Tag Archives: GNSS

Batch Geonews: From ArcMap to MapBox, Esri GeoDatabases, China Mandates Beidou, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source front:

  • MapBox acquired the MeatText mobile social mapping app and is open sourcing the app with MapBox code
  • You can now even publish any map you have in ArcMap directly to MapBox from the main ArcMap UI by using the latest Arc2Earth
  • James shares an entry named CartoDB and MapBox Fight On
  • If you missed the press release, pycsw Receives OGC Compliance Certification and Reference Implementation Status‏
  • There's also a new Open Source Geospatial Lab established at University of Newcastle, United Kingdom

From the Esri front:

  • Here's the announcement of the Operations Dashboard and Collector for ArcGIS: "Operations Dashboard provides a common operating picture for monitoring events. Operations Dashboard integrates maps and a variety of data sources to create comprehensive operational views that can include charts, lists, gauges, and indicators which update automatically as underlying data changes."
  • Here's an excellent summary of what are Esri GeoDatabases, trying to reduce confusion about it

From the Google front:

  • Google invites us to Discover Israel on Google Maps with new panoramic imagery
  • Funny, Google felt obliged to explain that a donkey found on StreetView was not hurt by Google's car
  • And Google released new imagery to Google Earth today

In the miscellaneous category:

  • DM shares an article named Attention Shoppers! aisle411’s Indoor Location App is a Hit with Top Retailers, where you'll learn that "Routing applications are no longer limited to streets. It’s now possible to route customers within malls and other shopping centers, and even within individual stores."
  • APB informs us that China Mandates Swapping out other GNSS for Beidou in Commercial Vehicles
  • A Microsoft patent for silencing your phone based on where you are, such as in a movie theater
  • Bing Maps also added the Elevations API to their REST Services

In the maps category:

  • A nice graph and overview maps of which cities will be impacted by sea level rising, Los Angeles and Amsterdam comes next
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Call for participation to 7th Annual GNSS Vulnerabilities and Solutions Conference, and UN/Croatia Workshop on GNSS Applications in Baska, Krk Island, Croatia, April

On behalf of the organisers, I am delighted to kindly invite you to participate to two consecutive GNSS events that will take place in Croatia in April. 

The 7th Annual GNSS Vulnerabilities and Solutions Conference will be held in Baska, Krk Island, Croatia, 18 - 20 April. A traditional and unique GNSS event in the world is organised by The Royal Institute of Navigation (London, UK) and Faculty of Maritime Studies (University of Rijeka, Croatia), addressing the most important issues of risk assessment and mitigation methods for various GNSS vulnerabilities, including the effects of space weather and the ionosphere, and their effects on performance and operation of GNSS systems and GNSS applications. Traditionally, the conference starts with the plenary session where the top officials of existing (GPS, GLONASS) and forthcoming (Galileo, Bediou) satellite navigation systems present the recent developments. Presented papers will be peer-reviewed and published in the paper conference proceedings, referenced in respectable scientific databases. More details on this conference can be found in the attached Call for Papers, including the topics, and accommodation, travelling and registration details. A modest conference fee applies. You are kindly advised to register your participation with Ms Sally-Anne Cooke, Conference Manager with The Royal Institute of Navigation, London, UK.
The UN/Croatia Workshop on GNSS Applications will be held in continuation of the 7th Annual GNSS Vulnerabilities and Solutions Conference in Baska, Krk Island, Croatia, 21 - 25 April. Co-sponsored by the Government of the USA, this annual workshop assembles GNSS operators, scientists, professionals, regulators and users, with the aim to facilitate co-operation, knowledge transfer and ideas exchange. The workshop programme comprises: a one-day GNSS tutorial series, presentations of national GNSS-related developments, co-operation activities in three Working Groups (on GNSS Applications and Space Weather, GNSS Reference Networks and Services, and GNSS Education). This workshop is free to attend, and no conference fee applies. More information about this event (including the general information, application form, registration form, and programme-at-a-glance) can be found at the web-site of the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), VIenna, Austria.   
A dedicated Exhibition area will be organised for the course of both events. Interesting parties are offered a number of stands at no additional costs (apart from the regular conference fee for the 7th Annual GNSS Vulnerabilities and Solutions Conference).
Both events will be held in Baska, Krk Island, Croatia, a well-known holiday resort on the northern-most island on the Croatian Adriatic coast (a photo gallery of a venue can be found at: photos/satnavigator), with the lovely 2 km-long sandy beach, a well-preserved cultural heritage of the Old Town and a magnificent 4 km-long promenade along the sea. A pleasant Mediterranean atmosphere, rich programme of social events and participation of the most prominent GNSS personalities in the world will facilitate co-operation, knowledge and ideas exchange in a very relaxed atmosphere.   
Baska offers a range of accommodation options in 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels. Participants to the forthcoming GNSS events are offered specially tailored discounted all-inclusive accommodation arrangements by Hoteli Baska. You are kindly advised to consult the enclosed conference materials, or to contact directly Ms Valentina Topic of Hoteli Baska for all your enquires and accommodation package booking. Do note that offer is exclusive, and only the direct booking with Hoteli Baska will allow you to attend the conference/workshop sessions and social events.
The first registrations, abstract submissions and accommodation bookings have already arrived to Baska. I kindly invite you to consider your participation as either a speaker/paper presenter, an exhibitor, or an attendee. 
I am staying at your disposal for every additional information or clarification you may need in regard to the forthcoming GNSS events in Baska. Additionally, I will very appreciate your kind assistance in informing the colleagues about the forthcoming GNSS events.
Looking forward for your registration, submission and the privilege of welcoming you to Baska.
With my best regards,
Dr Renato Filjar, FRIN
Satellite navigation and space weather specialist and analyst
Associate Professor of Electronics Engineering
Member of Council, The Royal Institute of Navigation, London, UK


