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Apple Maps Will Go Indoor?


Is Apple planning to launch indoor navigation? It will most likely happen in a couple of months as the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has acquired WiFiSlam, an indoor GPS startup. WiFiSlam is Silicon Valley company founded by a few ex-Googlers a couple of years back. They created a technology to track indoor location in real-time with 2.5m accuracy using only ambient Wi-Fi signals that are already present in buildings.

But WiFiSlam could be interesting for Apple not only because of their WiFi positioning technology. We all know that indoor location-based services are a hot topic from some time already and every tech university and R&D departments of major companies are working to make it usable. With no significant success… WiFiSlam is known from building location-based apps that range from step-by-step indoor navigation and product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based social networking… And Apple needs success in indoor mapping more than anything to cover its terrible beginning with maps last year.

Apple did not disclose the details of the deal but WSJ reports that it cost Cupertino around $20 mln. Will it be worth the money? I hope so. Until maps everything that Apple created had amazing user experience… Maybe together with WiFiSlam Apple will be able to create something great again.

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Geospatial Surveillance for Malaria Elimination

Dr. John Snow is in a sense the founder of “medical mapping” – if ever a term like that would evolve to exist. And it looks like he will be known that way sooner than later, judging by the number of Geospatial applications in the Medical field.

A new paper  titled “A high-resolution geospatial surveillance-response system for malaria elimination in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu” published in the Malaria Journal happens to a fantastic read.

The paper examines the application of a GIS based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) to locate and map the distribution of confirmed malaria cases besides rapid classification of active transmission foci and guide targeted responses for malaria eradication in certain zones. For this purpose, a high-resolution geospatial surveillance has been developed within a GIS framework to support malaria elimination in the Pacific.

The methodology (as described in the paper): “Customized SDSS-based surveillance-response systems were developed in the three elimination provinces of Isabel and Temotu, Solomon Islands and Tafea, Vanuatu.”

Just thinking that it might be a good idea to use google maps to locate them on the map… and its somewhere near Australia!

Confirmed malaria cases were reported to provincial malaria offices upon diagnosis and updated into the respective SDSS as part of routine operations throughout 2011. Cases were automatically mapped by household within the SDSS using existing geographical reconnaissance (GR) data. GIS queries were integrated into the SDSS-framework to automatically classify and map transmission foci based on the spatiotemporal distribution of cases, highlight current areas of interest (AOI) regions to conduct foci-specific targeted response, and extract supporting household and population data. GIS simulations were run to detect AOIs triggered throughout 2011 in each elimination province and conduct a sensitivity analysis to calculate the proportion of positive cases, households and population highlighted in AOI regions of a varying geographic radius.

This paper is perhaps an strong indication of the extent to which GIS & Geospatial technology has been able to position itself in the medical mapping and analysis domain. Its a great sign to see Geospatial technology being used to make living healthier.

Kudos to the research team – Gerard C KellyErick HaleWesley DonaldWillie BatariiHugo BugoroJohnny NausienJohn SmaleKevin Palmer,Albino BobogareGeorge TaleoAndrew VallelyMarcel TannerLasse S Vestergaard and Archie CA Clements

Here’s the link to the paper: Malaria Journal 2013

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