We’ve had several opportunities to refine GeoGit workflows in real-world situations, but among the most fulfilling was assisting with the response to Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan) in the Philippines. It was the strongest cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, resulting in an urgent need to share data about the damage to help with recovery and reconstruction.
To meet this need, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) teamed up with the American Red Cross and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and launched an open data platform to gather and share data about Yolanda. The ROGUE project, which helps develop GeoGit, was asked to help manage and distribute extracts of OpenStreetMap data. As described below, we created a powerful bidirectional workflow with OpenStreetMap that enabled us not only to derive and publish up-to-date data for response and recovery efforts but also to contribute back to OpenStreetMap.
Importing OpenStreetMap Data
Thanks largely to HOT’s efforts, a large number of damaged and destroyed buildings were mapped into OpenStreetMap using commercial satellite imagery distributed under the Next View license or the State Department’s Imagery to the Crowd program. GeoGit was used to extract data from OpenStreetMap and transform it into formats more useful to traditional GIS applications.
While GeoGit supports reading and writing from OpenStreetMap data in a variety of ways, the Yolanda efforts started with the daily
.pbf downloads from geofabrik that were then imported into a GeoGit repository using the
geogit osm import command. This initial import command brings the data into the standard node and way layers in a GeoGit repository with all of the OpenStreetMap tags attached to each feature. During the initial few imports we were able to find and solve some performance bottlenecks that reduced the import time from over an hour to just a few minutes.
Mapping to a Schema
Once imported, the
geogit osm map command was used to map the data into more traditional sets of layers, using the tags as attributes. A JSON mapping file specifies which tags were used to separate out the features into layers and assign attributes to each feature. The key mapping involved taking nodes and ways tagged with
typhoon:damage=yes and translating those into
damage_line layers with associated attributes. Over the course of mapping the data, we were able to make improvements to the codebase and workflow in several areas.
Sharing Up-to-Date Data
Once the repository had the data organized into the right schema, we used the
geogit export pg command to load snapshots into a PostGIS database and serve them to the web. Since we wanted to provide the most current data, we used the
geogit osm apply-diff command to update the repository with daily updates from OSM planet. This ensured that our repository always reflected recent edits and that layers were exported and updated on the site.
Contributing Back to OpenStreetMap
In addition to staying in sync with the global OpenStreetMap planet, GeoGit made it possible to change layers in our repository and apply them back to OpenStreetMap — enabling a fully round-trip or bidirectional workflow. For example, we found many misspellings or inconsistent use of tags in the data where able to correct them. We fixed these issues against our PostGIS snapshot, applied the changes back to the repository, generated a changeset using the
geogit osm create-changeset command, and finally uploaded the changeset using JOSM. In the process, we were once again able to improve these functions based on real-world usage.
These tools enable a powerful bidirectional workflow with OpenStreetMap. We demonstrated that data can be imported from OpenStreetMap into a local repository, mapped into a set of layers with a well-defined schema, and served via OGC services. Repositories can be kept in sync with OpenStreetMap over time and, if changes are made to the local repository, GeoGit enables us to produce changesets that can be contributed to the global OSM dataset. Using this same workflow, it becomes possible for users to effectively work with a local extract of OSM data for both making and applying local edits as well as incorporating upstream changes.
For more to know about all these above we have to wait until 13th April where Jeff Johnson will present more about GeoGit-based OpenStreetMap import workflows at State of the Map US.
A map is a visual representation of an area – symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes. Many maps are static two-dimensional, geometrically accurate (or approximately accurate) representations of three-dimensional space, while others are dynamic or interactive, even three-dimensional. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale; e.g. brain mapping, DNA mapping and extraterrestrial mapping.
Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word “map” comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, wherein mappa meant napkin or cloth and mundi the world. Thus, “map” became the shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world.
Maps have become a critical piece of our lives. Providing guidance, direction, help and more, maps now serve as an integral information source for us every day. Maps provide value to our Internet experiences, and have become essential in the mobile world.
