About Emmanuel Stefanakis

Emmanuel Stefanakis is a Associate Professor in Geographic Information Systems and Science, Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Posts by Emmanuel Stefanakis

Posted on June 1, 2017
A couple of months ago the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) sought public comment [1] on the new version of GeoPackage Encoding Standard [2]. GeoPackage is an emerging format for geospatial data. Officially introduced three years ago, GeoPackage has already attracted the interest of organizations and vendors in N. America and elsewhere. The wide GIS community seems to still ignore its existence; however, this is expected to change drastically within the next few years.  Was there a need for a new format? What was new with GeoPackage? Was there a need for another format? The main objective of GeoPackage developers has been to create...
Posted on January 26, 2017
Graph Databases and GIS & Technology (GIS&T) In the era of big data, graph databases are becoming very popular as they can address important challenges in terms of data size and data complexity. A graph database is a database that uses graph structure with nodes, edges, and properties to represent and store data [1]. In other words, it organizes the content in nodes and relationships instead of tables. Graph databases are especially well suited to applications that involve complex and multiple level relationships between data items, that are well represented as a graph. For this reason, graph databases have been widely used...
Posted on November 29, 2016
Geospatial information science and technology (GIS&T) has rapidly evolved over the last few decades. This evolution has created a highly demanding job market for GIS professionals [3,4]. Recently, students, graduates, and professionals are more and more forced to complement GIS competence with programming skills. On the flip side, University departments feel the urge to adjust and enrich their curricula accordingly. The Difficulty Teaching Programming Recent studies [1] have shown few university programs currently guarantee the acquisition of adequate and appropriate programming skills within the primary GIS degree. There are many...
SaveTheMap Campaign: “to encourage citizens and startups to use geospatial data in everyday lives and create businesses that serve India”   Interesting (geospatial) times in India lately… On May 4th, 2016, just three months after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) took a revolutionary decision in favour of Net Neutrality [1], the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) submitted the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill (GIRB-2016) [2] inviting citizen feedback until June 4th, 2016. According to the draft, it will become mandatory for an individual and organization to obtain necessary permission from government authority...
Posted on May 5, 2016
Recently, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has announced an extension to the OGC CF-netCDF 3.0 encoding standard that specifies how Climate and Forecast (CF) netCDF datasets are encoded as OGC coverages. This extended standard facilitates the use of complex environmental data in GIS and other geospatial systems and it is another action taken by OGC in the last few years towards the integration of netCDF into geospatial technology. NetCDF (Network Common Data Form) is a set of software libraries and formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of many kinds of scientific data. Originally developed for the Earth science...
Geocoding is the process of converting a street address into a physical location that can be described with a pair of geographic coordinates. It is estimated that over 40% of the world population is physically disconnected because of lack of a street address. But even when street addresses are available, they are very often unable to describe the location. For example, locations inside parks or large facilities (e.g., stadiums or hospitals with multiple entrances) may be hundreds of meters away from the nearest address. The use of directions (such as “behind the main building find a storehouse; deliver the package at the right door facing...
Posted on January 25, 2016
The beginning of 2016 was accompanied with a sonorous press release from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) entitled: “OGC® seeks public comment on a candidate standard that may replace legacy coordinate systems” [1]. In other words, on January 5th OGC requested public comment on the OGC candidate Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS) Core Standard. A Discrete Global Grid (DGG) is a partition of the Earth’s surface into a set of regions (a.k.a. cells) containing a single point and meeting the needs for global sampling, storage, modeling, processing, analysis, discovery, integration, and visualization [2][3]. A Discrete Global Grid...
  The tiling of large maps is an old practice. Large paper maps have always been divided into a series of map sheets at various scales. With the increasing popularity of web mapping applications and the rapid growth of map data availability, the pre-computation and caching of map image tiles has become a common practice in map servers as they use far fewer server resources than maps rendered on demand. In this way, the time required for the client to display complex and high quality base maps is mainly limited by the bandwidth of its connection with the map server. Google was one of the first major mapping providers to adopt the...
Posted on November 2, 2015
Elevation Web Services: Limitations and Prospects Elevation data is necessary for a wide range of geospatial applications such as creating relief maps and rendering 3D visualizations, deriving the slope and aspect of a geographic area, analyzing viewshed and delineating steams in a drainage basin, and orthorectifying aerial photographs and satellite imagery. Traditionally, elevation data is scarcer and less accurate than horizontal data. There are various reasons for this. First, the horizontal location of geographic entities has always been a priority over their elevation. Second, GPS units provide poor vertical accuracy compared to...
Posted on September 23, 2015
Four hundred and fifty years ago, the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator presented the most popular map projection ever. It became fairly the standard projection for nautical maps because of its ability to represent lines of constant course (aka rhumb lines or loxodromes) as straight segments. However, it was also widely used in other types of maps. As Mercator projection exaggerates much the areas far from the equator, it has often been criticized for its inappropriate use. Ten years ago, the use of Mercator projection was mainly limited to nautical maps. Cartography instructors in Geomatics schools were spending...