Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Integrated GPS cameras...

          GeoSpatial Experts has introduced three new GPS Camera bundles designed specifically for geotagging and mapping digital photographs. The firm now offers its popular GPS-Photo Link 5.0 photo-mapping software with the new Ricoh G700SE, Sony A55, and Casio EX-H20G GPS cameras.

          All of the GPS cameras below will provide you with geotagged photos, additionally, some can also offer the ability to capture the direction the photo was taken with a built-in compass, or the ability to collect attribute data in the field. WiFi and Bluetooth will allow you to communicate with laser range finder equipment to measure exact distance from the photographer to the item being photographed. Some GPS cameras provide a ruggedized camera to withstand harsh conditions. 

          In 2007, Ricoh introduced its 500SE model as the first GPS-equipped SLR designed for GIS data collection, and the new G700SE is more compact and offers many upgrades. Fully ruggedized and waterproof to five meters, the G700SE has 12.1 mega-pixel resolution, Bluetooth and WiFi, HD quality video, image stabilization, 5X optical and 4X digital zoom, and GPS/Compass module. Its data collection capacity includes 20 memo fields, each with 100 sub-categories.


          Sony A55 – One of Sony’s first Single Lens Translucent digital cameras, the A55 with built-in GPS offers a live view similar to compact cameras, but it also has full-time DSLR style phase-detection autofocus. In addition, the Sony A55 has a 16.2 mega-pixel sensor, three-inch articulated LCD, full HD video recording, and 3D Sweep Panorama Mode.



          Casio EX-H20G – Compact enough to fit in your pocket, the EX-H20G boasts a 24 mm wide-angle, 10X optical zoom, and 14.1 mega-pixel resolution. Casio calls it the ‘works everywhere’ camera because its Hybrid-GPS system continues to track the user’s location inside a building with sensors when no GPS signals are available. And the EX-H20G is always ready to use thanks to continuous GPS signal tracking even when the camera is turned off.

         GeoSpatial Experts first developed GPS-Photo Link in 2001, and it has become the industry standard software for digital photo mapping. Photo-mapping applications span the full spectrum of business users whose jobs require accurate photographic documentation of objects and features at a specific place and time. These applications include disaster response, infrastructure assessment, zoning, code inspection, asset management, engineering, land management, surveying, utility mapping and law enforcement.

         The introduction of high-quality GPS cameras from some of the best known names in digital photography highlights the growing role that photo mapping is playing in mainstream business applications.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GIS Technology to identify all properties in BBMP Limits

          The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has for the last two years, been in the process of conducting a massive exercise to map the 13.87 lakh properties in the 198 wards in the city. Geographical Information System (GIS) has proven to be an effective tool for analysing and displaying thematic maps of all the roads for proper evaluation and correction of zones.

           As of now, 11 lakh properties have come under the tax net. The aim of this programme, which is perhaps the first such exercise being conducted in the country on such a large scale, covering 800 square km, is to bring all properties under the tax net and ensure that the BBMP has accurate information pertaining to the properties’ dimension, built-up area, land use and classification. The process of validation of GIS maps will be completed in January 2011.

          The process uses satellite digital maps of the BBMP area to generate a vector map from the information obtained. These high resolution satellite images are then used to extract details of roads, plots and buildings. However, the challenge will be to tag properties in zones that do not have an orderly maintenance of records, and to demarcate tank bunds, government lands and slums. The old BMP area constituted 225 sq km of area and with all the wards and numbers having been changed to include them in the 800 sq km new BBMP area, the ward boundaries have also changed and these changes will have to be incorporated.

          The new property identification numbers (PIDs) will be a complete identity of your property - not just updation of ward numbers. They will be ‘geo-tagged’ with the exact spacial dimensions of your property and have the latest photograph of your house. After January, one can access details on the BBMP website about any property in the city using the PIDs. There are two teams assigned per ward. Each team comprises engineers, a tax inspector and revenue inspector. These teams have been going around the ward, mapping properties and taking their photographs. They will be equipped with self-assessment scheme (SAS) property tax data collection and verification sheet. Special notice will be issued instantly to those who have not paid tax. For this to happen, the BBMP officials will be working together with KEONICS for immediate updation in the database.

