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Blockchains Help With Location-Based Apps

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The most widely known blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. The core working principle of the blockchain system is to use a decentralized ledger to record cryptocurrency transactions on multiple computers. Cryptocurrency is used as a medium of exchange for any content transmitted between network users. Local businesses rely on word of mouth to grow and foster local advocates. Many offer discounts or coupons for products as part of their advertising based on a customer’s location. With blockchains, location-based applications can be promoted or advertised because it adjusts to the interests of the target user.

Location-based application tokens can be used at a local store, just like cash, or in the form of a “completed service” discount. In this way, the self-sustaining system reclaims the value in an integrated, local approach. Local stores don’t have to spend money on advertising to consumers who aren’t loyal to their business. Instead, they can achieve “advertising” results in exchange for small discounts, or even do something to enrich the local area where the store is located.

To earn coins, users need to leave their homes to explore, and the currency has a standard blockchain for recording and verifying all transactions. People seek to establish closer ties with local communities. However, many people don’t know how to make connections, so choose a shopping mall that is easy to patronize or a website that has no connection to their place of residence. The blockchain provides local businesses with access to data that optimizes their work in a way that is easier than ever from a financial perspective. This technology has been built to ensure that user data is protected. The blockchain has no middlemen, so it can provide local businesses with the ability to fine-tune their promotions to capture the best audience.

Mobile devices can be the gateway to the best local experience. Blockchain and location-based applications are helping to build a fast lane where locals can quickly find the companies that are most interested in attracting business. Location-based apps are a response to technology for anonymous globalization.

For more information on using location-based applications contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.

Why Car Companies Bought a Mapping Business

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Whether printed on a globe for teaching children country locations or navigating streets of an unfamiliar city maps have always been valuable. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that three German car manufacturing giants (Audi, BMW, Daimler) paid three billion dollars for Nokia’s HERE mapping division. This move will give the car companies a powerful asset that has drawn the admiration of several tech giants like Facebook for its incredible quality and reliability.

Nokia’s HERE mapping software is regarded as one of the four best in the technological world. The company has been in the digital mapping market since 2001 and has steadily acquired its assets as it has built HERE and expanded upon its capabilities. Since Nokia is restructuring its company and organization, they have decided to part with HERE and get out of the mapping business to focus on reentry into the smartphone and cell phone market.

One of the biggest reasons for the sale is that HERE mapping powers over 80% of all in-car GPS systems on the market today. As cars continue to get more and more advanced, and as we continue towards the automation of driving, the reliable and consistent mapping will provide these companies with an incredible advantage. Over half of the one billion dollars in revenue that HERE generated in the year 2014 was tied directly to the automotive industry. This connection keeps one of the best-kept secrets of the auto industry still in the family.

There’s also a competitive reason for the sale. The other rumored buyer is the ride-sharing app Uber. The Uber app is compatible with several of the mapping apps currently on the market, including Google Maps and Waze. Having their mapping system in-house, especially one this valuable would provide investors another reason to be excited about the company’s IPO launch on the New York Stock Exchange. The German car retailers also ensured that this technology would stay in their cars and not become exclusive to an app many see as exploitive to their employees.

To learn how HERE Mapping Resources can help your business navigate, contact us.

What is the Difference Between HERE Maps and Google Maps

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A Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation device, GPS receiver, or simply GPS is a device that receives information from satellites and calculates the unit’s geographical position. GPS was initially developed for use by the United States military, but in the 1980s, the United States government opened the system to be used for civilian purposes.

In 1989, Magellan Navigation Inc. unveiled its Magellan NAV 1000, the world’s first commercial handheld GPS receiver. Soon automobile manufacturers, like Mazda, started installed GPS systems in cars. Many cars today have a GPS installed for people to maneuver around easily.

For many people, their phones have become their navigation devices. Even with a large number of cellphone towers available, there are plenty of places in the world that don’t have network coverage. For these situations, you want to have offline maps available.

The two major competitors for offline maps are HERE Maps and Google Maps.

Cost

Both offer their services free of charge. You don’t have to pay anything to download the app or to download maps.

Offline Maps

Google Maps offers the ability to download custom areas for offline maps. That being said, you need to plan those areas out and download them beforehand. Google doesn’t necessarily make it easy to download offline maps.

HERE Maps was designed to have offline maps as a feature. You can download cities, states, and surrounding areas by looking it up on the system. Many users prefer the option to download by named areas they plan to travel without having to do too much research or planning.

