LATEST ARTICLES

Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup Schedule for 2021

Geoawesomeness Digital meetup is all about bringing the spatial community together and enabling interactions within the community whether it’s for fun and/or profit. And along the way, we hope that the meetup will help us all better understand how location data and technology are transforming the world for the better.

We are quite excited about our digital meetup series and it’s great to see that you are excited about it as well! We promise it’s going to be #geoawesome! In the meantime, if you have ideas/suggestions for us to make this a regular feature on your calendar, do let us know!

Interested in working with us?

Interested in hosting an event together with the team? Let’s talk! Send an email to info@geoawesomeness.com

Upcoming Events

Digital Meetup #17 23rd September 2021 – Property Data-as-a-Service (supported by LoveLand Technologies)

Digital Meetup #18 6th October 2021 – The Future of Mobility (supported by GreyMatter)

Digital Meetup #19 4th November 2021 – Four stories about sustainable transportation and logistics (Supported by TomTom)

Missed a presentation?

Watch all the presentations on Geoawesomeness YouTube Channel.

Past Events

Digital Meetup #9 on 18th February 2021 – Location, Location, Location: Using travel time and transport data for making business decisions (supported by TravelTime)

Digital Meetup #10 on 24th March 2021 – Location Intelligence and the Counter-drone use case (supported by Carmenta)

Digital Meetup #11 on 8th April 2021 – 5D Location Intelligence and Situational Awareness (supported by Luciad Hexagon Geospatial)

Digital Meetup #12 on 28th April 2021 – Unlocking Geospatial Technology for Game Engines (Supported by Cesium)

Digital Meetup #13 on 6th May 2021 – Common Operating Picture for Real-time Geospatial threats (supported by DataCapable)

Digital Meetup #14 on 23rd June 2021 – Maps, IoT, and Smart Cities (supported by GreyMatter)

Digital Meetup #15 on 28th July 2021 – Reality Capture, Drones and Analytics (supported by DroneDeploy)

Digital Meetup #16 5th August 2021 – Advanced Construction and Engineering (Supported by Cesium)

Digital Meetup #1 to #8 were held in 2020 – information and details available here https://geoawesomeness.com/2020-geoawesomeness-digital-meetup-schedule/

Calling Geo-Researchers: Help Us by Blogging Your Work!

We want to bridge the disconnect between Geo-research and Geotech.

Geographic information systems (GIS) was once a mere concept of quantitative and computational geography. Thanks to Michael Goodchild, research on key topics such as spatial analysis and visualization were formalized.

While serving as an assistant professor, Roger Tomlinson worked as the manager of the computer mapping division at Spartan Air services. His pioneering work to plan and developer the Roger Tomlinson’s pioneering work to initiate, plan, and develop the Canada Geographic Information System resulted in the first computerized GIS in the world in 1963. Both of these legends were working in the university when they changed the future by creating what we today call GIS.

Fast forward to today, What are scientists and researchers doing with location data? What are the biggest research projects in the universities concerning geospatial data and analysis? Once finished with our studies or academic careers, it is easy to be distanced away from the research world. At Geoawesomeness, we would like to do our part to bridge the disconnect between Geo-research and Geotech and help usher in further innovation and collaboration in the industry.

So far…

At Geoawesomeness, we’ve previously helped researchers with their work by sharing information about their research surveys and by blogging about the state of GIScience. Knowing that there are so many research institutions working in the domain of GIScience and that many other topics are becoming inherently location-based, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to showing our audience what’s going on at the forefront of science! No one knows about the latest happenings in the research world better than you researchers working in the field!

Hence, we have decided that we are actively going to invite more people to write about their work and research with the rest of our community. We’re very curious about what problems you’re trying to solve, what approaches you’re taking, and what you’ve learned so far. Writing about your research will help you reach a wide and enthusiastic audience, with Geoawesomeness reaching over 170 000 page visits each month! It will also help accelerate the adoption of geotech across the world, positively helping impact our communities. We hope that our Georesearch initiative can also expose you to other areas of research and get connected to other researchers and geogeeks.

