Hello, and welcome to this Asia-Pacific-themed GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.

Today’s Top Story is the exact same as one year ago: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014 and has yet to be found. I won’t repeat the details, but Geoscience Australia has been mapping the search-area seafloor with some interesting results explained in this video:

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this brief message.

Government schools in India will be mapped via GIS to show their infrastructure status with videos and photographs. The public data will help authorities monitor schools and their educational performance.

India also introduced the India Water Tool 2.0 for evaluating the country’s water risks. According to the data, 54 percent of India faces high to extremely high water stress, as companies, farms and people must compete for available water.

In addition, more that 54 percent of India’s groundwater wells are decreasing, and more than 100 million people live in areas of poor water quality. Check out this Web site to see for yourself.

The National School of Surveying, University of Otago, New Zealand, used Hexagon Geospatial technologies provided by Intergraph to measure the summit of Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photogrammetry and remote sensing were the only viable methods for measuring the summit, as it’s considered sacred by the Maori tribe, and standing on it is prohibited. The university determined the actual height of Mount Cook to be 3,724 meters, about 30 meters less than previously surveyed.

In industry headlines, Esri India, a joint venture between NIIT Technologies and Esri Inc., introduced Geodesign tools such as GeoPlanner, CityEngine and GeoEvent Processor to help conceptualize and plan for India’s “Smart Cities” initiative.

Australia’s Minister for Communications, the Honorable Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, delivered the keynote address at the Locate15 Conference held March 10-12 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

And the Indian Space Research Organisation announced it will launch its first U.S. satellite ever for Google’s Sky Box Imaging.

And now for today’s final thought:

I came across this article in The Atlantic CityLab showing the incredible power of mapping. Groups of children living in the slums of India are creating hand-drawn “social maps” of their neighborhoods to raise concerns about their public spaces.

Adult facilitators help these budding mappers learn the shapes and connections inside their neighborhoods. After making maps of existing conditions, the children re-draw an idealized neighborhood, describing how they believe it should be, and present their work to local officials.

Approximately 65 million urbanites live in slums across India, and these maps are being taken quite seriously to help plan for needed changes that will improve conditions and save lives. Truly powerful stuff …

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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.