Blue Marble Monthly — May 2018

Blue Marble Monthly - satellite imagery

News on a Pulitzer Prize-Winner, GIS for Renewable Energy, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away*), wind-driven machines were widely used as a reliable and clean means of generating energy. The picturesque windmills scattered throughout the low countries of Europe provide historic evidence of wind energy being used for centuries. Fast forward to today, far more advanced wind power is being produced as a solution to modern energy challenges.

During the second week of May, Blue Marble will send a team to the AWEA Windpower Conference in Chicago to showcase the expanding use of Global Mapper in the wind energy sector. In this edition of Blue Marble Monthly, we explore some of Global Mapper’s spatial data processing and analysis capabilities that have proven to be indispensable for renewable energy planning and development.

We also share some exciting news about how Global Mapper Partner Aerial Filmworks won a Pulitzer Prize, and as always, we test your geographic aptitude in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

*May the fourth be with you.

Aerial Filmworks

USER STORY | Aerial Filmworks Wins Pulitzer Prize

Blue Marble is pleased to pass along our sincerest congratulations to our partners at Aerial Filmworks, who, in collaboration with USA Today, were recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the Explanatory Reporting category for their project entitled “The Wall”. Their work involved a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Using a custom extension in Global Mapper, Aerial Filmworks technicians generated real-time, augmented reality overlays on aerial video that visually depict the border location.

 

On Friday, June 8th, Aerial Filmworks will be hosting a special Blue Marble User Conference (BMUC) in Los Angeles. This event will provide an opportunity to learn about the behind-the-scenes details, and the important role of Global Mapper in the project.  Click here to register for BMUC.

wind farm in Global Mapper

PROJECTIONS | Global Mapper for Wind Energy Planning

In this blog entry, we explain the online resources and tools available through Global Mapper that can help estimate resources and terrain modifications, and create a visualization of the preliminary plans of a wind project. We’ll do this by simulating a simplified planning process for a wind farm to arrive at a 3D visualization of the project.

 

slope direction shader in Global Mapper

DID YOU KNOW? | The Slope Direction Shader

Digital Elevation Models are a peculiar variant of raster data. While they are comprised of an array of pixels, similar to an aerial image, the pixels do not typically contain a prescribed color. Instead, the visual representation of the data is dynamically controlled and Global Mapper includes numerous options for customizing the elevation display. Did you know that you can also adjust the rendering to reflect the local slope characteristics? One of the options is to display the azimuth or bearing of the slopes using a customizable color scheme. This allows you to quickly and easily discern south facing slopes (or north-facing in the southern hemisphere) as optimal sites for a solar power installation.

 

Malta

OUR TRAVELS | Blue Marble Racks Up Air Miles in April

The Blue Marble office was particularly quiet in April. Offices sat empty, parking was easy to find, and there was no line for the microwave at lunch time. The reason for this relative tranquility was because many of us had been dispatched to various distant outposts around the world on company business. During the month, Blue Marble sent teams to the Netherlands, Malta, Australia, Florida, New Zealand, New Orleans, and several other locations. On returning, we asked each to share some highlights of their travels.

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

 view shed tool in Global Mapper

VIDEOS | The Visual Impact of an Energy Project

In this 3-minute video, we follow the steps for conducting a view shed analysis that allows us to see the visual impact of a project like a wind or solar farm. The tool highlights the clear line of sight of an installation by using elevation data, the project’s location, height, and radius.

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

geo-challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

April’s Geo-Challenge saw another potential flashpoint. While the push-pin indicating the location of a cape was intended to be planted on the Cape of Good Hope, representing the southwestern tip of the African continent, many correctly pointed out that Cape Point is but a few hundred meters away so, after lengthy adjudication, it was decided that both were acceptable. Crisis averted! Check out the answers here to see how well you fared with the other four locations. The winner for April and recipient of a copy of Global Mapper is Matt Leavitt.

At the risk of inciting more controversy, why not try your luck in May’s challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

Events | Where Blue Marble Will Be Next

Upcoming Events

AWEA WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition 2018
Chicago, IL | May 7 – 10

GEO Business 2018
London, UK | May 22 – 23

International Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Conference
Riva del Garda, Italy | June 4 – 7

SPAR3D
Anaheim, CA | June 5 – 7

Blue Marble User Conference in LA
Los Angeles, CA | June 8

European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers Annual 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark | June 11 – 14

 

Blue Marble Monthly GIS Newsletter – April 2018

satellite imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

Coinciding with our annual trip to the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Conference in New Orleans, the focus of April’s newsletter shifts to academia. Since the introduction of the free academic licensing program during the 2017 conference, countless U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities have adopted Global Mapper as their go-to GIS software for classroom and lab instruction. A recent participant in this program and current Blue Marble employee, Janet Leese, shares her experience about how she was introduced to Global Mapper while a student at the University of Maine.

In this issue we also announce an update to the popular Global Mapper Academic Curriculum, providing free instructional materials for teaching GIS; we provide a lesson of our own by offering a layperson’s guide to the principles of geodesy; and we find out if you were paying attention in geography class in the monthly Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

georeferencing

Product News | Global Mapper Academic Curriculum Updated

An initial impetus behind the development of the Global Mapper Academic Curriculum was the need to fill an apparent void in the availability of concise and straightforward GIS teaching materials. After meeting with several University of Maine faculty members, Blue Marble Applications Specialists set about creating a series of hands-on, self-driven lessons targeting some key GIS themes. Recently updated to reflect the latest enhancements in Global Mapper, these lab materials are available free of charge to institutes of higher education.

