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Rutgers Criminal Justice Professor’s Free GIS Textbook Download Helps Crime-Fighting and Public Safety Practitioners Worldwide May 27, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in Calismalar (Studies), English, Haber (News).
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Shortly after Joel M. Caplan began his professorship at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark two years ago, the absence of a much-needed tool for one of his courses became very apparent. Caplan teaches a graduate class entitled Crime Mapping and GIS for Public Safety.

GIS is an acronym for geographic information system, an integration of hardware, software and data that captures, manages, analyzes and displays all forms of geographically-referenced information. With GIS, a person can understand and visualize data in various ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends.

GIS technology provides great advantages for proactive policing and informed responses. With GIS-compiled data and information, law enforcement and public safety officials can analyze crimes to detect emerging patterns, examine the best locations to conduct surveillance for a recent series of crimes, establish a perimeter for a crime scene or natural disaster, target repeat 911 call locations, or exchange information with neighboring jurisdictions or a jurisdiction across the globe.

“In my GIS course, students learn how to map and analyze crime and public safety data as well as make maps and manage spatial information. Because a comprehensive and affordable color textbook on the topic did not exist, I decided to write one myself and offer it free to everyone, whether students of my class or not, via internet downloads,” explains Caplan.
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Santa Rosa uses high-tech tool to boost census count April 10, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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Santa Rosa’s new geographic information system, or GIS for short, was used to provide the U.S. Census Bureau with 3,405 new addresses in the city.

The numbers are worth noting because each person counted represents at least $1,500 a year in federal funds, said Mike Hargreaves, the city’s GIS analyst.

Hargreaves put the value of this information at $128 million in new federal funds over the next 10 years. (He calculated 3,405 addresses x an average of 2.5 people per address x $1,500 x ten years.)

Sonny Le, a regional spokesman for the census bureau, said that while Hargreaves’ calculation is rough, it is by no means an an exaggeration.

The city’s cooperation, as well as that of the county Assessor’s Office, was crucial in identifying new housing, he said. Otherwise, he agreed, residents would have been missed.

The city’s GIS, a repository of data digitally overlaid onto interactive city maps, contains a “address point layer” that helped census workers identify new housing. Census workers then used that information to identify housing units in the geographic location where actual people live.
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ESRI Assists Haiti Earthquake Response January 20, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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ESRI is working closely with the geographic information system (GIS) community and agencies responding to the Haiti earthquake by providing software, technical support, GIS data, and personnel. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake—characterized as one of the worst natural disasters ever in the Western Hemisphere—GIS- is assisting in identifying areas of extreme damage, impacts to critical infrastructure, areas suitable for food and water distribution, and more. It gives officials critical information used for making all types of decisions.

Personnel and agencies helping the relief effort can take advantage of maps, data, software, and Web services available online through the ESRI Web site (http://www.esri.com/haiti.) Some of the data and services include a 25-meter reference grid of Haiti, an ESRI Geo Viewer, and Haiti basemap data from United Nations available on ArcGIS Online. In addition, ESRI-generated earthquake and recovery maps are available for both the media and public. ESRI will provide updates as they become available.

“Our job is to help where we can empower our users with better GIS support,” says Russ Johnson, director of public safety solutions for ESRI. “As soon as we learned of the terrible event in Haiti, we activated our emergency operational procedures to assist emergency services, humanitarian relief, health professionals, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], and others. These organizations are working extremely hard to make a difference. We’re working to assist their efforts.”
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Geographic Information System – GIS – In North America – New Report Published November 26, 2009

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A Geographic Information System/Spatial Information Management (GIS) is a collection of software and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. Despite the impact of the economic downturn, growing applications and widening usage of GIS software in new avenues such as land management, homeland security, route planning, social networking, Web-based advertising etc., has resulted in an increased interest in GIS software in North America. Given these developments, a major share of this increasing interest is expected to arise from the consumer segments as enterprises have begun limiting GIS usage to areas such as supply chain, enterprise security, logistics, improving customer service and retention etc., where location intelligence is a crucial requirement. Increased use of free Web-based GIS software among enterprises, growing interest among consumer verticals for location-based and navigation services are expected to lead the GIS software market in the North America.
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Forest Service uses GPS to map beetles July 6, 2009

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Foresters tracking whitebark pine trees killed by beetles will start using GPS to map the damage.

U.S. Forest Service officials say they’re using $150,000 to start a GPS survey of beetle damage in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Foresters say the forest contains some 400,000 acres of whitebark pine, but the species is declining because of beetles and the blister rust fungus.

Pine mapping begins today with an aerial survey. Researchers will take photos and video, then use GPS to help map the pine population. Work should be completed by spring.

Foresters want to know where beetle damage is worst, and why some pockets of whitebark pine appear to be unaffected.

Determining the extent of damage is important because pine provides food for grizzly bears and other species and helps watersheds, said Liz Davy, timber and silviculture program manager for the Bridger-Teton.

“It’s a keystone species,” she said. “It’s very important in our ecosystem.”
Pilot Bruce Gordon will fly the plane while technicians sync video and still cameras with a GPS device to develop the map. Gordon said he’s seen dramatic changes to the forest from the infestation.
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Tele Atlas Uses Data From Drivers to Map Faster June 30, 2009

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Dutch digital map maker Tele Atlas is creating new maps faster than ever by collecting data from motorists using GPS devices as they drive, which provides a rich set of information about roads.