We are passionate about exploring the intersection of science, technology, and location and usually write about all topics where we see such a connection. While the definition of a geo-topic is open by nature, just to give you a better example,

We’re interested in

  • AR/VR,
  • autonomous driving, computer vision, navigation,
  • big data (geospatial),
  • blockchain, decentralization
  • citizen science
  • drones, remote sensing, photogrammetry
  • location intelligence, location data analytics,
  • machine learning, AI
  • mobility as a service, smart cities, and many more!

If you are working as a researcher either at the university or at a research lab, this is your chance to share your work outside the academic world. Who knows? Perhaps your work is going to change the industry just like how Michael Goodchild and Roger Tomlinson did in the past century. Send me an email or say hello to us via Twitter 🙂

24 maps and charts that explain 9/11 and its long-term consequences

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On September 11, 2001 a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks by 19 terrorists associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda shocked America and the entire world. Some 2,750 people were killed in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania where one of the hijacked planes crashed after the passengers attempted to retake the plane.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of this tragic day and 20 years of war against terrorism. This collection of maps, charts, graphics and videos aims to explain some of the important facts behind the 9/11 events and resulting consequences around the world.

 

1. A timeline of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

At 8:46 a.m. ET, American Airlines Flight 11 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) hit the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At 9:03 a.m. ET, United Airlines Flight 175 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) hit the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At 9:37 a.m. ET, American Airlines Flight 77 (traveling from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles) hit the Pentagon Building in Washington. And at 10:03 a.m. ET, United Airlines Flight 93 (traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco) crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Image credit: Visual Capitalist

2. A map of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

Image credit: FBA

3. Satellite image of Ground Zero in NY on September 15, 2001

This one-meter resolution satellite image of Manhattan, New York was collected at 11:54 a.m. EDT on Sept. 15, 2001 by Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite. The image shows the remains of the 1,350-foot towers of the World Trade Center, and the debris and dust that has settled throughout the area. Also visible are the many emergency and rescue vehicles in the streets in the vicinity of the disaster.

source: Global Security

4. Lower Manhattan Building Status

source: CNN

5. Fatalities of 9/11

The 9/11 death count reached 2,977 victims, the majority of which were civilians. This chart goes more in-depth on the people that died in the Twin Towers plane crash, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville.

source: PW

6. Countries That Lost Citizens in 9/11

While the attacks were aimed at the United States, 372 foreign nationals from 61 countries were also victims.

Image source: Reddit user thepenaltytick

7. Road to 9/11

8. In October 2001 American and British forces jointly launched attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan

source: Times of India

9. Key milestones of the US intervention in Afghanistan

source: Times of India

10. In U.S. invaded Iraq to topple the Saddam Hussein regime on claims of links to al-Qaeda terrorist group and possession of weapons of mass destruction

source: AA

11. The total number of at least 113,493 civilian people were killed in Iraq as a result of the military operations between 2003 and 2011

source: Reuters

12. In May 2011 Osama Bin Laden was killed 

Source: Reuters, The Atlantic

13. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq fueled the Islamic terrorist groups

The US invasion of Iraq was the ultimate acceleration of al-Qaeda’s strategy. It supercharged al-Qaeda’s recruiting and enabled the development of other terrorist groups including ISIS.

source: Behance

14. Al Qaeda & ISIS 20 Years After 9/11

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the global jihadist movement has more fighters in more countries than ever before.

source: Wilson Centre

15. The cost of 9/11 (a decade later)

source: SCMP 

16. Instability and poverty in the region caused so-called Arab Spring

source: Business Insider

17. The Arab Spring caused a massive migration crisis in Europe

source: Wikipedia

18. ISIS Linked Events in Europe between January 2014 and December 2015

source: ISW

19. Timelapse of terrorist attacks between 2000 and 2015

A time-lapse of all terrorist attacks with more than 20 fatalities between 1.12.2000 and 13.11.2015

20. Between 2015 and 2017 US was fighting terrorism in 76 countries around the world

Between October 2015 and October 2017, the US fought terror in 76 countries or 39% of the total number of countries in the world.

