3D Reshaper Digital terrain & contour lines

3DReshaper is an easy-to-use and affordable software dedicated to point cloud processing for various applications. It is a complete toolbox to meet many 3D modeling or inspection needs. Thanks to its Topography module, this is an essential software for all surveyors working with point clouds.

In the world of Surveyors, modeling can be very complex due to a lot of extraneous data in the scans (vegetation, cars, signs, etc.). In 3D Reshaper, there is a dedicated command to automatically extract the ground from a point cloud, so you can create an accurate DTM in one click.



Compute sections very easily in order to get contour lines on your DTM ( you can also compute sections in any direction, around an axis or along a curve).

Exrtract automatically all breaking lines from a mesh to help you to draw roads or facades.extract_breaking_lines


Practise with digital terrain models and contour lines


A story map of terrorist attacks since 2000

Terrorism is Everywhere



History of Terrorism

Terrorist acts or the threat of such action have been in existence for millennia. Despite having a history longer than the modern nation-state, the use of terror by governments and those that contest their power remains poorly understood. While the meaning of the word terror itself is clear, when it is applied to acts and actors in the real world it becomes confused. Part of this is due to the use of terror tactics by actors at all levels in the social and political environment.

Can he be compared to the French revolutionary governments who coined the word terrorism by instituting systematic state terror against the population of France in the 1790s, killing thousands? Are either the same as revolutionary terrorist groups such as the Baader-Mienhof Gang of West Germany or the Weather Underground in the United States?

So we see that distinctions of size and political legitimacy of the actors using terror raise questions as to what is and is not terrorism. The concept of moral equivalency is frequently used as an argument to broaden and blur the definition of terrorism as well. This concept argues that the outcome of an action is what matters, not the intent. Collateral or unintended damage to civilians from an attack by uniformed military forces on a legitimate military target is the same as a terrorist bomb directed deliberately at the civilian target with the intent of creating that damage.

Simply put, a car bomb on a city street and a jet fighter dropping a bomb on a tank are both acts of violence that produce death and terror. Therefore (at the extreme end of this argument) any military action is simply terrorism by a different name. This is the reasoning behind the famous phrase “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. It is also a legacy of legitimizing the use of terror by successful revolutionary movements after the fact.

The very flexibility and adaptability of terror throughout the years has contributed to the confusion. Those seeking to disrupt, reorder or destroy the status quo have continuously sought new and creative ways to achieve their goals. Changes in the tactics and techniques of terrorists have been significant, but even more significant are the growth in the number of causes and social contexts where terrorism is used.

Over the past 20 years, terrorists have committed extremely violent acts for alleged political or religious reasons. Political ideology ranges from the far left to the far right. For example, the far left can consist of groups such as Marxists and Leninists who propose a revolution of workers led by a revolutionary elite. On the far right, we find dictatorships that typically believe in a merging of state and business leadership.

Nationalism is the devotion to the interests or culture of a group of people or a nation. Typically, nationalists share a common ethnic background and wish to establish or regain a homeland.


A view of terrorist attacks through an online map




This Story map was created by Evgenia Rovatsou with main goal the understanding of the harm which is done by these actions, regardless the nation or religious beliefs of every man.



Convert OpenStreetMap data to Shapefiles (SHP)

The community of geospatial information OpenStreetMap (OSM) is diverse and grows every day. Its contributors include map designers and map users, GIS professionals, engineers who control the servers, etc., working around the world

The OpenStreetMap data servers’ organization allows you free access to a rich and permanently updated source of territorial spatial data. Besides its own community websites, there are many other sites devoted to extracting territorial information organized by continents, countries, cities, areas, etc., which may include the segregation of data according to the different types of information

Spatial Manager Desktop™ includes its own data provider to access OpenStreetMap information, which allows you, not only to integrate it into their Maps merged with other spatial data sources , but also to use it in manual or automatic (by defining Tasks) export or convert processes

In this example, by using the search and navigation tools in the main OpenStreetMap website, we locate the spatial information relating to a given city and the search process is focused on a specific area of the city. Then, from this website, the information is exported to an OSM file which will be used in Spatial Manager Desktop™ to export (or to convert) this OpenStreetMap information to other formats

Finally we export the buildings in the chosen area to a Shapefile (SHP) and we load it into a new Map. We also configure the application to perform a Coordinate Transformation to project the Features over the conversion process (OpenStreetMap information is defined using the WGS 84 Latitude-Longitude system — EPSG: 4326)


Kids in India Are Sparking Urban Planning Changes by Mapping Slums

A new project aims to give young Indians a voice in the city-development process.

Every kid likes to draw. But in India, young people living in slums are using their sketching skills to spur urban change.

As part of a broader civic campaign centered on “child clubs,” groups of children are creating detailed “social maps” of their marginalized neighborhoods to voice their concerns about public space, as first reported inCitiscope, a CityLab partner site.

