Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.
Today’s Top Story is Location Surveillance. This is always a touchy and scary subject, and an article by Craig Timber in the Washington Post nicely summarizes many of the important technologies and concerns.
According to the author, surveillance-system companies are offering governments worldwide the ability to track the movements of almost anyone carrying a cellphone. Those of us in the geospatial technology industry likely know how cellphone-tracking works, but you might not know the extent such data are being used to track your location. It might be time to break out the tinfoil hats …
Tracking individuals’ locations no longer is limited to the world’s superpowers. Dozens of smaller governments or even criminal organizations with little more than an Internet connection and paid access to portals that collect information from cellular carriers can find where you are within a few blocks in urban areas or a few miles in rural locations.
According to Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, “Any tin-pot dictator with enough money to buy the system could spy on people anywhere in the world. This is a huge problem.”
The article is comprehensive and thought-provoking, so I recommend reading it in its entirety. I’ll provide my thoughts later in this broadcast.
That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this brief message.
A group of scientists and researchers created a Global Road Map to limit the environmental impact of roads on Earth’s biodiversity, native ecosystems and wilderness areas. They’re not against roads completely, but want to focus them in areas where they have the greatest social and economic benefits, while creating the least harm. Check out this Web site for more information on how this group hopes to map out better alternatives: www.global-roadmap.org
The Canadian Space Agency invested $3.3 million dollars with Communications and Power Industries Canada to develop the Extended Interaction Klystron, a satellite radar component that will generate pulses used to undertake the first-ever global survey of surface water.
And here’s a well-made video from NATO, which describes how its Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability uses remote sensing, among other capabilities.
In industry headlines, Esri partnered with Wilderness50, a coalition of agencies, organizations and universities, to showcase 10 influential online maps that anyone can use to become part of the nation’s wilderness-conservation effort.
Ocean Optics introduced the STS Developers Kit, a set of spectral sensing tools for deploying spectroscopy in a variety of sensing applications.
And PCI Geomatics released three Linux versions of Geomatica 2014, the company’s desktop image-processing software for applications such as remote sensing, digital photogrammetry, geospatial analysis, map production and mosaicking.
And now for today’s Final Thought: Location surveillance is a touchy subject that many people have strong feelings about. Personally, I’m no fan of anyone, whether it’s my government, some foreign nation or even criminal organizations, tracking where I am at all times. It’s my hope that governments can work on legislation to prevent pervasive surveillance, and the private sector works on apps or other technologies that can help citizens be more secure.
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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.