Analytics: Bringing Geospatial Data to Life

Posted by Larry Malloy on Sep 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Geospatial data is leveraged as a layer in so many applications that its value is finally being realized by governments and private businesses. But it’s the analytics within those applications that really brings the data to life. In this article, we are going to discuss what analytics are and list several applications of analytics in real world situations.

What is an analytic? For our purposes, we will use the following definition: Analytics are the automated interpretation of multiple datasets to obtain insight, an answer or analysis.

With this definition, here are some examples of analytics in action:

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Topics: GIS, Analytics, DEM, Geospatial Audit, Spatial Data Infrastructure

Better Data Leads to Better Answers

Posted by Larry Malloy on Sep 20, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Geospatial data’s recent popularity and growth is not in mapping as in the past, but in solving real-world business problems. The diversity of applications and usages has grown exponentially as government agencies as well as private businesses realize its value. Higher quality geospatial data leads to better answers.

Here are three reasons NEXTMap data is so well suited for so many geospatial applications:

#1: It is a contiguous dataset. NEXTMap was built using airborne radar technology (IFSAR), with a small fleet of aircraft (including Lear Jets and King Airs) flying over the United States and Europe. With uniform collection specifications throughout the entire coverage area, the dataset is not a patchwork of smaller datasets. The precision and accuracy specifications are consistent throughout the entire datasets.

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Topics: NEXTMap, GIS, Digital Elevation Models, DEM, Geospatial Audit, DSM, DTM

When Age Matters

Posted by Larry Malloy on Sep 13, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Most of the Earth’s terrain changes little over time. Therefore, getting the latest GIS data is nice, but you also pay a premium price for the benefit. With that said, there are times when updated elevation data is critical and that’s what this article is about. Here are some situations where updated elevation data is beneficial.

 

©2016 Growth Las Vegas 1984-2012. All Rights Reserved.

Urban Growth: Urban growth changes the land as new homes and commercial buildings are added and new roads are paved. A great example of this is the time-lapse images of Las Vegas from 1984-2012. As you can see from the video, land around Las Vegas metropolitan area went through dramatic changes over this 28 year period as the population went from 460,000 to well over 2 million people. To keep up with this rapid change, GIS data needs to be updated on a regular bases to represent the new changes.

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Topics: GIS, DEM, Geospatial Audit

DEM Applications in Infectious Disease Prevention & Control

Posted by Larry Malloy on Sep 8, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Infectious diseases are caused by organisms such as parasites, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They remain an important public health problem, causing over 13 million deaths each year worldwide. Changes in society, technology and microorganisms are contributing to the emergence of new diseases. As demonstrated by the influenza virus, new outbreaks can travel entire contents within weeks. The control of infectious diseases in the future will require public health organizations to rapidly recognize and respond to these threats.

Computer aided models help the public and private sectors track and predict the spread of infectious outbreaks allowing the focus of valuable resources in the right areas. This includes personnel as well as medical vaccines and supplies. Geospatial data is one layer of information critical to many infectious disease models.Photo Source: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/maps-zika-us.html

As an example, the Zika virus has been in the news lately with the 2016 Summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The virus was first isolated in 1947 from a caged rhesus macaque at the East African Virus Research Institute in Uganda, Africa. It was first isolated in a human in Nigeria in 1954. From that time until 2007, confirmed cases were rare. In 2007, however, a major epidemic occurred in Yap Island, Micronesia. A recent larger outbreak occurred April 2015, in Brazil. Local authorities link the outbreak to an influx of foreigners during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, coupled with the large population of Aedes Aegypt and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes that inhabit the region. Since that time a large outbreak has occurred in much of South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Computer generated models help government healthcare organizations track and predict the spread of infectious diseases like the Zika virus. GIS data along with the mosquitoes known territory, travel and population movements aid these models.

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Topics: GIS, Digital Elevation Models, DEM

Monetizing the Value of GIS Data

Posted by Larry Malloy on Aug 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Few people will dispute that elevation data is essential to growing a modern economy. Applications for geospatial data include infrastructure planning, community development, telecommunications, emergency preparedness, and natural resource management among many others. Obtaining accurate and current elevation data can be costly, so how do you show value for a regional or national elevation data acquisition?

Regional & National Goals: Because elevation data can be used for so many applications, start
by reviewing your strategic goals. The better you link elevation data benefits into those goals, the easier it is to justify funding. Are you trying to modernize the economy by growing business? Elevation data can be used to locate and manage telecommunication towers or antennas for improved business services. GIS data is also used for urban planning to grow business zones and for improved traffic flow between
residential and commercial zones. For more examples, read this article on how GIS contributes to regional goals.

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Topics: GIS, Digital Elevation Models, DEM

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