A Canadian geophysics company, Sensors and Software, Inc. has come up with a new (at least to me anyway) application for ground penetrating radar or GPR. Their SnowScan hardware and software system allows ski resorts to create a map of snow depth using either hand-held units (pictured at left), or snow-cat groomer mounted units. The units are typically tied in to a GPS receiver for accurate positional information as well as snow depth. The resulting information is used by the slope owners to determine when and where to move or make snow. The technology was used to map the entire cross-country track in Park City, Utah prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. (Photo copyright Sensors and Software, Inc.)
I introduced this ruggedized field tablet PC by Trimble here back in March, but there wasn’t any pricing information available at that time. To refresh, it has a military grade ruggedized design to keep out dirt and water, 32GB solid state drive (no moving parts), built in GPS, Wi-Fi, bluetooth 2.0, 2 integrated digital cameras with geotagging functionality (why 2?), Windows Vista Business, and a 7″ sunlight readable screen all in a 2.6-lb package. Read on for the $$.
The O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference just wrapped up last week in Burlingame, CA. It is a big deal for developers, geographers, GIS developers, GPS equipment manufacturers and anyone else interested in location web services, GIS, mashups, and the so-called Geoweb. There were two presentations by some high profile players that may be of interest to the readers of GeoPrac.net. I have video versions of both after the break.
First, a presentation titled "State of the GeoWeb" given by Google Earth and Maps Director, John Hanke with some help from Jack Dangemond of ESRI. I think it gives you some interesting insights into the direction things are headed, particularly with some of the upcoming releases of ESRI GIS software and the interplay between location data that people have been producing for some time now and new ways of tapping into it using the web. Kind of a long presentation at around 30 minutes.
Second, Geoff Zeiss of Autodesk, Inc. (makers of AutoCad etc.) gives a presentation titled "Convergence of Architectural and Engineering Design and Location Technology". It deals with bridging the information created by different disciplines such as engineers, architects, trades and contractors into something more productive and usable using techniques such as 3D visualization and simulation. Length is approximately 15 minutes.