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GIScience & Remote Sensing

LO_SedimentQuality_Yan_Final_Print

Geographically weighted spatial modelling of sediment quality in Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Yaoyang Yana*, R. Thomas Jamesa, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelmb and Walter Tangc

Please read the publication by Yaoyang Yana on  spatial analysis and Lake Okeechobee.

 

FDOT Statistics Office has released the handbook on RCI and the GIS data

FDOT Statistics Office has released the attached handbook on RCI and the GIS data they produce.  You may find it helpful in dealing with the FDOT GIS Download layers.  It is 6MB.  You can download it here.

The next eFLURISA webinar

Title:    GIS in Emergency Management 

Description:

This presentation will review some of the latest use of GIS to meet the missions of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida State Emergency Management Team (SERT). Topics to be covered include – enhancements to GATOR, the SERT’s Common Operation Picture; use of HAZUS; the SERT’s Geoportal (ArcGIS Online); and an update on the 2014 Statewide Hurricane Exercise.

Date:   Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time:   1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT

Presenter Bio:

Richard Butgereit has over 19 years experience applying GIS technologies to natural resources protection and emergency management programs. He has served for the past 7 years as the GIS Administrator and head of the Information Management Section for the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida State Emergency Response Team managing GIS applications, databases, and web applications. He serves as the State of Florida’s representative to the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), serves a co-chair of NSGIC’s Geospatial Preparedness Committee, serves on the DHS S&T First Responders Resource Group, and chairs a volunteer committee for statewide GIS coordination. Richard is a graduate of New College, the Honors College of the Stateof Florida university system, and is a Geographic Information Systems Professional.

ESRI Seminar: “Extend the Reach of your GIS”

October 27th Palm Beach Countywide GIS meeting is cancelled.

We hope that everyone has a chance to attend the ESRI’s “Extend the Reach of your GIS” seminar, being held on 10/27/11 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott in Coral Springs.

11775 Heron Bay Boulevard

Coral Springs, FL 33076

(http://www.esri.com/events/seminars/extend-your-reach/index.html)

Dive GIS Summer Course 2011

Join this unique opportunity to learn GIS methods while becoming a certified diver! Are you already a diver or a GIS user? Improve your skills and move to the next step!

Dive GIS summer course 31 July – 10 August 2011 – Capo Rizzuto Marine Protected Area

More info: www.mappamondogis.it/divegis.htm

“The course offers a unique blend of marine GIS, field work and scuba learning. It is very useful for people interested in marine conservation and management of MPAs. Working with people from all over the world is a great opportunity for networking. Congratulations for developing an original, useful, interesting and pleasant course!”…

Open Source GIS: The Alternative Set of Geospatial Solutions

OPEN SOURCE GIS – THE ALTERNATIVE SET OF GEOSPATIAL SOLUTIONS

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2:00 PM FAU Downtown Ft. Lauderdale HEC 1110

Many speak of a ‘spatial turn’ in sciences external to geography, as GIS plays a significant role for the analysis and visualization of many social, economic and environmental phenomena. This, combined with the increasing number of easy to use location based services has demystified the use of GIS. Many of the available proprietary software products are however still expensive and cannot be readily used, particularly in situations where funding is limited. The talk addresses the use of free and open source products (FOSS) as an inexpensive alternative to proprietary GIS software. Major free and open source products which are available will be demonstrated and explained with their advantages and disadvantages. Particular attention will be paid on examples of the use of FOSS in planning and environmental protection.

Software products which will be covered:

• Quantum GIS

• GRASS GIS

• Mapserver

• pMapper

• PostgreSQL/PostGIS

• Geoserver

Dr. Alexander Kotsev (kotsev.1@osu.edu) is Assistant Professor in GIS at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria), who is currently Fulbright senior scholar at the Ohio State University. Dr. Kotsev has been implementing desktop and web based open source GIS products for multiple purposes in Europe for the past 10 years.

GPS Threatened With Widespread Interference

GPS Constellation [photo credit: NIST]Recently, a company called LightSquared applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver allowing it to repurpose the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of the Global Positioning  System  (GPS) for  use  in  extremely  high-powered  ground-based  transmissions.  This  has caused serious concern within the GPS industry and user community since this planned use is fundamentally  incompatible  with  existing  GPS  uses.  Initial  technical  analyses  have  shown  that  the distant, low-powered GPS signals would receive substantial interference from high-powered, close- proximity transmissions from a network of ground stations.

The consequences of disruption to the GPS signals are far reaching, likely to affect large portions of the population.  Therefore, it is imperative that the LightSquared system not be deployed unless it can be conclusively guaranteed that the GPS system is fully protected from radio interference.   The problem LightSquared’s plans pose and additional steps the FCC needs to take are explained below.

LightSquared plans to transmit radio signals that would be one billion or more times more powerful than GPS signals as received on earth, potentially causing severe interference and rendering useless millions of GPS receivers – including those used by U.S. Federal and Local Government agencies, first responders, airlines, agriculture, and everyday consumers in their cars and on hand-held devices.

  • Initial technical analyses show that GPS signals, which are low-powered and emanate from distant satellites, would receive substantial interference from LightSquared’s network of high- powered, close-proximity ground station transmissions.
  • LightSquared’s  planned  use  of  these  high-powered  terrestrial  networks  in  the  frequency immediately adjacent to the GPS frequency is unproven and unprecedented and may be found to be fundamentally incompatible with existing GPS uses.
  • Any technical arguments regarding the ability of the two systems to co-exist are unproven and require independent, authoritative, verified and thorough analysis and testing prior to any transmissions being made.

The usual FCC process is to conduct extensive testing followed by approvals. For LightSquared, the process was approve first, then test. The unusual waiver recently granted to LightSquared allows it to use its satellite spectrum for high-powered ground-based broadband transmissions if the company can demonstrate that harmful interference could be avoided.

