display it through Google Earth, Google Maps, and applications on Android phones. Like a company that buys a building much larger than it needs for its own operations and then leases some of this space, Google is productizing some of its computing capacity by licensing GEB.

Meanwhile, to maximize the benefits of this new product for their clients' specific needs, more than a dozen Google Enterprise Partners around the world are developing custom applications that run on top of Google Earth's public application programming interfaces (APIs). Early adopters of GEB include the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the giant Australian utility Ergon Energy, and satellite imagery company GeoEye.

(read the entire article) http://www.imagingnotes.com/go/article_freeJ.php?mp_id=303

The Imaging Notes Summer issue will be out mid-July, released at Esri User Conference. Watch for these exciting articles:

  • A Memorial for Wangari Maathai, and update on Greenbelt Movement’s work
  • Mapping Sea Floor Habitats
  • Community Remote Sensing: For Disaster Response and Legal Aspects
  • Energy Industry Uses of Imagery

Index of eNewsletters
DGI 2014 | 21-23 January 2014, London | Strategies for data, geoint, and cyber security in defence & intelligence | Find out more