 

janet leese

Projections | Global Mapper from a Student’s Perspective

Janet Leese, the most recent addition to the esteemed Blue Marble Tech Support team and recent graduate of the University of Maine, holds a unique distinction among the group. While most of her colleagues’ first experience with Global Mapper resulted from a word-of-mouth recommendation from a fellow professional, Janet’s first exposure to the software was in an undergraduate GIS class. What better candidate, therefore, to share her experience getting to know Global Mapper through the Global Mapper Academic Program. Spoiler Alert! Global Mapper must have left a lasting impression; Janet now spends her days assisting customers in the finer points of the software.

 

geodesy diagrams

Did You Know? | A Beginner’s Guide to Geodesy

“So what exactly is a datum or more importantly, why should I care?” If this sentiment reflects your position on the broad field of geodesy, it would probably be prudent to enlighten yourself. For anyone working in mapping, GIS, cartography, surveying, etc. etc. etc., the discipline of geodesy is the indispensable foundation upon which everything we do depends. In our own way, we are all interested in the fundamental question, “Where?” It is the function of geodesy to provide a suitable frame of reference that allows us to effectively answer that question. In a recent blog post, Blue Marble President Patrick Cunningham sheds some light on the subject.

 

heat map

Webinars | Global Mapper Academic Programs

In this brief presentation, we discuss the three components of the Global Mapper Academic Program: the free licensing available to institutes of higher education in the U.S. and Canada; the announcement of a $500 scholarship which will be awarded to a student using Global Mapper; and a hands-on look at the newly updated academic curriculum materials.

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

 

geo-challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

March’s Geo-Challenge saw the first potential bone of contention in its year-long history. Asked to name the desert, an equal number suggested the Sonoran Desert and the Gran Desierto de Altar, which is contained therein. In the interest of preserving the peace, both are acceptable responses. Check out the rest of the answers here to see how well you did.

Of those who answered all five correctly, Anthony James of Harris Corporation was the first name pulled from the hat. Anthony will shortly be receiving a complimentary copy of Global Mapper.

Ready for another challenge? Try your luck with April’s five locations.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

 

Photo of the Portland Blue Marble User Conference

Events | Where Blue Marble Will Be Next

Upcoming Events

GeoSmart Asia ’18 & Locate ’18
Adelaide, AU | April 9 – 11

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA | April 10 – 14

Commercial UAV Expo Europe
Amsterdam | April 10 – 12

Global Mapper and LiDAR Module Training
Adelaide, AU | April 11 – 13

GEOINT Symposium
Tampa, FL | April 22 – 25

Maine Municipal Association
Augusta, ME | April 27

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018
Denver, CO | April 30 – May 3

AWEA WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition 2018
Chicago, IL | May 7 – 10

GEO Business 2018
London, UK | May 22 – 23

 

Blue Marble Monthly GIS Newsletter – March 2018

Satellite Imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

A lot has happened at Blue Marble since our last missive just a month ago. Those of you who keep up with the latest company happenings are probably aware of the latest update to Global Mapper. The availability of version 19.1, which was officially announced shortly after February’s newsletter, includes several significant new and updated features. This month we formally introduce this version by offering you an opportunity to download a free trial, and by inviting you to view a webinar showcasing the capabilities of this release.

Also this month, we announce our plans for our 25th anniversary Blue Marble User Conferences; we chat with our partners at 4DMapper about the innovative work they are doing with the Global Mapper SDK for data processing and management in the cloud. We also discuss the various licensing options that are available for Global Mapper, and we challenge your geographic proficiency in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

Global Mapper 19.1 is Now Available

Product News | Global Mapper 19.1 Hits the Virtual Shelves

When version 19 of Global Mapper was introduced in September of last year, the two major functional enhancements were the introduction of the tabular Attribute Editor and the launch of the Pixels-to-Point™ tool for photogrammetric point cloud creation within the LiDAR Module. The recent release of version 19.1 offers an insight into Blue Marble’s unremitting development process, with significant new functionality having been added to these two components. The Attribute Editor now boasts a powerful multivariate querying tool and the Pixels-to-Points tool offers the option to create a 3D Mesh. If you are already using version 19, this upgrade is complimentary. For everyone else, a free evaluation is available.

 

4DMapper Uses the Global Mapper SDK

Partner Spotlight | 4DMapper, a Cloud-Based Geospatial Platform

The Global Mapper Software Development Kit (SDK) provides an opportunity for developers to incorporate much of the data processing functionality of Global Mapper into a third party platform. This establishes the technical foundation for some innovative products and services, exemplified by 4DMapper, an Australian geospatial technology company that provides an enterprise cloud platform for managing, visualizing, and collaborating on geospatial data. Blue Marble recently teamed up with 4DMapper to produce a video illustrating common workflows in Global Mapper and how they can now be performed in the cloud. We also chatted with them about why they chose the Global Mapper SDK.

 

Global Mapper Licenses

Projections | What Global Mapper License is Right for You?

These days, it seems you need a license for everything. Want to own a dog? You need a license. Driving somewhere? You need a license for that as well. Want to buy and sell real estate? Yep, another license. Maybe you should just stay home and watch TV. In many countries, you even need a license for that. In each of these situations, a license provides the means to ensure legitimacy and protection against misuse. The same is true with Global Mapper licenses. The revenue from your license purchase ensures that a small company like Blue Marble can continue to develop the software upon which you depend. Thankfully, there are numerous licensing options available to meet the needs of every individual, company, or organization.

 

3D Path Profile Lines in Global Mapper

Did You Know? | Creating 3D Lines from the Path Profile Tool

Most Global Mapper users are probably familiar with the Path Profile tool and its ability to create a cross-sectional view of the terrain or, if you have the LiDAR Module, of a 3D point cloud. What you might not know, however, is that you can now create series of custom-spaced profile views perpendicular to a defined path and that you can export these profiles as 3D line features. Viewed in the 3D Viewer, these lines offer a unique perspective of the terrain.

