I have been lucky enough to be part of the Geollect team for 3-weeks as their first ‘Geointern’ before going into my third year at the University of Exeter, studying BSc Geography with Applied GIS. With much of my degree focussing on environmental applications of GIS, I started the internship rather uneducated in the maritime sector and was oblivious to its scope for improvement through GIS to help the industries work more efficiently and sustainably. I was keen to be able to apply the GIS skills learnt from my degree to different sectors within the work place, to discover and implement the diverse possibilities for GIS applications beyond my degree’s discipline.
The main project I worked on looked at the tracks of past hurricanes on the East Coast of America and the Gulf of Mexico. I studied the tracks and looked at how they overlap with the US’s major ports in these regions, such as Ports of New Orleans, Miami and The Everglades. I used open-source information to find the ports’ information such as its terminals, operators, types of cranes, berths and fence lines. I displayed risk analysis on ArcGIS Web AppBuilder to show the intersection of historical hurricane tracks and major trading and commercial ports. This is valuable information for insurance companies who are thus able to adjust the port’s insurance premiums. This is a prime example of where I have been able to apply my GIS expertise focussed on geographical acquired at university to real world applications. I used ArcGIS Pro software, an updated version to ArcMap which I have previously used as well as an array of online tools and ESRI City Engine to create 3D maps of the ports.
A highlight of my internship was when Geollect were hired for the day to investigate the location of a pirated ship on the West coast of Africa. Using satellite data, we were able to disprove other hypotheses previously made about the ship’s location, filter Twitter data so we were notified of any newsfeed updates and georeference maps to look at the bathymetry of the port to determine where the ship would be able to travel with its draught.
I also spent time looking at the newly available Sentinel 5p data, to identify the main shipping routes from high NO2 levels and investigated different ways Geollect will be able to implement this recently released data into their future projects. Prior to my internship, I was ignorant to the vast quantity of open-source information and data, and the potential to create vast analyses through the utilisation of such data. I was also able to observe a conference with potential customers in Zambia through a webinar explaining the potential products Geollect can tailor for smart farming and agriculture.
The huge potential of Geollect in the geospatial industry is clearly driven by the motivated, passionate and knowledgeable employees to create bespoke products for efficiency and sustainability across numerous sectors. It has been a pleasure to feel so welcomed into the Geollect team; I have loved the friendliness and humour of the team and the fast-paced and dynamic nature of Geollect as a start-up company. Despite being an intern, the open nature of the team meant I felt comfortable inputting suggestions to the whole team and felt confident contributing to every project I was given. I greatly appreciated their flexibility and contemporary, realistic outlook on everyone’s working hours and place of work, with working hours suited to each individual’s needs. I hope to work with Geollect in the future and look forward to seeing their progress within the Geospatial industry in the near future. I wish the best of luck to the team and to Dave and Ryan who are lucky enough to soon be joining the Geollect team.
Linkedin: Nicola Clift
Vice President Mike Pence announced the administration’s plans for a ‘space force’ earlier this month. PHOTO: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Defense and aerospace companies are accelerating plans to develop new types of missiles and satellites in an effort to capitalise on President Trump’s proposed military branch devoted to space warfare.
Even before the administration’s plans for a “space force” were announced earlier this month, Pentagon space spending was on the rise, in part to combat the rising threat to U.S. satellites from Chinese and Russian technology, which the U.S. military has been tracking for years.
Space projects could see larger shifts of money as debate over the president’s space-force plan increases public awareness of the military’s drive to speed up deployment of next-generation space equipment.
The increased budget is attracting the attention not only of big companies like Boeing Co. BA -0.72% , Northrop Grumman Corp.NOC 0.09% and Lockheed Martin Corp. but also smaller ones like information-technology specialist Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings Corp. Companies are prioritizing the development of fast, highly maneuverable missiles; technology to detect hostile missile launches; small, more-resilient communications satellites; and processing data from new sensors.
Getting less attention in the budget is traditional space hardware, such as bigger satellites that typically have taken longer to build and deploy.
Existing military space efforts are focused through the Air Force, which has said it wants to spend around $44 billion on unclassified space research, development and new equipment over the next five years—nearly 20% more than its prior guidance in 2017. While the projections were made before the president’s space-force plan, much of the money could end up shifted to the new branch if Congress approves it.
The totals don’t include expected funding boosts to classified projects, outside usual public oversight, which have been among the fastest-growing slices of the defense budget.
Boeing Chairman Dennis Muilenburg told Wall Street analysts earlier this year that he was encouraged by the Trump administration’s “sustained funding and support” for military and civilian space programs. “We do see it as an important business segment for our future,” he said.
