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Friday, May 26th

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Optech Celebrates 40 Years of Lidar Innovation

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Optech is pleased to announce that it is celebrating 40 years of lidar technology innovation. To mark the occasion, Optech is paying tribute to the incredible partnership with our clients over the years, from the first commercial lidar systems in the world, to solutions for bathymetry and UAVs. Without our valued clients, none of this would have been possible. Acknowledging decades of hard work by our team, a celebration was held at Niagara Falls, including an exhibition of projects and the evolution of Optech lidar technology that has supported clients over the last 40 years.

Lasers were barely out of their infancy in the late 1960s, yet founder Dr. Allan Carswell saw their potential for revolutionizing remote sensing and began developing prototype lidars at York University, Canada. Government agencies were quick to see the benefits of this pioneering technology and, to keep up with the growing demand, Dr. Carswell founded Optech in 1974. This began the company’s long tradition of developing cutting-edge sensing technology in a cooperative setting and adapting ground-breaking science to fit the specific needs of our clients.

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DRONES’ drone gagged?

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Do you think the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) move is prudent keeping the safety of civilian aircraft in mind? It has already started a viral debate among RC airplane and multirotor flying enthusiasts.

The very definition of what's to be classified a 'drone' and the legal ramifications of such are being discussed. The fact that the USA's FAA is yet to come out with definitive policy on use of UAVs for surveying — UK has directives that only permit flight below 400ft from the surface and that the UAV should weigh less than 20kg, Australia has directives that permits UAV flight above 400 feet from the ground surface, and that most other nations are yet to even think about this issue — is serious cause for concern.

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UIA: Reducing poor risks and improving customer service

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UIA is a mutual insurance company with over 100 years' experience of providing both value and quality insurance to members of selected trade unions and other not-for-profit organisations. UIA underwrites home insurance and legal expenses cover, and provides travel, pet and car insurance through a brokered solution. Our services are now also available to the general public through our new brand: Together Mutual Insurance, which launched earlier this year.

How long have you been using Ordnance Survey data in your geographical information systems (GIS)?

We started using GIS only at the beginning of this year, so it’s still quite new to us as a company. We quickly realised the value the right data can add to an insurer, so we considered our options very carefully before concluding Ordnance Survey data was the best choice.

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GEO Business 2014: Exhibitor Preview - what products will be showcased?

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Never before has the UK had a geo event like this. The sheer scale of what the organisers have achieved is breathtaking. 128 exhibitors, over 90 free workshop sessions and a two-day conference programme spread over two tracks in over 50 sessions.

The venue is the Business Design Centre in Islington, London N1 and dates are 28 & 29 May 2014. You can read a review of the conference programme by Richard Groom, Technical Editor of Geomatics World, in the Location-Source May Monthly Focus article while below we highlight some of the exhibitors, old and new who will be there. This promises to be not just the most exciting geo event of 2014 but the best ever. Don’t miss it!

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AGI Big 5: Future Cities - school group discover GIS opportunities!

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AGI Scotland’s hugely successful annual event at Glasgow City Chambers on 18th March, first of the Geo: The Big 5 event series in AGI’s 25th anniversary year was attended – in another first - by 20 secondary school pupils from Douglas Academy in Milngavie. The school group was invited to the event as part of a collaboration between AGI Scotland and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society to develop links between education and industry, reports AGI's Chris Rhodes.

AGI volunteers Abigail Page and Val Marlowe, along with RSGS Education Convenor Erica Caldwell and AGI/RSGS Vice Chair Bruce Gittings, organised the day’s programme with the generous cooperation of several industry and academic professionals. We aimed to give the Higher and Advanced Higher geography pupils an overview of the breadth of applications for geographic information, the prospects for employment in this flourishing sector, and the exciting developments within GI as a vital component of initiatives such as the Future Cities protocol.

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