Blue Marble Monthly: Point Cloud Processing, 3D Fly-Throughs, and Vector Extraction, oh my!

Satellite imagery

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

The release of version 20 of Global Mapper is still generating a lot of buzz, and that is especially true of the new LiDAR Module tools. In this month’s newsletter, we take a moment to consider some of the highlights of this add-on to Global Mapper in a Top Five list. As the end of the year approaches, our focus now turns to Geographic Calculator 2019, which is currently in its beta testing phase. If everything goes according to plan, the release version should be available within a few weeks. Check your inbox for an official announcement. As a teaser, we preview some of the highlights of the Calculator release.

Also this month, we demonstrate how easy it is to create a 3D fly-through in Global Mapper, we revisit the software’s raster-to-vector capability using the new Color Picker tool, and as always, we offer a free copy of Global Mapper in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

PRODUCT NEWS  |  Top 5 Features of the LiDAR Module

It has been five years since the Global Mapper LiDAR Module was introduced. The first version offered some basic tools for streamlined LiDAR editing and filtering but more importantly, it provided a platform on which increasingly advanced point cloud processing capabilities would subsequently be added. In a recent blog post, we highlighted five of the most important LiDAR Module tools.

 

PROJECTIONS  |  Creating a 3D Fly-Through in Five Steps

Data visualization is a fundamental component of any functional GIS and in today’s geospatial world where 3D data has become the norm, 3D visualization is essential. Global Mapper’s fly-through capability provides a simple but powerful means to dynamically explore and examine the 3D environment and, as is typical with Global Mapper, it involves just a handful of steps. Five to be exact.

 

DID YOU KNOW | Vector Extraction from a Raster layer

Did you know that Global Mapper includes a tool for automatically vectorizing features from a raster layer? Thought not. While it doesn’t get the same attention as some of the other powerful analysis tools, it is, in its own right, an invaluable component of the software. With the introduction of the Color Picker tool in version 20, this vectorization capability has become even more straightforward. Check out this short video to see for yourself.

 

COMING SOON  |  Geographic Calculator 2019

While it is risky to introduce the highlights of a software release while it is still in development, we are confident the new functionality currently being beta tested in Geographic Calculator 2019 will be available in the final release in a few weeks. Among the most important upgrades are:

  • Optimized architecture for Windows 10 environment
  • A new capability to copy and paste blocks of data grid values into spreadsheets
  • Updated icons and graphics for jobs and tools
  • A new Angular Unit Converter tool
  • Updated Seismic Survey Conversion Job with enhanced P1/11 format support and additional SEG-Y format coordinate scalar handling
  • And much more

Look out for a release announcement in your inbox shortly.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

You may have noticed that the Geo-Challenge questions have been getting steadily more difficult over recent months. This has not deterred an increasing number of you from proving your geographic prowess and correctly identifying all five locations. Among those who seemingly had no problems with October’s challenge was Ian Rath of Arcadis Australia Pacific. Ian will shortly be receiving a copy of Global Mapper for his efforts.

To find out how you did on last month’s challenge, check out the answers here.

If you’re up for another try, click the link below to test your geographic knowledge in the November edition. Good luck!

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS  |  Upcoming Conferences

At the time of writing, two Blue Marble teams are on the road, spreading the word about our products in Indianapolis and Las Vegas. Next week we have a crew in London at The Commercial UAV Show and another in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Geomatics Atlantic Conference. If you’re going to either of these events, stop by and say hello.

As anticipated, the Orlando Global Mapper training class in December is full but you can add your name to a waiting list to see if a slot becomes available. Looking forward to 2019, we are in the process of finalizing the training calendar. No promises, but if you would like to see a training class in your neck of the woods, let us know by emailing training@bluemarble.com.

Where Blue Marble Will Be Next

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

Geomatics Atlantic
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | November 14 – 16

The Commercial UAV Show
London, UK | November 14 – 15

I/ITSEC
Orlando, FL | November 26 – 30

Global Mapper and LiDAR Module Training
Orlando, FL | December 4 – 6

Blue Marble Monthly: Discovering Uncharted Mayan Ruins

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

September was a busy month at Blue Marble. We released version 20 of Global Mapper and the LiDAR Module, we conducted a live webinar about the new version, we hosted our 20th anniversary Blue Marble User Conference, and we updated the online GeoCalc Geodetic Registry. In this newsletter, we share some exciting news about a valued Global Mapper user, we review what we have been working on and our training plans for the rest of the year and, as always, we offer you a chance to win a copy of Global Mapper in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

NEWS  |  Global Mapper on TV with LiDARUSA

Global Mapper and a longtime Blue Marble customer had a moment in the limelight this past summer. LiDAR USA used the software to reveal an uncharted Mayan causeway on the Travel Channel show “Expeditions Unknown”. See the suspenseful clip on our blog.