People used to use maps so they wouldn’t get lost. But in recent years, access to the Global Positioning System and the proliferation of mobile technology have made paper-based maps almost irrelevant. Unless you’re in uncharted territory, it’s hard to get lost anymore. Basic geography is as easy as inputting an address and letting your mobile phone tell you how to get there.
And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public.
The allure of mapping lies in its intuitiveness. Even simple “dots on a map can be a powerful way to see trends in data,” said Josh Campbell, geographic information system architect for the Humanitarian Information Unit at the State Department. “Maps are a compressed mechanism for storytelling.”
Last year,HIU created a series of maps to track the mass migration of Syrians displaced by the country’s ongoing violence. The HIU team combined data from thousands of media and internal reports with commercial satellite imagery. Each map provided a geographical snapshot of a place. Together, they showed trends over time and revealed the areas with the most intense conflict.
That is perhaps the most important aspect of maps: They make for better decision-making. Maps gain their value in three ways:
As a way of recording and storing information
Governments, businesses, and society as large must store large quantities of information about the environment and the location of natural resources, capital assets, and people. Included are plat, parcel, and cadastral maps to record property, maps of society’s infrastructure or utilities for water, power, and telephone, and transportation, and census maps of population.
As a means of analyzing locational distributions and spatial patterns
Maps let us recognize spatial distributions and relationships and make it possible for us to visualize and hence conceptualize patterns and processes that operate through space.
As a method of presenting information and communicating findings
Maps allow us to convey information and findings that are difficult to express verbally. Maps can also be used to convince and persuade, or even propagandize.
In early 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Water began an effort to simplify how it conveys the complex information it has collected for decades.
Nine months later, the agency launched a map-based application called “How’s My Waterway?” that allows users to check pollution levels in almost any U.S. lake, river or other waterway via the Web. The project’s launch coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to report data on waterways to the EPA. The agency in turn periodically updates Congress on the condition of the nation’s waterways.
That data has always been available to the public, but until “How’s My Waterway?” it was compiled in technical databases and used mainly by scientists who knew what it meant and how to access it.
Now anyone can input a ZIP Code or select his or her current location from any Web-connected device and receive basic information on whether a waterway is polluted and when it was last assessed. Users can move around the map to other waterways or click on a specific one to get more details, such as the nature of the pollutants and what is being done to mitigate the problem — all of which is presented in terms that the average user can understand.
The tool has been so popular that in the weeks right after its launch, the high volume of users caused the site to crash several times, said Doug Norton, senior environmental scientist in the Office of Water. Tens of thousands of people now use the application on a regular basis, with rates that fluctuate depending on the season and weather.
In short, mapping technology “proved to be a terrific mode of communication in getting points across and informing the public,” Norton said.
It was also cost-effective because it did not require a lengthy procurement process. Instead, a team of 12 watershed scientists, public outreach experts and coders used existing data and worked with the contractor that managed EPA’s technical database.
With mapping firm Esri’s new software development kit, launched Wednesday, developers can create complex, polygonal “geofences” that trigger actions when people enter or leave them.
A restaurant chain could, for example, use its app to send a push notification to customers that walk close to one of its locations. Or it could notify employees when a customer who ordered delivery arrives to pick up her meal.
Esri snapped up location-focused startup Geoloqi in late 2012. The new “Geotrigger” SDK is the fruit of that acquisition: It enables iOS and Android developers to add more sophisticated location-based features to their mobile applications.
“Geotrigger Service opens up a whole world of use cases, from stores wanting to engage customers to cities wanting to release an app to send civic alerts, local event information, or tourism info,” said Amber Case, Geoloqi’s founder and head of Esri’s R&D center, in a statement. “Create an invisible button on a map, and when your phone gets within that button — that invisible region — something will happen. Your phone could even turn the lights on in your home as you pull into the driveway, and turn them off when you leave.”
