GIS News


Sep 2011 | No Comment


UniStrong holds 40 pc GIS market share in China

Beijing UniStrong Science & Technology Co. Ltd. holds approximately 40 percent GIS market share in China, according to a report by Orient Securities Company Ltd. In next five years, the company is poised to do the business of approximately 100 billion yuan (USD 15.6 billion), China Daily reported.

The company’s automobile navigation products, known as the renwoyou series, are the best-selling brands in the country, Economic Observer reported. However, the company’s ultimate goal – according to Guo Xinping, founder and chairman of UniStrong – is to sell integrated services to customers, like Apple is doing in selling applications.

Recently, UniStrong launched China Position, the nation’s first home-grown Web-based navigation platform which marked China’s navigation industry stepping into the cloud computing age.

China Daily

SCADA market to see above average growth

Driven by the need to improve the sustainability of water utility infrastructure, the worldwide market for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for the water & wastewater industries is expected to see above average growth over the next five years according to the study, SCADA Systems for the Water & Wastewater Industry Worldwide Outlook, by ARC Advisory Group, a market research firm.

According to ARC’s findings, SCADA will be at the core of technology adoptions as the industry moves through uncertain economic climates to improve business processes to meet the growing demand and economic challenges that privatisation and public-private partnering of the industry requires. Suppliers must develop a SCADA system capable of being fully integrated with corporate business systems. These systems include technologies such as GIS and asset management programmes. In order to be competitive, suppliers must show how their SCADA system can provide real-time data to meet both present and future demands of all stakeholders involved with the operation of water utilities.

ARC Advisory Group

3D laser scanning market to double by 2015

The 3D Laser Scanning market including hardware, software and services will grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4 percent according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. In addition, the report forecasted that the market will be double in size by 2015.
3D laser scanning equipment senses the shape of an object and collects data for the location of the outer surface. This distinct technology has found applications in many industries including discrete and process manufacturing, utilities, construction, archaeology, law enforcement, government and entertainment.

According to ARC Advisory Group’s press statement, a 3D laser scanning project involves several areas of cost which correspond to the phases of a surveying or metrology project. The costs include the scanning equipment, labor to execute the scan and post processing. Improvements in software and workflow processing have significantly reduced the labor costs, particularly for post processing. As the total project cost decline, more projects move above the line for justification and execution. Just like economics 101 — as costs decline, volume increases. The increased volume drives the purchase of additional scanning hardware and software which contributes to a growing market.


GPC GIS to promote OGC standards in MENA region

The UAE-based GPC Global Information Solutions (GPC GIS) joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to help drive open standards in the region. According to GPC GIS press statement, both organisations collaborated to create a partnership agreement that will see GPC GIS working closely with the OGC to increase the awareness of open geospatial standards, promote the benefits of these standards, and support greater implementation of OGC standards in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region.


Intergraph strengthens public safety portfolio

Intergraph Corp. acquired Augusta Systems, Inc., an innovator in the intelligent convergence of cameras, sensor systems and networks that enable detailed, real-time information from facilities, infrastructure and remote locations. Augusta’s customers include businesses, governments and defence organisations, such as the US Navy Naval Air Systems Command, Allegheny Energy, The Kingdom of Jordan, FirstEnergy Corp., Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc.


NGIS Australia appointed Google enterprise partner

Leading Australian location-based technology providers, NGIS Australia has announced its engagement with Google as its Enterprise Partner for Google Geo in Australia and Asia Pacific.

As one of a select number of Enterprise Partners in the region, the NGIS Google partnership is a strategic alliance that will see NGIS further expand its strong hold in the resources and government sector and increase its footprint in new markets on the East Coast and throughout Asia Pacific.


$4 Million for High-Tech Mapping Programme

High-tech mapping of New Zealand’s forests, pastures, rivers and cities will result from a research programme announced by Environment Minister Nick Smith and Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp. The Government will give $1 million a year over the next four years for the research which uses satellite technology, geospatial mapping techniques and advanced computing power.

‘Streetwise’ South Korea drops Japanese Legacy

After decades of confusion, South Korea has ditched its traditional address system and adopted one based on named streets and consecutively numbered buildings. However, many residents are less than happy, saying a cultural legacy has been abandoned in the name of logic.

On July 29, all the country’s 5.68 million houses, apartments and other buildings were given new legal addresses — meaning they replaced old addresses in official documents such as identification cards, property registration forms and contracts.
Traditional addresses, in use since 1910, identify specific land lots. The address of a typical Seoul house is: Seoul City, a gu (ward), a dong (neighbourhood) and the number of the lot on which it stands.

In many cases the lot number was assigned in the order in which buildings were erected, not in street order. The system — adopted during the Japanese colonial occupation — has proved a boon to makers of satellite navigation systems, but mystifying for many others. Invitations to social or business events routinely include a map.