 

BMUC  |  Five Reasons Why You Should Have Attended

On September 21, the 25th Anniversary Blue Marble User Conference was held in our home state of Maine! Those who joined us were treated to fascinating presentations, useful tips and tricks, delicious food, and wonderful Maine hospitality. For those who weren’t able to go, learn more about what you missed at the event and why you should consider attending in the future.

 

PRODUCT NEWS | Global Mapper 20 Now Available

Global Mapper version 20 was released just a few weeks ago and it’s been literally flying off the shelves ever since. Early adopters are raving about the new Map Layout tools, gushing over the 3D mesh creation capability, and marveling at the performance and data processing improvements. Download a copy today and find out what all of the fuss is about.

 

DID YOU KNOW?  |  About GeoCalc Online

Have you heard about Blue Marble’s GeoCalc Geodetic Registry? It’s an online coordinate geodetic repository for all of Blue Marble’s software. The online registry is a hosted version of the complete GeoCalc library; accessible here as a resource and tool for surveyors, geodesists, and GIS analysts concerned with accurate and reliable coordinate reference system definitions as well as the most accurate coordinate transformations. GeoCalc was recently updated and is current with the latest International Association of Oil and Gas Providers’ EPSG Geomatic Registry.

 

VIDEOS | What’s New in Global Mapper 20

The most recent live Blue Marble webinar entitled, “What’s New in Global Mapper v20”, has been recorded, reviewed, lightly edited, and uploaded to YouTube! Watch and learn about all of our new features ranging from generating 3D meshes to streamlined Map Layout tools, and everything in between.

This and 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.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Rome? Really? It was actually Port Moresby. A surprising number of participants were apparently fooled by the capital city question in September’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge. But not Ryszard Szwajda from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Ryszard will shortly be receiving a copy of Global Mapper 20 for correctly guessing all five locations.

To find out how you did on last month’s challenge, check out the answers here.

If you’re up for another try, click the link below to test your geographic knowledge in the October edition of the Where in the World Geo-Challenge. Thanks for playing! And good luck!

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS  |  Training in Houston and Orlando

Unfortunately, all of the seats for the two day Global Mapper class in Houston have been filled (don’t say you weren’t warned) however there are still a handful of spaces in the one-day LiDAR Module class on October 25. Click here to reserve your spot.

The Orlando Global Mapper class from December 4-6 is also filling up fast (who doesn’t want to go to Florida in December?) so don’t be disappointed, register today.

For more information on the training agenda, pricing, etc., visit: www.bluemarblegeo.com/solutions/public-training.php

Where Blue Marble Will Be Next

Visit with Blue Marble at the following events:

URISA GIS Pro & CalGIS
Palm Springs, CA | October 9 – 12

NEURISA
Beverly, MA | October 15

INTERGEO
Frankfurt, Germany | October 16 – 18

Global Mapper and LiDAR Module Training
Houston, TX | October 23 – 25

GeoAlberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | October 29 – 31

Trimble Dimensions
Las Vegas, NV | November 5 – 7

Geomatics Atlantic
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | November 14 – 16

The Commercial UAV Show
London, UK | November 14 – 15

I/ITSEC
Orlando, FL | November 26 – 30

Global Mapper and LiDAR Module Training
Orlando, FL | December 4 – 6

Blue Marble Monthly – Are You Ready for Global Mapper 20?

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

Here in New England, the summer heat is finally waning, the leaves are beginning to show some color, and most of the tourists have headed south (Hooray!). This seasonal transition precipitates a major event here at Blue Marble: a new release of Global Mapper is on the horizon. This month, we offer a sneak peek at some of the highlights of version 20, we shine the spotlight on our Indian partner, Schnell Informatics; we hear from the USFWS about protecting vulnerable habitats in Florida; we offer students a chance to win a $500 scholarship; and we give everyone a chance to win a copy of Global Mapper 20 in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

NEWS | Win a $500 Scholarship

Are you a student using Global Mapper? Would you like to win $500? If you answered yes to these questions, you’ll probably be interested to learn that Blue Marble is introducing the Global Mapper Scholarship Program. To enter, simply share the details of the work you’ve been doing with Global Mapper and, after reviewing all of the submissions, Blue Marble will select the winner.

 

USER STORY | Monitoring Mouse Habitat with Global Mapper

Sea level rise is generally regarded as one of the most significant environmental problems that we will face in the coming years. With the help of Global Mapper, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service scientists have been studying the impact of sea level rise on the habitat of several mouse species on the Gulf coast of Florida.

