A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 53
July 23, 2006
Main Topic: Discussion with Peter Batty, VP and CTO of Intergraph.
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With the deluge of audio that I expect to come out of the ESRI User Conference I wanted to go ahead and get the new conference feed running. To subscribe to the feed use http://feeds.feedburner.com/avsp-roadshow. I will attempt to post the feed in iTunes in the next few days if you would prefer to subscribe that way.
Post-conference interview with Manolis Koutlis of Talent Information Systems S.A.
In his blog zen GIS Development, Dave Bouwman asks what I think is a pretty important question – why aren’t we all talking together about GIS? He notes that a natural use of blogs is to facilitate communication and interaction within a community. This isn’t really happening in the GIS community. We pretty much read each others’ blogs and don’t really talk about what we’ve read. Dave things it might have something to do with the relatively small community and the lack of techno-savvy users out there.
I’m not sure he’s got it quite right. I think the small community should, in theory, stimulate conversation rather than repress it. In a community measured in thousands if not tens of thousands like the software development blog community, it becomes extremely hard to keep track of much of anyone. Lots of meaningless garbage can be introduced by nearly anyone at any time. With a smaller community measured in the hundreds, you could actually build some sort of reputation (good or bad). The quantity might not be there, but the quality should improve. Tech chops shouldn’t matter as much either, since obviously those of us already in the blog community should have the skills needed.
If you ask me, I think the reason lies more with the newness of it all. There still aren’t that many GIS/Mapping blogs out there compared to a lot of fields. I think most of us are still trying to find our voices and places in the community. My guess is the readers are interested more in finding information rather than talking. The blogs end up being more of a resource than a community. Perhaps we should, as a community of both blog writers and blog readers, attempt to address this situation. If we talk more, we can collaborate more, overcome problems more effectively, and perhaps save time and resources.
Recently, we received several books from ESRI Press for reference and review, and first up is Remote Sensing for GIS Managers (2005) edited by Stan Aronoff. Aronoff and his co-authors have provided a comprehensive overview of remote sensing, ranging from the history of remote sensing to types of sensors offering an in-depth and thorough presentation of Remote Sensing.
The title is somewhat misleading since this book would work nicely as a text in an undergraduate remote sensing class, offering general information on aerial and satellite based remote sensing. There is, in fact, very little GIS oriented material aside from a few case studies in one of the later chapters. The text is divided into roughly five sections: Chapters 1-4 offer a general introduction, Chapters 5-9 review different types of sensors, Chapters 10-11 discuss image interpretation, while Chapters 12-13 cover examples of applications and how Remote Sensing fits in organizations. The last section is made up of three appendices that offer very detailed information on georeferencing imagery, individual sensors, and a list of resources.
Each of the sections is well organized, offering information that is relevant and descriptive enough to convey the technical ideas to a broad audience. As should be expected from any book that revolves around imagery, there are several full color reference figures that support the text. These figures represent not only raw data, but data capture and image analysis techniques. Perhaps the most useful portion of the book is also the portion that will eventually date it, the overview of satellites and their relative capabilities. This portion of the text is the most relevant to the title, providing a wide set of information on platform capabilities which is important to GIS managers who are looking for the best, most cost effective imagery or sensor data for a given problem or project. In the end this book is not going to be touted as a landmark in Remote Sensing, but it is a solid reference work.
Overall, this is a strong remote sensing text which is very affordable in comparison to most textbooks at $69.99US. Be wary of this text if you are looking for a quick and dirty introduction to Remote Sensing, which is what I would expect most Ã¢â‚¬ËœGIS ManagersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ would want. Instead, at nearly 500 pages this text would be a good addition to a reference library if you do not already have an introduction to Remote Sensing style textbook.