Strictly Spatial #25

4 October 2016

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With spring in full swing the days are getting warmer, nights are getting longer and summer is fast approaching! Maybe it’s time to get out on the bike or go for a run and add to Strava’s 220 Billion GPS points? Or how about go exploring and see some real valley fog? Or even go for a road trip! And then hope you don’t get lost in a tunnel. If any of these sound like you, read on!

Strictly Spatial 25aThe German Federal Railway Authority (FRA) oversees 38,000kms of railway that transports 2 billion passengers and 300 million tons of freight every year. The FRA wanted to perform strategic noise mapping of the areas surrounding each railway, station and yard. On paper this seems like a relatively straight forward analysis. However, the FRA wanted highly accurate and robust analysis. This analysis therefore included factors such as changes of speed that occur near railway stations, timetabling information, locations and specifications of noise barriers, landscaping, terrain, structures (and the effects of the structure on noise), demographic information and more!  You can read more about the study and how the analysis was performed here.

Strictly Spatial 25bAccording to many, big data is the next big thing. It can provide insights into data that was previously thought to be useless and irrelevant. With increasingly powerful technologies and falling storage costs, more and more companies are investing in big data and displaying and analysing the results.

Strictly Spatial 25cGPS is a fantastic technology for the public, allowing users to not get lost in new places, navigate roads and find and experience new locations. However, its use is limited to locations where you have a clear view of the sky. As a result, navigating in thick forest, centres of cities and tunnels can prove to be difficult, if not impossible. The routing application developer, Waze, has developed a solution to this problem. Waze has designed and built small, Bluetooth, battery powered beacons that can be placed on tunnel walls. These beacons allow for motorists to continue to navigate and receive traffic updates in scenarios where GPS is not accessible.

Wireless communication is often key for remote communities to stay connected to the outside world. Topology, buildings and icebergs can block signals and cause interference. GIS is being used to find the best location for cell sites using line of sight and coverage analysis. GIS Lounge has written a short piece on this topic which you can read about here.

Strictly Spatial 25dIn nature it is uncommon to see valleys and mountains crystal clear. Often there is a fog or haze hanging around. Can you replicate this digitally? Of course you can! Flick through this short story map to find out how you can replicate valley fog

That’s this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial all finished, remember to stay in contact through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email!