 

PRODUCT NEWS | Global Mapper 20 Coming Soon

Subscribers to this newsletter will recall a series of articles that were published earlier this year highlighting some of the key milestones in the history of Global Mapper. Later this month, the saga continues with the release of Global Mapper 20, which includes an extensive list of new tools, functional upgrades, and performance improvements. As a sneak peek, we offer a preview of the top five highlights of this release.

 

DID YOU KNOW? | NextMap One in Global Mapper

The release of version 20 of Global Mapper includes a new online data option. NextMap One from Intermap Technologies provides seamless, one-meter resolution elevation data for the entire world. Available as a subscription-based online service, the data is available as a DTM or DSM providing unparalleled worldwide 3D analysis capability.

RESELLER | Schnell Infomatics in India

The Indian subcontinent represents a rapidly emerging market for geospatial technology and it is critically important for Blue Marble to have a competent and reliable partner in the region. Schnell Infomatics fits the role perfectly. In the latest Reseller Spotlight, we learn how the company has succeeded in introducing Global Mapper to a wide variety of business sectors and government departments in the region.

 

 

VIDEOS | Sign Up for Our Live Webinar

Coinciding with the release of version 20 of Global Mapper, Blue Marble applications specialists will be conducting a live webinar showcasing the highlights of this version. Scheduled for September 27, the live format offers an opportunity to see the software in action and to ask questions of the presenters. Registration is required and space is limited so be sure to sign up today.

This and 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.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

When asked to name the bridge in September’s Geo-Challenge, the entrant mononymously named John suggested, and I quote, “I think I’ll name it Clarence, Clarence Bridgingsworth the Third.” Much as the judges would delight in accepting this answer, we feel it would establish an unhealthy precedent so unfortunately for John, we have to defer to what most consider to be the correct response: Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Janet Hoskings from Spookfish, an imagery processing company in Western Australia, wins a copy of Global Mapper for being the randomly drawn entrant who correctly recognized all of the locations. Click here to see how well you did and click below to try your hand at September’s Geo-Challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS | Conferences, Training, and BMUC

October and November are particularly busy months in Blue Marble’s events calendar. Look out for company representatives at conferences and trades shows from Las Vegas to London. Click here for details.

 

There are still some spaces available at the Global Mapper training classes in Houston in October and Orlando in December. Reserve your seat here.

 

Before all that, we are delighted to be hosting the Blue Marble User Conference in our home state of Maine. Join is on September 21st for a day of presentations, company news, and networking.

Blue Marble Monthly – LiDAR vs PhoDAR and Becoming a Pilot

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

For many, summer is a time for relaxing, for taking your foot off the gas, for being lazy. Not at Blue Marble. We are busy preparing for the next major release of Global Mapper in just over a month, planning our hectic autumn travel schedule, and making the final preparations for our 25th anniversary user conference here in Maine. In this edition of Blue Marble Monthly we formally invite you to join us at BMUC. We also hear from Sam Knight about becoming a licensed drone pilot; we discuss the differences between LiDAR and PhoDAR; and we challenge your geographic prowess in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

NEWS | BMUC is Coming to Portland, Maine

We hereby cordially invite you to Blue Marble’s home state for our User Conference (BMUC), as we continue to celebrate our 25th birthday. Not only will you have a chance to meet other users and learn about the latest software developments, but you’ll also hear from some interesting presenters including Ron Chapple who will be speaking about his work in the Pulitzer Prize-winning project, “The Wall”.

 

PROJECTIONS | Becoming an UAS Pilot

Ready for the kids to go back to school? Sorry, we can’t help you with that, but we recently sent our own Sam Knight back to school to learn what it takes to become a licensed drone operator. As we continue to develop tools for the UAV industry, it is essential that we have the first-hand knowledge of what is required. For Sam, this was a journey into unknown territory.

 

PRODUCT NEWS | Call for Beta Testers

Blue Marble’s development process has always relied on direct input from users and now you have a chance to be part of that process. Sign up as a beta tester today and we’ll let you know when a beta version of either Global Mapper or Geographic Calculator is available for you to put through its paces.

 

DID YOU KNOW? | LiDAR vs Photogrammetric Point Clouds

The Pixels-to-Points tool has caused quite a stir in the UAV industry. Creating a high-density 3D point cloud from a drone would have been unheard of just a few years ago. While the data may look and feel like traditional LiDAR, there are significant differences between the two formats. In a recent blog post, we outlined some pros and cons of each.