 

What's New in Global Mapper 19.1

Webinars | What’s New in Global Mapper 19.1

If you missed the recent live What’s New in Global Mapper 19.1 webinar, fear not! A recording of this hour-long presentation is now available. Among the capabilities that were showcased in this presentation are:

  • The redesigned and consolidated Attribute Editor which now includes the attribute joining and calculating tools
  • Multivariate or compound querying incorporating user-defined expressions and functions
  • Expanded drag-and-drop window docking
  • A new option to create 3D line features from one or more path profile views
  • Enhanced 3D Viewer navigation
  • The ability to create a 3D mesh, complete with photo realistic textures in the LiDAR Module’s Pixels-to-Points tool
  • And much more

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Judging by some of the responses that we received for February’s Geo-Challenge, the five locations were somewhat obscure. Congratulations to those of you who successfully identified all five, especially Galešnjak, sometimes referred to as Lover’s Island, in the Adriatic Sea. This month’s winner is Allan Mathewson. Allan will shortly be receiving a complimentary copy of Global Mapper. Click here to see how well you did.

For March, five slightly less challenging locations await your perusal, with another copy of Global Mapper up for grabs.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

Satellite Image of New Orleans

Training | Global Mapper Workshop at AAG

As we mentioned last month, the Global Mapper training calendar for 2018 has been announced. These classes are already starting to fill up so be sure to register if you want to attend or if you would like to become a Certified Global Mapper User.

This month we have another educational opportunity to announce. In conjunction with the American Association of Geographers (AAG) conference in New Orleans, Blue Marble will be conducting a free workshop covering an introduction to Global Mapper as well as LiDAR processing and terrain analysis. This workshop is scheduled for April 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration is required and space is limited. Click below for more information and to register.

 

Photo of the Portland Blue Marble User Conference

Events | Blue Marble User Conference 2018

Blue Marble will be hosting two user conference meetings in 2018 on opposite sides of the U.S. Henceforth referred to as BMUC West and BMUC East, these day-long events will be held in Los Angeles, California on June 8th and Portland, Maine on September 21st, respectively. Over the years, BMUC has proven to be one of the highlights of our calendar offering a forum for direct interaction with our customers. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks but in the meantime, you can reserve your slot today.

 

Upcoming Events

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

GeoSmart Asia ’18 & Locate ’18
Adelaide, Australia | April 9 – 11

 

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA | April 10 – 14

 

Commercial UAV Expo Europe
Amsterdam | April 10 – 12

 

GEOINT Symposium
Tampa, FL | April 22 – 25

 

Maine Municipal Association
Augusta, ME | April 27

 

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018
Denver, CO | April 30 – May 3

 

Blue Marble Monthly GIS Newsletter – February 2018

Satellite Image

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

As noted just last month, 2018 looks set to be a memorable year at Blue Marble. With the Pixels-to-Point™ tool creating palpable excitement in the UAV industry, our sales team is already hitting the road to show off this groundbreaking addition to the LiDAR Module. This week, we made it to the combined ILMF/ASPRS conference in Denver, kicking off a year of traveling across several continents to showcase this and other Global Mapper developments. Check out the events section below to find out when we will be coming to a city near you.

Also in this month’s newsletter, we conclude the Brief History of Global Mapper: we introduce our business partner in Brazil; we announce our Global Mapper training locations for 2018; and as always, we test your geographic aptitude with another round of the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

Path Profile Lines in Global Mapper

Product News | Global Mapper v19.1 Coming Soon

At the time of writing, Blue Marble software developers are finalizing the last few lines of code; the testing staff is preparing to give the product a green light; the documentation team is making sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed; and the folks in the sales department are preparing for the usual flurry of activity that comes hot on the heels of a product release. In just under a week, version 19.1 of Global Mapper will be available for download. Look out for a completely redesigned vector querying tool; more window docking options; a new tool for creating a 3D mesh in the Pixels-to-Points tool; and much more.

 

Fake Coffee Button in Global Mapper

Reseller Spotlight | Engesat in Brazil

While credit for Global Mapper’s expanding worldwide popularity is usually attributed to the evangelization efforts of our loyal and eager user community, regional business partners and resellers are becoming an increasingly important asset in Blue Marble’s business development strategy. In the latest Reseller Spotlight, we hear from Laurent Martin from EngeSat in Brazil as he shares some insight on how Global Mapper has helped him grow his business throughout Latin America.

 

Screenshot of Global Mapper Shader Tool

Projections | A Brief History of Global Mapper — Part III

In the third and (for the time being) final chapter of this gripping saga, we outline the developmental highlights of Global Mapper from 2011 to the present. When we left you last month, Global Mapper had just been acquired by Blue Marble Geographics, and thankfully, Mike Childs had been persuaded to come along as well. While there were those who saw this transition as a death knell for Global Mapper, the last seven years have provided emphatic proof that nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Global Mapper Training Group

Training | 2018 Global Mapper Training Locations Announced

In January of each year, the Blue Marble training team delivers a full three-day Global Mapper and LiDAR Module class to customers from our home state of Maine, along with a few others “from away”, to use a local term. This class gives us an opportunity to fine tune the curriculum before taking the show on the road throughout the rest of the year. Next up will be Adelaide, South Australia in April followed by stop in London in May. We then visit several cities throughout North America, including Seattle, Houston, and Orlando. Full details including registration information are available on the Blue Marble training site.