Source: Business Insider

21. US counterterrorism operations 2018-2020

From 2018 to 2020, the United States government undertook what it labelled “counterterrorism” activities in 85 countries

source: Watson

22. The reconstruction of the World Trade Centre and nearby buildings finished in 2018

source: B2C

23. Key facts about Afghanistan

source: Visual Capitalist

24. How the Taliban expanded in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021.

The challenges of working with public data at scale – GDM #17 23rd September 2021

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We have all heard and read about the difficulties public organisations and health agencies have had sharing spatial data with each other due to a myriad of issues. Working with public datasets at scale is a challenge. For many of us, it involves finding, cleaning, and standardizing disparate local datasets from over 3000 counties just in the USA. Now imagine the complexities across national boundaries and with the data structure in each country. Every county and state does its data differently, and there is no one standard for normalizing this data.. And it’s a deeply human problem — AI just won’t cut it.

We are delighted to dive into this topic at our upcoming Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup on the 23rd of September together with our colleagues from Regrid and people from across the data industry and public sector who deal with this challenge to discuss tools, strategies, successes, and horror stories.

Join us! You can register for the event here. Registration is free and all video videos and information will be shared with the registrants.

Mapping the Haiti earthquake

Over 2,200 people are now known to have been killed by the catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the southwest peninsular of Haiti on 14 August. More than 12,200 have been injured and over 300 are still missing. At least 130,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, as well as infrastructure such as hospitals, ports and roads. 

Map of Urban Search and Rescue Assessment Locations and Needs Summary 17-23 August 2021A dire situation was made worse by Tropical Storm Grace which passed over the country on 17 August, depositing up to 20cm of rain in some areas, increasing the risk of landslides and compounding the misery for people left without shelter.

Hazard susceptibility map, showing flood zones and landslide susceptibility mapping, together with earthquake shake intensity information and rainfall isohyets from the last 7 days (including the time period that Tropical Storm Grace moved through the area)

In a nation whose population was already highly vulnerable due to poverty, frequent natural disasters and political and civil unrest, almost 600,000 people are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

International humanitarian charity MapAction has been assisting UN Disaster Assessment & Coordination teams and other humanitarian and government organisations to respond to the crisis by providing maps of the situation as it evolves. This includes specific aid requirements in different earthquake-affected locations, flood zones and areas that are at risk of landslides as well as baseline population and topgraphic maps.

Map showing the location of Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) assessment sites and information about the needs at each site Includes all sites visited between 17/08/2021 and 23/08/2021

MapAction expects to continue assisting the response for some time. Maps relating to the emergency are being published on MapAction’s website.

Using data engineering to save lives

By Egor Zverev
Egor is working with us temporarily through Google’s Summer of Code programme.

How could I apply my programming and data science skills to make the world a better and safer place? I’ve been struggling to figure that out for quite some time, and finally after three years of studying computer science at MIPT in Moscow, I found an opportunity to fulfil my dreams.

Image of EgorHi, I’m Egor, and I want to write about the impact I am making while working on my Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project at MapAction!

I decided to join the GSoC programme as I felt it was an amazing opportunity to spend my summer working on a real-world open-source project. The programme offered me 202 organisations and over a thousand projects to choose from, but MapAction stood out as the only humanitarian organisation among them, so the choice was obvious to me. I faced some stiff competition as 25 other candidates applied for this role, so I am so grateful for the opportunity to join MapAction in its mission.

My GSoC began with a bonding period, and even that was amazing! I was introduced to MapAction during one of its many training days. I listened to various lectures given by the MapAction team. I was especially inspired by Hannah’s presentation as she is working at both MapAction and UN OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) where she’s developing an anticipatory action framework. Talking to her was a fascinating part of my GSoC experience as it made me think hard about how I could help solve some of  the world’s problems. Following that, I had a week of meeting various people from MapAction. Each encounter was special in its own way. After my first week, I already felt like I was a part of the team, an ideal time to start coding.

