GIS on the law enforcement front lines

GIS Analysts are usually in the back room performing support rolls with most law enforcement operations, but recently a GIS Analyst was part of a marijuana eradication raid in California.

A GIS specialist went in with the raid teams for the first time in NPS history to perform an immediate on the ground evaluation of the impacts to the natural resource during the raid.

Just think how much better some law enforcement situations might have gone if GIS had been part of the raid.

GIS on the front lines of law enforcement

Redwood National and State Parks (CA)
Major Interagency Raid Conducted On Marijuana Plantation_

On September 10th, Redwood National and State Parks conducted a marijuana eradication raid, utilizing an interagency anti-drug task force. The focus of the effort was a marijuana plantation in Redwood Creek that contained 9,564 plants and covered approximately five acres on steep terrain. This marijuana site is within six miles of the world’s tallest tree in a park that is also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. Rangers detained five Mexican nationals for questioning about a mile from the marijuana growing operation. Three of them had prior deportations and were transferred to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). One who is on felony probation for marijuana was held on that violation and will be deported later. The fifth was charged with providing false information to an officer. A GIS specialist went in with the raid teams for the first time in NPS history to perform an immediate on the ground evaluation of the impacts to the natural resource during the raid. This documentation will be very beneficial for the restoration process. Significant resource damage has resulted from this illegal activity and an initial cleanup operation using California National Guard soldiers and helicopter is planned for October. This raid included almost 60 law enforcement and support staff. The National Park Service wishes to acknowledge and thank the support provided by Humboldt County Sheriff Office, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), North State Marijuana Investigation Team, California Department of Justice, California Fish and Game, California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Green Diamond Resources Company, United States Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Marshall Service, California State Park Rangers, National Park Service SETT II team and ISB Pacific West special agents.

[Submitted by Rick Nolan, Chief of Interpretation and Education]

Google and GeoEye. Argle-bargle or Fufurah?

And I, for one, welcome our new geospatial overlords

And I, for one, welcome our new geospatial overlords

I didn’t bother to blog about the Google and GeoEye announcement (Google launches satellite?? Are you kidding me Information Week?) from a couple weeks ago (or was it a couple days ago?) because I really didn’t see what was so newsworthy about it. It isn’t like this is the first announcement we’ve seen from Google and a satellite company. Plus Microsoft even went out and bought Vexcel (hmm didn’t blog about that acquisition either).

I just don’t care too much about these deals as they don’t affect me in any way. I still aquire my imagery the way I did before and I still use the free services the way I did before. The only thing this confirms to me is that you can’t make money from selling sattelite imagery on an open market, you need a sugar daddy to pay the bills. I guess that is what is the most telling thing out of this announcement, GeoEye’s and Digital Globe’s business models are broken.

Netezza’s Spatial Extension to Data Warehouse Appliance

All Points Blog has the news that Netezza is set to release a “spatial extension” to their Data Warehouse Appliance. You may? not think you know much about Netezza, but know that their success keeps Larry Ellison up at night. There was some discussion on this blog about super fast geospatial analysis and what the target would be. I think basically Netezza is trying to solve problems that we currently can’t do with existing spatial databases in both scale and speed. I wouldn’t suspect seeing their product replacing Oracle Spatial or SQL Server, but for those who have the money to pay for the product this could help them answer questions they cannot do right now. For most of us, just sit back and marvel at what you could do if money was no option and know that in a year or two, much of this technology will be in your hands. Peter Batty says he’ll be blogging more about what exactly this means in the next week. Can’t wait to read it.

This is Star Trek quality spatial data analysis folks

This type of spatial analysis was only found on Star Trek

Photo by paper or plastic?

Revising the United Countries of Baseball Map

You might remember The United Countries of Baseball Map from last year.

click for larger view

Any time you attempt to make a map such as this, you know people are going to find faults with it. Well Drew Silva took comments people made about the map on sites such as Deadspin and revised some of the boundaries of the map. I think the refinement really tightens up one of my favorite maps that I’ve ever seen. Check out the result below and compare with the CommonCensus Sports Map of MLB Team Fan Areas.

click for larger view

Thanks to Dan for pointing this out to me. He also offered up the Major League Baseball blackout map. Also, no need to bring up the collapse of the Diamondbacks. I’m a fair-weather fan of them so it doesn’t really hurt me too much, especially since my team is surging in the standings (but unfortunately has nothing to play for).

ISC Releases MapDotNet UX Beta

ISC keeps pushing the .NET web mapping front and has released MapDotNET UX Beta. MapDotNet UX Server has WCF-based web services and a WPF map and tile renderer. MapDotNet UX Studio includes advanced map design (XAML editing), support for shapefiles, SQL Server 2008 as well as ArcSDE ArcGIS Server and PostGIS and tile cache management.

ISC has some demos available to show the new MapDotNet UX in action. The beta is closed at this time, but interested developers who want to showcase WPF and Silverlight mapping are encouraged to apply. Another item to note is that the MapDotNet UX Studio will be free. ISC describes UX Studio this way:

It (MapDotNet UX Studio) was built with the WPF map control and allows developers/cartographers to develop their map configuration file (the .mapx), create/manage tile caches, perform data import/export to all of the support data types (SQL 08, SDE, PostGIS and Shapefile) and create starter Silverlight & WPF apps.

Of course their web services will still be licensed as normal. Some screenshots of UX Studio are below and I have to say they remind me of another product. 😉

Click to view large image of MapDotNet UX Studio

Click to view large screenshot of UX