 

Batch Converter/Reprojector Tool

Did You Know? | The Batch Converter/Reprojector Tool

Last year, we surveyed Global Mapper users to find out how they are using the software and which features or functions they find most useful. Almost without exception, the respondents cited Global Mapper’s ability to convert between an ever-expanding list of supported geospatial file formats as one of the most important facets of the application. Did you know that the process of converting or reprojecting multiple files can be performed quickly and efficiently using Global Mapper’s embedded Batch Convert/Reproject tool? Tucked away in the File menu, this powerful application within an application, does exactly what its name suggests. Simply load up all of the source files, enter the required settings for the output files and sit back while Global Mapper’s conversion engine does all the hard work.

 

Pixels-to-Points TM tool in Global Mapper

Webinars | What’s New in Global Mapper v19.1

One of the best things about a Blue Marble product release is the fact that it provides us with a forum for speaking directly to our customers throughout the world in a live, interactive webinar. Later this month, we will be hosting an hour-long session introducing some of the highlights of the latest release of Global Mapper. Scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (Eastern US time) on February 27, this webinar will provide an opportunity to see the latest additions to Global Mapper and to ask questions of Blue Marble’s applications specialists. Registration is required and space is limited.

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

Satellite Imagery

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

An increasingly vocal minority of Geo-Challenge entrants have expressed the opinion that the monthly challenge is not, well, challenging enough. So once again, we up the ante for this month’s contest. Before that, however, kudos must go to Bob Downie, Consultant Petroleum Geologist at Downie GeoScience for correctly identifying the five locations in January’s challenge. Bob will shortly be receiving a complimentary copy of Global Mapper. Click here to see how well you did.

This month, another copy of Global Mapper 19 is on the line. Click the link below and take a stab at all five of the geographic features. Good luck!

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

Blue Marble Geographic events

Upcoming Events

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

GeoSmart Asia ’18 & Locate ’18
Adelaide, Australia | April 9 – 11

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA | April 10 – 14

Commercial UAV Expo Europe
Amsterdam | April 10 – 12

GEOINT Symposium
Tampa, FL | April 22 – 25

Maine Municipal Association
Augusta, ME | April 27

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018
Denver, CO | April 30 – May 3

 

Blue Marble Monthly GIS Newsletter – January 2018

Satellite imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

2018 promises to be a memorable year for us here at Blue Marble. We have already mapped out our product development plans for the next 12 months; we are finalizing our travel schedule which will see us attend conferences and conduct training classes in many corners of the world; and perhaps most importantly, we look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary. Look out for announcements about some special events in the coming months.

To kick off the year, we begin a series of reseller spotlights by introducing our German partner, screen & paper GmbH; we share the latest installment of the Brief History of Global Mapper; we hear from our resident 3D artist about the process of adding 3D models to Global Mapper; and once again, we challenge your geographic aptitude in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge, with a copy of Global Mapper up for grabs.

Contours in Global Mapper

Reseller Spotlight | screen & paper GmbH

Blue Marble’s reseller and partner program is an essential ingredient of our overall business development strategy. Just last month, we introduced a new partner in Beijing whose familiarity with the GIS environment in mainland China will be an indispensable asset as we continue to expand our footprint in that part of the world. In recognition of the essential role played by our key business partners, we will be publishing a series of Reseller Spotlights, beginning this month with screen & paper, based in southern Germany.

 

Density map in Global Mapper

Projections | A Brief History of Global Mapper — Part II

The second installment of this gripping tale picks up where we left off last month. If you recall, Global Mapper had emerged from its infancy as dlgv32 and was beginning to establish itself as a credible GIS application in its own right as it approached adolescence. This month, we chronicle the functional highlights from version 6 in 2005 until Global Mapper became part of Blue Marble’s product suite in late 2011. During this time, many of the core components that we see in today’s releases were added to the software, including the 3D Viewer, access to online data, and watershed modeling.

 

3D model creation for Global Mapper

Product News | Creating 3D Models for Global Mapper

In case you weren’t aware, we live in a three-dimensional world, and we are seeing this increasingly reflected in the technology that we use. Nowhere is this more apparent that in the broad field of geospatial data management and display. As users of Global Mapper will acknowledge, 3D visualization and analysis are at the core of much of the software’s recent development initiatives, from LiDAR processing to terrain analysis. The use of 3D models is also gaining prominence as a means to visualize data in a more realistic perspective. To shed some light on the process of creating these 3D models, we hear from Blue Marble’s resident 3D artist and QA technician, Stephanie Martini.

 

File formats supported by Global Mapper

Did You Know? | File Format Support in Global Mapper

Prospective users of Global Mapper will often ask how it differs from the GIS software they are currently using. While cost and value are important considerations, interoperability is also a distinguishing characteristic. The count of unique data formats supported in the most recent release of Global Mapper has risen to over 300, which means it can work with virtually any data that you might be using, right out of the box. While there are some restrictions that limit either the importing or exporting of particular formats, no other GIS software comes close to Global Mapper with respect to interoperability.

 

Line of Sight tool in Global Mapper

Webinar & Webcasts | The Line of Sight & View Shed Tools

Don’t have time to watch one of Blue Marble’s full-length recorded webinars? Over the coming months, we will be creating a series of short videos focusing on specific functionality in Global Mapper. We begin with a concise introduction to the process of conducting a Line of Sight and View Shed analysis. These processes are variations on the theme of detecting obstructions either along a specified linear path or in multiple directions.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

To the unnamed entrant whose response to the Capital City question in December’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge, was simply “Stumped”, such jovial creativity does not, unfortunately, put you in the running to win a copy of Global Mapper. Among those who correctly identified Reykjavik, along with the other four locations, was Kyle Sorenson of MWEC. Kyle will soon be receiving a copy of Global Mapper version 19. Check out the answers here.

This month, another copy of Global Mapper 19 is on the line. Click the link below and take a stab at all five of the geographic features. Good luck!

See complete terms and conditions here.

