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Your Global Geospatial Briefing for December 3rd: Chinese data collection; Digital Globe and AWS; Open Data Institute; UK Geospatial Commission

China collects data from foreign car firms

Image from Breaking News

More than 200 car makers selling electric vehicles in China — including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Mitsubishi—are feeding real-time location information and dozens of other data points from electric vehicles to the Chinese government. In yet another conflict between technology and privacy, the Chinese government claims that the data will be used for analytics to improve public safety and development, while critics say that the information collected far exceeds the goals and is well-positioned to be used for surveillance, or to undermine the competitive edge of foreign car makers. The data collected by the Beijing Institute of Technology is set to grow with the “Made in China 2025” electric vehicle development plan.

Digital Globe and Amazone bring satellite data down to earth

Digital Globe is partnering with Amazon Web Services and Lockheed Martin to make satellite data accessible through an AWS Ground Station. Using a Virtual Resilient Ground (VERGE) built by Lockheed, the AWS Ground Station will assemble satellite data from across the world and use it to create image data at a much faster rate. AWS Ground Station will enable customers to schedule antenna time using standard AWS tools, and downlink or uplink data. The Ground Station is available on a by-the-minute basis like all AWS services. The project stems from customer requests regarding accessing satellite data without having to build their own expensive infrastructure and will be especially important to individuals who wish to migrate their operations to the cloud.

ODI pushes for the UK to support open data

Image from Place Tech

In an effort to boost the development of GIS technology, the Open Data Institute (ODI) is calling on the UK government and firms like Google and Apple to join forces and publish their map data. In a series of papers on the Geospatial Commission and the UK’s geospatial data structure, the ODI observed that a large number of sectors (including autonomous and connected vehicles, and transport services) are reliant on geospatial data. The ODI believes that national mapping agencies should respond to the need for data in order to avoid commercial organizations hoarding information. Jeni Tennison, CEO of the ODI, said: “Like other parts of our data infrastructure, we believe that geospatial data should be as open as possible while respecting privacy, national security and commercial confidentiality. In many cases, geospatial data can be open data for anyone to access, use and share.”

The UK Geospatial Commission to invest £1.5 million in crowdsourcing

In a new funding competition, the Geospatial Commission will invest up to £1.5 million to fund projects for crowdsourcing the creation and/or maintenance of geospatial datasets. Proposals must focus on improving the delivery of public services at local authority level, social or environmental outcomes by working with third sector organizations, or existing public sector open datasets, and should demonstrate how a project will have benefits in scope or scale beyond the initial funding phase. The competition is now open and closes January 30, 2019.


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