GIS News: Use the GeoCloud for Free, New ArcGIS Explorer Desktop Release

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The latest geospatial industry news involves an announcement from Esri on a new release of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop that includes GPS capabilities, the discussion of the impact of the proposed nationwide broadband wireless network from the company LightSquared at the upcoming Survey Summit, the free GeoCloud capabilities to be released on GeoCommons 2.0.  Also included are announcements from gvSIG, Topcon, URISA, ESA, and the Timmons Group.


Surveyors will vet concerns about a proposed nationwide broadband wireless network from the company LightSquared at the upcoming Survey Summit. Hosted by Esri and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), the Survey Summit-ACSM Annual Conference is scheduled for July 7–12 in San Diego, California.

Tests conducted by the GPS industry suggest that the deployment of the LightSquared network may destroy the access needed by surveyors and other high-precision users of GPS. Representatives from the Coalition to Save Our GPS, National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), LightSquared, and others, will meet at the Survey Summit to discuss the effects this technology could have on the surveying community and develop an appropriate plan of action.  The LightSquared Forum will be held Sunday, July 10, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Scheduled speakers include Peter Large, vice president of Trimble and representative of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, and Jeff Carlisle, executive vice president of regulatory affairs at LightSquared. Attendees will also hear from representatives of ACSM, GPS World, and GPS manufacturers. Prior to Sunday’s forum, both Large and Carlisle will deliver keynote speeches on Saturday, July 9, during the Survey Summit plenary.  For more information and to register for the Survey Summit, visit

The latest build of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop now has integrated GPS capability, enhanced support for querying features, and a new feature that allows users to add geotagged photos directly to a map.ArcGIS Explorer Desktop can be used with GPS devices to capture the user’s current location, along with waypoints and tracks, whether on foot or in a moving vehicle.  It also supports spatial selection using shapes (points, lines, areas) to query features using spatial operators such as contains, intersects, overlaps, and within. Combined with the existing support for logical queries, this provides a powerful set of capabilities that enables users to extract more meaning from their data.

Decatur Utilities in Alabama recently upgraded its IT to provide all 165 of its employees with up-to-date network and customer data, a move that will reduce labor cost and improve outage response. The comprehensive solution, based on GIS technology from Esri and Esri partner 3-GIS, allows utility staff to access, update, and share information in real time throughout the company.


GeoCommons 2.0 will be making more advance spatial analysis available for free during the month of June; users will be able to run analyses, perform geoprocessing tasks and visualize their private data in the cloud for free, non-commercial use:

  • Analytics: Easy-to-use, advanced spatial analytics that users and groups can utilize to answer mission-critical questions. Select among numerous analyses such as filtering, buffers, spatial aggregation and predictive analysis.
  • Private Data Support: Keep proprietary data private and unsearchable by others. Now you can upload proprietary data, analyze it with other data and create compelling maps, charts and graphs all within a secure interface.
  • Groups and Permissions: Allow others in your group or organization to access and collaborate with you. Enable permissions at various levels to limit or expand data sharing.
  • Charts and Graphs: Expand your visualization and analysis by incorporating intuitive charts and graphs into your data visualization. Add bar graphs, spreadsheet views or pie charts to enable multiple interactive views of your analysis.

There is a limit on the number of processes that can be run for free.  Users with a higher demand will be guided towards the commercial GeoCloud options.


GMES operations another step closer: Today, the European Commission has signed an agreement confirming the transfer of funds to ESA for the initial operations of the space component for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme.

Timmons Group

Timmons Group was recently selected by the New Mexico State Land Office to develop and implement a new data model and automated maintenance tools in order to achieve greater degrees of data management efficiency.


URISA has announced its support of GIS Day student poster competitions; those with poster competitions are encouraged to submit their guidelines.

There will no doubt be similarities and differences among the guidelines, and we look forward to presenting an informative and comprehensive display of the kinds of criteria which professors use to give directions to students, and to the judges who are evaluating the posters. We also welcome receipt of the posters that are selected as winning entries to promote the accomplishments of both the students and institutions.

The best poster in each category will win a one year student membership with URISA.


Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) has named Jason Hooten as GIS sales manager for handheld products.


The enrollment period has been opened for the francophone gvSIG’s day to be held in Rennes (University Rennes2) on July 1st, 2011.  The registration form is available here. Registration is free and open.  For more information on this conference click here.

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