 

Blue Marble Geographic events

Upcoming Events

International LiDAR Mapping Forum
Denver, CO | February 5 – 7

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA | April 10 – 14

Commercial UAV Expo Europe
Amsterdam | April 10 – 12

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018
Denver, CO | April 30 – May 3

 

Blue Marble Monthly – December 2017 GIS Newsletter

Satellite imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

If you detect a hint of excitement in our tone this month, it may be because of the upcoming holiday season, which gives us reason to look back at what was a very successful year for Blue Marble. It is more likely, however, that our spirits are heightened due to the recent release of the Global Mapper LiDAR Module version 19, which includes a powerful new photogrammetric point cloud generation tool.

In December’s newsletter, we formally introduce this new Pixels-to-Points™ tool with a video showing it in action. Also in this edition, we share a holiday shopping tip and unveil part one of the definitive “Brief History of Global Mapper”. Oh, and as always, we give you a chance to win a copy of Global Mapper with our ever-popular Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

3D model of snowman in Global Mapper

A Word from the President

This is Patrick Cunningham, Blue Marble President, and I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Blue Marble staff, to thank you, our loyal and enthusiastic customers, for another fantastic year. A year in which we continued to focus on our core belief that GIS can and should be easier, more affordable, and better. Needless to say, we couldn’t have done it without you. Not only because of your enduring support for Blue Marble’s products, but also because you inspire us to continue to innovate.

Direct interaction with our customers has been the Blue Marble maxim from day one and as we approach our 25th anniversary in 2018, this is still the foundation of our development philosophy. Warmest wishes from all of us to all of you for the holiday season and a safe and prosperous 2018.

Above Image: A 3D model of a snowman designed by Blue Marble’s Stephanie Martini is now available in the latest build of Global Mapper.

Point cloud generated using the new Pixels-to-Points TM tool

Product News | The LiDAR Module v.19 with Pixels-to-Points™

The version 19 upgrade to the LiDAR Module is arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated releases in recent memory with its new Pixels-to-Points tool. Employing the basic principles of photogrammetry, Pixels-to-Points analyzes the relationship between recognizable objects in multiple images to determine the three-dimensional coordinates of the corresponding surface, from which it creates a point cloud and, optionally, a raster orthoimage.

The integration of Pixels-to-Points into Global Mapper, with its vast array of point cloud, raster, and vector processing capabilities creates the most complete mapping software for UAV operators. Download the latest build of version 19 and try it out for yourself.

 

Screenshot from Pixels-to-Points TM video

Webinars and Webcasts | Introducing Pixels-to-Points

If you haven’t had a chance to try the new Pixels-to-Points tool for yourself, check out the latest webcast, in which we walk through this addition to the Global Mapper LiDAR Module. Using an array of drone-collected images, we first show how they can be loaded as clickable picture points in the map view before exploring the steps required to transform the images into a high-density point cloud.

This data and process can also be viewed here on our blog.

 

Screenshot of dlgv32

Projections | A Brief History of Global Mapper

During a recent meeting to discuss new functionality soon to be added to Global Mapper, it was pointed out that its predecessor, dlgv32, was first conceived in 1997, 20 years ago this year. In recognition of this anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to take a look back at some of the highlights of this eventful journey. Check out part one in the latest blog entry from Blue Marble’s David McKittrick, which also features a group of middle-aged Microsoft executives dancing around a stage. Now you really do have to read it, don’t you?

 

Blue Marble shirt store

Did You Know? | Blue Marble Makes T-Shirts

Still haven’t figured out what to stuff in Uncle Jack’s stocking this year? Check out Blue Marble’s online store – the Blue Marble Emporium – where you will find branded and (occasionally) amusing geography t-shirts for your favorite geospatially aware loved ones.

 

Geographic Calculator

Geographic Calculator Users | We Need Your Feedback

As previously noted, direct input from our customers is instrumental in helping ensure that our products continue to address the requirements of the industries that we serve. For Geographic Calculator users, we have compiled a short survey to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts on how the current software is meeting your needs as well as any suggestions that you might have for future functionality.

 

Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

November’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge was supposed to be somewhat more, well, challenging. Seemingly not challenging enough, however, judging by the number of respondents who managed to correctly identify all five locations. Check out the answers here.

The randomly drawn winner of a copy of Global Mapper is Joost van Dijk of VBMS. Check out the final Geo-Challenge of 2017 by clicking the link below. If you guess all five of the geographic features correctly, you’ll be in the running to win a copy of Global Mapper 19. So why not take the challenge?

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

Blue Marble shirt store

Training | Maine is First Location on 2018 Global Mapper Training Schedule

So far, we are scheduled to have training in the following cities:

  • Hallowell, Maine
  • To be determined, Australia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • San Diego, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • Orlando, Florida

Some venues and dates still need to be verified for some of these locations, so please check our Public Training page here for updates.

Registration is open for our Maine training in January. Click the link below to reserve you seat.

Blue Marble Monthly – November 2017 GIS Newsletter

Satellite Imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

After the Global Mapper 19 release, Blue Marble refocuses its efforts on the next item on the docket — the LiDAR Module. In November’s newsletter, we give users a sneak peek of what to expect from the upcoming release of the module. We also take a look at what happens behind the scenes of software development, such as the “foils and follies” of collecting drone imagery described in a blog entry by Blue Marble President, Patrick Cunningham. Finally, and as always, we challenge your geographic knowledge in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge with a brand new copy of Global Mapper 19 up for grabs for the lucky winner.

LiDAR data

Product News | Drone Imagery to Point Cloud

The saying “you usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for” couldn’t be more true for the version 19 release of the Global Mapper LiDAR Module. Since its introduction in version 15 the LiDAR Module has offered an increasingly powerful set of tools for editing, classifying, and extracting features from LiDAR and other point cloud formats.