  • Issues of interference should have been addressed before the waiver was granted.
  • The waiver was granted just two months after it was requested. Even with such a short window, the U.S. GPS Industry Council (USGIC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) – along with some federal departments, concerned state and local governments, public safety authorities, and GPS commercial users – all voiced strong objection to LightSquared’s plan to reposition the spectrum.
  • The FCC’s conditional waiver puts LightSquared in the conflicting position of assessing whether or not its own system will interfere with GPS transmissions.

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, was first launched more than 30 years ago and is now a critical and extremely reliable part of our national infrastructure. Millions use it routinely every day.

Initial tests indicate that each LightSquared ground station will cause varying levels of interference with GPS within miles of the ground stations, and LightSquared plans to build as many as 40,000 such ground stations.  If GPS is interfered with, critical private and public sector activity will be adversely affected, including:

  • Public Safety: Public safety depends on GPS technology daily because first responders such as law enforcement, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel rely on it day-in and day-out to provide critical instant location and route information.  Disruptions to the GPS transmission pose a serious threat to public safety.
  • Homeland Security: GPS equipment is widely used by the Departments of Defense, Interior, Transportation, Commerce and Homeland Security.   Federal, state, and local government employees rely on GPS equipment in disaster response, public safety, and security and in the management of our national assets and infrastructure, as do emergency services for rapid response, dispatch, and accident investigation.
  • Consumers: Millions of Americans use GPS-enabled consumer devices in their cars and on their cell phones and other hand-held devices as vital, reliable every day navigational tools.
  • Aviation: GPS  receivers  used  in  thousands  of  aircraft  could  be  jammed  within  miles  of LightSquared’s transmissions. GPS, together with the Wide Area Augmentation System or WAAS (which will also be affected) has long been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for aircraft navigation and FAA-approved GPS instrument approaches now provide a landing system  option  at the  many  U.S.  airports not  equipped  with  land-based  instrument landing systems.  GPS also plays a critical role in the FAA Next Generation Air Transportation System, which will modernize air traffic control and address the nation’s need for expanded air traffic capacity without compromising air safety.
  • Transportation: GPS equipment is used in critical asset management activities for our national road and rail infrastructure, improving efficiency, lowering costs and enabling better decision making.  The Federal Rail Administration’s Positive Train Control mandate further drives the use of GPS to prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments, and casualties or injuries to railway workers.   In addition, GPS is used to help fleets lower fuel consumption and improve their carbon footprint.
  • Agriculture: Farmers use GPS to improve efficiency and crop yields, reduce environmental impact and comply with U.S. Agriculture reporting regulations.
  • Forestry: The U.S. Forestry industry and Forest Service use GPS in forest land management and for Forest Automation Systems which improve logging  efficiency and reduce environmental harm.
  • Engineering and Construction: The U.S. building, construction, and civil engineering industry – one of the economic sectors most severely impacted by the recent recession – has made large

machines and processes. GPS is also used to monitor the movement of physical infrastructure such as bridges, dams, mines, and other natural and manmade structures. Disruption to this service could negatively impact positive economic and societal improvements.

  • Surveying,   Mapping,   and   Land   Management: Interruption   of   the   national   geodetic infrastructure would disrupt surveying and mapping activities necessary for land title transactions, land development, building and civil engineering activity, and accident investigations. It would also disrupt the field creation, maintenance, and use of geographic information systems (GIS) databases that underpin our national digital mapping infrastructure.
  • Utilities: Utility services nationwide including electricity, water, gas and telecommunications depend on GPS signals in a number of ways. This  includes synchronizing networks, maintaining and managing infrastructure and coordinating rapid responses to network outages and incidents – activities that are all essential to restoring disrupted services as quickly as possible.
  • Natural Resources: Natural resources industries engaged in the exploration, production and distribution of energy and minerals rely on the GPS service throughout their operations.
  • Disaster Management and Scientific Research: High-accuracy GPS networks are deployed along crustal faults and around volcanoes. In the U.S, the data is used to study and better understand the crustal movements that cause seismic hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In addition to disaster prevention and relief, GPS is also used for weather services and scientific research.

In recognition of the potential interference to GPS receivers, the FCC, as part of its January 26, 2011 modification order, required the establishment of a working group to bring together LightSquared and the GPS community.  This working group will study the interference concerns, identify measures to prevent interference and produce a report for FCC review no later than June 15, 2011.  The working group process will be complete once the FCC, in consultation with NTIA, concludes that “the harmful interference concerns have been resolved and sends a letter to LightSquared stating that the process is complete.”

The GPS industry is committed to work with LightSquared, FCC, NTIA and other interested parties in this working group process.  However, we believe that additional safeguards are needed.  We recommend:

1.   The FCC must make clear that LightSquared’s license modification is contingent on the outcome of the mandated study. That study must be overseen by a strong neutral observer, not by an interested party.

2.   The FCC should make clear that LightSquared and their investors should not proceed to make any investment in operating facilities prior to a final FCC decision.

3.   Further, the FCC’s finding that “harmful interference concerns have been resolved” must mean “resolved to the satisfaction of preexisting GPS providers and users.”

4.  Resolution of interference has to be the obligation of LightSquared, not the extensive GPS user community of millions of citizens.  LightSquared must bear the costs of preventing interference emanating from their devices      GPS users or providers should not have to bear any of the consequences of LightSquared’s actions.

5.   This is a matter of critical national interest. There must be a reasonable opportunity for public comment of at least 45 days on the report produced by the working group and further FCC actions  on  the  LightSquared  modification  order  should  take  place  with  the  approval  of  a majority of the commissioners, not at the bureau level.

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