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Nov 2017 | No Comment

Centre for Spatial Analytics and Advanced GIS in Bengaluru

Under the aegis of NIAS Council of Management (COM) and with support from Tata Trusts, Centre for Spatial Analytics and Advanced GIS (C-SAG) has been established in Bengaluru. This Centre will work in the field of Spatial Analytics and advanced GIS to develop Intellectual Property (IP) and GIS knowledge that will build deep and advanced capability in India in the GIS area.

Mr S Ramadorai, Chairman of NIAS Council of Management, said “Spatial Analytics is important for a variety of citizen, governance, commercial and research purposes – there is a need for greater understanding in the management and analytics of spatial data. There is no institution in this country that is working in this knowledge area and understanding the fundamentals, technological, social and economic aspects of GIS knowledge. Even as many GIS applications have been taken up, the Spatial Analytics is still in a nascent stage. In the vision of JRD, furthering advanced studies, is the goal of NIAS – that is what we propose to do through C-SAG and build knowledge capability.” In conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tata Trusts is supporting Centre for Spatial Analytics and Advanced GIS (C- SAG), established under NIAS, for “empowering” farmers with timely advisories from real- time satellite images, GIS processing, beneficiary-level data analytics using advanced Spatial Analytics and Artificial Intelligence capabilities. One of the initial focus of C-SAG is to quickly develop an Agri-GIS engine in 3 districts of S Orissa, alongwith Tata Trusts and Orissa Agricultural University. The Agri- GIS will support Smallholder Farmers – considering the natural, social and economic aspects of farmer beneficiaries. C-SAG is developing advanced modelling, automated software and analytical capabilities for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), City-GIS modelling, Health GIS, Spatial Econometrics, Big data analysis, Social Analytics and many other areas.

New Cross-Platform BIM and geospatial collaboration software by 3D Repo

3D Repo has turned to the latest gaming technology to enhance its cloud-based BIM collaboration software with quick and easy multi-platform access to 3D BIM models and data. Utilising a new rendering engine, based on the popular Unity gaming platform, improves 3D Repo’s memory footprint and unifies the BIM solution across the desktop, web and even Virtual Reality (VR) devices, so all new features are simultaneously accessible across all platforms.

The new version of this open source BIM collaboration platform generates dynamic resources – or ‘knowledge packages’ – from a remote repository. The 3D Repo viewer easily visualises 3D revisions from the cloud without any previous knowledge of the assets, all in real-time. The use of the Unity game engine also improves the memory footprint of the 3D Repo solution as, once the data is loaded into the GPU memory, the main CPU memory is freed and available to power other applications required by the user.

EarthSense partnership maps city clean air cycle routes

A project combining Ordnance Survey (OS) geospatial data with real-time air quality data from EarthSense Systems is set to highlight clean cycle routes in Britain’s cities.

Using a network of fixed and static air pollution sensors, EarthSense is producing city-wide visualisations of air quality. Combined with OS’s open dataset of greenspaces, the EarthSense air quality models highlight areas of higher air pollution, often along busy roads, and allow users to identify cleaner air routes, such as through parks or along canal paths. Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organisation, with 80 percent of the world’s population living in cities that exceed its standards for pollution. Air pollution in the UK has been described as a ‘public health emergency’ and levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted mostly by diesel vehicles, have been above legal limits in almost 90% of urban areas since 2010.

A recent survey has shown that, in the last few years, the number of people who cycle at least once a week has increased by more than 100,000, with more than two million adults regularly cycling. Using data from a city wide network of sensors, including the EarthSense state-of-theart Zephyr sensor, EarthSense captures real time air quality measurements. Combined with other inputs, including satellite observations, weather conditions and traffic emission data in its MappAir modelling solution, EarthSense can deliver data for forecasting, master planning and identifying cleaner cycle routes.

Singapore sets aside $4.5M for solar forecasting

Singapore is setting aside S$6.2 million (US$4.57 million) to develop capabilities in predicting solar energy output as well as setting up sandboxes to facilitate testing of new products in electricity and gas.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) said the S$6.2 million would go towards a research grant that had been awarded to a consortium, which would be led by the National University of Singapore (NUS). This group of partners would tap various techniques in weather prediction, remote sensing, machine learning, and grid modelling, with the aim to improve the accuracy of solar photovoltaic (PV), or solar energy.