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Researchers Find Crippling Flaws In GPS Receivers

Slashdot is discussing a story named Researchers Find Crippling Flaws In Global GPS, which is really about flaws in receivers, not the GNSS satellites themselves.

The Slashdot summary: "Researchers have developed attacks capable of crippling Global Positioning System infrastructure critical to the navigation of a host of military and civilian technologies including planes, ships and unamed drones. The novel remote attacks can be made against consumer and professional-grade receivers using $2500 worth of custom-built equipment. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Coherent Navigation detailed the attacks in a paper. (pdf)"

More from the article: "The researchers said their work differed from existing GPS jamming and spoofing attacks because it detailed a larger attack surface "by viewing GPS as a computer system". This included analysis of GPS protocol messages and operating systems, the GPS software stack and how errors affect dependent systems."

We mentioned several times GPS spoofing in the past, including a DIY GPS jammer.

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Galileo: Europe’s Version of GPS Reaches Key Phase

I learned on Slashdot from this story named Galileo: Europe's Version of GPS Reaches Key Phase.

Their summary: "The third and fourth spacecraft in Europe's satellite navigation system have gone into orbit. The pair were launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. It is an important milestone for the multi-billion-euro project to create a European version of the U.S. Global Positioning System. With four satellites now in orbit — the first and second spacecraft were launched in — it becomes possible to test Galileo end-to-end. That is because a minimum of four satellites are required in the sky for a smartphone or vehicle to use their signals to calculate a positional fix."

An addition from the ESA: “By late, 18 satellites are scheduled to have been launched, by which time early services to Europeans can begin."

Of course, we regularly mentioned Galileo since.

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NAVSOP Navigation System Rivals GPS

A story discussed recently over Slashdot is named NAVSOP Navigation System Rivals GPS.

Their summary: "BAE Systems has developed a positioning solution that it claims will work even when GPS is unavailable. Its strategy is to use the collection of radio frequency signals from TV, radio and cellphone masts, even WiFi routers, to deduce a position. BAE's answer is dubbed Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP). It interrogates the airwaves for the ID and signal strength of local digital TV and radio signals, plus air traffic control radars, with finer grained adjustments coming from cellphone masts and WiFi routers. In any given area, the TV, radio, cellphone and radar signals tend to be at constant frequencies and power levels as they are are heavily regulated — so positions could be calculated from them. "The real beauty of NAVSOP is that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place," says a BAE spokesman — and "software defined radio" microchips that run NAVSOP routines can easily be integrated into existing satnavs. The firm believes the technology could also work in urban concrete canyons where GPS signals cannot currently reach."

I remembered 4 years ago we mentioned eLORAN as a possible backup system for the current satellite GNSS systems.

