A collection of various GIS related links, information and other GIS blogs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

City of Dover, Delaware, Deploys Groundbreaking GIS Application for NASCAR Events

ArcWatch, May 2008

ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Mobile Help Officials Monitor Events and Respond Faster to Emergencies

City of Dover, Delaware, Deploys Groundbreaking GIS Application for NASCAR Events

By Jesse Theodore, ESRI Writer

click to enlarge
NASCAR fans gather for the races at the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Photograph by Reinhold Matay.

The weekend of May 30–June 1, more than 140,000 fans will line "The Monster Mile" in Dover, Delaware, to whistle and cheer as they urge on their favorite drivers during three days of NASCAR races.

But while others focus on cars traveling at speeds up to 150 miles per hour around the track at Dover International Speedway, public safety officials will be busy watching for problems and ensuring a safe, secure event. And as medical emergencies, disturbances, and code violations are reported, officials will rely on geographic information system (GIS) technology to help them respond to, manage, and coordinate activities faster than ever before.

Managing a City of Race Fans

One of the toughest tasks for local government agencies is managing large-scale events. The City of Dover (population 35,000) has a particularly unusual public safety issue. Twice a year, the city hosts major NASCAR races. The city's population swells to more than 200,000 as fans from all over the United States descend on Dover.

This creates an enormous challenge as local government officials work to protect the many temporary residents visiting the area. Staff and resources come from the fire, health, emergency medical services, law enforcement, public works, and utilities departments and agencies.

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A map of the overall operational area with a 2007 aerial photograph.

To help coordinate every aspect of this vast operation, the City of Dover recently deployed an advanced enterprise GIS platform that gives venue managers the ability to access data and visualize what's happening where at Dover International Speedway. GIS also lets them capture, integrate, and analyze important public safety data, which helps them respond faster and more efficiently to emergencies or other problems. The enterprise solution was successfully used during the NASCAR races that the speedway hosted in June and September 2007.

GIS technology allows event managers, stationed in the Kent County, Delaware, mobile command center next door to the speedway, to view digital map displays of the entire race venue including the track. On the digital maps, the managers receive information concerning incidents and crowd activity.

Using ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Mobile software from ESRI, staff operating in the command center and in the field can visualize where disturbances, code violations, accidents, and other incidents occur.

Read the full article:  ESRI ArcWatch May 2008 - City of Dover, Delaware, Deploys Groundbreaking GIS Application for NASCAR Events

Mapping Center : Symbolizing a tree canopy

Symbolizing a tree canopy

Not too long ago we received a question on Ask a Cartographer about symbolizing polygons with a scalloped edge (like the old ArcInfo hardwire line symbol). Hoping to do better (scallop lines were a nice idea, but they didn't always turn out as good as I would have liked, so I rarely used them), I started experimenting with the options in representation symbology. I'm happy to report that there is a better solution.

I had some vegetation polygons from a project my team had worked on a few years ago so I copied those polygons into a new file geodatabase, added them to my map, and immediately converted their symbology to representations with out changing the  original randomly applied symbols.  By the way, I'm finding that I use those steps more often now that I'm becoming more familiar with the representation symbology user interface, rather than trying to symbolize my data using the old symbols, and then fine-tuning the resulting representation symbols.

Read the full article: Mapping Center : Symbolizing a tree canopy

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Vista? 64-bit? Remote Desktop? ESRI License Manager a pain? Help is on the way.

If you use ArcGIS Desktop Concurrent Use and you are a Vista user, or running a 64-bit environment, or have users trying to use Remote Desktop - you might really be looking forward to ArcGIS 9.3 when we upgrade the License Manager software.

The upgrade will be to Macrovision's FLEXnet Publisher v11.4.

OK, so that's good news.


What is even better news? You can get it today!

You can download this upgrade today and use it with your 9.2 environment. I have it running on my laptop.

Here's the direct link to the Support Center:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Google spotlights data center inner workings | Tech news blog - CNET News.com

Original post - May 30, 2008

Google spotlights data center inner workings

Posted by Stephen Shankland

SAN FRANCISCO--The inner workings of Google just became a little less secret.

The search colossus has shed only occasional light on its data center operations, but on Wednesday, Google fellow Jeff Dean turned a spotlight on some parts of the operation. Speaking to an overflowing crowd at the Google I/O conference here on Wednesday, Dean managed simultaneously to demystify Google a little while also showing just how exotic the company's infrastructure really is.

Google fellow Jeff Dean

Google fellow Jeff Dean
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET News.com)

On the one hand, Google uses more-or-less ordinary servers. Processors, hard drives, memory--you know the drill.

On the other hand, Dean seemingly thinks clusters of 1,800 servers are pretty routine, if not exactly ho-hum. And the software company runs on top of that hardware, enabling a sub-half-second response to an ordinary Google search query that involves 700 to 1,000 servers, is another matter altogether.

Google doesn't reveal exactly how many servers it has, but I'd estimate it's easily in the hundreds of thousands. It puts 40 servers in each rack, Dean said, and by one reckoning, Google has 36 data centers across the globe. With 150 racks per data center, that would mean Google has more than 200,000 servers, and I'd guess it's far beyond that and growing every day.

Regardless of the true numbers, it's fascinating what Google has accomplished, in part by largely ignoring much of the conventional computing industry. Where even massive data centers such as the New York Stock Exchange or airline reservation systems use a lot of mainstream servers and software, Google largely builds its own technology.

I'm sure a number of server companies are sour about it, but Google clearly believes its technological destiny is best left in its own hands. Co-founder Larry Page encourages a "healthy disrespect for the impossible" at Google, according to Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, in a speech Thursday.


Read more: Google spotlights data center inner workings | Tech news blog - CNET News.com