          With GIS-based property survey finally reaching completion, it will now have access to a complete property database with details of dimensions, directions and land use. Even the number of floors in each building can be tracked. It’s a tough target ahead for the BBMP, with just a little over three months remaining, to meet its Rs 1,500 crore estimate from property tax for this financial year. As on December 9, 2010, BBMP has collected a total of Rs 904 crores from 10.12 lakh properties across the city. This is its highest collection with the revised tax under the self-assessment scheme (SAS) The cost for the base map preparation is around Rs 2 crores.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

GIS Viewed as Strategic Economic Development Tool in India

          The Asia Pacific region is in the midst of rapid change. This change depends on information. Much of this information is concerned with questions that are fundamentally geographic in orientation -- such as the spatial patterns of households or businesses, and proposed infrastructure facilities within a community. The role of geographic information in economic development dominated the proceedings of the second ESRI Asia Pacific user group meeting earlier this year. The meeting was hosted by NIIT Technologies. It drew more than 1100 delegates from across the region to New Delhi for two days of discussion.
            
          The meeting was held at the right time. Historically, India has enjoyed a reputation for capable data conversion. But now, Indians are creating centres of excellence for GIS project development.
Dave Byers, ESRI's Asia Pacific regional manager, told the meeting that there was a clear trend of increased GIS deployment on the internet. This, he said, helps facilitate the dissemination and exchange of spatial information.

          ESRI's chief executive Jack Dangermond echoed these comments. He said: 'as in many other technical fields, the Asia Pacific region is exploding in its application and implementation of GIS as a platform technology. 'ESRI India alone last year recorded a 60 per cent growth. Similar stories exist in China, Australia, and Thailand.'

          Rajendra S Pawar, the chair of NIICT Technologies said: 'The proliferation and spread of GIS has taken on the flavour of a quiet revolution. The movement is gradually gaining momentum within leading corporations and government agencies. GIS is becoming part of the normal workflow of many industries.
'For example, the Reliance Group, one of the leading companies in India, is using GIS across many of its operations. Once its GIS is fully implemented, Reliance will have a total end to end GIS-centric solution.

         'The region is developing a reputation for exporting its GIS services and for application development. There is also an increasing domestic demand to support the database development and implementation within the Asian Pacific countries', he said.

         'The Survey of India alone has national coverage at 1:250,000, 1:50,000, and 1:25,000 in a completely digital environment. India's Ministry of Science and Technology has indicated that the national coverage will be expanded to include 1:10,000, 1:5,000, and 1:2,000 in all of the country's major metropolitan areas.

         'This type of commitment to spatial data infrastructure reflects the vision of a national government that understands the importance and application of this data.'

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Merry Christmas Everyone

            Another year has come and gone and it is that time of the year again, when you are thankful for everything merry and bright. May this Christmas be bright and cheerful and may the New Year begin on a prosperous note! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

On-click polyline

    Following up on the last example where we saw how to add a hard-coded polyline to our map, today we will see a more user interactive polyline example. In this example we will discuss on-click polyline! What you need to do is, copy the following code into a txt file and save it with dot html (.html) extension and then view it in your browser. So here goes the code!


    The output of the above code will be a map centred at Mysore. Click on the map for the first time and a marker will appear there. On the next click, another marker will appear with a polyline between the 2 markers. This will continue for all further clicks and here you have your "On-click polyline" running! The map looks something like seen in the image below!

