GIS Tech News (#123)

17 Sep, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

GIS Leads Gleaners to Garden of Plenty

Trimble Navigation solutions help San Jose volunteers collect thousands of pounds of backyard produce for families in need.

By Kevin P. Corbley

Food security is a growing social and economic challenge that knows no political boundaries. Even in the United States, an astonishing 18 million households were labeled "food insecure" in 2011 because they lacked the means at some point during the year to feed all of their members. The negative impacts of food insecurity can range from poor academic performance and rising healthcare costs to increased crime and social unrest.

A Garden to Table volunteer collects fruit tree data with the Trimble Juno handheld computer.
A Garden to Table volunteer collects fruit tree data with the Trimble Juno handheld computer.

San Jose State University (SJSU) in California has teamed with Trimble Navigation to deploy a high-tech solution that enhances the local community's ability to put fresh food on the tables of families in need. Leveraging a variety of web-based geographic information system (GIS), geospatial, and mobile GPS technologies, the solution makes it easier for local organizations to manage productive forestry and agriculture programs in the urban setting.

"Bringing food production back into our cities and suburbs has significant environmental, economic, and social benefits," said Hilary Nixon, associate professor in the SJSU Department of Urban and Regional Planning. "A healthier community is one of those benefits."

SJSU and the City of San Jose have jointly formed an organization they call CommUniverCity that brings together students, faculty, city staff, and members of the local community to assist nearby neighborhoods in a variety of initiatives. One of these is Garden to Table, which deployed the Trimble Urban Forestry solution to feed the hungry with fruits grown locally in private yards and gardens.

Due to the increased efficiencies achieved by superior data collection and organization, Garden to Table was able to halve the amount of time it took to catalog, organize, and map Central San Jose's fruit trees, leading to more time in the field, and a projected increase of 100 percent more fruit in 2013, or roughly 25,000 pounds. Plans call for all of the fruit being delivered to families within a couple of miles of where it is grown. Read more »
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Kevin P. Corbley is the founder and owner of Corbley Communications, which provides business development and marketing communications for organizations in geospatial and related fields.

Canon Keeps CAD in Mind with New Wide-Format Color Printers

Paperless documents may be decreasing the demand for printing hardware, but the diversified digital imaging solutions provider is still pursuing CAD and GIS customers.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Canon expanded its large-format printer family this month, adding the 44-inch iPF8400S and 24-inch iPF6400S to its imagePROGRAF S Series. The eight-color printers support the imagePROGRAF Direct Print & Share software, which allows users to print files without opening them and to share files via the cloud.

"We have a fairly robust lineup — 23 printers altogether," said Rich Reamer, director of product marketing. He explained that Canon offers twelve-color printers for graphic arts, eight-color models for production printing, and five-color units for technical documents and general use. With the decentralization going on in the CAD world, Reamer continued, many subcontrators are now working with inkjet printers. "[We are] really giving the ... CAD world a lot of flexibility ... and doing so at a low cost."

MacCormack aims to mitigate this ongoing cost with 3D printers that use a different kind of raw material: printer paper. "It's a ubiquitous material that everybody can get their hands on," he said. In addition to being inexpensive, it's also nontoxic, stable, and produces recyclable models, he explained, unlike some other options on the market. According to MacCormack, high material costs prevent users from realizing "the real power of 3D printing": producing multiple models to explore what-if scenarios.

The iPF8400S and iPF6400S are geared toward print service providers and feature:

  • a built-in 250-GB hard drive
  • support for high-capacity ink tanks (300-mL ink tanks in the iPF6400S; 330-mL and 700-mL in the iPF8400S)
  • an upgraded multisensor color calibration system
  • Color Calibration Management Console (CCMC) software, which provides system-wide color management control from a single computer.
  • an optional spectrophotometer.

Read more »
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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Second Annual 3D Documentation Conference
October 16–18, 2013
Orlando, Florida
The 3D Documentation Conference, hosted by FARO, will offer laser scanning professionals a platform to exchange ideas, discuss emerging technologies, and participate in cooperative workshops. Read more

9th International gvSIG Conference
November 27–29, 2013
Valencia, Spain
The 9th International gvSIG Conference, organized by the gvSIG Association, will be held under the slogan "Matter of Sovereignty." gvSIG is open-source geographic information system software. Read more

Autodesk University 2013
December 3–5, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference is designed for users of Autodesk software, including architects, engineers, and designers. The event comprises more than 650 classes, networking receptions, preconference events, and an exhibit hall. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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