Storage Space

In general, Google Maps is known to use more storage space than HERE Maps. During testing performed by Guiding Tech, Google Maps used about double the storage space in 15 days. That being said, both apps used less than 500 MB, not much space when you consider modern phones have around 64 GB of data as a baseline.

Traffic Updates And Rerouting

Both systems use active users to help predict traffic. Due to both systems having a large number of active users, you can get reasonably good traffic estimations from both. Google claims to be able to show you traffic on a per street basis, but this is only as accurate as a prediction can be.

HERE Maps does not offer traffic-based rerouting while you are driving. But the original route provided by HERE Maps tends to be better than the Google Maps.

HERE Maps tends to perform better for a lot of users. It was initially only available on Nokia devices; however, customer demand made it possible on other devices. Users have flocked to the app, giving HERE a more massive user-base than first anticipated.

To learn how HERE maps can help your business navigate, contact us.

Top Industries That Use GIS

HERE Mapping Resources GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are designed to collect and analyze spatial or geographic data. These systems allow businesses to utilize technology to make strategic decisions based on the data gathered by GIS. Here are some of the top industries currently using GIS technology:

Water Utility Companies

Water utility companies use GIS to view and analyze their assets that lie beneath the surface. Through the use of GIS, they can locate and identify pipes or valves that need maintenance, a feat that is made substantially easier by GIS. They also use GIS to plot their customers and track their water usage, allowing them to service an extensive area more efficiently.

Insurance Companies

Determining the price of insurance for a customer involves the amount of risk involved for the insurance company. One of the most significant indicators of risk is location, as certain regions are more prone to things like natural disasters or crime. Insurance companies use GIS to collect historical records, demographics, and local geography to determine the amount of risk involved.

Supply Chain Management

Delivering product from one place to another involves a great deal of planning and tracking to make the process as efficient as possible. Supply chain professionals rely on GIS to help ensure that things like fresh produce are delivered in good quality via the most efficient route.

Forestry and Timber

The forestry industry uses GIS to map out the weather of specific regions to help re-establish plant species in land plots where they will thrive. It also uses GIS to help preserve ecosystems by recording information on the species in an area and the change of populations over time.

Urban Planning

City planners use GIS technology to account for the impact their work has on the animal and plant life in their city. They use spatial information to decide where to best introduce alternative energy resources like a solar or wind farm to a city.

Health And Human Services

Public health uses GIS to analyze trends in disease, identifying high-risk areas or common origin points of infection. This information allows them to properly direct prevention efforts to best treat and contain illness within communities.

Banking

Banks use GIS to determine which branches to close and where to open new ones based on factors like potential customer base and local crime rates.

For more information on how you can use GIS for your business, contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.

Is GPS Susceptible To Hackers?

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Global Positioning System (GPS) devices triangulate data from several global navigation satellites to determine a position on the earth. This information is provided instantaneously to the unit allowing a moving object to navigate a specified route. Both individuals and commercial entities use GPS units. A hacker is a person or persons who electronically maneuver around security systems to gather information. In some cases, the hacked data is used to disrupt networks to do harm or damage an individual, company or government.

In recent years, there has been a concern that GPS devices may be susceptible to hacking. What would hackers do with this information and how could it be disruptive?

One form of disruption would be misinformation. If a hacker can access the navigation satellite information stream to GPS devices, they may be able to manipulate, change or block that information. If information is blocked, the GPS device becomes useless, but if the information is changed, that will cause chaos. In that case, people or vehicles using that information would receive coordinates for one location when they are actually in a different place. When navigating this could cause accidents as ships to run aground, or airplanes are unable to locate an airport.

The issue of privacy comes into question. Could a hacker follow or locate a person without that person’s knowledge? Remember most phones are GPS devices. In this case, most likely the hacker has accessed the person’s device. There are already friendly uses of this in apps. Those apps allow you to see friends who are near your location, but those apps require permission from each person to enable that information to be shared. In the hands of the wrong person, this information can be a danger.

There is also the issue of spoofing. Spoofing is a relatively new idea that has been tested by researchers to see the possibilities. In this case, a small spoofing device is used to receive the satellite information and then alter it before sending it on to a GPS receiver. The human controllers of the spoofing device can send incorrect information to the GPS to guide a navigating vehicle to a location other than the driver’s intended destination. There is a sophisticated use of map manipulation that fools the driver about the route they are taking. Spoofing works exceptionally well when the driver is unfamiliar with the city or area. It can be detected if the driver pays close attention to street names and other landmarks.