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How SatNav Maps Are Made

It was National Holiday yesterday where I live, so it explains sharing this weekend story on a Tuesday, discussed by Slashdot: How Satnav Maps Are Made.

Their summary: ""PC Pro has a feature revealing how the world's biggest satnav firms create their maps. Nokia's Navteq, for example, has a huge database of almost 24 million miles of road across the globe. For each mile of road there are multiple data points, and for each of those positions, more than 280 road attributes. The maps are generated from public data and driver feedback, not to mention its own fleet of cars with 360-degree cameras on the top.There's an IMU (inertial measurement unit) for monitoring the pitch of the road, and the very latest in 3D surface-scanning technology too. This light detection and ranging (LIDAR) detector captures 1.3 million three-dimensional data points every second, mapping the world around Navteq's field vehicles in true 3D. The feature also investigates whether commercial mapping firms will be replaced by open-source maps." That last line makes me think of the difference between conventionally published encyclopedias and Wikipedia; "replaced by" is an odd standard in a big marketplace of ideas."

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Batch Geonews: GeoPublisher and AtlasStyler 1.9, Ten Things about GPS, MapInfo Pro 11.5, and some more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source front:

  • Along with new versions, here's the Geopublisher and AtlasStyler 1.9 release notes

From the Google front:

  • Slashdot discusses a story named After Modifications, Google Street View Approved For Switzerland
  • There was an imagery update on June 11th

Directions Mag articles:

  • An article named My Top 6 Takeaways from SQL Server Spatial
  • Another one named Ten Things You Need to Know About GPS, reminding us that often people use the GPS term while they really should use GNSS
  • Another one named Intergraph’s GIS Product Roadmap Comes Into Focus
  • And for Pitney Bowes, New Features for MapInfo Professional Version 11.5, and by the way, Facebook Is Using Pitney Bowes Software for Geocoding

In the miscellaneous category:

  • MacRumors summarizes the U.S. Location Privacy Protection Act
  • MapQuest released an all new MapQuest for iPhone app
  • Rumors that Microsoft is Going 100% with Nokia Mapping in Windows Phone 8
  • After Google, Microsoft jumps in the Augmented Reality future with rumored AR glasses for Xbox
  • Slashdot discussed a story named 64 Drone Bases Located On American Soil

In the maps category:

  • O'Reilly shared a map of global BitTorrent usage
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TomTom Satnavs To Set Insurance Prices

We mentioned this type of possibility a few times in the past, and it's getting more and more real ; Slashdot it discussing a story named TomTom Satnavs To Set Insurance Prices.

Their summary: "TomTom has signed a deal with an insurance firm that will see its satnavs used to monitor drivers. Fair Pay Insurance, part of Motaquote, will use monitoring systems built into the TomTom PRO 3100 to watch for sharp braking and badly managed turns, rewarding 'good' drivers with lower premiums and warning less skilled motorists when they aren't driving as they should. 'We've dispensed with generalization's and said to our customers, if you believe you're a good driver, we'll believe you and we'll even give you the benefit up front,' said Nigel Lombard of Fair Pay Insurance."

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Microsoft Patents Bad Neighborhood Detection via GPS for Pedestrians

Or for geospatial purists, via 'satellite navigation systems' for pedestrian. In any case, Slashdot discusses a story named Microsoft Patents Bad Neighborhood Detection.

Their summary: "With the grant of their US Patent #8090532 Microsoft may be attempting to corner the market on GPS systems for use by pedestrians, or they may have opened a fertile ground for discrimination lawsuits. ... Described as a patent on pedestrian route production, the patent describes a two-way system of building navigation devices targeted at people who are not in vehicles, but still require the use of such a device to most efficiently route to their destination. ... For example, the user inputs their destination and any constraints or requirements they might have, such as a wheelchair accessible route, types of terrain they are willing to cross, the option of public transportation, and a way point such as the nearest Starbucks on the route. Any previously configured preferences are also considered, such as avoiding neighborhoods that exceed a certain threshold of violent crime statistics (hence the description of this as the 'avoid bad neighborhoods' patent), fastest route, most scenic, etc."

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Sat-Nav Problem Summit

A local transport summit is being organized in the UK to look at better and more frequent ways to update the information used by Sat-Nav units. This is to try to avoid those commonly occurring stories that appear in the media such as large vehicles being sent through narrow streets or sent along inappropriate roads.

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