Geographic Frontiers

Everyone and everything has to be someplace

Geographic Frontiers is an on-line magazine that examines how remote sensing and location-based services impact businesses and consumers. Geographic Frontiers covers concepts, applications, technology, industry developments and government activity that provide understanding of where we—and our things—are located.

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15 May Issue

Somewhere to Think About

Battling Back – Can brick and mortar retailers compete with on-line retailers?

The Internet and on-line retailers have significantly changed the way brick and mortar retailers operate. However, brick and mortar retailers have an inherent advantage in their location. They survive by getting products—things—near to their customers giving those customers the option of getting something immediately. All the customer has to do is get to the store. Ironically, on-line retailers—Amazon in particular—are attempting to mirror brick and mortar retailers by getting geographically closer to their customers. Amazon builds more fulfillment and sorting centers, and there are reports Amazon is eyeing bankrupt RadioShack’s excess storefronts. To turn the tide of on-line retailer infringement on brick and mortar, brick and mortar retailers must “geo-channel” by leveraging the geographic locations of their stores and being better at telling customers what is in their stores. In simpler times retailers used geographic analysis to determine the best location for a new store. Now, they need to use geographic analysis to determine the best locations for the items they sell.

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Drone Watch

These Two Things Could be Big.

It this article, big means having significant impact. Radars, a proven technology for manned aircraft collision avoidance, are generally too heavy for lightweight commercial drones. Echodyne has engineered a radar antenna small enough for a drone using metamaterials. Also, Airware has released its Aerial Information Platform that is intended to provide a common operating interface across different unmanned flight platforms. Both developments provide important capabilities for beyond line of site operations that in turn will exponentially increase the utility of commercial unmanned aircraft.

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It’s Academic

Everyone a Sensor

In a recently published paper in Science Advances, researchers examined the possibility of using crowdsourced cell phone GPS data to provide early warning of earthquakes. Indications are that it could work. With miniaturized sensors, what else might our smart phone potentially detect—air pollution, the extent of climate change. Who would have thought we could save others—and save the planet—by buying a smart phone.

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Publisher: Jon Lewis