By Eric Limer, Gizmodo, December 31, 2012
… Drones are in ever-wider use by the military, and some day they might deliver you food, but it looks like they’ll also be the private, flying-camera spies for private companies too. That’s what Japanese security company Secom is banking on with its new private security quadrotor.
Billed as the first security drone intended for private security firms, Secom’s upcoming drone is a customized Ascending Technologies quadrotor outfitted to spot and follow ne’er-do-wells like nosy, mobile security cameras. The drones will have the ability to track suspects with lasers, and know better than to rush into melee range. They won’t be making their actual debut until 2014, at which point they can be rented for £36 [~$58] per month.
For full text of the article, please visit Oh God, Here Come the Private Security Drones | Gizmodo UK.
by Nancy Scola, Tech President, June 3, 2011 – 4:35pm
Every time something happens in the world these days, somebody makes a map about it.We saw it with last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, the rollout of the U.S.’s long-awaited National Broadband Map in February, the personalized maps that accompanied April’s iPhone tracking story. We see it every election. And with the increasing availability of free and open-source or simply cheap mapping tools, and the growing footprint of the open data movement, democratized mapping is likely only getting started. …
- iRevolution | Patrick Meier ||| Crisis Mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (surflightroy.net)
- PBS Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Tsunami Mapper – Visualize a Tsunami in Your Area (freetech4teachers.com)
Published May 17, 2011, By Falk Amelung, Lead, Task DA-09-01c on Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratories Task, University of Miami, Florida, USA
The tragic 11 March 2011 earthquake offshore northern Japan (known as the Tohoku-oki earthquake) and the tsunami that followed left more than 27,000 dead or missing. The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters provided satellite imagery to support the rescue efforts. The GEO Geohazard Supersite went into action to collect Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) multispectral imagery as well as GPS and seismic data to better understand what exactly happened during the earthquake. Space agencies and other contributors to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) supported these and other actions.
PBS, May 13, 2011
There are now 6.8 billion people on the planet. And about 5 billion cell phones. This extraordinary ability to connect has turned a modern convenience into a lifeline through a system called crisis mapping. It first gained prominence after the earthquake in Haiti, when people used their cell phones to send text messages to a centralized response team. Since then, crisis mapping has been used to help victims in emergency zones following the tornadoes in the Midwest, the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East. Today, there are hundreds of volunteers in more than 50 countries creating maps of crises around the world, using a system that incorporates the lessons learned in Haiti. Alison Stewart reports on this worldwide network of volunteers – regular people — using a breakthrough technology to help others.
For link to video, visit Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide | Need to Know.
Crowdsourcing and Collaborative Tools in Virtual Online Disaster Relief Scenarios | Armed with Science
by Dr. Linton Wells II and Khalil Ali, Armed with Science, April 20, 2011
Last month, TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) participated in Exercise 24 Europe (X24EUR), a virtual online disaster relief scenario that leveraged social media, crowdsourcing, and collaborative tools in an innovative cloud computing environment. The event took place from March 29th-March 31st and was co-lead by San Diego State University’s Immersive Visualization Center and the United States European Command, and supported by an array of public/private organizations.
for full text of the article via Crowdsourcing and Collaborative Tools in Virtual Online Disaster Relief Scenarios | Armed with Science.
- Disaster Relief: Crowdsourced Maps Impact The Future Of Humanitarian Aid (huffingtonpost.com)
University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief
by Sabri Ben-Achour, WAMU 88.5
April 21, 2011 – The earthquake in Japan wrought massive destruction in that country, and part of the humanitarian need there — and in any disaster — is the need for information. Now, a group of volunteers from around the globe, including one local professor, are working to make sure that in the future responders and refugees might help and be helped as fast as possible. At his desk at the University of Maryland, Professor Hiroyuki Iseki has a Google map of post-earthquake Japan up on his screen. … Iseki says there were able to locate public phones, charging stations, food supplies, water distribution centers and locations accepting evacuees. He says the data comes from people driving in the field, who then use smart phones to upload information to the Internet. …
It’s an experiment — an attempt to show what emergency response might look like in the future. Heather Blanchard is co-founder of Crisis Commons, a group she calls a “volunteer technology community.” Her group commissioned the map Iseki worked on. …
For full text of the article, visit University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief – News – WAMU 88.5 FM – American University Radio.
For more information about Crisis Commons, visit: http://crisiscommons.org/
- Mapping, Geolocation and the Future of Scalable Disaster Response (readwriteweb.com)
Why We Need a Disaster 2.1 Report
By The Standby Task Force: Online Volunteer Community for Live Mapping | Published: April 6, 2011
The recent Disaster 2.0 Report published by the UN Foundation, OCHA and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) represents one of the most important policy documents to have been written in recent years. The report acknowledges in no uncertain terms that the humanitarian space is moving towards a more multi-polar system and that this represents an unprecedented opportunity for the future of disaster relief, albeit one that presents clear challenges. We applaud and thank the authors of the report for bringing this to the attention of the policy community. … That said, we have a number of concerns about the report. …
For full text of the article, visit: Why We Need a Disaster 2.1 Report.
- Disaster Relief 2.0: Between a Signac and a Picasso (irevolution.net)
- How remote teams can help the rapid response to disasters | Oliver Lacey-Hall (guardian.co.uk)
Secrecy News of the Federation of American Scientists posted a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that provides maps of seismic hazards and population centers near nuclear power plants in the United States. “CRS determined the coordinates of plant sites using web-based applications and overlaid the sites on base maps of: 1. Quaternary faults, 2. Seismic hazards in terms of percent gravitational acceleration, 3. Levels of horizontal ground shaking (gravitational acceleration) that have a 2-in-100 (2%) probability of being exceeded in a 50-year period, and 4. Metropolitan populations.”
For PDF copy of the report, visit: “Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers,” March 29, 2011.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is requesting public input on its six science strategies: Ecosystems; Energy and Minerals; Environmental Health; Global Change; Natural Hazards; and Water. These strategies will used in setting priorities and implementation planning for future research activities at the agency, which was reorganized in 2010.
Some of the USGS programs that support these science strategies include:
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
The Federal Geographic Data Committee is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. This nationwide data publishing effort is known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of this nation’s digital geographic information resources. FGDC activities are administered through the FGDC Secretariat, hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Land Remote Sensing (LRS)
The Land Remote Sensing Program operates the Landsat satellites and provides the Nation’s portal to the largest archive of remotely sensed land data in the world, supplying access to current and historical images. These images serve many purposes from assessing the impact of natural disasters to monitoring global agricultural production.
National Geospatial Program
The National Geospatial Program (NGP) organizes, maintains, and publishes the geospatial baseline of the Nation’s topography, natural landscape, and built environment. The baseline is The National Map, a set of databases of map data and information from which customers can download data and derived map products and use web-based map services. Through the Geospatial Liaison Network, the NGP works with cooperators to share the costs of acquiring and maintaining these geospatial data. The National Atlas of the United States of America®, the small-scale component of The National Map, fosters an understanding of broad geographic patterns, trends, and conditions useful for national assessments. The Federal Geographic Data Committee promotes consistent data and metadata standards, system interoperability, and cross-government best business practices for geospatial resources, policies, standards, and technology as part of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.