Encryption of the satellite signals would solve these problems. But the task is monumental as there are over a billion GPS devices in use worldwide and all would require updates or replacement. As industries and governments focus on the massive problems a cyber attack on GPS could cause, solutions are being sought. When those solutions are forthcoming is not yet known.

For more information on GPS mapping platforms, contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.

What Is a Risk Assessment In Geography?

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A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people while taking part in a project. It aims to identify whether enough precautions, or ‘control measures,’ are in place, or whether further action is required to minimize, or eliminate, the level of risk identified.

In the business world, risk assessment in a geographic context has to do with mitigating the risk for a company to conduct business in a specific geographic area. What events might prevent that business from succeeding? An example would be oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. There is a significant risk that a hurricane will come through from the Atlantic Ocean and disrupt business.

The owner of a retail location most likely has protocols in place to mitigate the risk to their store in a high-risk neighborhood such as security cameras, expensive items under lock and key and insurance policies.

How did the business owner decide on these safeguards? It all comes down to location intelligence and analytics. The business owner completed a risk assessment which consists of five types of risk: strategic, compliance, operational, financial, and reputational. Each business mitigates these risks differently. In our store example, the primary dangers this business owner is looking to reduce with the bulletproof glass and video cameras are the financial and operational risks.

If this store were opened in a less dangerous neighborhood, the business would look a lot different. Assessing the risk potential and the impact of each type of risk is a significant part of mitigating the risks that could exist for your business. You would expect the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico to have hurricane insurance. But that oil rig might not plan for an earthquake or tsunami.

Risk assessment in a geographic sense is: making sure the business is protected from any negative externalities that could arise based on the location of the company. Each business, each site, will have different needs and different risks to mitigate.

For more information on location-based risk assessment contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.

Transform Supply Chain Visibility With Location Intelligence

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Many factories face a significant challenge of optimizing their supply chain. There are many different tasks involving multiple departments within an organization regarding the dynamics of all products without any real-time or accurate location data. Each department produces its data, and culling that data for actionable intel takes personnel and software. Most businesses have experience with incidents, challenges, misplacements, and delays.

With modern technology and innovative techniques, Here Mapping Resources takes advantage of tracking and location technologies enabling industries complete supply chain visibility. So what is location intelligence?

Local Intelligence

Location intelligence allows businesses to have insight using geospatial data to resolve problems. Different marketing and spatial analytical tools are used to gather knowledge of optimal locations to operate the business and transform the supply chain. It is merely the process of converting the location data to beneficial business outcomes.

How Local Intelligence Helps In Transforming The Supply Chain?

With location intelligence offered by Here Mapping Resources, businesses can track trends and patterns quickly. The use of graphics and detailed maps assists in making informed decisions regarding the products and capitalizing on business opportunities. By locating the customer transaction, and linking that with additional data including demographics enhances business insight. Businesses can make informed decisions at a reduced cost.

Real-time Updates

Getting updates regarding delayed deliveries helps businesses to pre-plan response actions. It allows them to use the tracking data to get the trucks, docks, and goods organized allowing an efficient flow of the assets from the industry to the warehouse and ultimately to the customers. It enables them to have complete knowledge of disturbances such as weather conditions, labor disruptions, shortage of supplies that might result in delayed shipments.

Real-time Reflectivity

It allows the factories to manage the supply of goods without any delays that help in cost reduction. It ensures greater security, transparency, and efficiency of the products. Make use of location intelligence to have complete chart transitions with outdoor and indoor locations.

Utilization Of Assets

Ensure the maximum filling of the vehicles to get the most out of it through real-time and accurate tracking of the assets. This information helps plot delivery routes creating effective use of company fleet.

Transform the supply chain visibility with location intelligence giving the businesses complete global coverage, cost-efficient tracking, real-time and accurate location of the goods, high-quality industrial maps, rich content and completely efficient monitoring of all assets.

For more information on business uses for location intelligence contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.

Data Scientists Role In Your Organization

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In today’s business world, data scientists are essential people working in any organization. They help companies by managing and interpreting the data and helping to solve complex problems which come under the data niche. The foundation of a data scientist includes analytics, statistics, modeling, computer science, and math. This background gives them practical knowledge, a strong sense of business and intelligence that makes them highly valuable in an organization.

With ever-evolving software and technologies, there is a higher demand for data scientists in an organization than there was just ten years ago. In past decades traditional organizations didn’t invest their budget in such positions but now due to the big data revolution data scientists are in demand.

Core Skills Of Data Scientists

Data scientists should have expertise in software like Java, Python, or Hadoop. They need to focus on analytics, modeling, data management as well as business analysis. The credentials of such people include professional skills like collaboration, communication, leadership, discipline, and creativity.

