GIS News: Esri releases, Image of the Week from ESA

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The roundup of geospatial news over the past week includes several software and data announcements from Esri, an image of the week from ESA covering the volcanic island of Guadalupe, and the winners of the 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest.  SuperGeo, Topcon, TC Technology, OGC, Bluesky, eSpatial, IDV Solutions, gvSIG,  and Safe Software also have released announcements.  


The latest release of ArcGIS Online supports the addition of data from a .csv or .txt file directly to the map viewer. Users can also add GPS Exchange Form (.gpx) files; Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), Web Map Service (WMS) layers; and KML layers and gives users control over how features from .csv, .txt, or .gpx files are displayed. Users can configure pop-up windows and customize the appearance of features drawn on the web map by changing symbols and colors. Once information is added to the web map, it can easily be shared with others.  Group users on ArcGIS Online can now add or remove any content within their groups. Group owners also have the ability to unshare items shared with the group by other group members.

The Esri Aeronautical Solution—Airports GIS Package is now available as a free download for Esri Aeronautical Solution users. This software configuration suite was specifically developed to help US airports comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airports GIS data management and submission requirements.

Government agencies, civic organizations, and policy makers can access vast amounts of data and instant reports and maps through Esri Community Analyst, a cloud-based GIS application.  This new tool includes demographic, health, economic, education, and business data variables to help users develop informed strategies for policy creation and critical resource allocation. Decisions such as matching health care clinics to areas with the greatest need or allocating infrastructure funding for maximum community impact can now be made and supported using customizable reports and maps.

Esri has releasedthe new version of ArcGIS Data Appliance, an enterprise scalable solution that plugs right into an organization’s internal network and serves terabytes of worldwide map data including imagery, street, and topography. ArcGIS Data Appliance 4.0 includes many new imagery and basemap datasets, as well as data updates for tasks.


This Envisat image shows the volcanic island of Guadalupe peeking through the clouds. The island lies in the Pacific Ocean around 250 km off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.  Home to fewer than 30 people, this rugged little island measures 35 km north to south and just less than 10 km east to west.  The island is made up of oceanic shield volcanoes that formed on a now-extinct mid-ocean ridge. It is dominated by a chain of high mountain ridges that rise to almost 1300 m.  The swirling clouds to the south of the island are the result of a meteorological phenomenon known as a ‘von Karman vortex’. As wind-driven clouds encounter Guadalupe, they flow around the high volcanic outcrop to form the large spinning eddies that can clearly be seen in the image.

The Baja California peninsula in northwest Mexico can be seen in the top right of the image. At a length of 1200 km, the peninsula separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California.  The rugged coastline is home to many species of mammal, including sea lions and various species of whale that breed in the region’s waters, while Guadalupe is considered to be one of the best places in the world to spot the Great White Shark.

This image was acquired on 15 June by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer at a resolution of 300 m.

Credits: ESA

Snowflake Software

Snowflake Software, a participating organization in the Annex II & III data specification testing, announced its support for testing at the INSPIRE Conference in Edinburgh.


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the candidate OGC “GeoSPARQL: A Geographic Query Language for RDF Data” Standard. The candidate OGC GeoSPARQL standard defines spatial extensions to the W3C’s SPARQL protocol and RDF query language.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the candidate version 3.3 of the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML). GML 3.3 builds on GML 3.2.1, published by ISO as ISO 19136:2007, and extends GML with additional schema components based on requirements requested by various domains of interest. For example, the 3d modeling community suggest the addition of triangular meshes (TINs) to GML. GML 3.3 is fully backwards compatible with GML 3.2.  Information on the change requests addressed in GML v3.3 can be found at The candidate OGC GML v3.3 Standard documents are available for review and comment at

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

In Joseph Arehart’s winning entry into the 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, nitrogen concentrations, as measured in fungal plants called lichens, are analyzed in order to establish baseline pollution levels in Boulder County, Colo. Monitoring changes in the area’s “nitrogen footprint” over time can help determine the effectiveness of efforts to mitigate pollution.  The Thacher contest, an annual activity of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), awards cash prizes to grades 9-12 students whose projects show the best use of satellites and other geospatial technologies or data to study Earth.