I have been working on the data pipeline project: a MapAction tool to automate the acquisition and transformation of data. During the early stages of emergency response, it’s crucial to gather all necessary data as quickly as possible. My goal was to extend the pipeline from three to 22 data products. This will allow for visualisation of much more infrastructure and landscape features etc. After adding the initial five products, I realised that the code required a serious refactoring as it was quite unwieldy and difficult to deal with. During the first stage I managed to fix many local problems and reduced the total amount of code by almost 30%. Going forward, I am planning to redesign the entire pipeline’s architecture and implement a new design. After this I hope to add unit tests to ensure the code is correct.

As most of MapAction’s developers are volunteers who only work for a couple of hours per week, a simplified pipeline will make it much easier for both them and any newcomers to make sense of it and use it. My work has also increased the readability of the code and made future pipeline development much faster.

In summary, not only have I already added many valuable datasets to the pipeline that will allow MapAction volunteers to easily understand the locations of rivers, airports, country boundaries, etc. I am also bringing fundamental changes to the project that will make the life of MapAction’s volunteers much easier. I feel very proud of the impact I am making and it is an honour for me to spend my summer working on this project.

MapAction is hiring!

MapAction is looking for a Head of Geospatial Services 

MapAction believes that applying geospatial expertise to humanitarian situations can greatly improve outcomes for the people affected.

With more than 20 years of experience and learning gleaned from attending well over 100 different humanitarian emergencies and supporting countless more remotely, we have developed a unique and continually requested range of capacities. We freely share the knowledge we have acquired by teaching and training humanitarian coordinators to use maps and other geospatial products to help them make better decisions. We also help put in place the systems, resources and data required to build resilience to disasters and protect vulnerable communities. 

About the role

We are looking for a Geospatial expert who can apply their experience and vision to help those in humanitarian disasters. The role is far ranging and impactful. You will work with a talented and diverse team of staff, volunteers and consultants to apply and deliver high quality and robust geospatial services across a variety of different environments and humanitarian situations. 

You will be critical in driving innovation by working closely with the technical team to grow our capability and be involved in all aspects of MapAction’s operational activity, from emergency responses, both remote and deployed, through the planning and delivery of internal and external training, and supporting preparedness activity with partners globally. Having an excellent understanding of information management in humanitarian or development contexts and an extensive knowledge of practical applications of geospatial technologies will make you an excellent candidate for the role.

You will need to be an experienced leader, able to work closely with a variety of technical experts in challenging, high pressure and time constrained situations. You will also need experience in project and programme management, comfortable with uncertainty and able to manage relationships with multiple partners concurrently.  

If you are interested and want to find out more, please visit our website to view the job spec and apply. 

Top Geospatial YouTube channels to follow

From finding the lyrics to a song to teaching you how to bake, nowadays you can find almost anything on YouTube. The vast space of information that YouTube provides is a great opportunity to expand on your geospatial skills and geospatial career. This article highlights 10 YouTube Channels focused on GIS, remote sensing, and career skills that you should check out and subscribe to. 

 

Remote Sensing

NASA Video- ARSET Trainings 

NASA logo
NASA

If you want to learn how to navigate and use NASA remote sensing software and products, watching the ARSET Trainings playlist is the way to go. The YouTube playlist are a part of NASA Applied Science ARSET (Applied Remote Sensing Training) program which  go over fundamentals of remote sensing and environmental  applications such as flooding, urban heat islands, air pollution and more. The YouTube videos can be found in English or Spanish, are tailored to both beginners and more advanced remote scientists, and tend to be over an hour long. You can join the larger ARSET program and attend the live webinars here

 

Qiusheng Wu

Qiusheng Wu/ YouTube

This YouTube channel is led by Qiusheng Wu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His YouTube channel has a variety of videos on using Google Earth Engine and Python packages and softwares that interact with Google Earth Engine, but his videos cover more than just remote sensing. The YouTube channel has a playlist for spatial data management, python for geospatial use, and tutorials on using PostGIS. Videos tend not to be longer than 30 minutes and new videos are uploaded every few days. You can check out Wu’s other open-source projects and blog posts on his GitHub

