5_15 Asia-Pacific Broadcast (Sri Lanka Transit GIS, China World Map and More)

Hello, and welcome to this Asia-Pacific-themed GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.

Today’s Top Story is about trains and a necessary GIS. The Sri Lanka Centre for Research and Development has been developing a GIS for monitoring trains and mobile elements. The collision of two trains that occurred in Potuhera recently highlighted the need for an efficient GIS that will track trains and prevent similar accidents from taking place. At least 68 people were injured, five critically, in the collision near the Potuhera Railway Station. The focus of the crash to date has been on who was to blame, but looking at preventive measures will do much more to avoid future problems and potentially save lives, and a new GIS could be exactly what’s needed.

And that was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this brief message.

India’s Central Ground Water Board is mapping areas where groundwater has been over-exploited in the country. It will map the depth of aquifers to understand the quantity of water available, which is rapidly depleting. According to Regional Director G. Sudarshan, “We will be using advanced technologies, including geophysical and hydrological methods, and ground-domain and sky-domain electromagnetic surveys, to prevent over-exploitation.”

Following the popularity of China’s Map World online mapping service from the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, local versions have sprouted, particularly in areas that are rapidly developing. The online map service has become so popular that local governments have taken on management for themselves for more-rapid updates that are then shared. The latest city to add their own map is in Xiamen, which uses its online map to guide tourists and visitors as well as map and manage crime. This Xiamen version will interface with a Fujian version, and ultimately to the national map.

From Australia, Curtin University student Grace Lin won the 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award competition for her entry mapping the accessibility of Perth railway stations for older transit passengers. The study was developed using government information and data gathered directly from transit users, and she’ll be showing her presentation at the 2014 Esri User Conference in San Diego, California.

In industry headlines, Trimble announced that its Enterprise Forest Management software was implemented by City Forests Limited in Dunedin, New Zealand. Maps and related spatial data are combined with forestry plans to provide a thorough perspective on land-based activities and costs.

Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest Internet company by market value, will buy a stake in digital mapping provider NavInfo Co. for $187 million dollars U.S. Russian Navigation Technologies, with products marketed under the AutoTracker trademark and the largest developer and manufacturer of GLONASS/GPS-enabled vehicle tracking and control systems in Russia, has filed for bankruptcy.

NZ Aerial Mapping has put its buildings, hangars and land at the Bridge Pa Aerodrome on the market as it consolidates its engineering and flight operations activities in Auckland, New Zealand.

And the World Geospatial Developer Conference is just around the corner, being held June 11th through 12th in Beijing, China. The event’s theme is “trans-boundaries and value sharing.”

And here’s today’s Final Thought: In researching this episode, I came across an interesting Web site, World Under Water. This online tool was recently launched in Singapore to highlight the impact of sea-level rise and encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint. The tool uses Google Street View locations from around the world, including Singapore; Kamakura, Japan; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to show what major landmarks would look like under possible sea-level rise. Sure, these aren’t scientifically accurate, but perhaps they can help make the point that drastic results may be in store if people don’t take drastic action. Plus, visitors can upload their own images for the “underwater treatment.” A bit of fun with a serious message underneath all that water.

That’s it for this broadcast. I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.