Arehart, who is from Boulder, earned the competition’s first-place prize of $2,000 with his study that combined chemical analysis, the Global Positioning System and geographic information systems (GIS) to visualize how nitrogen concentrations in lichens vary between urban and wilderness settings.  The second-place award of $1,000 went to Darwin Li of Herndon, Va. He developed algorithms relating chlorophyll and turbidity levels in the Chesapeake Bay to satellite measurements, and then used the algorithms to create a web-based monitoring system.  Lauren Gregory of Shawnee, Kan., earned third place and $500 with a study that assessed whether historical GIS data could be used to predict the location of stream way erosion rather than more costly field data.  Each of the winning students’ teachers were recognized with a $200 gift card from  For more information on the Thacher Environmental Research Contest, please visit: Technology

TC Technology announces that the City of Lakeland, Florida deployed an enterprise license agreement (ELA) of GO! Sync Mobile GIS to various departments.

IDV Solutions 

IDV Solutions will present a webinar on using its Visual Fusion software to make Oracle Spatial data accessible to business users, on Thursday, July 21, 2011, from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT.    Webinar:  Visualizing Oracle Spatial Data for Business Users: Maximizing the Value & Visibility of Spatial Data in an Organization.  Duration: 60 Minutes  Register here.Topcon

Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) announces that Greg Frankish of Queensland, Australia, has been appointed regional survey sales manager for Australia and New Zealand.Safe Software

Safe Software announced today that they will kick off the FME Data Access Challenge at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, CA from July 11 – 15, 2011. Participants in this initiative will find out how they can solve their toughest data transformation headaches with FME, the leading technology for spatial data transformation.  Esri UC attendees are invited to bring samples of their problem data to the Safe Software booth (#1206) where an interoperability expert will be on hand to examine their challenge and demonstrate specifically how FME can help. Those unable to attend the conference can participate by submitting the details of their data challenge online at


The 7th Edition of the International gvSIG Conference, organized by the gvSIG Association, will be held from November 30th to December 2nd 2011 at the Feria Valencia Convention and Exhibition Center (Valencia – Spain), under the slogan “Conquering new areas”.  Call for papers is now open. As of today communication proposals can be sent to the email address:; they will be evaluated by the scientific committee as to their inclusion in the conference program. There are two types of communication: paper or poster. Information regarding to regulations on communication presentations can be found in the Communications section. Abstracts will be accepted until September 27th.  Organizations interested in collaborating in the event can find information in the section: How to collaborate.

A gvSIG 1.11 portable version has been released at the community repository.  The objective of this distribution is, to allow the user running the gvSIG 1.11 version from a USB disk, and distribute it easily in other computers, without the necessity of any software installation.  This distribution runs on Windows and Linux, and it has been developed by Cartolab.


Bluesky and Blom UK have worked together to release a stunning ultra high-resolution aerial photomap of the 2011 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. Captured on the afternoon of Sunday 26th June by Blom UK the 6cm resolution imagery shows the entire site as 150,000 festival goers basked in the summer sun on one of the hottest days of the year so far and enjoyed music from Paul Simon on the main stage. The images are available to view and purchase from the Bluesky online Mapshop ( together with aerial photography for the whole of England, Wales and most of Scotland as well as height models and other layers of geographic data.

The Glastonbury Festival camping area from the air. It was taken around 1730 on the Sunday and you can see some areas where tents have been removed.

Bluesky has launched a new on demand service to complement its existing solar mapping product. The service provides detailed solar panel suitability assessment reports for individual properties and developments. Suitable for commercial, industrial, public sector and even large domestic properties the Bluesky SolAR (Solar Assessment Report) service provides an interactive 3D model of the property or complex and accurate roof measurements including the number of panels that can be accommodated. An indication of solar irradiation received by each roof element and a detailed shadow analysis showing the possible effect of nearby obstructions are also included.


SuperGeo Technologies is pleased to officially release SuperGIS Server 3 Value Edition, its latest server-based software, to global market.

SuperGeo Technologies has announced that its full-function mobile GIS software, SuperPad 3, has been selected by Rancang Bistari in Malaysia.


eSpatial, leading provider of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and pioneer in GIS delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), has continued its planned growth with the creation of 12 new jobs to date in 2011.  The company anticipates creating an additional 8 jobs by the end of 2011, bringing the total number of new jobs created in 2011 to 20.

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