GIS News: Greenland Ice Thickness, OpenDataPhilly now Open Source

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The latest GIS industry news roundup includes an image of Greenland’s ice sheet from ESA’s Image of the Week series, Azavea has released the code of the project which is now available as open source software, and the OGC has completed its Special Activity Airspace (SAA) Dissemination Pilot.  Digital Map Products, Cityworks, eSpatial, and SuperGeo also have announcements this week.


The European Space Agency’s Image of the Week involves part of Greenland’s ice sheet and east coast as the winter sea ice recedes.

Covering roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland, this ice sheet is the second largest body of ice in the world, after that of Antarctica.However, last year’s temperatures, along with those of 2005 and 1998, were the highest since modern global temperature record-keeping began in 1880, heightening concerns about the rates of ice melt.

Positioned in the Arctic, the 100 000 year-old Greenland ice sheet is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Ice melt from the sheet is likely to cause substantial sea-level rise in the coming decades.

Arctic sea ice is even more susceptible to climate change. In September 2007, the area covered by perennial sea ice shrunk to the smallest on record since satellite measurements began 30 years ago.

So far, this spring marks the third lowest extent of Arctic sea ice.

ESA’s CryoSat mission is being used to measure changes in ice thickness.  The image below was taken on June 23, 2011 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer at a resolution of 300 m .

Credits: ESA



Azavea has announced that the code of the project is now available as open source software under the name Open Data Catalog, and is freely available for anyone to use at:, a collaborative effort between Technically Philly, WHYY Radio, the City of Philadelphia’s Open Access Philly task force, and Azavea, was launched to connect people with data pertaining to the Philadelphia region

Digital Map Products

The City of Longview, Washington is using Digital Map Products‘ Cloud GIS local government solutions to share data with citizens and increase the use of GIS within the city.  Through CommunityView™, the city publishes city, property, and community data to interactive maps on their public facing website so residents can self-service information requests and increase their awareness of community amenities.  Property characteristics, zoning information, city facilities and parks, and bike routes and trails are some of the data sets the city shares with citizens, fulfilling a long-standing resident request.  Internally, Longview uses CityGIS™ to improve inter-department collaboration and data sharing, and to bring GIS to scores of new users.  Digital Map Products Cloud GIS solutions have served as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration at the City of Longview, helping them achieve their GIS goals despite the tough economy.


The City of Longview, Texas, is experiencing substantial benefits with Cityworks.  Positive results from Cityworks include enhanced GIS capabilities, better reporting, time and cost savings, and the benefits of an enterprise management solution.


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced successful completion of the Special Activity Airspace (SAA) Dissemination Pilot. In this pilot project, the OGC provided coordination assistance to the FAA in support of their Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) goals, to enable the dissemination of SAA definitions and reservation schedules via OGC Web Services and using the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model AIXM 5.1. SAA dissemination involves the access, filtering and graphical portrayal of airspace information, as
well as the ability for subscribed users to receive notifications of SAA updates and reservation schedule changes. OGC Web Service standards specify open and widely used geospatial interfaces that support communication of geospatial information in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based systems.  Videos and presentations from the June 2 SAA Dissemination Pilot demonstrations are available at


eSpatial has released an upgrade to eSpatial OnDemand GIS™, featuring significant enhancements to user administration, data imports and the user interface. The upgraded version of eSpatial OnDemand GIS includes the following enhancements: direct access to Google’s driving directions from within eSpatial OnDemand GIS, the ability to add attributes to an existing layer, support for use with touch-screen devices, including the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, an improved CSV import process, numerous usability enhancements to the interface, making eSpatial OnDemand GIS even easier to use, additional help guides to assist users to complete tasks, more comprehensive user administration options, additional options for assignment of user-group permissions for functions, maps, data sets (map layers), queries, thematics, print layouts and functions, and the addition of user-group permissions for Web Map Service (WMS).  A free 14-day trial of eSpatial OnDemand GIS is available at:


SuperGeo Technologies has announced that SuperGIS Desktop 3  has been selected by Mitr Phol Sugarcane Research Centre in Thailand.



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