China maps Brahmaputra, Indus

Chinese scientists have completed a first of its kind study to pinpoint the sources of the Brahmaputra and Indus rivers using satellite images, and have found that the length and drainage areas of both rivers exceeded earlier estimates.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), an official think-tank in Beijing, used remote-sensing satellite images and data from several expeditions to the Tibetan plateau to map the sources of the Brahmaputra, Indus, Salween and Irrawaddy rivers.
They located the source of the Brahmaputra, or Yarlung Tsangpo as it is known in Tibet, on the Angsi glacier on the northern side of the Himalayas, in the Tibetan country of Burang. The source of the river was earlier thought to be on the Chemayungdung glacier, further south.

The CAS study has mapped the river’s length at 3,848 km, while earlier studies had estimated its length at 2,900-3,350 km. It also measured its drainage area at 712,035 sq km, with earlier estimates ranging from 520,000 sq km to 1.73 million sq km.

China maps western regions at 1:50,000-scaleM

China completed a 1:50,000-scale map database containing “comprehensive geographic information” after creating detailed maps of two million square km of western regions. The database will act as an essential geographic reference for China’s economic and social development, according to Li Weisen, Vice Director of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) said.
Li Weisen, vice director of the NASMG, said that it took five years for more than 7,500 cartographers to complete high-resolution maps of the country’s two million square km of territory in western provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai, as well as Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The database contains 5,032 new maps of the vast western regions, most of which is made up of deserts and other sparsely populated areas. The digital images used to create the maps were captured by 10 satellites and more than 100 aerial surveying craft, according to Zhang Jixian, the NASMG’s chief scientist.

According to Zhang, the database will be updated annually and will primarily be used by government agencies.

Atlas to reveal reasons of poverty

CHF International, a nonprofit organisation, is developing an urban poverty atlas as part of a programme called Slum Communities Achieving Livable Environments with Urban Partners (SCALE-UP).

CHF’s goal in mapping slums is to provide a more complete picture of why poverty exists in certain areas and how conditions can be improved. For now, SCALE-UP, with the help of about USD 9 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on three cities in India—Bangalore, Nagpur and Pune—as well as three in Ghana—its capital Accra and its twin port cities Sekondi and Takoradi. Some mapping work has also begun in Haiti.

GSI rolls out hyperspectral mapping

Geological Survey of India (GSI) rolled out hyperspectral mapping and heliborne geophysical surveys will be taken up soon, announced S. Vijay Kumar, Secretary Mines, Government of India. Kumar made this announcement during Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting and exhibition.

Secretary informed that the Ministry of Mines and GSI are working hard to develop the GSI Training Institute into a Centre of Excellence. He further added that the GSI Training Institute has stated operating in ten states through its Field Training Centres (FTC) and Regional Training Institutes (RTI).
Press Information Bureau

Indian telecom ministry proposes to map land assets

Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Government of India (GOI) proposed to map all the land assets of the Department of Telecom. It aims to deal with encroachment issue.

The minister explained, “The exercise of identification of the land assets of the Department of Telecommunications including its PSUs, reconciliation with the records of the revenue authorities, ownership and status of disputed/ encroached land assets has been undertaken by the Department of Telecommunications. GIS mapping and transfer of assets will be completed thereafter.”

Press Information Bureau

Japan to map radioactive contaminated farmlands

The Japanese Government will soon draw up a radioactive substance concentration map for farmlands. The government will also conduct a study on contaminated debris as part of measures to deal with radioactive material released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Mainichi Japan reported.

The measures are to be implemented by the end of this year, with government ministries and agencies strengthening cooperation to deal with radiation contamination from the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. But the government did not show how it will use findings from the study to decontaminate areas near the almost destroyed power plant.
According to measures compiled, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will analyse farm land at about 500 sites mainly in Fukushima Prefecture, where the wrecked nuclear plant is located, and draw up a radioactive material concentration map by the end of this month. Also, the Environment Ministry is to check radioactive contaminated debris in the government-declared no-go zone near the plant.
And the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will install about 250 devices across Japan to monitor radioactive substances. Currently, there is just one of these devices installed in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. By increasing the number of devices nationwide, the ministry aims to introduce a system by the end of this year to monitor levels of radioactive substances around the clock and disclose those levels to the public.

The ministry also plans to enhance studies of seawater off the coasts of Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures in cooperation with the Fisheries Agency and the Japan Coast Guard.

Mainichi Japan

Indian state maps schools on GIS

Manipur, an Indian state, successfully mapped schools located in remote areas on GIS, according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (GOI). The GIS mapping got technical support from Mission of Geo-Spatial Application center, an agency of the GOI. With this map, Manipur has become the first state in India which has mapped every school on GIS.