The four-year initiative would tap solarrelated data generated from sensors installed on the rooftops of buildings as well as weather data from another network of sensors deployed islandwide by Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

The consortium comprised NUS, Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at NUS, Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing at NUS, A*STAR’s Experimental Power Grid Centre (EPGC), and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology’s Centre for Environmental Sensing and Modelling (CENSAM).

Filling in the soil moisture mapping gaps

Soil moisture influences many decisions by landowners and property managers. Determining the moisture level of precise locations is a daunting task, due, in part, to the many factors that can cause fluctuations.

“Soil moisture conditions at two places just 30 feet apart can be almost completely uncorrelated,” said Tyson Ochsner, associate professor in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “Differences in soil texture, vegetation types, weather conditions and many other factors cause soil moisture conditions to vary tremendously.” To help alleviate some of the unknowns and missing information about soil moisture, Ochsner and a team of researchers are working to develop a more complete monitoring system across the state. The National Science Foundation project is designed to create statewide high-resolution soil moisture maps to improve drought monitoring, wildfire forecasting and hydrologic modeling.

Until this project, measurements from the Oklahoma Mesonet provided soil moisture information, but only for approximately 120 monitoring stations across the state. However, Ochsner’s research team was able to enhance soil moisture estimates to provide statewide coverage by incorporating information from digital soil maps and radar-based precipitation data from the National Weather Service. To fill in the gaps, the team used a special mobile instrument called a cosmic-ray neutron rover. “The rover detects soil moisture within about 650 feet of the instrument and up to 2 feet deep in the soil and it can continuously measure from a moving vehicle,” said Geano Dong, Ph.D. student working under Ochsner. “The data from the rover will help us determine the primary factors causing spatial variability in soil moisture around and between the Oklahoma Mesonet point measurement locations. We will incorporate that understanding into models that will allow us to make high resolution soil moisture maps for the whole state.”

Geospatial technology to support national mission for clean ganga

Union minister of state for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Satyapal Singh has asked the officials of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to make optimal use of latest geospatial technologies to rejuvenate the river. He reaffirmed that geospatial and crowdsourcing technologies like Bhuvan Ganga app must be used effectively to evoke a mass movement and as many people as possible should be involved in the clean Ganga movement.

Cisco helps Vijayawada create India’s longest smart street

Cisco’s technology and solutions for smart cities have been implemented in India like elsewhere in the world and are helping offer better citizen services, foster innovation and generate more jobs. Cisco’s Bengaluru campus is designed as a campus-as-a-city for thousands of its employees to work and is spectacular showcase of what the digitization of a country means for the future of work, education, healthcare and the digital delivery of citizen services.

The Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, working alongside Cisco, has created India’s longest Smart Street… “The Golden Mile” In Vijayawada. The 3kms stretch has several smart services integrated to make the citizen’s life easier. With 35 Wi-Fi access points, providing speeds of upto 2 Mbps, close to1500 people can access Internet along the Golden Mile Stretch. 240 smart lights ensure an energy efficient lighting experience.

Advanced motion sensors and software application controlled by The Cisco City Digital Platform help adjust luminosity and ensure efficiency. With the Golden Mile Project setting the tone for similar projects in Andhra Pradesh and the country, Vijayawada is fast-being recognized as the Global city of the future.

Esri India, IIEST-Shibpur to launch CoGE in Eastern India

To impart GIS skills to graduates and working professionals through a set of comprehensive education programs in India, the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST)-Shibpur and Esri India announced the launch of a Centre of Geospatial Excellence (CoGE) in the eastern region. The CoGE will launch various short and long-term programs that will be co-designed with senior faculty members from IIEST and domain experts from Esri India.

GeoSLAM, Bentley Systems form ties

GeoSLAM and Bentley Systems announced a partnership to enable the simple and fast production of hybrid reality models in any environment.

Through a combination of using the GeoSLAM ZEB-REVO mobile mapping system and ZEB-CAM, and the latest version of Bentley’s ContextCapture software, it is now possible to produce high resolution textured reality meshes of indoor scenes, complex infrastructure and other challenging environments faster than ever before.

Delhi cops to use Google Maps to decongest roads

Google will come to the aid of road managers in Delhi, with traffic police all set to use Google Maps to monitor traffic situations on arterial roads. The cops will employ the traffic maps, which give realtime vehicular situations, determine the congestion on roads. If any stretch is seen to be badly affected, a screenshot of the map will be sent on a Whatsapp group to the traffic inspector, ACP and DCP concerned for corrective actions. The brass will be kept in the loop to ensure prompt response to the screenshot posts.

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