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Dec 2019 | No Comment

Integration of mapping technology into elections systems

National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) has been awarded $300,000 by the bipartisan Democracy Fund Voice organization for the second phase of NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project. This continues a national effort by state government geospatial information officers and coordinators to work with other state agencies, local elections officials and state elections offices, national GIS and elections organizations, and federal partners to identify opportunities to leverage this powerful technology to strengthen elections management and citizen engagement.

The Geo-Enabled Elections project was launched in October 2017 and will now continue for an additional two years. The project aims to help strengthen electoral systems by supporting states in the adoption of GIS. Concretely, this means encouraging state governments to replace non-spatial ‘address file’ systems with election precinct and voter data in a GIS format, leveraging that format’s inherent visual and analytical advantages.

With its second phase, the project turns to focus on working hands-on with up to ten more states through the pilot program, developing a curriculum for elections officials on foundations of GIS in elections, increasing awareness of the benefits of geo-enabling elections systems among elections stakeholders, and developing policy guidance and advocacy tools to support integration of GIS in elections. elections.nsgic.org

Cemetery mapping & management tool launched

T-MAPY has launched an international version of its Cemetery Management Module. Designed to assist with the complex task of cemetery administration, Assetino Cemetery applies proven geospatial asset management technology allowing operators and visitors to identify and locate the final resting place of an individual, manage capacity and maintenance of a facility and aid with ancestry studies. From simple searches of burial records to automated management of contracts and fees, Assetino Cemetery is available as an online solution complete with integrated smart mapping. www.tmapy.com

Focus on infrastructure engineering for digital cities by Bentley Systems

Bentley Systems has presented its new digital cities initiatives, applying digital twins for more efficient city and regional operations and for more connected and resilient infrastructure. Digital twins converge assets’ 4D-surveyed and engineering representations to enable new collaborative digital workflows to serving planners and engineers in public works, utilities, property management and development, and city stakeholders. Digital twin cloud services provide an intuitive and immersive 4D environment converging digital context and digital components with digital chronology for “evergreen” infrastructure digital twins over asset lifecycles. For infrastructure professionals, BIM and GIS are effectively advanced through 4D digital twins.

Mapping disease outbreaks in urban settings using mobile phone data

Researchers from EPFL and MIT have shown that human mobility is a major factor in the spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue even over short intra-city distances. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, the team compares different mobility models and concludes that having access to mobile phone location data can prove crucial in understanding disease transmission dynamics — and, ultimately, in stopping an outbreak from evolving into an epidemic. Yet, according to the researchers, this kind of information is hard to come by. They recommend bringing in new legislation to fill a legal void and enable scientists, NGOs and political decisionmakers to access people’s phone location data for public health purposes.

The authors studied the interplay between human mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore. They found that even low levels of mobility can cause the epidemic to spread, underscoring the need for an effective spatial distribution model.

Dengue is a viral disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It occurs in the tropics and subtropics, and is particularly prevalent in rural areas and poor urban communities.

The researchers demonstrated that the mobile phone data and census models were effective at predicting the spatial distribution of dengue cases in Singapore, and that such data could be obtained without infringing on people’s privacy. Their findings invite further discussion about the merits and drawbacks of using mobile phone data to model disease outbreaks, as well as other potential applications. www.sciencedaily.com

Esri India inaugurates GIS data management centre in Panchkula

Esri India has announced the launch of its latest Global Delivery Centre for GIS data management in Panchkula. This centre will provide GIS data management services to global customers in sectors like power, telecom and government, Esri India President Agendra Kumar told reporters here www.esri.in

Differential privacy & the 2020 USA census

The U.S. Census Bureau has changed the way it ensures privacy for the 2020 Census. The new method is called Differential Privacy (DP). To help people assess some of the implications and unintended consequences of Differential Privacy, Caliper is providing several interactive maps for public inspection.

The first map, created with Maptitude shows the change in population for every Congressional district after applying Differential Privacy to the current congressional district boundaries. The map illustrates that the current 116th Congressional District populations would have been different in many instances, with possible implications for service provision, allocation of funds, and political representation*. caliper.com

Cadasta Foundation launches new global land rights challenge fund

Cadasta Foundation has launched its new Global Land Rights Challenge Fund to help partners better leverage Cadasta’s innovative tools and services to document land and resource rights worldwide.

The Land Rights Challenge Fund will feature multiple grant programs through 2021, each designed to advance land rights and tenure security for vulnerable populations around the world.

All grants will enable the use of Cadasta’s tools, including mobile applications for data collection and web applications for data management and analysis. Grantees will also have access to Cadasta’s high-quality imagery, data layers, dashboards, and analytical tools for monitoring, advocating, storytelling, and reporting. Cadasta’s platform and tools are built on open standards and access, and are supported by Esri ArcGIS technology. https://cadasta.org

Carlson introduces new surveying system

Carlson Software just released its new Void Scanner+ (VS+), a fully wireless surveying system designed to be used for underground surveying. The system is an upgraded model of Carlson’s standard Void Scanner.

Engineered to scan in extreme environments, the ruggedised VS+ system is designed to be deployed into potentially hazardous locations, allowing operators to map underground cavities safely.

The information collected by the VS+ can be viewed in real-time and can provide mine site managers the information needed to optimise production, review extraction, backfill operations, and monitor problems with ore loss and dilution. It can also be used for ore pass monitoring, mine design management, underground blast planning, drive surveys, and pre and post underground evacuation planning.

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