USGIF GotGeoint Blog USGIF promotes geospatial intelligence tradecraft and a stronger community of interest between government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals focused on the development and application of geospatial intelligence to address national security objectives.
NASA and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) have released the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) global digital elevation model (DEM), which covers about 99% of the Earth's surface. The global DEM was built from 1.5 million individual scene-based ASTER DEMs. The global DEM is in GeoTIFF format with lat/long coordinates and a 1 arc-second (30 m) grid. It is referenced to the WGS84/EGM96 geoid. Accuracy is estimated to be 20 meters for elevations and 30 meters for horizontal data.
The ASTER GDEM covers land surfaces between 83°N and 83°S and is comprised of 22,600 1°-by-1° tiles. Tiles that contain at least 0.01% land area are included.
A new version of the FDO Toolbox has been released. This version includes custom file drag and drop handler support and supports FDO 3.4.0. Jackie Ng recommends that you get this release if you use the bulk copy feature, as this release fixes some major defects.
A new version of the MapGuide 6.5 Data Migration Tool including documentation has been released by Autodesk. The tool now supports MapGuide Enterprise 2008, 2009 and 2010. You can use the Autodesk MapGuide Data Migration Tool to migrate your MapGuide 6.5 data files including MWF, MWX, UDL, MLF, and SMB (Symbol Library) to Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise. You can find the tool and documentation here.
The American Clean Energy and Security (Waxman-Markey) bill was passed by the US House of Representatives. The bill aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. A limited number of pollution permits would be issued. Most of the permits would initially be given away free to utilities, manufacturers, state governments and others. The permits could then be traded or sold.
The major features of the bill are
Requires electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.
Invests $190 billion in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion).
Mandates new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry.
Reduces carbon emissions from major U.S. sources by 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
Protects consumers from energy price increases.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if passed by the Senate the bill would cost an average of $175 a year per household. As I blogged about recently, according to a recent survey of 2,164 Americans conducted by researchers at George Mason and Yale Universities, a large majorities of Americans support policies for addressing climate change and renewable energy. And they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Most of the respondents said that they were prepared to pay more to support renewable energy policies. For example, 72 percent supported a renewable portfolio standard that would require electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources, even if it cost the average household an extra $100 a year.
The Scottish Parliament has passed a bill with very aggressive goals for green house gas emission reduction. The long term objective is to reduce emissions by 82% by 2050. The bill includes a shorter term objective of 42% emissions reduction by 2020. The government has released a delivery plan that oulines how these reductions will be achieved.
Increased power generation using renewables
Carbon sequestration (CCS)
Electrification of the rail network
Low-carbon heating through reduced demand, better energy efficiency and more use of renewable and low-carbon heating system
Absolutely amazing. High Line Park in the Lower West Side in Manhattan was opened by Mayor Bloomberg, Diane von Furstenberg, and others. It is 30 feet (10 meters) above street level and is a converted old West Side Line railway viaduct.
This is the latest in the grand tradition of "brownfield park development" in New York. New York was pretty unique in the world in 1853 when 700 acres of populated land was acquired for what become Central park. (Interestingly, Central Park was decrepit when Mayor Laguardia was elected in 1934 and gave Robert Moses the job of cleaning it up which he did using funds from President Roosevelt's New Deal as well as private donations.)
High Line Park has been 10 years in the making and was funded by a combination government agencies and private contributions including $10 million donated by Diane von Furstenberg.
There is a series of videos about High Line Park and how it was developed on www.sundancechannel.com.
I blogged about the new (green) Street Design Manual that the New York DOT recently released. The green revolution really seems to be beginning to reverse the legacy of Robert Moses' Triborough Commission and to transform New York into a nicer place for human beings, rather than cars, to live.
Continuing his use of Web 2.0 technologies, the FY2010 budget explicitly refers to Web 2.0 technologies such as syndicated web feeds, video-sharing, podcasts, social networking and bookmarking, widgets, virtual worlds, and micro-blogs to increase transparency and citizen participation. These technologoies wil enable individuals to collaborate on web content and to create, organize, edit or comment, combine, and share information.
The President's FY2010 budget plans extend the administration's focus on Web 2.0 to cloud computing, by which is meant an "on-demand model for network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."
Cloud computing is expected to help in sharing data and applications to improve innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness in Federal IT. The objective is to define departmental and agency architectures to enable enterprise-wide common services and solutions to eliminate duplicate operations at the agency level.
There are some who believe that the FY2010 IT plans are going to make it possible for smaller, more agile firms to win a bigger slice of the Federal IT pie as opposed to the IBMs, HPs, EMCs, and other large firms who have won a lion's share of this work in the past.
There is now a Web-based version of AutoCAD Map 3D Help which is available on the Autodesk Web site. This means that users who use Google to search for answers will now find results from the AutoCAD Map 3D Web help.
In addition to the User’s Guide and Reference Guide, users also get Web access to the Getting Started Guide, Tutorials, Workflow Guide, and GIS Skills for Engineers, including all animations.
There's a very interesting article about two bills recently introduced by the Conservative government, the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act and the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act, which would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to install expensive tracking technology, force them to disclose subscriber information such as name, address and email address without a court order, as well as grant police broad new powers to obtain Internet transmission data.
Last week, seemingly in direct response to the bills introduced by the government, the Liberal Party announced support for net neutrality, just weeks before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is scheduled to begin hearings July 6 on network management practices.
Net neutrality is a contentious issue in Canada. In a rather notorious case in 2005 Telus blocked a community web site supported by a striking union.
The Green Party also supports net neutrality, while the position of the Bloc Québecois on the issue is uncertain.