    The next step to this code will be creating a polygon. We will see examples to create polygons on the map at a later stage! If you have any queries or suggestion, please drop a comment here or feel free to send me a mail.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

         On 21st December 2010 last eclipse of the year which is Total Lunar Eclipse would occur. The eclipse will be visible in the region covering Europe, West Africa, the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, eastern Australia, the Philippines and eastern and northern Asia. Whereas this eclipse is not visible in India.

Timings As Per Indian Standard Time (IST):

         Broadly speaking the Eclipse begins at 10.58 a.m. IST passing through various phases and ends at 4. 36 p.m. IST. However the Umbral phase is generally considered as actual eclipse for various ceremonies by general public. i.e. Moon enters the Umbra (dark part of earth shadow ) at 12.02 p.m IST and leaves umbra at 3.32 p.m IST. Importantly Moon enters totality phase at 1.10 p.m noon and ends at 2.24 p.m.

         We can watch the lunar eclipse live with the Slooh Telescope in Google Sky! Follow these steps:

1. Open up Google Earth (download it if you don't have it yet!http://goo.gl/iGb66).

2. Change to Sky View by clicking 'View' --> Explore --> Sky...

3. Click the tab for 'Current Sky Events.'

4. Check the box for the 'Slooh Space Camera.'

5. Type "Moon" in the search tab now. 

         Do drop in your comments about the Lunar Eclipse! Enjoy!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun with GPS!

            There seems to be a plethora of games and alternatives emerging to take advantage of the affordability of handheld GPS units. In a previous article on my blog, the high-tech treasure hunting game of Geocaching was discussed. Learn about more ways to use the surface of the earth as your gameboard. This article will provide an overview on two more GPS-based ideas: Geodashing and GPS Drawing.

Geodashing:

            Geodashing is a game in which players use GPS receivers on a playing field that covers the entire planet. The waypoints, or dashpoints, to be reached are randomly selected. The win goes to the one who can get to the most dashpoints; i.e. if you can get to them at all! Each game has a new set of dashpoints making each game completely different and unpredictable. Click to know more of this interesting game...

GPS Drawing:

            The GPS Drawing Project seeks to display GPS-based artistry created by navigating through a landscape with a GPS unit. The resulting linear trail collected by the GPS Data Logger creates the resulting art. There is a gallery of the GPS art that the user can browse through. Each entry contains an interactive shockwave called “GPS-o-shockwave” of the GPS route as well as a description of the area the artist navigated. Accompanying the GPS drawing is an aerial of the area navigated with the route overlaid. The art isn’t just restricted to land, but can include drawings obtained by sea and by air. The submittal of GPS art is open to anyone. ASCII files of the GPS points are also welcome. There is also a shockwave application where you can copy and paste your GPS data points to see what your GPS-based art looks like. Click to know more of this artistic GPS game...

            Do drop in your comments about what you think about this article and these innovative GPS based games! Also share your experiences, if you have ever tried doing such a thing! Happy GPS gaming!
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GPS Drawing...

            "Digital mark making with satellite navigation technology" is how you can define GPS Drawing Project!

            Jeremy Wood is a multi-discipline artist and map maker whose diverse work is an expression of the poetry and politics of space and reflects upon how we treat our travels and interact with location. In October 2000 he began to explore GPS satellite technology as a tool for digital mark making on water, over land, and in the air. He makes drawings and maps of his movements and records all his daily journeys with GPS as an ongoing personal cartography.

           Wood has conducted numerous GPS drawing and mapping seminars and workshops in schools, museums and galleries. His work is exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of the University of the Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. To know more about him and to view his GPS drawings you can visit his website.

           To know more about the GPS mapping project and to view Jeremy Wood's workshops, please visit his workshops site!

           Please drop in your comments or links about any GPS drawing that you would have done! This is such an enjoyable art form using GPS! Hope you all go on a GPS drawing journey one day!
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Geodashing...

            Geodashing!?!? Sounds something similar to Geocaching right? Well, it is! Geodashing is very similar to Geocaching in the sense that people are searching for a particular spot with only a set of coordinates as their clue.