Tele Atlas, which was acquired by the satellite navigation device maker Tom Tom in 2007, has been collecting GPS data points from Tom Tom users, recording information such as what roads they use, how fast they drive and even the road’s gradient, said Rik Temmink, vice president of global product management. It’s what Tele Atlas calls a “community” approach to map making.

“That’s radically changed the way we do maps,” Temmink said. “They [users] paint of a picture of what the roads look like.”

In the past, Tele Atlas sent out vehicles to physically drive the roads in order to create maps. Now, some of that work can be automated using specialized algorithms to sort through the GPS data and build maps.

Tele Atlas still has to send out teams to verify data, but it has made the process of creating high-quality maps much faster, Temmink said. Tele Atlas has used the community approach for updating maps in about 30 countries.

On Monday Tele Atlas released its latest edition of MultiNet, a mapping database. For the first time, it includes maps for more than 11,000 miles of roads in Romania.
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Caliper adds to New England mapping software cluster May 25, 2009

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New England has got to be on any high-tech map of the world. But you may not know that many high-tech maps of the world are also made on New England soil.

The region has a cluster of mapping software companies whose global information system (GIS) solutions go well beyond Google Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Google Maps. These companies are moving mountains of geographical data that pinpoint locations for everything from terrorist hunting to oil exploration and the 2010 census.

When the U.S. Census Bureau wanted to wean its 40,000 participating local governments from the paper-based mapping system used in 2000, it turned to Newton-based Caliper Corp. The company has been making mapping systems for 22 years, so it was no problem to create a massive, integrated system designed to allow local governments to bring up to date borders, addresses and geographic features, said vice president of software development Mary LaClair.

“In the last census people could make a digital submission, but almost no one did,” she said. “(The census office) would issue blue packets with colored pencils.”

This year, map revision software has gone out even to localities that still use paper maps in their planning departments, said Census Bureau geography division chief Timothy Trainor. Revised local maps have been uploaded into a database that will be downloaded to handheld computers used by census takers. (more…)

Baltic on track for digital mapping May 5, 2009

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Baltic is joining a growing number of small towns as it works to install a Geographic Information System that will improve the management of city infrastructure.

GIS is a way of storing information in digital maps to make the maps more useful, and it can help cities save money, experts say.

In Baltic, city officials say the GIS system will keep track of many aspects of city information, including water, sewer and street data that can be updated daily. It also will help keep city records organized, up-to-date and readily available, allowing officials to quickly find information and track economic development.

It can help officials decide, for example, which roads should be resurfaced next or where to extend water and sewer lines, or it could keep a record of how many times maintenance workers had to respond to a water main break.

“I think it will be very useful,” City Finance Officer Elaine Hendrickson said. “One example is street maintenance. It will be able to tell us block by block when each area was last surfaced.”

The city will need to spend about $9,000 to get started.

As a first step, the City Council approved $4,500 for a city map to be drawn by engineers at Banner Associates in Brookings and to provide training for city employees. The council is expected to approve the remaining money.
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Topcon makes creating a high accuracy GIS data collection system simple February 26, 2009

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“The kit gives GMS-2 Pro users the flexibility to easily increase their accuracy from submeter to subfoot when needed,” Barbara McInerney, GIS product marketing manager, said.

GMS-2 Pro is the new handheld GIS mapping solution that provides technological advancements like an integrated laser rangefinder to the GMS-2, the industry’s first GIS-GPS hand-held receiver with 50-channel dual constellation tracking, an integrated digital camera and electronic compass.

McInerney said, “GMS-2 Pro is an `all-in-one’ solution that gives GIS users a quick and easy solution to map features that are inaccessible or that have poor satellite coverage. Using the integrated laser distance meter, the user can map offset points without adding additional equipment in the field.

“The GMS-2 Pro also speeds up the data collection process while maintaining accuracy. The ability to measure heights and widths of objects or read barcodes and automatically store those values as GIS attributes is an extra bonus,” she said.

The kit can be ordered with a GMS-2 Pro and choice of software to create a complete GIS high accuracy system.

The GMS-2 Pro kit includes:

— PG-A5 external antenna with GMS-2 Pro cable;
— GMS-2 Pro pole bracket; and
— 2 meter pole.

New Urban Research, Inc. Announces Mapping California Communities GIS and Analysis Workshops February 25, 2009

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Mapping California Communities will be the focus of beginner-level workshops offered throughout March in several California cities to teach the fundamentals of using GIS and Census data for community analysis. Presented by New Urban Research Inc. the workshop is designed for social service providers, academic researchers, urban planners and anyone who performs community demographic analysis for governmental or private organizations.

Each workshop is one day and costs $495 per person. No previous GIS experience is necessary. Information and registration are available at http://www.urban-research.info.

“Any organization that seeks federal funding to perform public health, economic or educational development is required to provide demographic analysis on populations within specific geographic areas,” said Gina Clemmer, President of New Urban Research. “We teach students how to access Census data files online and then use the GIS to extract specific demographic information and map the results down to the neighborhood level.”

New Urban Research, a professional social research organization, customizes the GIS exercises and demonstrations in each class with geographic and mapping data relating to the state where the workshop is being held. During the class, participants will be shown how to download Census data relating to poverty, race, language, education and other variables for their communities and integrate these files with their own data sets for analysis in the GIS. (more…)