The pending release of the version 19 edition will elevate the module to the next level by offering a simple tool for generating a dense point cloud from overlapping imagery. Tailor-made for the rapidly emerging professional UAV market, this powerful feature was previewed at the recent Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas and received universal acclaim.

Keep an eye on your inbox for an announcement about the availability of the Module.

Drone at Blue Marble headquarters

Projections | Foils and Follies of Drone Data Collection

Recently, the Blue Marble team took on the challenge of collecting drone imagery of their headquarters for the purpose of testing some exciting new features coming soon to Global Mapper. Stepping into the fairly new commercial UAV field comes with a handful of lessons and hurdles, from actually flying the drone to understanding legal and safety concerns. In this blog entry, Blue Marble Geographics President, Patrick Cunningham describes the most important lesson learned from the team’s UAV experience — things don’t always go as planned.

 

Hyperlinks in Global Mapper

Did You Know? | Hyperlinks in Global Mapper

Did you know that Global Mapper offers a tool for embedding a hyperlink within any point, line, or polygon, allowing you to associate an external file or even a website with a defined geographic location? The linked file or files are accessed using the Feature Info tool and will trigger the launch of whatever software is associated with that file type. Adding a link can be done manually by typing the file path or URL as an attribute value when creating or editing a vector feature, or by clicking the Add File Link(s) button in the Modify Feature Info dialog box. For a creative and extremely useful application of this functionality, try linking to a Global Mapper workspace file from a point feature that has been placed at the location of the corresponding job site or project location. This a great way to streamline data management by providing one-click access to all of your workspaces in a single reference map.

 

Screenshot of Attribute Editor

Webinars | What’s New in Global Mapper 19

Our latest webinar, which was recorded live in October, showcases the highlights of Global Mapper 19.

As with all previous releases, version 19 includes numerous functional enhancements and performance improvements throughout many areas of the software. Among the specific topics covered in the webinar were:

  • New Attribute Editor
  • Interactive Hillshade Control
  • Drag and drop window docking
  • 3D Viewer improvements
  • New online data sources
  • Several new built-in raster calculation formulas
  • And much more

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

November 2017 Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Thank you to all who submitted an entry in October’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge. Check out the answers here. The randomly drawn winner and the recipient of a copy of Global Mapper is Ian James from HiSeis Pty Ltd. This month, in response to several comments that the challenge is “too easy”, we upped the ante just a little. A copy of Global Mapper is being offered to the winner so why not take the challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here. 

 

GEO1 Hangar

BMUC LA Rescheduled | Conference to be Held in June

Due to reasons beyond our control, the Blue Marble User Conference planned forNovember 15 at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Los Angeles had to be rescheduled to June 8, 2018. The conference will be held in partnership with GEO1 and will include an onsite drawing for attendees to win a helicopter tour of the city. At the end of the event, winners will accompany GEO1 technicians on a flight over LA as they simulate their aerial data collection workflow. Space is limited, so sign up today. Look out for announcements about the BMUC 2018 locations and schedule.

Upcoming Events

Visit Blue Marble at the following events:

Fall Northeast Arc User Group Conference | Newport, RI | November 5 – 8

Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) | Orlando, FL | November 27 – December 1

GeoData 2017 London Showcase | London, UK | November 30

Blue Marble Monthly – October 2017 GIS Newsletter

Satellite Imagery

The Global Mapper Edition
Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

October’s newsletter focuses on Global Mapper and highlights the new features of recently released version 19. We introduce the latest blog post from Katrina Schweikert, one of Blue Marble’s Applications Specialists, in which she describes how Global Mapper helped resolve a drainage problem around her house. We also hear from Global Mapper Guru, Mike Childs who recently contributed to the Blue Marble blog with an entry in which he eulogizes about one of his favorite subjects: free online data. Finally, and as always, we challenge your geographic aptitude in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge with a brand new copy of Global Mapper v19 up for grabs for the lucky winner.

Global Mapper 19 Release

Product News | Global Mapper 19 Released

2017 marks twenty years since the aforementioned Mike Childs responded to a request from the USGS to develop a simple viewing tool for their burgeoning collection of public-domain datasets. In the intervening years, Global Mapper, into which the freeware application would eventually evolve, has established itself as a key player in the worldwide geospatial industry. Late last month, we proudly unveiled version 19 of this remarkable software with upgrades and improvements throughout the application.

Significant new functionality includes:

  • A new table-based attribute querying and editing tool
  • An innovative interactive utility for adjusting the terrain hillshade
  • Drag and drop window docking for improved multiview management
  • New support for online data for Canada and all 50 U.S. states
  • And much more

 

Watershed Analysis in Global Mapper

Projections | Estimating Property Modifications in Global Mapper

One of the benefits of the increased availability of local LiDAR data is the prospect of conducting high-precision analysis of terrain variability, especially in the context of drainage. This was the impetus behind a project recently undertaken by Blue Marble’s Katrina Schweikert. Having recently purchased a house close to Blue Marble’s headquarters in Hallowell, Maine, Katrina soon found out that there was a stream literally flowing through her unfinished basement. Read how Global Mapper was used to create a simulated model illustrating how the problem could be resolved.

 

Online Data Access in Global Mapper

Did You Know? | Free Online Data in Global Mapper

In a world in which streaming has become the norm, it is not surprising that much of the map data that we consume is increasingly being delivered through the internet. The benefits are obvious: real time updates and no local storage requirements. Did you know that Global Mapper includes easy access to immeasurable quantities of data from countless sources that are readily, and often freely, available within the Online Data component of the software? For the Global Mapper 19 release, we expanded the built-in online data services to include data for all 50 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces. Recently, we convinced Mike Childs to take a break from coding so he could share some insights into the online data options in Global Mapper.