 

Spatial e-Learning

Spatial e-Learning/ YouTube

Spatial e-Learning is a massive open online course provider that offers three different certificates and individual courses at a monthly or yearly rate. However, Spatial e-Learning has free videos on their YouTube channel that covers machine learning in Google Earth Engine, using Python and Collab notebooks for remote sensing, and working with QGIS. There are not as many videos as the other YouTube channels mentioned, but there are new videos uploaded more than once every week and most videos are under 20 minutes. 

 

GIS coding/software

 

GIScience

GIScience/ YouTube

This channel was created by Brian Tomaszewski, Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. His videos focus on GIS fundamentals such as hot spot analysis, network analysis, and cartography with a focus on risk analysis and disaster modeling. Although videos are not uploaded frequently, his videos are beginner friendly and tailored to be applicable to real world situations by providing case studies. Check out his video on GIS and video games or his video on creating a COVID-19 dashboard. 

 

burdGIS

burGIS/ YouTube

burdGIS offers tutorials on online GIS mapping software like Aspectum, plug-in software like SLYR, getting open date, and webmap making. Like Spatial e-Learning, burdGIS offers online GIS courses apart from their YouTube videos. Videos are not uploaded regularly but there are over 5 years of content.

 

Aaron Maxwell

Aaron Maxwell/ YouTube

Maxwell’s videos touch on topics such as digital cartography, using tools on ArcGIS Pro and QGIS, geospatial machine learning and remote sensing. If you’re looking into programming, this YouTube channel has at least a video on R, Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Most viideos are under 10 minutes. 

 

Geodelta Labs

geodelta/ YouTube

With over 2 million views, Geodelta Labs is one of the more known YouTube channels in this list. In its two years of existence, Geodelta Labs’ YouTube channel has videos on GeoPandas, OpenStreetMap, and GIS software like ArcGIS and QGIS. By having  beginner and more advanced level tutorials, This channel is for everyone no matter their skill level. Videos are posted more than once a week.

 

GIS Career Tips

 

Katie Scheurer Project Spatial

If you’re looking for a YouTube channel that is more focused on career advice then check out this channel. Katie Scheurer goes over different GIS careers, career tips, and advice on building your GIS career profile. 

 

Dr. Chris Geoscience

Dr. Chris Geoscience/ YouTube

Dr. Chris doesn’t mind talking being honest when it comes to GIS career advice. This YouTube channel has videos on academic advice, LinkedIn and networking, imposter syndrome and more. The animations and graphics are pretty cool too.

 

Bonus

Geoawesomeness Blog

If Geoawesomeness Blog is not on your subscriptions list it’s time to hit that “subscribe” button. Recordings of Geoawesomeness Digital Meetups are posted on the YouTube channel so you never miss any important content. Interested in joining the Digital Meetups live? Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest events!

Digital transformation for Construction – August 5, 2021

Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup series is back with another exciting event! Join us on 5th August for an informative event to learn more about how Geospatial Technology and Data is helping Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) experience a boom in project productivity, efficiency, and cost savings through digital transformation.

Wondering where to register? Here’s the link!

We’re bringing experts from Cesium, Komatsu, and Hunzinger Construction together to discuss how 3D geospatial software for construction is being built and how it’s being used and tested in the field. See you at the meetup 🙂

Dave Braig, Smart Construction Project Manager, Cesium

Dave Braig is responsible for Cesium’s Smart Construction projects being developed in partnership with Komatsu. With two decades of experience in the design and development of GIS solutions, Dave helps to bring the most advanced geospatial technology to customers, allowing them to make sense of massive amounts of data in ways that can transform whole industries.

