Strictly Spatial #20

29 July 2016

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With such mild weather and lack of rain, you might have forgotten it’s winter. But don’t let that deter you from getting a hot drink and checking out this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial. This fortnight we look at how dogs, drones and 3D can be used together, an interesting visualisation of terror attacks, a guide on how to make your very own geolocation apps and a unique take on Google Street View. Read on to find out more!

Strictly Spatial 20aThe subject of 3D GIS often comes up in the office. We’re all in agreement that it is a fascinating technology, however we often debate how it can be useful in day to day analysis. 3D is a great tool to show and display data in innovative ways. When combined with other technologies, such as drones, you can create some very information rich maps. Archaeologists in Sweden are making the most of Esri’s recently released Drone2Map and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.0 to help visualise recent discoveries at the historic Sandby Borg circle fort. Esri Insider has written an article on the discoveries and you can see the 3D map in action on the Sandby Borg website. Fun fact, the team consists of the only certified Arkeologihunden – an archaeology dog.

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Everyday there are numerous terrorist attacks across the globe. Many of these are in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria, rarely are they in countries such as France or USA. In either case, these attacks are devastating to the communities and countries they affect. Making use of crowdsourced data from a Wikipedia page, Esri has developed a web map that shows the distribution of all terror attacks that have occurred to date in 2016.

Off the back of Pokemon Go’s phenomenal growth and success I’m sure a few of you have probably thought about how games like Pokemon Go actually work. Keir Clarke at the MapsMania Blog has written an interesting piece on how you can create your own Pokemon Go style mobile app. Have a read about how these apps work here.

For those of you out there who have used satellite imagery you know the pains associated with finding suitable imagery. You can have too much cloud cover, spatial resolution is too poor, temporal resolution isn’t fine enough, the list goes on. Lockheed Martin and DigitalGlobe are hoping to alleviate some of these problems with the launch of WorldView-4 Earth Imaging Satellite. This satellite will orbit 400miles above the Earth every 90 minutes providing 30cm resolution imagery. Impressive! Read more about it here.

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What do you do when Google Street View hasn’t visited your small island between Iceland, Norway and the UK? You create your own – with a twist! The Faroe Islands have strapped 360degree cameras to sheep and let them wander the country side. It’s been appropriately named Sheep View 360. The imagery has then been uploaded to Google Street View which you can view through Google Maps! This is an awesome solution to a lack of Street View. Maybe we could do this in New Zealand, we have enough sheep!

That’s all for this fortnight's Strictly Spatial, like always, if you have any cool GIS or spatial news feel free to share with us through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email.