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Jun 2020 | No Comment

Opens access to geospatial data for Ukrainians

The ‘Verkhovna Rada’ or the parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine “On National Geospatial Data Infrastructure” (bill No. 2370) which established free access to relevant information for citizens and economic entities.

The law establishes the legal foundations for the creation, operation and development of national geospatial data infrastructure, defining principles for its creation and development.

According to the law, a modern system of meeting the requirements of society in all types of geographic information will be formed, crosssectoral integration of geospatial data and land register data will be provided, and basic and thematic geospatial data and metadata created by both public sector and monopoly enterprises will become available on the Internet.

It is proposed to finance the creation, operation and development of national geospatial data infrastructure at the expense of state and local budgets, funds of institutions, organizations and enterprises, contracting authorities in accordance with concluded contracts and other sources not prohibited by law. To create a national geospatial data infrastructure, existing geospatial data already created by public authorities will be used. Most provisions of this law enter into force on January 1, 2021.

Excerpts from the Joint Statement on the Value of GIS in the Pandemic

The spread and effects of COVID-19 can be best understood considering space and time.

As governments are responding to COVID-19, more leaders are recognizing the value of “knowing the where.” The importance of knowing where the outbreak is growing, where high risk populations are, where the hospital beds and important medical resources are, and where to deploy resources is essential. “Knowing the where” informs better decision-making.

In an effort to better understand the where, governments are recognizing the value of geospatial information and technologies and are engaging geospatial professionals to help them better understand the where to help them in their decision-making and response.

Geospatial professionals bring unique analytical and visualization skills to the table that help responders and decision-makers visualize where the pandemic is spreading more quickly and can make the important decisions regarding where response and resource needs need to be focused. The value of telling the story through a map coupled with a geospatial dashboard provides a view of the event not readily seen in a table such as a spreadsheet.

Beyond visualizing existing data, we can connect data from a location perspective, which enhances the value of the data sources being integrated. Equally important in this event is data on COVID-19 cases and testing packaged and shared in a way useful to scientists.

The information necessary to empower all partners already exists.

Current nationwide models and response efforts may not benefit from the details of local geographic parameters. Local or statewide models and response efforts may not fully take advantage of the data from other areas of the country. Hospitals are surveyed by both federal and state agencies, and the results of those surveys are not readily available to the hospitals working together to care for patients. Nationwide geospatial data will empower a coalition of participants with a better understanding of the spread and impacts of COVID-19 and improve mitigation actions.

The same data can be made available in different forms to empower people playing different roles in the response. Researchers — epidemiologists — will benefit from nationwide COVID-19 testing data and data describing factors impacting the spread. This data needs to be as disaggregated as permissible under HIPAA and in a form readily digestible in models.

The case data could be aggregated to the same units of geography as a wealth of existing demographic data (Census tracts), which could explain and quantify local variances in the spread. Policy makers and those in emergency management can benefit from map and tabular dashboards, harnessing the power of the where by integrating data for analytics.

Blue Marble releases RDP-enabled license for Global Mapper

Blue Marble Geographics has added Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) capability to Global Mapper Single User Floating licenses. The newly added RDP capability offers reliable, secure, and affordable access to a remote computer, allowing users of Global Mapper to maintain a high level of productivity in an off-site work environment.

With the RDP capability, users can now also access Global Mapper remotely over the internet from another computer.

Exploration Analyst software for ArcGIS Pro

This updated version of the popular software that allows oil and gas geologists and geophysicists to make better exploration decisions provides a range of new tools and features which further enhance these critical workflows.

Key to play based exploration (PBE) workflows is understanding how results of previously drilled wells inform the future prospectivity of a petroleum play. Included in version 2 of Exploration Analyst for ArcGIS Pro is the new Analyse Well Results tool, which allows users to investigate which wells succeeded or failed and to understand why, while identifying underlying spatial relationships.

Another important new feature within version 2 of Exploration Analyst for ArcGIS Pro is the Analyse Prospects tool which delivers important capabilities for prospect portfolio management, including allowing users to summarise prospects by stratigraphic stage, analysing prospect volumes against chance, and assessing play success prospect volume uplift scenarios.

MGISS helps MS Environmental protect world heritage sites

Centimetre accurate 3D computer visualisations are helping architects and townscape planners understand how proposed developments can affect UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The work by MS Environmental, using the latest satellite positioning and data collection technology from Mobile GIS Services (MGISS), has already included projects for several of UK sites.

MS Environmental (MSE) is a specialist in verified photomontages, also known as verified views and AVRs, which are computer generated images designed to show developments in their real world context. MSE approached MGISS in order to improve both the accuracy and ease of workflow for its field data capture operation. Requiring centimetre positional accuracy for each photomontage, together with a simple to use capture and recording system, MGISS implemented a new generation satellite positioning system including specialist data collection software.

MGISS designed a solution based around the Spectra SP80 GNSS Antenna which uses the unique Z-Blade technology to track all available GNSS signals to provide the most reliable measurements for the highest possible accuracies.

Innovation in laser scanning with Pointfuse Software

California-based U.S. CAD is exploring the latest developments in laser scanning and working with Pointfuse to help shape the future of point cloud processing software following the completion of the Pointfuse authorized training program. The first in the US to complete the course, U. S. CAD will now work closely with Pointfuse to share knowledge within the AEC sector. Pointfuse software converts the millions of individual measurements captured by laser scanning, photogrammetry and mobile mapping systems into useable 3D mesh models.

Improvement of Data Management and GIS Capability by The European Marine Energy Centre

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), recently embarked on a project with marine data experts OceanWise to further improve GIS and data management capabilities. Throughout the project, it delivered training programs in data management, QGIS and supported EMEC to convert their existing diverse datasets into a geospatial database. They also linked QGIS to existing data systems and implemented metadata management across the business. OceanWise also assisted EMEC to update their data policy and strategy and prepare a roadmap to include data management as part of their existing business management framework.

Using drones to enforce EMCO

Police will utilise drones to conduct surveillance and monitoring of seven villages in Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia, which has seen Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) being enforced.

Officials tap ‘Survey of India’ to plan responses for Covid-19

Which is the biggest banquet hall in a neighbourhood that can be used as a quarantine facility for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients? Or, which are the entry and exit points of a containment zone, where police personnel can be deployed?

These are the key questions that can be answered by a map — created by the Survey of India in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) — to help officials working in Covid-19 war rooms.

“We have an existing map of the entire Indian topography. When we collect information, we also collect certain secondary information such as locations of hospitals and automated teller machines (ATMs) in an area that can be overlaid on the map. Besides, there’re various other public databases, which can be integrated with this map to help the personnel working in Covid-19 war rooms to plan their responses better,” said Pankaj Mishra, deputy surveyor-general, Survey of India.

The map comes with a mobile application SAHYOG, which can come in handy to add more geospatial data to provide localised delivery of healthcare services.

“We’ve looked at the guidelines of the health department to put together all the information that is needed for effective delivery of health services. More parameters can be added in line with the health department’s requirements. For example, if they require information on the number of hotels and banquet halls in an area, the public databases already have around 70% of this data and our officers can do location tagging for the rest. The revised map will be available to the war room personnel within eight to 10 hours,” said Mishra.

NSGIC issues joint statement on value of GIS during COVID-19 pandemic

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) has released a joint statement on the value of GIS during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside its partners the MidAmerica GIS Consortium (MAGIC), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), and American Association of Geographers (AAG).

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