Proponents argue the changes to the space budget are essential to counter evolving Chinese and Russian technology capable of blinding, jamming or possibly even destroying American surveillance and communications satellites. U.S. intelligence officials have publicly criticized Beijing for aggressively pursuing antisatellite weapons and for setting up military units specifically trained to attack foreign satellites.
Because of the overseas threat, top candidates for additional funding include research on swarms of space-based sensors able to detect hostile missile launches and, ultimately, potential deployment of advanced orbiting lasers designed to defend a variety of military spacecraft.
Regardless of the project, proponents predict more focus and dollars will go to build and test prototypes. They are intended to demonstrate technical capabilities and flag future production problems more quickly than the Air Force’s traditional, time-consuming hardware development and acquisition process.
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, head of Strategic Command, which oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons, repeatedly has lamented the lumbering pace of replacing missile-warning and other types of satellites. “I don’t know how it happened, but somehow this country lost the ability to go fast,” he said last December.
Companies that stand to profit include Lockheed Martin, which recently snared contracts totaling more than $3.3 billion to develop new fleets of missile-warning satellites and highly maneuverable hypersonic missiles, able to reach targets at speeds faster than five times the speed of sound. Boeing recently bought Millennium Space Systems, a small-satellite maker that analysts said will help it downsize from school bus-size satellites.
Senior officials at rocket-motor specialist Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. have said the company stands to benefit from unprecedented interest in hypersonic vehicles. Industry officials see Northrop Grumman, with its long and close ties to the intelligence community, gaining from stepped-up spending on missile-warning and cutting-edge spy satellites. At the same time, service providers such as Booz Allen are bound to grow with the steadily increasing flow of data streaming from space, according to defense analysts.
Some industry executives are optimistic about the potential of a new space force to unlock extra resources and savings by coordinating spending and making more use of cheaper commercial technology, when appropriate.
“That will only drive more investments in the area,” said Bill Brown, chief executive of Harris Corp., which makes sensors and communication equipment. “There are tremendous opportunities [for] growing in the classified” arena.
Lawmakers are unlikely to vote on the president’s space-force planuntil next year, and even if it is approved, implementation is bound to take years. So far neither military nor White House officials have provided specifics on the plan, and bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill appears to be building to the projected cost and disruption of standing up an entirely new uniformed and civilian chain of command. The success of any space force would depend partly on the extent of participation by the intelligence community.
And even though a space force could lead to more business, some contractors and military leaders say they are worried the move threatens to drain dollars already earmarked for space hardware into staff, support and operational accounts.
No matter the outcome, the Pentagon appears focused on quickly developing its new space defenses.
“We’ve told all of our contractors” the military simply won’t support “more exquisite, one-off science [experiments]” that block rapid deployment, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said last year.
As we begin our 9th month of trading, we here at Geollect have taken a step back to reflect on the wonderful chaos of the past 8 months. We’ve been busy developing and running the business, researching markets and routes into them, and growing and nurturing a team that is passionate about making this a success. It’s not easy, and there are days when everyone wants to call it quits, but we’ve persevered and are beginning to realise the benefits of Geollect’s services and offerings. see fruits of our labour.
The hardest, yet most rewarding, part of this all has been navigating through the unknowns and seemingly impossible questions. Who in the commercial sector will take an interest in geospatial intelligence? How do we convert our skillsets from military and government into useable, actionable intelligence for commercial decision makers? We quickly found the best route to answer these questions was the simplest - ask more questions. Instead of sitting down to talk at a potential, or existing customer, we sit down and ask them questions. What are their biggest frustrations in both their daily tasks and longer-term projects? What do they spend the most time on in their daily tasks? When we are able to then display a Geollect service that can alleviate some of those pains, we know we have convinced someone else of the benefits of geospatial intelligence.
The rewards come from working closely with a customer and developing a solution that can greatly impact how they are doing business. In the last 6 months, Geollect has saved its customers over 650million USD. Hard to believe, isn’t it? That figure is the demonstrator for the true power of what geospatial intelligence can do.
The rewards also come from working amongst a team of people who can remain creative, humorous and flexible, even when the pressure and stress are at all time highs. Geollect has changed us all in ways we didn’t quite expect. Without realising it, we have all gained skills we never thought we had the aptitude for and we have all
As we gear up to make the trek out to San Diego to exhibit as part of the Start-up Zone at the Esri User Conference, we realise we are reaching another milestone in our journey. We are no longer a concept, we are ready to launch geospatial intelligence service offerings and product lines that can transform businesses, and the Esri UC is a great platform for us to get the Geollect name out there!
If you're interested in finding out more about how our experienced team can help your business, please get in touch.