Yoetzin Diaz, Smart Construction Solutions Manager, Komatsu

Yoetzin Diaz joined Komatsu’s Smart Construction team in 2019 as a Solutions Manager helping to lead the efforts of pilot test Smart Construction Applications with different customers including Smart Construction Dashboard and Drone. She continues to help develop Smart Construction applications to help improve customer jobsites. Prior to Komatsu, Yoetzin spent six years in the construction industry as a Project Manager and Project Engineer at a general contractor. She holds a degree in Architecture/Construction Management from Illinois Institute of Technology and is a FAA Certified Drone Pilot.

Andie Rodenkirch, Senior Project Manager, Hunzinger Construction

Andie Rodenkirch has been with Hunzinger Construction Company, one of the oldest general contracting and construction management firms in the Midwest, for 19 years. He is responsible for leading large, complex projects that he plans, organizes, schedules, and supports to achieve project goals for quality, timeliness, customer service, safety, and profitability. Having worked in the industry for 27 years, Andie brings specialized experience working on sites that have geotechnical challenges. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in construction management and is LEED AP BD+C certified.

Michael Salyers, Sr Product Manager, Smart Construction Solutions and Development, Komatsu

Michael Salyers has been with Komatsu for 9+ years, heavily involved with Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control technology.  He is currently leading a team developing the next generation of Smart Construction applications and hardware to improve and enhance the construction process, helping Komatsu’s customers visualize their progress and identify areas of increased profitability.  He holds a degree in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying Engineering from Purdue University and is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Licensed Professional Land Surveyor in the State of Illinois.

Building a Space Programme fit for the future

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has recently evolved into its new role as the European Union Space Programme Agency (EUSPA), with an extended mandate covering the development of downstream markets for the Copernicus Earth observation programme and coordination of user-related aspects of the Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) programme, in addition to operational management of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. Following this important milestone, EUSPA Executive Director Rodrigo da Costa looks back at the evolution of the Agency, takes stock of its current situation and sets out his vision for the future.

With GPS and other global systems already available to European users, why was it necessary for Europe to invest in building its own space programme?

GPS and the other Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS) are military programmes at their core and, while access to these systems is unrestricted in normal circumstances, if the past year has taught us anything, it is that we always need to be prepared for extraordinary situations. Unlike other GNSS, Galileo, and indeed the Earth observation programme Copernicus and the other components of the EU Space Programme, are under civilian management; one of their key purposes is to benefit the lives of European citizens and to support innovation-driven growth in the European economy.

However, Europe’s Space Programme is about more than just innovation and service provision, even though these are central elements; under the management of the European Commission, the EU Space Programme gives Europe strategic autonomy in space and makes the EU a global space power, on an equal footing with other international players. The EU Space Programme also makes a significant contribution to the security and safety of European citizens, enabling applications to support search and rescue in case of accidents or natural disasters, track vessels at sea and many other applications. This safety and security contribution will increase in the future with the launch of the GOVSATCOM secure communications programme.

Besides securing the European Union autonomy and sovereignty, having its own Space Programme allows the EU, and its Member States, to conduct and benefit from space-enabled research and innovation. EU Space Research and Innovation is already delivering concrete benefits to the European economy and to European citizens. Citizens are benefitting from the countless services and applications enabled by Galileo’s precise navigation and positioning information and Copernicus Earth observation data, and the EU economy is benefitting from users’ enthusiastic uptake of these space-based services.

Thanks to its contribution to the EU economy and to the services and applications that it enables, from atmospheric monitoring to search and rescue, the EU Space Programme has become indispensable to the lives of Europeans.

How has the system evolved over the years, what were the main challenges encountered?

The first Galileo test satellite was launched in 2005 and, since then, a phenomenal amount of work has been carried out to build the constellation, which currently has 22 operational satellites for navigation in orbit. This work in space has been accompanied by work on the ground, to put the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure robust and secure service provision to our users. At the same time, EGNOS has been operating since 2005, augmenting GPS and enabling applications in a range of sectors – from precision agriculture to aviation. In parallel, work has been ongoing on the Copernicus Earth observation programme since 1998, leading to the launch of fully operational services in 2014.

