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James Fee GIS Blog

Syndiquer le contenu James Fee
CTO @Cityzenith5D. BIM + GIS, 3D Smart City technology.
Mis à jour : il y a 13 min 30 sec

Plus Codes; Another Attempt at Addressing Places Without Street Addresses

mer 14-03-2018

Yes everyone knows about What3Words.  It was an attempt to come up with an easy way to assign addresses for places where there are none.  In the end, a proprietary addressing system will never gain traction, and of course the inevitable eventually happened. My personal feeling is that What3Words never really got us beyond x/y numbering and the logic behind an addressing system was not there.  Enter Plus codes which comes at this problem from a different perspective.  There is a very detailed analysis of existing methods and why they choose to go this direction that I’ll leave it up to you to read.

Probably the biggest reason to pay attention is that this open addressing system was developed by Google.  In fact, they are already implementing it in India as we speak which goes a very long way to making this happen.

All these systems are built on the idea the world is a grid, and how deeply you drill down into that grid is your address so things need not be a single point, they can be an area which opens up many exciting ideas for addressing, especially outside of North America and Europe.  Check out the Github project to learn more.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Mapbox’s Map Madness​

mar 13-03-2018

So this time of year nothing says March more than March Madness (well maybe Easter when Easter is in March).  Lots of companies play off the theme, and it appears Mapbox is jumping on that sports bandwagon themselves with Map Madness.

I’ve clicked the play button myself, and I’m waiting for the start.  I have no idea what the challenge will be, but I’m up for any of the prizes.  The Mapbox team is full of brilliant people so I can only assume the challenges will be more than just guess where a satellite photo was taken.

Side note, my Sun Devils somehow made the tourney.  Forks up!

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Elasticsearch 6.2.0 Released with WKT

mer 07-02-2018

Good news for us Elastic users:

Several geospatial systems use Well Known Text (WKT) as their preferred/only format for geospatial objects.  What if you wanted to use Elasticsearch for your geospatial data though?  Until 6.2, Elasticsearch has only provided the option of providing shapes in GeoJSON format.   To get your WKT data into Elasticsearch, you may have to go through a complicated export + conversion process.  No longer!  You can now index a shape in a WKT string directly to Elasticsearch.

I’ve been using WKT quite a bit because it supports curves and now I can load WKT natively into Elasticsearch without converting it beforehand.  There is much here to think about for sure!

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Cityzenith Smart World Professional IoT

lun 22-01-2018

I know, I used the buzzword IoT in my title above.  Stay with me though!  We think about IoT as a link between a physical device (your Nest thermostat for example) and the digital world (your Nest app on your iPhone), but it is so much more.  While we have been working with many IoT providers such as Current by GE we’ve also fundamentally changed how our backend APIs work to embrace this messaging and communication platform.

Using AWS IoT Services everything that happens in our backend API can alert our front end apps to their status.  This ties very nicely into our Unity front-end Smart World Professional application because it can tell you exactly what is happening to your data.  Uploading a detailed Revit model?  The conversion to glTF occurs in the background, but you know exactly where the process is and exactly what is going on.  Those throbber graphics web apps throw up while they wait for a response from the API are worthless.  Is the conversion process two thirds the way through or just 10%?  Makes a big difference don’t you think?

Where this really starts to matter is our analytics engine, Mapalyze.  If I’m running a line of sight analysis for a project in downtown Chicago, there is a ton that is going on from the 3D models of all the buildings to trees, cars and the rest that can affect what you can see and can’t see.  Or detailed climate analysis where there are so many variables from the sun, weather (wind, temperature, rain) and human impacts that these models can take a very long time to run.  By building the AWS IoT platform into our backend, we can provide updates on the status of any app, not just ours.  So if you want to call Smart World Professional Mapalyze from within Grasshopper or QGIS, you won’t get a black box.

In the end what this means is Smart World Professional is “just another IoT device” that you will be able to bring into your own workflows.  Really how this is all supposed to work, isn’t it?  For those who want to get deeper on how we’re doing this, read up on MQTT, there is a standard under here that everyone can work with even if you’re not on the AWS platform.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Cityzenith Named in GovTech 100

mer 10-01-2018

The GovTech 100 is an annual list compiled and published by Government Technology as a compendium of 100 companies focused on, making a difference in, and selling to state and local government agencies across the United States.  We were excited to find this month that GovTech has put Cityzenith on this list.

There are a lot of spatial companies on that list which just shows how important this space is.  We’re getting ready to release our Smart World Professional tools later this quarter which are built on Unity and the Mapbox Unity SDK.  It’s been a crazy 6 months from being part of Dreamit to now being on the GovTech 100 and then on to Smart World Professional.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones