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  Brought to you by Professional Surveyor Magazine                                                                October 18, 2011—No. 51

WhereCampPHX 2011, Phoenix, AZ
A WhereCamp geospatial gathering was held on October 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. Defined as an “unconference for people fascinated by place,” WhereCamps are presented with no preset agenda of topics or speakers.

This WhereCampPHX began with a short plenary introduction to the 100+ attendees that explained how previous unconferences of this type were conducted. At the end of this session, participants were invited to go to the WhereCamp Hub poster and write in topics they wished to personally present or have discussed.

Over a dozen subjects were proposed, most dealing with open source mapping technologies such as MapNik, TileMill, GeoServer, and QGIS. In contrast to proprietary mapping software such as Esri ArcGIS, open source code is made available under licenses that freely allow modification and re-distribution of the software. Programming “hacks” and tips on usage were discussed at many of the breakout sessions.

Attendees at WhereCampPHX described themselves as “geogeeks.” Many are professional web developers, providing geospatial visualizations to such sites as autostadt. Geogeeks themselves call their form of mapping “adding geo” or simply, “geo.” Their programming repertoire includes web-oriented tools such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3, with a focus on fast performance over the internet.

A discussion late in the day focused on the relevance of web mapping technologies to professional measurement experts such as surveyors. The participants in that session agreed that a cross-pollination of expertise in both fields would be mutually beneficial.

To that end, the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Association is planning on bringing in geoweb developers to speak at various state chapter meetings. As well, participation by the surveying community in such events as the Phoenix Geo Group will be encouraged.

A future WhereCampPHX unconference is tentatively planned for spring 2012.

Rudy Stricklan, RLS, GISP, is a member of the Professional Surveyor Magazine editorial board and has been active in surveying-related GIS technologies since 1972. He is a past state chairman of the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Association.

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Topcon Announces Tesla, Large Screen Data Collector
Topcon Positioning Systems announced a new larger screen data collector
Topcon Tesla—featuring the advantages of a tablet PC and a rugged handheld computer. All three Topcon Tesla units – Standard, Geo and Geo G3 – come with WiFi and Bluetooth wireless technology. The Geo and the Geo 3G add a 3.2 MP camera and GPS capability; the Geo 3G also has a 3G GSM modem (AT&T network approved).
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Esri and IBM Netezza to Deliver High-Speed Geospatial Analytics
Geospatial technology and spatial data types from Esri will soon be integrated into the IBM Netezza analytics appliances. This will give federal agencies and customers in industries such as energy, retail, telecommunications, and health care the capability to query and geospatially analyze enormous datasets at very fast speeds.
From V1 Magazine.
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Google Maps Goes 3D
Google is testing WebGL technology with their maps and says that the implementation of OpenGL will make zooming, rotating and tilting smoother than the current method of displaying map information. The technology renders vector-based 3D images using a computer's GPU. OpenGL doesn't require additional software, but does require that the browser have it installed. Currently Firefox beta and Chrome are the only two browsers capable of using the Google Maps OpenGL beta. From Gizmodo.

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Upcoming Events

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