With the launch of any system on a global scale, it is to be expected that challenges will be encountered along the way. This is true of the Space Programme too – we have encountered difficulties but we have overcome and learned from them and emerged stronger as a result. Almost 20 years ago, when the Galileo programme was still on the drawing board, questions were raised about the need for such a programme, particularly in light of the level of spending involved. As time has passed, these questions have faded as the strategic importance of Europe having its own independent, civilian GNSS system, along with a highly performant Earth observation programme, have become increasingly clear.

Prior to the launch of Galileo initial services in 2016, and in the four years since then, the EUSPA team has been working tirelessly with the European Commission, the European Space Agency and its upstream industry to develop and produce state of the art ground and space systems, with the midstream industry to operate and provide 24/7 Galileo services, and with chip manufacturers and application and service developers to develop and grow the market and promote the adoption of space-based services in all relevant segments. This work has shown some impressive results, and currently over 2 billion users benefit from Galileo’s added accuracy in Galileo-enabled devices. To reach this number in just four years is a remarkable achievement.

In terms of value to EU taxpayers and the EU economy, has this investment in space paid off?

Europe’s investment in space has paid off beyond our expectations and it continues to pay off every day, in terms of its contribution to the EU economy and services delivered to EU citizens. Global downstream market revenues from GNSS devices and services are expected to reach €325 billion in 2029. Meanwhile, revenues from Earth observation downstream market amounted to €1.38 billion in 2020. The EU Space Programme allows Europe to lay claim to its fair share of this thriving global market for space-based services.

The Space Programme is also creating EU jobs, both downstream and upstream; it is driving research, development and innovation, and providing applications and services that meet the needs of diverse communities of users. The Space Programme also supports the European Union in achieving its priority polices – from the Green Deal, where Galileo, Copernicus and EGNOS are enabling high-precision applications and services that increase efficiency and help make Europe greener, to the digitalisation of the EU economy, where the Space Programme plays a key role in keeping Europe connected.

Moreover, thanks to the Space Programme the EU is more is resilient to crises. One example of this is the Galileo Green Lane application, which eased the management of traffic congestion at EU borders during the lockdowns put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic last year, and helped keep critical goods flowing. Thanks to these and the many other applications and services it enables, the Space Programme is providing Europe with a very healthy return on its investment.

What does the evolution from the GSA to EUSPA mean in concrete terms for the system and its users?

Evolution is the keyword here. EUSPA is not a totally new agency – it builds upon the extensive experience of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) in developing and operating the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, in service provision and security, and in market development and consultation and engagement with our various user communities.

With the expansion of our mandate to cover the commercial utilization of Copernicus and user-related aspects of the GOVSATCOM programme, and security related aspects – including accreditation – of other components of the space programme (Copernicus, GOVSATCOM, SSA, etc), these components will now also be able to benefit from this extensive experience. While the creation of EUSPA is an evolution, it nevertheless marks a new beginning for the Space Programme, providing a fresh perspective and a renewed impetus to deliver on the limitless promise of space for Europe and its citizens.

The creation of EUSPA also offers new opportunities to leverage synergies between the various elements of the Space Programme, particularly navigation, Earth observation and secure telecommunications, to deliver the services that Europe needs to face the challenges of the future. On their own, these programmes already play a key role supporting Europe’s digital and green transformation, but leveraging their synergies will allow us to generate innovative solutions that have a higher societal impact. In addition, bringing responsibility for the various elements of the Space Programme under the EUSPA umbrella will result in gains in terms of efficiency and security of the EU’s space assets.

Following this important milestone for your Agency, what is your vision for the future? How do you see EUSPA in five or 10 years time?

Although our mission at EUSPA may have expanded, our core objective is unchanged. EUSPA will continue to link EU investment in space to the needs of user communities – and I mean communities in plural, because the range of users is already very wide today and will continue growing. The Agency will continue to deliver the high level of service that our traditional users have come to rely on, and our new user communities for Copernicus and GOVSATCOM will also be able to benefit from this commitment to the delivery of high-quality services.

