Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drones & Lasers

An interesting proof of concept that generated 3D data over tropical forest (DEM and height of trees) using drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to fly LiDAR sensors has been completed in French Guiana. Interestingly though drones have limitations such as range compared to small aircraft and helicopters, their combined lower flying speeds and heights above a forest canopy gains more dense point clouds and better data. There are implications for tropical forest monitoring and carbon sequestration estimates, presumably at a much lower equipment and operational costs than conventional airborne LiDAR surveys.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ESRI & Open Source GIS

Open Source GIS is here to stay it seems. The/ one of the leading software providers, ESRI says, '[ESRI] supports more than 200 open source projects in our GitHub organization, and over 600 Esri developers that directly collaborate on these and numerous other personal open-source projects. We have released projects that cover nearly every level of the technology stack, from web frameworks to mobile apps to big data geoprocessing'. Read the full article by Andrew Turner, CTO, ESRI R&D Center.

Monday, March 10, 2014

New in Jamaica

Jamaica has become the first country to implement nation-wide the free health and hospital information system - GNU Health™. It does not include a GIS or mapping component as far as I can tell, though it does provide 'epidemiological and other statistical reports'. Though free it is not Open Source. However, this is major news in the non-traditional use of free software at an enterprise level in the Caribbean.