What Knowledge Should A Data Scientist Have?

A data scientist should be knowledgeable of the spatial auto-correlation for geographic patterns, the effects of longitude and latitude location data, and the dilemma regarding merging data across the unreliable spatial boundaries problem (i.e., MAUP or Modifiable Areal Unit). There is usually a significant gap between data science work and geospatial work in an organization. For data science work, data visualization is highly essential. Maps are the commonly used format that assists in data representations.

Role Of Data Scientists In An Organization

These professionals are a real game-changer for an organization. They are highly integrated in terms of creating paradigms as well as better products. They offer insights which help in illuminating the trajectory of an organization to achieve business goals.

Data scientists may require continuing training in new programs to remain knowledgeable in the latest technologies. Certain websites are also available which help in enhancing the expertise in this field. Data science is not considered a single profession; it plays a significant role in an organization. Today, the understanding of geospatial skills and intelligence are required to effectively decipher issues encountered daily including the privacy of cell phone data by location or gerrymandering.

The data scientists at HERE Mapping Resources are highly capable of managing geo-fencing, tracking, routing, mapping as well as functional needs regarding navigation. Choose Here Mapping Resources now for enhancing the efficiency of your organization.

HERE Maps: Cartography: Art or Science?

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Cartography is a practice that many people take for granted. Google has made maps a standard item in people’s lives. Cartography has been around for centuries. Maps were a way for people to make sense of their world and a tool to navigate through it. As maps evolved, they became a way for explorers to present newly discovered lands. Maps are also ways to present data to an audience – think population maps. Those who delve into the world of cartography often ask if it is an art or science. So what is it?

The word cartography comes from two pieces, “carta” and “graphie.” “Carta” is Latin in origin and means to a chart or card. “Graphie” is French for “to write, to draw.” So combined the word is the study of drawing maps.

Cartography is both an art and a science. While you can learn to draw maps, it takes art skills to craft a map perfectly. Research and knowledge of various geographical terms are critical. How should mountains, rock shelves, rivers, lakes be represented?

Map making is made easier by modern technology. Even though much mapping is completed on a computer nowadays, it still is an art form.

Cartography resources can be retrieved from many services. When help is needed there are plenty of services, tools, and companies explicitly dedicated to cartographic services.

Getting help is sometimes needed whether we are an artist, scientist, or both, sometimes another perspective is required on a project.

The world of cartography includes the making of a large variety of maps: navigation, topography, geographic or street. No matter what the map is used accuracy is essential. A map is a scaled-down version of the Earth, and as such, any small mistake is amplified immensely. But it isn’t just about that. Maps created by an artist aren’t only accurate; they show true craftsmanship.

If your business depends on using maps or needing demographic data for developing territories, contact HERE Mapping Resources for more information.

What is Geospatial?

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Geospatial refers to the geography of the earth. The earth itself is a big place. Geography relates to the earth’s surface – its character, arrangement, and the interrelation of the world’s elements (i.e., climate, soil, vegetation, etc.). But before we delve any deeper into that, let’s break down the word geospatial. It might help us understand the term a little more.

Geo is the first part of the word and refers to geography or geographic. The study of physical components of an area or planet. Everything from studying mountains to studying the layout of a town could constitute geography. That definition includes just about everything and is part of what makes narrowing it down so important.

Then, in the second part of the word, we have spatial. Spatial is defined as occupying a particular location. When we put the two pieces of a word together, we get geospatial – relating to a specific geographic place on this planet.

An emerging term is starting to gain traction, that term is geospatially smart. We all know that smart means possessing a significant amount of intelligence, but what does it mean to be geospatially smart?

Being geospatially smart means that you are aware of the geographic features of the earth and what it has to offer. You are also aware of how the rotation of the planet (i.e., time) affects the various geographic features.

In a world of internet, one might wonder why it would be so essential to be geospatially smart. There are many different reasons for which you might need to be geospatially smart. An excellent example of this would be city planning or architecture. You need to be aware of how to build something and where to place highways.

Solar panels, which are becoming commonplace, also require geospatially smart installers. You need to know where to place them and how to place them in the most effective position.

So many different aspects of our lives still revolve around the world around us from how we live, how we commute, how we power our fancy technology. No matter for what reason we need to be aware of geography and how to use it, it is a necessity in almost all industries. The best part about it? It doesn’t take much to start learning about geography.

For more information on geospatial and how to use it in your company contact HERE Mapping Resources at 888-848-4436.