 

Hillshade Rendering in Global Mapper

Webinars and Webcasts | What’s New in Global Mapper 19

On Thursday, October 12th, Blue Marble Application Specialists will be conducting a live webinar showcasing the highlights of the Global Mapper 19 release. This hour-long presentation is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Time), and it will provide an opportunity to see the latest tools and to ask questions about the new functionality. Space is limited, and registration is required so be sure to sign up today.

Previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at the Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

October 2017 Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Thank you to all who submitted an entry in September’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge. Check out the answers here. The randomly drawn winner and the recipient of a copy of Global Mapper is Ray Romano, Chief Designer at Persu Property Fund Pty Ltd in Australia. This month, another copy of Global Mapper is being offered to the winner so why not take the challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here. 

 

GEO1 Hangar

BMUC LA | Win a Helicopter Flight Over Los Angeles

Thinking of heading to the Blue Marble User Conference in Los Angeles? Now there’s another reason for you to sign up. Several attendees will be given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the city from the air. Scheduled for November 15 and held in partnership with Blue Marble partner, GEO1, the event will include an onsite drawing to select the lucky participants. After the close of the meeting, the winners will accompany GEO1 technicians on a helicopter ride as they simulate their aerial data collection workflow while flying over the famous landmarks of LA. Space is limited and the registration deadline to be included in the drawing is October 13, so sign up today.

Upcoming Events

Visit Blue Marble at the following events:

2017 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition | Washington DC | October 9 – 11

NYGEO Conference | Lake Placid, NY | October 17 – 19

Global Mapper & LiDAR Module Training | Ottawa, Canada | October 17 -19

Maine GIS User Group Meeting | Bangor, ME | October 20

2017 Texas GIS Forum | Austin, TX | October 23 – 27

Commercial UAV Expo | Las Vegas, NV | October 24 – 26

Fall Northeast Arc User Group Conference | Newport, RI | November 5 – 8

Global Mapper and LiDAR Module Training | Atlanta, GA | November 7 – 9

Blue Marble Monthly – September 2017 GIS Newsletter

Satellite Imagery

The Geographic Calculator Edition
Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

Before Global Mapper takes center stage with its pending version 19 release later in the month, we thought it would be a good idea to shift our focus to Geographic Calculator for the month of September. In this edition of Blue Marble Monthly, we showcase an introductory video covering the basic operation of the software and we hear from Sam Knight on the important role that Calculator will play with the introduction of the new North American datum in 2022. As always, a free copy of Global Mapper is up for grabs in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

Satellite Image of Hurricane

Hurricane Harvey | Blue Marble Calls for Support for Texas

When it was first introduced over two decades ago, Geographic Calculator filled a void in the field of geodesy and became a mainstay for companies and organizations whose business depends on geographic precision. Nowhere was the Calculator more enthusiastically embraced than in Houston, Texas, home to many of the world’s leading energy exploration, extraction, and processing companies. It is with deep sadness that we watch the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has wrought on a region that has become a second home to Blue Marble. While we are confident that the city will recover, the short term needs are immense. For this reason, we strongly encourage the Blue Marble user community to join us in supporting the relief effort. Please donate whatever you can to the Red Cross.


Global Mapper Free for Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Blue Marble is offering free licenses of Global Mapper to any agency or organization that is providing an essential service in response to Hurricane Harvey.

If you are involved in the the clean-up or rebuilding process and you have a need for GIS software, simply email info@bluemarblegeo.com to request a copy of Global Mapper for the duration of the disaster relief effort.

Access Hurricane Harvey Imagery in Global Mapper

Global Mapper users can now access daily imagery updates of the affected areas as a built-in WMS option. Click the Connect to Online Data button and browse to the Weather category to find the Hurricane Harvey imagery organized by date.

This 35 second video compares Hurricane Harvey imagery to imagery before the storm using the Image Swipe tool in Global Mapper.

Diagram of Tectonic Plates

Projections | Are you Ready for NATREF2022 to Replace NAD83?

If there was ever a compelling reason to sit up and pay attention to the discipline of geodesy in general and to the functionality of Geographic Calculator in particular, here it is. In a few years, the folks at the National Geodetic Survey plan to replace NAD83 with the new “North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022”. What does that mean for you? In a recent blog post, Sam Knight, Blue Marble’s Director of Product Management sheds some light on the change.

 

Screenshot of Best Fit Tool in Geographic Calculator

Did You Know? | Geographic Calculator’s Best Fit Tool

When we consider coordinate systems, we usually assume that they are based on some sort of geographic framework, however this is not always the case. It is common for a localized system to be developed without adherence to a recognized geographic datum. Assuming there is consistency, the system will work fine in a closed environment, however, a problem arises when the inherent data must be referenced to a recognized system. Geographic Calculator’s Best Fit job solves this problem by establishing a geometric relationship between specific locations within the extent of the local data and measured ground control points. With the necessary transformation calculation determined, all other data points in the local system can be accurately converted to the recognized geographic system.

 

Geographic Calculator Webinar

Webinars and Webcasts | Geographic Calculator Introduction and Overview

If you have never used Geographic Calculator, this hour-long introductory video offers an excellent starting point for learning the software. Covering the basic layout and touching on the most commonly used features and functions, this presentation walks through several simulated data conversion and transformation processes. If you would like a more hands-on learning experience, download an evaluation copy of Geographic Calculator and look for the Getting Started Guide further down the downloads page.

Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at the Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

September 2017 Geo-Challenge

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

The winner of August’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge is Minoek Van Dorp from Van Dorp Engineering. Minoek will be receiving a copy of Global Mapper after his name was randomly selected from those who correctly identified the five geographic locations. Check out the answers here to see how well you did. This month, another copy of Global Mapper will be handed out to one lucky entrant.

