News and Views
Aug. 8, 2012

NOAA's NGS rolls out improvements to NSRS at the Summit
The National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), which is the foundation for the nation's transportation, mapping and charting infrastructure and serves a multitude of scientific and engineering applications, has been enhanced with a new realization of NAD 83, with new gravimetric and hybrid geoid models, and with updated elevations in the Gulf Coast Height Modernization Project. "These improvements will provide users with positions and elevations that are spatially and temporally consistent," said Ronnie Taylor, NGS's Deputy Director, at the Summit's plenary. — Reported by Ilse Genovese, NSPS Communcations DirectorMore

Mapping the medals
Created using Esri Maps for Office, one of the apps demonstrated at the 2012 Esri User Conference, this web map features a regularly updated feed of medal counts (overall, gold, silver and bronze) for each country competing in this year's Olympic Games. More

Coalition to Save Our GPS clips
Coalition to Save Our GPS
NASA's Office of Inspector General issued a report on the findings of a LightSquared-requested investigation into allegations that members of an advisory committee charged with advising government officials on GPS violated federal conflict-of-interest laws. The OIG's press release said that while Bradford Parkinson, who is a member of Trimble's board, "improperly participated in a particular matter," his actions "were not motivated by a financial interest but rather appeared to be driven by his desire to protect a critical national resource he had helped create." The full report can be seen on the OIG's website.More

US Navy experiments with GPS-guided projectiles

Popular Science
The U.S. military has been looking for ways to smarten up its dumb projectiles for years — look no further than this GPS guided mortar round recently fielded by the Army — hoping to increase lethality while reducing collateral damage. The Navy is no exception to this trend, and the seaborne branch is looking for precision beyond its current arsenal. The Office of Naval Research wants a guided munition for its experimental electromagnetic rail gun that can alter the course of a 5,600-mph projectile in flight.More

What Douglas County learned moving its GIS to the cloud
Directions Magazine
In the fall of 2010, the Douglas County, Neb. GIS Department managed numerous servers in multiple locations throughout the county. The internal IT group did not yet offer a virtualized environment (i.e. multiple, configurable, disposable servers sharing physical resources with other servers), so DCGIS faced the purchase and setup of new server hardware. At the same time, Esri began to push the potential of running its GIS server software in the Amazon cloud.More

House, DoD move to bridge OCX funding gap
Inside GNSS
Both Congress and the Pentagon are putting money on the table to bridge the gap created by delays in the development of the new GPS ground system. As Inside GNSS first reported earlier this year the Next Generation Operational Control System, or OCX, is running roughly two years behind schedule. It had been expected to be delivered in 2015, however, General William L. Shelton said this spring that OCX would be delayed until 2016 or 2017. More More

Maps or GPS? If you're smart, use both
The Seattle Times
From Tom Stienstra: You can get the surprise of your life when you use an online-mapping service such as Google Maps or MapQuest. When I punched start and end points into Google Maps for a trip near California's Yosemite National Park, the suggested route included a Jeep trail that was built in 1916-17 to 1913 wagon-trail standards, has been closed to traffic since 1938 and now sits in designated wilderness open only to hikers and horses. More

Scenes from a changing planet
Smithsonian Magazine (blog)
For 40 years, Landsat satellites have been circling the earth, taking pictures from roughly 440 miles above us. Each loop lasts about 99 minutes and it takes about 16 days to capture the entire planet. Which means that Landsats have been recording, in 16-day intervals, the ebb and flow of our relationship with the planet since the early 1970s. More

Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab helps map the future
Smart Planet
"Big Data" and "social media" are today's biggest buzzwords. But beyond their trendiness as topics, Big Data and social media also allow everyday people to share their voices and stories, to participate in ways to possibly improve their lives. Someone, however, needs to make sense of all of the information floating around — by organizing neatly and efficiently to help communities analyze patterns, discover problems and act to find solutions.More

Trimble Dimensions 2012

Nov. 5-7, 2012
The Mirage
Las Vegas

Register now at and save $100!More