Esri also promises that its SDK minimizes the amount of time GPS and cellular chipsets need to be active, minimizing battery usage. Battery drain has been a barrier to the adoption of location-based features in mobile apps.
The service costs developers a tiny amount per geotrigger event. For more details, check out the video.
On April 14-15, Esri’s fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif
Why Use GIS?
When floods in Colorado caused massive damage throughout the state in September 2013, geographic information systems (GIS) and web maps integrated current data, providing a comprehensive view of the constantly evolving situation to government officials and the public.
An interactive public information map posted by Esri, a GIS software company, showed observed flooding, flood warnings, and precipitation and collected citizens’ observations that had been shared on Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Other government agencies generated interactive web maps that shared information on flooded areas, closed roads, and shelters for evacuees. The City of Longmont created a story map that documented the flooding of the St. Vrain River and Left Hand Creek.
These maps are examples of how GIS has gone from a technology that is nice to have to one that is essential, especially for small- to medium-size jurisdictions dealing with increasing demands and depleted resources.
Established but Evolving
What is GIS?
It is an information system for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced data.
With GIS, data can be viewed, understood, interrogated, interpreted, and visualized on a map in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends that would not be apparent otherwise. GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework and works with common business tools such as Microsoft Excel and IBM Cognos.
GIS is nothing new to many jurisdictions. Beginning in the 1990s, it was implemented in departments such as planning and health. Initially, it often was acquired for a specific project; later, the use of GIS expanded to improve many processes in a department. The benefits of GIS — cost savings and increased efficiency, better decision-making, improved communication, and better record keeping — encouraged the spread of its use across organizations. Public works, planning, land records, facilities management, utilities, transportation, water, wastewater, health and human services, elections, environmental management, economic development, and public safety are just a few of the disciplines in municipal government that use GIS.
Since its initial adoption, GIS technology has evolved from a desktop application to a web-centric platform. While supporting the work of GIS professionals on desktop machines, the web platform makes the benefits of this work available throughout the organization through maps and apps that are stored and accessed from a cloud-based system. This web-centric approach also makes the most current imagery, traffic, and weather data available for use with a jurisdiction’s local data.
Doing More with Less
Even as municipal governments recover from the recent recession, they must deal with tighter budgets and fewer staff members. The need to deliver services in an efficient and cost-effective manner is greater than ever.
Residents expect services from their municipal government, whether a small town or a big city. Small to medium-sized municipalities provide these services with far fewer resources than their bigger counterparts. Many jurisdictions are turning to technology, specifically GIS, to better deliver services to citizens. Governments have expanded the used of GIS to improve not just the way a government works, but the way it works for citizens.
For decades, the entire water system for Princeton, Ill., was documented in a small, carefully guarded sketchbook known as “the Bible.” To respond to emergencies as well as perform routine maintenance, city staff needed access to that information. They also needed a current inventory of the water system infrastructure to support field workers.
However, the city, with a population of just under 8,000, did not have extensive staffing to meet these goals. With the help of a consultant, the original pages were scanned and that information was incorporated into a GIS. The 4,600 photographs documenting the system’s components were added and geocoded, and this information moved to a cloud-based GIS. Now the information contained in the original documents not only has been backed up and updated with the current inventory, but is accessible directly by crews in the field responding to system issues.
Seeing the Big Picture
Interactive web maps provide information in context. They also make the results of GIS analysis available to policy makers without requiring that they become proficient with GIS technology.
Operation dashboards fed by GIS that are automatically updated use maps and charts to monitor, track, and report events. Incorporating live feeds allows the most current data to be visualized and comprehended by knowledge workers and executives.
Government That Works for Citizens
People are now more connected to each other through the web and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They have come to expect that they can use those same tools to connect to businesses and, increasingly, government. This has been part of a change in the relationship between government and the governed in recent years. Increasingly, citizens lack both the time and inclination to travel to government — they want and expect government to be available and responsive to them.