Our teams of professionals at our various sites, from our Headquarters in the Czech Republic, the EGNOS centres in France and Spain to the European GNSS Service Centre in Spain and the Galileo Reference Centre in the Netherlands, will ensure the ongoing high quality, robustness and reliability of EUSPA’s service provision. So too will the Galileo Security Monitoring Centres in France and in Spain, and the Galileo Control Centres in Germany and Italy. Likewise, the Security Accreditation Board will continue its work to ensure a robust and uniform level of security for the entire EU Space Programme.

There are some exciting milestones in store for the Agency – the Full Operational Capability for Galileo, the launch of the Galileo High Accuracy Service and Authentication Service, just to name a few. We are also working towards the launch of the new GOVSATCOM programme, which will provide secure and cost-efficient communications to security and safety critical missions and operations managed by the European Union and its Member States. In addition to these tasks, the Agency may also be entrusted with tasks related to the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme, and to the Quantum Communication Initiative (QCI), and the broader Secure Connectivity Initiative.

As we look to the future, I see a closer cooperation with our partners at the European Commission and in the European Space Agency to make sure that the Space Programme is aligned with EU priorities, supports EU policy, and continues to deliver secure and performant services to our users. EUSPA stands ready to face the challenges ahead. We will work with the EU Space community to ensure that EU investment in space continues to deliver the services and applications needed by Europe’s citizens and businesses. Together we can build a European Union Space Programme that is fit for the future.

We need your input – Process for Top 100 list of Gesopatial Companies 2022

Hello everyone! The team is starting to think about Geoawesomeness Top 100 list of Gesopatial Companies 2022 and we want to have your feedback regarding the process we should follow?

To give you a bit of context, back in 2019, the list was determined by 16 members from the Geospatial community – Denise McKenzie, Rohini S. Swaminathan, Katie Decker, Paula Fortuny, Paula Juliá, Miriam Gonzalez, Alex Wrottesley, Steven Ramage, Alberto Santos Estévez, Louis Debatte-Monroy, Iyke Maduako, PhD, Javier de la Torre, Will Cadell, Aleksander Buczkowski, Muthukumar Kumar and Sajjad Anwar.

In 2016 and 2021 list was determined by the core team of Geoawesomeness (Aleksander Buczkowski and Muthukumar Kumar).

You can vote directly via this LinkedIn poll or send us an email at info@geoawesomeness.com letting us know what you prefer.

  • Option 1: Select the top 100 geospatial companies based on public voting.
  • Option 2: A group of experts (like in 2019) decide the companies that make the list.
  • Option 3: A group of experts review the public votes and then decide which companies to feature.

Let us know what you think! Your feedback is much appreciated 🙂

Reality Capture, Drones and Analytics – GDM #15

Drones are a huge game changer for the construction industry. The combination of drone data for outdoor tracking and 360 visualisation for indoor inspection enables a new level of reality capture that is changing the processes on construction sites.

We teamed with our friends over at DroneDeploy and AutoDesk to discuss how the fusion of indoor and outdoor photogrammetry data changing the game in the construction industry.

Join us at the 15th Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup to learn about the geospatial technology behind complete site reality capture, how it integrates with CAD workflows, and how it improves the construction lifecycle.

If you haven’t already done so, here is the registration link.

Summer of Construction!

P.S: This summer is really turning out to the summer of construction for the team at Geoawesomeness, on 5th of August, we have another event together with Komatsu and Cesium. Learn more about the 16th event here.

It’s your event! The Geoawesomeness Event Playbook

Do you have something to say during the event?

Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup is your event! Networking and community are at the heart of what we do, therefore, please do make use of the dedicated community time to take the (virtual) stage and talk to the audience directly. Sounds interesting? Send us an email.

Spread the word

If you like the agenda of this meetup and think a colleague or friend might find it interesting to attend the event, do let them know. Here is the registration page again. The more the merrier 🙂

Supported by DroneDeploy 

Big shout-out to Rod, Jeremy and the DroneDeploy team for supporting and sponsoring this meetup!