            Here's how it works. In each game, a large set of waypoints, called dashpoints, from all over the world is posted on the Web. Dashpoint locations are chosen at random by computer, with all the unpredictability that presents. Dashpoints might be in suburban neighborhoods or in the middle of wilderness areas. Then, the race is on to see who can reach the most dashpoints before the deadline.

            Geodashing players can participate as individuals or as teams of up to five players to increase the number of dashpoints reached. The competition is friendly and teamwork helps to get high scores, so put your online acquaintances to good use.

            Because the dashpoints are spread all over the world, it doesn't matter where you live. Dashpoints are as likely to be near to you as to anyone else. It's easy to start playing. Pick a dashpoint, visit it, report what you find. There is nothing to find at the waypoint. No box. No log book. No prizes...Getting there is all the fun.

            In short, the rules are simple.

  • Pick a dashpoint.
  • Visit it.
  • Report what you find.

              To know about the current dashpoints across the globe, please visit the Geodashing website! Please leave your comments if you have ever participated in such a geodashing game! Go, Get There...Getting there is all the fun!
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Custom online cards from Google Maps...

            Share a message of holiday cheer with custom online cards from Google Maps this New Year! Think Green, Go Green this New Year. Save paper and that too with a difference! This new year you can send your friends, family and loved ones an e-card which is out of the box!

            You can choose from 10 different online holiday cards and add your personal message. Now, after reading this you will think what's so different here! The surprise is yet to unfold...You can include specific directions, a Street view image or your favorite place on the inside of the card!

            So now planning your New Year party will become easier. You can send an e-card with directions from your friend's place to the place where you are hosting your New Year party! Won't that be fun!

            You can send your personalized Google Maps New Year Cards from here!

            Warm wishes for a great holiday season and wish you a Happy Mapping Year...
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Friday, December 10, 2010

--- Polyline ---

    We have seen a number of examples for markers and info-windows. We can definitely move ahead now with other things in Google Maps API v3. Today we will have a look at polylines. Today's example will show a hard-coded polyline, but later on we will have a look at creating polylines on the fly. We will also create polygons and calculate the geographic area and more but at a later stage!

    Let us now first have a look at today's polyline code. You just need to copy and paste the code that follows into a text file and save it as .html. Double-click on the file and you will be able to see the map in action.


    The output of the above code looks as seen in the result section above! The code is very simple and does not require any special explanation I guess! We have made use of an array to store the co-ordinates that form the polyline on the map! Rest is mostly as usual!

    Please feel free to drop me a line about the code or the blog in general! You can also contact me through mail!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Custom markers...

    We have now seen numerous examples of markers and info-windows in Google Maps API v3. We will now see a last example where-in we will replace the customary marker icon with an icon of our choice! In the example that follows, I have shown 5 beaches in Goa along the Konkan coastal strip! These are nothing but markers, just with a different icon! Lets have a look at the following code!


    The output of the above code looks as seen in the result section above. This is a simple code that goes here! If you have any queries or doubts or suggestions regarding this example you can comment on the same or feel free to drop me a mail! In the meantime...Happy Mapping!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

India's digital environmental atlas...

         The environment ministry has launched the first digital environmental atlas of India on the occasion of Earth Day. An interactive website of state of environment atlas of India depicts forest and biodiversity in green, water resources in blue and air pollution in brown colours.


         The atlas provides flexibility and versatility for users to visualise environment spatial data using geographic information system (GIS) options. The atlas which is the first of its kind with regular updates has been developed by an NGO Development Alternatives (DA) with the support from the Environment Ministry.


         The atlas is available on www.soeatlas.org and has features such as pressure-state-impact-response (PSIR) framework analysis, where all the maps are presented and displayed for the users' benefit.

         With detailed database, the atlas is a treasure house for the environmentalists and researchers besides those keen to know about the state of environment in the country.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

The dancing bubble...