GIS has helped governments meet these new demands. A Florida city of just 16,000 residents incorporates GIS in a portal that makes its permitting process convenient and transparent to citizens. When the City of Marco issues a new building permit, citizens receive a tweet with information on the permit, with a link to a copy of the permit, and a map of the permit location, as well as other information in the Citizen Access Portal. A real-time database, the portal keeps track of permit and inspection data, relating proposed activity to the existing built environment and landscape.
Web maps are also an effective tool for communicating government operations and programs. For example, mapping capital improvement projects lets citizens know where, when, and how money is being spent on these projects. Direct access to this information promotes transparency and accountability, which in turn builds confidence in government.
In effect, GIS also has added many more eyes to government oversight by enlisting the help of citizens. With smartphone-based, map-centric apps, municipal governments can tap into the power of crowdsourcing by enabling citizens to report problems such as potholes, graffiti, and other concerns. The GPS capabilities in smartphones furnish location information to the app. Citizens fill out the app’s simple form describing the problem and can upload photos of it. Once reported, an incident can be monitored, letting the responding citizen and others track the resolution of that problem. This encourages government responsiveness and demonstrates accountability.
More Than Just Mapping
With the migration of GIS to the web, governments can use GIS-generated maps, apps, and data to improve business processes and inform decision-making. This helps keep communities both safe and sustainable. The advantages of using a geographic framework are not limited to large cities and counties — they are equally available to smaller municipal governments. Web-centric GIS helps small to medium-sized municipal governments be responsive, transparent, and accountable. It encourages citizens to stay informed and engaged with their government.
By Ian Isaacs, Esri regional manager
Fact: Climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering
According to a news of The Gurdian, the geo-engineers are finally coming out of the “chemtrail” closet, as reports are now emerging about deliberate plans in the works to dump untold tons of sulfate chemicals into the atmosphere for the purported purpose of fighting so-called “global warming.”
The U.K.’s Guardian and others are reporting that a multi-million dollar research fund, which just so happens to have been started and funded by Microsoft founder and vaccine enthusiast Bill Gates, is being used to fund the project. A large balloon hovering at 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico, will release the sulfates into the atmosphere within the next year.
The stated purpose for this massive release of toxic sulfate particles is that doing so will allegedly reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, and thus cool the planet. But many environmental groups and advocates of common sense are decrying the idea as dangerous, and one that could result in permanent damage to ecosystems all across the globe.
“Impacts include the potential for further damage to the ozone layer, and disruption of rainfall, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions, potentially threatening the food supplies of billions of people,” said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of the ETC Group, a Canadian environmental protection group.
“It will do nothing to decrease levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or halt ocean acidification. And solar geo-engineering is likely to increase the risk of climate-related international conflict, given that the modeling to date shows it poses greater risks to the global south.”
But the Gates-backed cohort is persistent in its efforts to geo-graffiti the world, as its scientists insist that governments are not doing enough to fight back against the supposed environment impacts of global warming. If governments refuse to implement high enough carbon taxes to eliminate greenhouse gases, in other words, then Gates and Co. believes it has no choice but to “save the planet” by polluting it with sulfate particles.
Spraying the skies with sulfate particles will destroy the planet faster than ‘global warming’ ever could. Chemtrails Sulfate particles are toxic, though, and constitute the very same type of ambient particulate matter (PM) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be a noxious air pollutant. Deliberately spraying the skies with tiny particles composed of any material, for that matter, is hazardous both to respiratory health in humans and animals, as well as to water sources, soils, and other delicate environmental resources.
“Sulfate particles from acid rain can cause harm to the health of marine life in the rivers and lakes it contaminates, and can result in mortality,” says an online water pollution guide (http://www.water-pollution.org.uk/health.html). A University of Washington (UW) report also explains that sulfate particles “contribute to acid rain, cause lung irritation, and have been a main culprit in causing the haze that obscures a clear view of the Grand Canyon.”
