November 17, 2009 By Karen Stewartson
There's an old adage that says "Rome was not built in a day," but a team of researchers at the University of Washington's Graphics and Imaging Laboratory (GRAIL) recently created a virtual Rome in 21 hours using 150,000 panoramic images from the popular user-generated Web site, Flickr.
The project -- described in a research paper presented at the 2009 International Conference on Computer Vision in Kyoto, Japan -- pioneered a method for solving large-scale distributed computer vision problems.
GRAIL researchers developed a new system that uses parallel processing to rapidly match the huge number of individual images that were needed to create the detailed 3-D rendering.
Government agencies that spend millions of dollars replacing weather-damaged equipment can sigh with relief, thanks to a new coating process called Golden Shellback, developed by the Northeast Maritime Institute. The coating produces a vacuum deposited film that's nonflammable, has low toxicity and can make electronic devices and other surfaces splash-proof. The process is specifically designed to protect devices commonly used in marine and hazardous environments against damage caused by exposure to moisture, immersion in water, dust, effects of high wind and chemicals. -- Northeast Maritime Institute
Charlotte, N.C.'s Virtual Charlotte enables the visualization of 311 calls, traffic accidents, construction projects, permits, street maintenance services and vehicle locations tracked with automated vehicle location technology.
Airdrie, Canada, was the first municipality in Alberta to move from a paper-based system to a completely electronic method for its annual citizen census. Through the Online Census system, Airdrie implemented a secure, real-time, virtually paperless data collection process that simplifies the census process for clerks, enumerators and citizens. The system includes the use of biometrics to validate enumerator identities, use of tablets for in-field data collection and use of online PINs for secure data entry by citizens.
Forsyth County, Ga., developed its GIS Mobile Emergency Response System to enhance emergency management preparedness, response and recovery. The system provides emergency support for the county's emergency operations center or can be deployed in the field to provide direct support to first responders.
Read more about the ESIG winners. -- Source: URISA
According to U.S. Residential Broadband Speeds on the Rise, a study by In-Stat, the average American Internet download speed is 5.6 Mbps.
A decade ago, there were 57,000 broadband subscribers worldwide, however, that total now exceeds 400 million, according to the International Telecommunication Union.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.