USER STORY | Planning Truck Stops with Global Mapper

In the latest Global Mapper case study, we hear from Michael Frings, General Manager of MFBI Technologies about how the LiDAR Module’s point cloud processing tools played a critical role in planning autobahn truck stops in Germany.

“The fact that the LiDAR Module is so powerful, giving us the ability to handle large point clouds, was the killer argument for us to go with Global Mapper.” – Michael Frings

 

 

VIDEOS | Can Your GIS Do This Without Extensions?

Simply stated, Global Mapper gives you more functionality for less money. Need proof? Take a look at this short video highlighting some of the terrain processing tools that are available out of the box in Global Mapper. No extensions required.

This and 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.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

The geographic sleuths were once again hard at work in July. Most of you were able to identify all five locations in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge. The randomly selected winner of a copy of Global Mapper is Roy Mayo, a land surveyor from Mackay, Mackay, and Peters. If you are one of the handful whose response to the capital city question was, “Haven’t a clue” or words to that effect, check out the correct answers here then click the link below to see if you can do any better in August’s challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS | Global Mapper Training in Houston

The Blue Marble training team will be hitting the road again in October with the next three-day Global Mapper class scheduled for Houston. Typically our Houston classes fill up fast so be sure to sign up as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

“Without a doubt, one of the most informative and enjoyable technical training classes I have ever taken.”
– Recent Global Mapper trainee

 

Blue Marble Monthly – Global Mapper vs ArcGIS

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

If there is one question that we are asked more than any other it is this: “How does Global Mapper compare to ArcGIS?” Coinciding with the annual gathering of Esri devotees in San Diego, we shed some light on how Global Mapper stacks up. The bottom line: you get a lot more for a lot less! Also in this edition of Blue Marble Monthly, we introduce Blue Marble’s official reseller in France, we offer some suggestions for enhancing your summer wardrobe, and as always, we give you a chance to win a copy of Global Mapper in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

LiDAR Data in Global Mapper

GLOBAL MAPPER | No Extensions Required

Using ArcGIS and need to create a terrain model? You’ll need an extension for that. What about calculating volumes or generating contours? Ditto. Global Mapper gives you all this and much, much more right out of the box. Check out the latest blog post from Chelsea Ellis to find out more.

 

PROJECTIONS | Blue Marble Summer Fashion

Someone once said, “You are what you wear”. Or maybe it was, “You are what you eat”. Whatever! In any case, in today’s world of high fashion, we present you with smart, low key alternatives. For summer fun, laughs, and t-shirts check out the latest from the Blue Marble Emporium.

 

DID YOU KNOW? | Global Mapper Mobile is Free

Considering ArcGIS for field data collection? Did you know that Global Mapper Mobile is available free of charge and offers disconnected access to critical data layers, field data collection capability, and mobile digitizing? This easy-to-use app is available for iOS and Android devices.

 

RESELLER SPOTLIGHT | Geom@tique – Our French Partner

Based in the spectacular French Alps, Geom@tique recently celebrated 20 years in business (Bon Anniversaire de Blue Marble). In this month’s Reseller Spotlight, we ask company owner Alain Olivier to share some insight on the business and the importance of its partnership with Blue Marble.

 

VIDEOS | Rendering Vector Data in Global Mapper

Data visualization is one of the fundamental functions of a GIS. In the latest Global Mapper webcast, we explore a variety of workflows for customizing the display of vector layers to reveal spatial patterns in the data.

This and 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.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

Contrary to the suggestion of at least two Geo-Challenge entrants in June, the county to be identified was not, in fact, Wakanda. Tom Hughes from HuGIS GeoSpatial Ltd. was not one of these people and he will be receiving a copy of Global Mapper as the first randomly selected entrant with all five correct responses. Check what Wakanda should have been along with the answers for the other four locations here and test you geographic knowledge in the latest Geo-Challenge.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS | BMUC in Maine & Training in Germany

Since we turned 25 this year, our Blue Marble User Conference in Portland, Maine  on September 21 is gearing up to be a special one. We’re also looking forward to our German partner “screen & paper GmbH” conducting Global Mapper Training in Freising, Bavaria this November.

Be sure to register for BMUC Maine, while seats are still available!

 

Blue Marble Monthly — June 2018

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

As with any significant anniversary, Blue Marble’s 25th birthday, which we celebrate this month, offers an opportunity for us to look back at how far we have come while inspiring us to look forward to the next 25 years and beyond. The early impetus behind Blue Marble’s growth was the development of Geographic Calculator, a geodetic application that, at the time, filled a void in the rapidly expanding field of geospatial technology.

