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Congress has cut funding for updating flood maps by more than half since 2010, from $221 million down to $100 million this year. And the president’s latest budget request would slash funding for mapping even further to $84 million — a drop of 62 percent over the last four years.
In a little-noticed written response  to questions from a congressional hearing, FEMA estimated the cuts would delay its map program by three to five years. The program “will continue to make progress, but more homeowners will rely on flood hazard maps that are not current,” FEMA wrote.
The cuts have slowed efforts to update flood maps across the country. www.propublica.org
1Spatial is to raise £18 million, €5.1m (£4.4m) of which will go on the partial acquisition of GIS firm, Star-Apic. Star-Apic’s software is used to create, manage, analyse and display geospatial data, which 1Spatial says makes it an important and highly complementary bolt-on acquisition, enhancing the its capability in the rapidly growing big data market. www.cabume.co.uk
President of Pakistan has promulgated an ordinance to regulate and implement Surveying and Mapping standards in the country and to enable Survey of Pakistan (SoP) effectively assume its role of National Mapping Organization. http://www.app.com.pk
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria has said it had carried out mapping of all the communities likely to be affected by the predicted 2013 flood as part of its preparedness against disaster occurrence in the country.
According to NEMA’s Director General, the organisation had carried out vulnerability capacity assessment of seven communities to determine the existing capacity in each community and its level of resilience. www.thisdaylive.com
University of Massachusetts Boston Honors Esri President
Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s commencement ceremonies on May 31, 2013.
Rolta Middle East, a wholly owned subsidiary, Rolta India has been awarded a multi-million Dollar project by Oman’s National Survey Authority (NSA). The project, which is the second phase of a multi-dimensional map production and workflow system, will result in a number of deliverables. These include enhanced workflow designs for improving map production, archival and distribution systems, in addition to the generation of a nationwide coverage of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000 scale maps to be stored as a vector database as well as in a GeoPDF format. www.rolta.com
A new land surveying and mapping system is in pipeline and will significantly bring down the costs of carrying out the exercise, according to the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka.
Currently, an insignificant part of the country is surveyed, keeping people from using their land as capital. Yet it is well established in law that a title deed is conclusive evidence of ownership. It makes one an absolute and indefeasible owner of land in question. http://allafrica.com/
The Norwegian Mapping Authority has announced they will open its topographic datasets to the public, free of charge. Norway will follow progressive countries like Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, considering geographic data as a public good. The topographic datasets at 1:50,000 scale will be freely available later this year, together with address, road and cadastre data. http://blog.thematicmapping.org
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) branch in Makkah said that SCTA is developing an application for a GIS to guide pilgrims to places of their lodging and how to move around to perform the religious rituals.
Abdullah Al-Sawat, executive director of the branch, said during a training session that targeted 20 employees of the branch, that these courses aim to develop the skills of workers in the tourism sector to achieve the visions of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTA, to educate and develop the staff and promote local tourism. www.arabnews.com
The Obama Administration has taken groundbreaking new steps to make information generated and stored by the Federal Government more open and accessible to innovators and the public, to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth while increasing government transparency and efficiency.
An Executive Order signed by the President and an Open Data Policy released by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy—declare that information is a valuable national asset whose value is multiplied when it is made easily accessible to the public. The Executive Order requires that, going forward, data generated by the government be made available in open, machine-readable formats, while appropriately safeguarding privacy, confidentiality, and security. www.whitehouse.gov
Blue Marble Geographics has released Global Mapper version 14.2. This update to the company’s popular desktop GIS software offers many new and improved features and functions, which includes several scripting updates, improved volume measurement tools etc.
senseFly’s drones have accomplished their second mission in Haiti to map areas around Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, including areas damaged by hurricane Sandy in October 2012. After a first successful mission in Haiti with the UNITAR using senseFly’s swinglet CAM, the IOM recently teamed up with Drone Adventures for a mission using its latest drone, the eBee.