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Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

Today’s Top Story is the Esri User Conference, which was held July 18-24 in San Diego. I try not to lead with a particular company, but when you gather more than 16,000 geospatial professionals from 120 countries, it’s a big deal. Here are some video highlights of the event:

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this interview clip from Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

V1 Media publications cover a lot of territory, and my daily research found this story that goes a little beyond our typically terrestrial conversation. NASA’s Kepler mission confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star, where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030. I’ll provide some thoughts on this a little later.

In Earth-bound NASA news, research using satellite data and ocean biology models suggests tiny organisms in vast stretches of the Southern Ocean play a significant role in generating brighter clouds overhead. Brighter clouds reflect more sunlight back into space, affecting the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth’s surface, which in turn has implications for global climate.

In industry headlines, here’s a tiny fraction of the news announced at the Esri User Conference:

SAP introduced new spatial intelligence capabilities in its HANA platform by simplifying, accelerating and geo-enabling access to enterprise data. New spatial features include support for multidimensional geometries and on-the-fly spatial coordinate transformations.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, an intergovernmental agency in South and Central Asia, received the Esri Humanitarian GIS Award for assisting the government of Nepal following major earthquakes in April and May 2015.

LizardTech released GeoExpress 9.5 image-compression software, now with support for LiDAR compression, batch color balancing for separate images and improved cropping functionality.

And Esri presented 187 organizations worldwide with Special Achievement in GIS Awards. We don’t have all day, so visit this link if you’d like to check those out.

For today’s Final Thought, here’s a quote from Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b: “It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

You have no idea how cool I think this is. I’m a major believer that due to the billions of stars, and billions of planets out there surrounding them, there has to be other life out there in some form. But based on distance and all those pesky laws of physics, humans are never going to actually meet any of these other life forms, no matter what they’re like. Regardless, the fact that there’s so much out there we’ll never understand or comprehend fascinates me, and I look forward to learning more about all the things I’ll never really grasp.

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

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