To pay homage to the important role that Geographic Calculator has played and continues to play for the company, in this month’s Blue Marble Monthly, we take a look at how the application has changed over time. We also hear from a couple of Blue Marble’s technical staff members as they help us navigate Geographic Calculator’s expansive Datasource; we introduce Blue Marble’s strategic partners in South Africa; and as always, we challenge your geographic prowess in the monthly Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

ON TURNING 25 | A Letter from Our President

Patrick Cunningham
Patrick Cunningham

Little would Jeff Cole and his compatriots have anticipated that the startup company they established in 1993 in a small town in central Maine, would grow to the extent that it now boasts hundreds of thousands of customers in virtually every country in the world.

As we pause to reflect on the path that has brought Blue Marble Geographics to this point, it is worth taking a moment to acknowledge two groups of people without whom the journey would not have been possible. First, we must recognize the efforts of the many staff members who have contributed their talents over the years. For those who have moved on to other pursuits, rest assured that although you are no longer with Blue Marble, you have left an indelible mark on the success of the company. Second, it goes without saying that we could not have succeeded without our loyal customers. You invested in us and hopefully we have been able to provide you with a viable return on that investment.

Later this month, Blue Marble will be hosting a 25th birthday party for both current and former staff members as well as some key partners and customers. While we cannot invite everyone we’d like to see to this celebration, we hope you can be there in spirit as we look forward to the next 25 years.

Patrick Cunningham
Blue Marble President

PROJECTIONS | Geographic Calculator after 25 Years

Since its founding, Blue Marble Geographics has been synonymous with Geographic Calculator. Indeed, for many years, the application was known simply as the Blue Marble Desktop. This innovative software was introduced at a time when companies and organizations were embracing geospatial technology and were facing the inevitable challenges that managing the resulting datasets incurred. The first versions of the Geographic Calculator were relatively basic although the underlying geodetic processing technology was largely the same as it is in today’s release.

To help shed light on some of the more significant changes that have occurred over its 25-year history, we asked Sam Knight, Director of Product Management, to list the five most important differences between the early and most recent versions.

 

DID YOU KNOW? | Moving a Global Mapper License

Application licensing is one of the inevitable tasks faced by virtually all software developers. Ensuring that each user is legitimately authorized to use the software provides the necessary finances for companies such as Blue Marble to continue to innovate and to expand the capability of the software. This is very much a win-win situation. License violation, on the other hand, not only inhibits Blue Marble’s ability to improve the software, it is also, well, stealing.

So while some may regard the licensing process as inconvenient, it is a necessary inconvenience. That said, Blue Marble offers a number of creative solutions for streamlining the licensing process, including offering the option to move a license to a new computer.

 

RESELLER SPOTLIGHT | South Africa-Based SMC Synergy

Many business strategists have suggested that Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s new economic frontier and with this in mind, Blue Marble is fortunate to have a well-established strategic partner in the region. South Africa-based SMC Synergy is the latest company to feature in the Reseller Spotlight and recently shared some insight on their business, which is increasingly focused on the growth in use of Global Mapper in the region.

 

VIDEOS | Navigating the Datasource in Geographic Calculator

The Datasource has been described as the epicenter of Geographic Calculator. It is fundamentally a database containing the detailed definitions of every conceivable variable that can be used in the geodetic calculation process. In the Datasource, you will find over 5,000 projected coordinate systems; over 1,800 coordinate transformations; over 500 horizontal datums; and much more. To the uninitiated, it can be an intimidating component of the application so in a recent webcast, Blue Marble technical staff members Jeff Hatzel and Scott Webber provided some navigational assistance.

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.

 

Where in the World Geo-Challenge

May’s Where in the World Geo-Challenge was, unlike the two preceding editions, controversy-free. Seemingly few were overly challenged as almost all correctly identified all five geographic locations. The first randomly drawn name and winner of a copy of Global Mapper is Marnie Dunbar from OGL Engineering. Check out the answers here to see how well you did.
This month another copy of Global Mapper will be given away so why not try your luck.

 

See complete terms and conditions here.

TRAINING | LiDAR Workshop in San Diego

Are you heading to San Diego for the Esri UC in July? Why not take a break from the conference for a day and join us for a hands-on LiDAR workshop? Scheduled for July 12th, the workshop will cover all aspects of LiDAR processing from editing and filtering to feature extraction. It will also offer a chance to try out the new Pixels-to-Points tool. Space is limited so be sure to reserve your seat as soon as possible.

Upcoming Events

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

Global Mapper & LiDAR Module Training
Seattle, WE | June 19

LiDAR Workshop
San Diego, CA | July 12

Blue Marble User Conference in Maine
Portland, ME | Sept 21

 

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.

 

 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