See complete terms and conditions here. 

 

BMUC presentation

Events | Blue Marble User Conferences and More

Four down, two to go. So far in 2017, the Blue Marble User Conference (BMUC) has made stops in Calgary, the Washington DC area, Amsterdam, and San Diego. As we approach the last few months of the year, our attention turns to our home state of Maine and our final stop in Los Angeles. BMUC is an informal gathering of geospatial professionals representing a wide variety of industries who share a common interest in Blue Marble’s GIS and geodetic technology. Registration is now open for the final two events of 2017 and space is limited.

Upcoming Events

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

GIS in the Rockies | Denver, CO | September 20 – 21

INTERGEO | Berlin, Germany | September 26 – 28

Blue Marble User Conference | Portland, ME | September 29

Illinois GIS Association 2017 Annual Conference | Normal, IL | October 2 – 4

Pipeline Week | Houston, TX | October 3 – 4

Drone World Expo | San Jose, CA | October 3 – 4

Texas Municipal League Annual Conference & Exhibition | Houston, TX | October 3 – 6

2017 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition | Washington DC | October 9 – 11

NYGEO Conference | Lake Placid, NY | October 17 – 19

Global Mapper & LiDAR Module Training | Ottawa, Canada | October 17 -19

Maine GIS User Group Meeting | Bangor, ME | October 20

2017 Texas GIS Forum | Austin, TX | October 23 – 27

Commercial UAV Expo | Las Vegas, NV | October 24 – 26

Blue Marble Monthly – August 2017 GIS Newsletter

Satellite Imagery

Product News, User Stories, Events, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper Every Month

This month, we tip our hats to the alternative energy sector. No longer a fringe business, wind, solar, and other sustainable and renewable energy production industries are now very much in the mainstream. In this issue we hear from Blue Marble President Patrick Cunningham on the company’s position on the science of climate change. We explore the use of Global Mapper in the wind farm development process. We uncover a component of Global Mapper that has proven to be invaluable for solar farm development; and as always, we give you a chance to win a copy of Global Mapper in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

Sun rising over Earth


Projections
  |  Blue Marble Supports Research on Climate Change

One of the most compelling and rewarding aspects of working at Blue Marble is the incredible diversity of customer stories we hear on a daily basis. On any given day, our sales and support teams might speak with agricultural technicians in Australia; climate researchers in Northern Canada; coastal geomorphology analysts in the Pacific Islands; or wind farm developers in Ireland. The common denominator among these and countless others in the Blue Marble community is that their work is founded on thorough scientific study. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the very nature of science is being systematically undermined in favor of overtly commercial interests. In a recent blog post, Patrick Cunningham, Blue Marble President shares some views on the subject.

 

Wind farm planning in Global Mapper


Blue Marble at Work
  |  Global Mapper for Wind Energy

More often than not, the most effective means of communication is visual so to that end, David McKittrick, Senior Applications Specialist at Blue Marble, recently recorded a short video in which he introduces several components of Global Mapper that are especially relevant for wind energy production. Using a series of simulated workflows, David’s video covers wind resource mapping; roughness analysis; ridgeline delineation; wind turbine placement; 3D turbine modeling; and much more.

 

Shaded south-facing slopes in Global Mapper


Did You Know?
 |  Global Mapper’s Slope Shader

Visualization and analysis of terrain data are some of the most important features of Global Mapper and the software includes several pre-configured shaders that can be used to clearly denote variation and patterns in elevation. Less well-known features, however, are a couple of shader options for rendering slope angle — a valuable tool for determining optimal sites for solar farm development. The Slope Shader applies colors to distinguish the steepness of the slope at any given location and the Slope Direction Shader indicates the bearing of the slope, which indicates areas with maximum sun exposure. Both of these options are available in the Shader drop-down list in Global Mapper’s toolbar.

 

Geographic Calculator Webinar


Webinars and Webcasts  |  Georeferencing in Geographic Calculator

August’s featured webcast focuses on the process of georeferencing in Geographic Calculator. Simply defined as the procedure for applying geographic intelligence to an image or other raster layer, the georeferencer is used to precisely place control marks and takes advantage of high order polynomial transformations to suit everything from a small scale scan of localized area out to large scale continent views. Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at the Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.

 

August geo-challenge


Where in the World? Geo-Challenge

The winner of July’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge is Steven Coombes. Steven’s name was drawn at random from those who correctly identified the five locations. To see how well you did, here are July’s answers. Want to test your geographic aptitude? Another copy of Global Mapper is up for grabs in August’s challenge. The answers to July’s challenge are here. This month, another five locations await your scrutiny with a copy of Global Mapper on the line.

 

See complete terms and conditions here. 

 

BMUC presentation

Events  |  Blue Marble User Conferences and More

Four down; two to go. So far in 2017, the Blue Marble User Conference (BMUC) has made stops in Calgary, the Washington DC area, Amsterdam, and San Diego. As we appraoach the last few months of the year, our attention turns to our home state of Maine and our final stop in Los Angeles. BMUC is an informal gathering of geospatial professionals representing a wide variety of industies who share a common interest in Blue Marble’s GIS and geodetic technology. Registration is now open for the final two events of 2017 and space is limited.

Upcoming Events

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

Geospatial PDF Working Group | Reston, VA | August 9

FOSS4G Annual International Gathering | Boston, MA | August 14 – 19

Kentucky GIS Conference  | Louisville, KY | September 5 – 7

GIS in the Rockies | Denver, CO | September 20 – 21

INTERGEO | Berlin, Germany | September 26 – 28

Blue Marble User Conference | Portland, ME | September 29