Blocking the sun with reflective particles will also deprive humans of natural sunlight exposure, which is a primary source for naturally generating health-promoting vitamin D in the body. So once again, Bill Gates is at the helms of a project that seeks to control the climate in artificial ways using toxic chemicals, an endeavor that is sure to create all sorts of potentially irreversible problems for humanity and the planet.
The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that is at least five years old.
The Jan. 23 announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made Jan. 17 during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
CNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercializes Spot data.
CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”
CNES has already begun processing, at its own charge, a first tranche of 100,000 images that will be available later this year.
The French government decision follows a similar decision, made in 2013, by the European Commission to make freely available much of the data from the future Copernicus series of optical and radar Earth observation satellites. At the same time, the commission is taking steps to protect the still-fragile European private sector that makes a business of selling imagery commercially.
In the Hackathon event there will be four kinds of registration process in the category of Problem Solvers, Tech-Mentors, Financiers, Problem statement Owners.
If you are an university student or tech professional doing job/business, you can team up with up to 5 multi-disciplinary members and register for the event to solve given problems. Outcome/solutions will be mobile apps for any platform.
If you are expert in a particular sector in making apps, you can register yourself as mentor of the team. Your responsibility will be helping the participating problem solving team from your area of expertise. You also can choose to work with the tea after Hackathon to develop the Mobile apps further.
It is good chance for investing or helping the problem solver teams to mentor/networking them to get access to finance (i.e. seed funding etc.) to develop their Mobile app prototype further. These are very innovative solutions. So, you can register your organisation or individually to find investment scopes.
Problem statement Owners
All those problems are coming from development sector in the thematic area of Water, Sanitation, Health and behavior changing education. We welcome GO/NGO/INGO/NFP/Donor/Private sector and any other organisations who have experience working in these thematic area and especially interest to implement/integrate these solutions to their own project to register in this category.
It is REGISTERED ONLY event. So register for the event the way you want to get involved with this COOL & Global standard event
arranged by World Bank.
You may find following links useful.
Hackathon AppFest in a Glance
he Asia and the Pacific region has experienced some of the most damaging disasters in recent decades, with alarming consequences for human welfare. At the same time, the climate in the region has been changing. Temperatures have been higher, on average, and also more variable and more extreme. Countries in Asia and the Pacific are more prone to natural disasters than those in other parts of the world, with people in the region four times more likely to be affected by natural catastrophe than those in Africa and 25 times more vulnerable than Europeans or North Americans, a United Nations report released shows. Major natural disasters around Asia and the Pacific in 2013 have caused tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damages in recent years. This interactive infographic creeated by Asian Development Bank details the scope and scale of these devastating events:
Pulling real time data from the city government of Madrid, Into the Air is a project led by Nerea Calvillo (along with a team of architectural students, anthropologists, and designers) to map out air pollutants over the Spanish city. The project was originally developed at Visualizar’08, an annual workshop/seminar that focused that year’s efforts on urban data visualization.
The 8mb Java applet tracks in real time five different air pollutants: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxide (NO), Particulate PM10, and Ozone (03). Each of these contaminants was chosen based on its potential to cause serious health effects. The applet has controls for zoom, tilt, menu options (to select the types of contaminants mapped and data stations), as well as a slider for selecting the time frame. The autoplay function plays the mapped air pollutants back in time at one hour increments.
It’s fascinating to see the peaks and lows of air pollutants and how different contaminants peak in different areas of the city across the course of a day.
There is a prototype in the works for creating a physical version of the air mapping model that would the facade of buildings to display air pollutant levels:
The building would become a 24 hour active indicator of environmental conditions, blurring architecture with atmosphere, informing and mediating the bodies that come into contact with it.
Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.
The site indicates that the code for the applet will be released shortly and invites those interested to visit the Processing sketch that was created for the project. Budapest and Santiago de Chile have also had code developed for mapping out air pollutants.