Mapping Nocturnal Light Pollution

Fusing Hyperspectral Data and Photogrammetric Imagery
Artificial light in urban conglomerates causes nocturnal light pollution. Excessive light radiation is expensive as it wastes energy and not only impacts the environment but may also harm human health. Authorities are showing a growing interest in quantifying the amount of artificial light radiated at ground level in their jurisdiction. A recent project in Spain explored an approach based on fusing simultaneously acquired hyperspectral data and photogrammetric imagery. The resulting luminance maps are accurate and have a high spatial resolution. (By Jordi Corbera, Vicenç Palà and Fernando Pérez-Aragüés, Spain) Nocturnal light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilisation and accounts for... (read more)
2016-05-17 11:40:48

Lidar Quality Assurance

Open-source Software for Processing Lidar Point Clouds
Basic tools for processing Lidar point clouds, which can be extended depending on needs, provide a flexible platform for service providers and users alike. The companies Dielmo 3D, Spain, and Water Management, Australia, have demonstrated how a publicly available open-source application with basic tools for visualising, editing and analysing Lidar point clouds has been extended into a compliant platform that serves diverse applications including mapping of power-line corridors, land uses and riverbeds. By José Carlos Garcia and Rafael Torró (Spain), and David Hine (Australia) The platform, called DielmoOpenLiDAR and released under the GNU GPL licence, enables management and display of... (read more)
2015-06-01 11:39:59

Crowdsourcing the Reconstruction of Lost Heritage

Rekrei: Recreating the Past
Cultural heritage stands as an important testament to how we perceive the past. Unfortunately its preservation cannot always be assured, due to destruction by human or natural means. In February 2015, a video was released which showed the destruction of artefacts in the Cultural Museum of Mosul, Iraq. A volunteer initiative (initially called ‘Project Mosul’) was launched about a week later with the aim of using crowdsourced images and computer vision to create 3D representations of the destroyed artefacts. Project Mosul was initiated by two PhD students from the University of Murcia in Spain and the University of Stuttgart in... (read more)
2016-11-03 10:07:05

GPS and the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

Rupture Area Covered by a 5Hz GPS Network for the First Time
Nepal is prone to earthquakes and throughout the centuries the country’s capital city, Kathmandu, has been regularly struck by earthquakes which appear to have similar epicentres and behaviour. The portion of the Main Himalayan Thrust ruptured by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake lies directly beneath a network of GPS continuously operating reference stations (CORS) recording three-dimensional positions at a high rate of 5 samples per second (5Hz). This is the first time a large continental thrust earthquake has been measured by a 5Hz GPS network with receivers on both sides of the fault rupture. The various earthquakes which have plagued Nepal... (read more)
2017-12-20 09:50:52

Free Satellite Data Creates New Commercial Applications

Market Growth Requires Effort
The National Satellite Data Portal, managed by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), is an interesting phenomenon. Despite existing for just five years, its user base and their usage patterns have become so diverse that its level of success is already beyond quantification – and yet the organisation is convinced that the bulk of the market growth still lies ahead. NSO ensures that its customers and partners in The Netherlands can respond to new opportunities in a timely manner. Employing 28 people, the Netherlands Space Office is responsible for the execution of the Dutch space policy. 75% of its annual EUR100... (read more)
2017-12-07 08:23:34

Cartography for Everyone - You Too!

GIM International Interviews Dr David Fairbairn, Vice-President ICA Executive Committee
Since June 2004 ICA has been publishing a monthly one-page column in GIM International. Dr David Fairbairn is responsible for ensuring content for the ICA page and is himself a regular contributor. As vice-president he is further responsible for ensuring that ICA keeps an active eye on issues and paradigms affecting the practice of modern cartography. When was the International Cartographic Association (ICA) established and how is it organised in terms of structure? The International Cartographic Association was formally established in June 1959. But in fact it grew out of a series of international conferences addressing issues of common cartographic... (read more)
2005-12-29 12:00:00

Interacting with Big Geospatial Data

Methods for Virtual Exploration and Visual Analysis
Advances in capturing techniques such as laser scanning and photogrammetry have significantly increased the volume of geospatial datasets. Big geodata has become an important asset for analysis and decision-making, but also poses a challenge for state-of-the-art visualisation techniques. This article presents research results addressing this problem for the infrastructure and planetary science application domains. The methods discussed here enable users to fluently explore and efficiently analyse the growing wealth of geospatial data.  The data volume of 3D reconstructions is steadily growing for two reasons. Firstly, there is a demand to increase the accuracy of data acquisition, now reaching even sub-millimetre... (read more)
2017-04-20 09:29:33

National Mapping as a Service

Ordnance Survey Ireland Shows New Perspectives, Part 2
National mapping organisations from all over the world are interested to see how Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) is planning for its future. Not only has OSi re-engineered its work processes and implemented a multi-resolution data store to automate product and service delivery, but it has also developed a collaborative portal and is leading the way towards a National Mapping Agreement. OSi is now in the process of making ‘linked data’ available for all 50 million Irish real-world objects. Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) has a clear technical strategy for offering national mapping as a service. In its own words, OSi wants... (read more)
2017-01-09 09:58:00

A Spatial Turn in History

Using the Combined Space/Time Component
Geography and history are sister disciplines. In fact, geography as a field of scientific research evolved from the study of history. Whereas geographers have the perspective of space, historians consider change over time. This article features a fascinating and mutually beneficial emergent overlap between the two disciplines. Geospatial scientists tend to neglect the historical roots of the processes they study. Nevertheless, some (spatial) databases are now beginning to include time aspects. On the other hand, many historians overlook the importance of spatial elements in the evolution of events that interest them. Fortunately now, if rather late, there is rising awareness... (read more)
2005-05-03 12:00:00


Harmonising cross-border datasets
INSPIRE has set a standard towards which GI providers can work and with which GI users can work seamlessly at European scale. GIS4EU has taken this standard and designed a repeatable process that can be implemented to harmonise heterogeneous spatial datasets. By following the GIS4EU process, a set of rules can be determined for almost any spatial dataset that falls within the INSPIRE spatial themes. Applying these rules promotes locally and nationally relevant spatial information to a seamless European SDI. That this can be done without the need to rebuild or modify at source any existing data repositories enhances the... (read more)
2010-11-04 03:04:45
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