Following the successful mapping of schools in Manipur, the Union Human Resource Development Minister has given consent to establish 335 primary schools and 158 upper primary schools, upgrading 200 EGS (educational guarantee schools) to primary Schools as well as recruitment of 2708 teachers. For this, an amount of INR 295 crores has been sanctioned during the current fiscal year.

After Manipur, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal states are also coming up with GIS-based school map.

Since the implementation of the Right to Education Act in India which lays down that schools should be located within a specific distance from human settlement areas, the need for using GIS for mapping schools located in far off places was felt all the more.
The mapping of all the Government and aided Primary and Upper Primary schools was enabled after collecting the longitudes and latitudes of the schools through GPS.


India to conduct undersea survey

The Government of India is considering conducting oceanic survey in the country’s territorial waters, including parts of the Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Cambay and Andaman Sea, to look for prospects of under-sea mineral resources and natural gas, according to Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences is taking up this initiative along with the Geological Survey of India and the Goa-based National Antarctic and Ocean Research Centre. “The survey will study 90,000 square kilometres of sea floor till 2014,” Nayak said.

The survey would cover the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and Gulf of Khambhat (formerly known as the Gulf of Cambay). Nayak stated the main purpose of the survey would be to assess the hydrocarbon and geochemical resources in the country’s territorial waters.

Economic Times

Uzbekistan to set up national GIS

Uzbekistan, with the support of South Korean Economic Cooperation Development Fund (EDCF), will soon set up National GIS. The EDCF sanctioned USD 155 million as a loan to Uzbekistan to support economic and social development during 2011-12. Of the total amount, USD 15 million has been exclusively sanctioned for the development of national GIS.

In addition, the EDCF offered USD 80 million to upgrade water supplies in the Uzbek regions of Namangan, Samarkand and Surkhandarya later this year.

President stresses vital role of surveyors

‘Total commitment of Quantity Surveyors is required in every aspect for the speedy rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in the conflict affected areas of the country, with the dawn of peace,’ said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa made this observation in his message sent at the inauguration of 15th Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors’ Congress held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel yesterday with the participation of representatives of 11 countries. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa attended the occasion as the chief guest.

The President further stated in his message that the presence of the representatives of various countries had shown in full measure the trust and the foresight they had about the developing situation in Sri Lanka and their commitment to regional cooperation. He noted in the message that with the dawn of peace Sri Lanka was gaining recognition the world over for the speedy steps undertaken for rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of the conflict affected areas.

NOAA surveying on crab rule

A federal agency is collecting public comment on a proposed rule to repeal the fishery management plan for stone crab in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published the rule in the Federal Register July 20, opening a public comment period that continues through Aug. 19.

The rule mostly impacts Florida commercial stone crab fishers. The federal management plan, setting U.S. government quotas for crabbers, was implemented in 1979 to respond to competing gear use between stone crabbers and shrimpers, and only applies to federal Gulf of Mexico waters, not Florida waters.

In reviewing federal rules, NOAA’s fisheries service and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council examined the need for the federal stone crab management plan.

The conclusion the agencies reached was that regulation is adequately managed by the state. Florida law forbids the taking of whole stone crabs. Crabbers are allowed to take claws at least 2 3/4 inches long and are required to return stone crabs safely to the water. The stone crab can regenerate its claws three to four times.

Surveying region’s crumbling culverts

Matt Gonneville, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, inspects animal tracks found in a rebuilt culvert in Taunton, Mass. An ambitious project is under way to survey and evaluate river and stream crossings around New England — with an emphasis on culverts. The goal is to reduce the threat of flooding from aging or structurally unsound culverts and to minimize barriers to fish and other wildlife as they navigate through them. To date, teams have inspected and graded about 6,000 culverts and are compiling a database that project managers hope to make available to the public online by the end of the month. The early data show less than 15 percent meet general or optimum standards.

USGS develops GIS data framework for Afghanistan

The US Geological Survey (USGS) developed an integrated GIS data framework for Afghanistan. It aims to provide the fundamental databases and current, state-of-the-art maps to support natural resource assessment programmes and to aid in restoring Afghan geosciences ministries to operational status.

Working in cooperation with the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS), Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industries (MMI), and Afghanistan Geology and Cartography Head Office (AGCHO), participants in USGS’ Geospatial Infrastructure Development Project collected, compiled and digitised existing geologic, topographic and remote sensing data. They used them to produce geologic, cartographic and satellite image map sets of the entire country. They worked with Afghan partners to develop in-country expertise in various types of mapping, and have also initiated work on a national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) for Afghanistan.

The Geospatial Infrastructure Development team is also responsible for developing and maintaining this website and thus providing data for both USGS and collaborating scientists in support of their respective projects as well as making available more general information about USGS Projects in Afghanistan to the public.

All products of the Geospatial Infrastructure Project, including data collections, maps, and various publications, are available at

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