         "Why does this bubble not dance?" asked my friend's 6 year old sister referring to a marker she was seeing on the map! So I decided the this marker needs to be animated! So, I developed the following code which shows a marker that bounces on its position and can also be dragged anywhere on the map!

        The following is the code for the "dancing marker"...

<html>
<head>
<title>Google Maps JavaScript API v3 - Bouncing marker</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/api/js?sensor=false"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var marker;
var map;

function initialize()
{
    map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map"),
    {
        zoom: 5,
              mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP,
              center: new google.maps.LatLng(22.7964,79.5410)
    });
         
    marker = new google.maps.Marker(
    {
              map:map,
              draggable:true,
              animation: google.maps.Animation.DROP,
              position: new google.maps.LatLng(22.7964,79.5410)
        });
        google.maps.event.addListener(marker, 'click', markerBounce);
}

function markerBounce()
{
    if (marker.getAnimation() != null)
        marker.setAnimation(null);
    else
        marker.setAnimation(google.maps.Animation.BOUNCE);
}
</script>
</head>
<body onload="initialize()">
<div id="map" style="width: 500px; height: 400px;">map div</div>
</body>
</html>

         The dancing marker from the above code looks as seen in the image below!


         The code to make the marker bounce and move is not at all very special. It's just an adjustment of the marker properties as you can see in the code! I have just changed the dragging property of the marker to true and added the animation property as well.

         If you have any suggestion regarding the contents of the blog, please drop your comments here or feel free to drop me a mail!
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Retriving co-ordinates...

         We have seen 2 Google Maps API v3 examples wherein we have retrieved the latitude-longitude co-ordinates of the point of click on the map. In the first example we have displayed the co-ordinates in the information window and in the second, we have displayed the co-ordinates in a form in the information window.

        Today we will create a code to retrieve the latitude longitude co-ordinates in a text box while simultaneously a marker appears on the map as well. So, here goes the code.

<html>
<head>
<title>
Google Maps API v3 - Adding marker on Click and retrieving the co-ordinates in a text box
</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/api/js?sensor=false"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var map;    //When using event as a parameter to a function declare map, strictly as a global variable
function initialize()
{
    var myLatlng = new google.maps.LatLng(28.635157,77.22496);
      map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map_canvas"),
    {
        zoom: 14,
        center: myLatlng,
        mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP
    });

    google.maps.event.addListener(map, 'click', function(event)
    {
        placeMarker(event.latLng);
    });
}
 
function placeMarker(location)
{
    var marker = new google.maps.Marker(
    {
        position: location,
        map: map
    });
    var coords= location.lat().toFixed(6) + ', ' + location.lng().toFixed(6);
    document.getElementById("points").value = coords;
}
</script>
</head>
<body onload="initialize()" onunload=GUnload()>
<div id="map_canvas" style="width: 500px; height: 300px"></div>
<div id="text_coords" style="position: absolute; top:60px; left:600px; width:360px; height:600px; text-align:left">
<input type="text" id="points">
</div>
</body>
</html>

          The output of the code will look as seen in the image below!


         If you have any doubts or queries or suggestions about the codes and posts on the blog please leave a comment here or feel free to drop me a mail!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Assessment of MGNREGA using GIS

            The Minister for Rural Development Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya” informed the Rajya Sabhaon November 30, 2010 that It is proposed to use Geographical Information System (GIS) under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). In this regard, Ministry of Rural Development has set up an Expert Group to prepare a strategy for nationwide rollout and to evolve parameters for standardization with an objective to link GIS with grass root participatory planning and asset management and monitoring.

            Replying to a written question the minister said use of GIS will strengthen decentralized participatory planning, implementation, capturing and monitoring of assets and evaluation of the works under MGNREGA and also this move will help the Ministry to bring in greater transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Scheme as real time data would be available.

           This news clearly shows that India is slowly and steadily promoting the use and spread of GIS!
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