Since 2011, UNICEF has been encouraging kids to use mobile technology and open data to map environmental and health issues near their homes. But that technology isn’t available to everyone. Instead, much of the child-led mapping campaign sweeping India today relies on old-school topography materials—paper and a rainbow-spectrum of markers.

Teams of young mappers and adult facilitators spend roughly 45 days traversing their slums. They learn the shape of their neighborhood, how streets interconnect (or don’t), and the the density of homes there. This information becomes the map’s skeleton. Then, they fill in the specifics. They stake out what’s needed through the eyes of children—where underserved public areas could become play spaces, where trash bins could be added in an area they regularly see littered with filth. Their ideal neighborhood is drawn and detailed onto the map. Then, after it’s complete, leaders from the child clubs present their work to local officials.

“What they make is their dream aspirational map,” Aishwarya Das Pattnaik, a staff member of Humara Bachpan, the organization leading the campaign, says.

Humara Bachpan has been advocating for child-led development since 2012. It has organized mapping campaigns in a handful of major urban centers, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. (According to Citiscope,approximately 325 child clubs have been established across the country, with plans to expand.) The initiative mixes activism with adolescent fun; new friendships are made, hands are covered in ink, and leadership and planning skills are nurtured. But this is also serious work, as the long-term health of India’s slums may depend on these maps. As Das Pattnaik notes, children can pinpoint community needs that go unnoticed by adults.

She cites the example of public sanitation infrastructure, which is a glaring concern for the 65 million urbanites—that’s about eight times the population of New York City—that live in slums across India. To combat sanitation woes, the scale of public toilets needs to dramatically grow. But if the bottoms of young slum dwellers don’t fit on the new toilet seats, the improvement to public health is marginal. “A child could easily fall into the toilet,” Das Pattnaik told me. On many of the child maps, therefore, dots appear indicating where child-specific public toilets should go.

The value of child-led mapping, however, is not restricted to dreaming of a modern cricket pitch or other public utilities (although that’s evidently important). Generally speaking, people living in slums operate on the peripheries of Indian society—geographically and socio-economically. Exclusion is magnified even further when you’re a child.

Urban planning in India operates as a de-facto gerontocracy, I was told by Dharitri Patnaik, India representative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, which funds child-development programs. “Most of the time children are never considered as citizens. They’re considered as future citizens,” Patnaik explains. By coming to the table with a surrogate development proposal—the map—children demonstrate analytical capabilities. In turn, government officials have to take them more seriously.

Yet, no one likes being told how to do their job, especially by children. Won’t urban-planning officials go on the defensive if their work is so candidly indicted, with colored markers no less?

But those involved contend that the government has been duly responsive to the children’s maps. Preeti Prada, Humara Bachpan’s national campaign coordinator, told me by email about a young mapmaker in the city of Bhubaneswar. Children in one neighborhood felt unsafe going to “tuition classes”—nighttime schooling popular in India—because the route was dimly lit. A 12-year-old girl responded by drawing a map of the area and, ultimately, earned an audience with the local ward representative to present it. According to Prada, the ward official is actively working to make the area safer by improving light utilities.

At times, India’s urban future is depicted through an apocalyptic lens. Already, 25 percent of all urbanites in India live in close quarters in slums, according to a 2011 government report. And by 2028, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country—likely meaning more impoverished settlements. But only broad predications can be drawn from such data. Human activism, on the other hand, is a better indication of reality. Regardless of whether these child maps lead to more equitable urban development or not, it’s indicative of a young Indian generation coming to the fore with a keen awareness of disparity—who are eager to correct it.


Top 5 GIS and Mapping Apps

Android Apps on Google Play

  • Map Pad GPS Surveys & Measure

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Use MapPad to calculate areas, perimeters and distances – save, export and share your measurements.
MapPad is providing multi-purpose mapping solution allowing location capture and determines distance and area for the shapes drawn on the map or captured using real-time GPS tracking.
Calculate area of the field or a walk distance instantly using Google or Bing Map Satellite view. Save petrol and time and capture features with few clicks on the map.
Area & Distance measurements are very accurate – please compare with other apps and what’s on the ground.

With MapPad you can capture, manage and share your data easily. App supports number of well-known cloud providers like G-Drive, Dropbox, Google Fusion Tables and export formats: KML, GPX, CSV and AutoCAD DXF.

  • Map It – GPS Data Colector

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MapIt is a GIS app designed to support GPS data collection and any kind of GPS based surveys. It’s a mobile GIS tool for land surveyors and people dealing with environmental and other GIS data. MapIt makes GIS data collection or asset surveys process faster and more efficient.
App can be also used as a tool for measurement and to calculate area or distance.

When registering location simply choose required attributes from defined earlier drop-down list, no need to type the same information over and over again. Import long attributes list from text files if necessary and use them in number of projects. If necessary you can add one or more pictures to each location as well.

  • Collector for ArcGIS

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xtend the reach of ArcGIS to your field workforce and use the Collector to improve the accuracy and currency of your spatial data. Using ArcGIS Online you can create and configure maps that tailor the ArcGIS collector to fit your workflow needs.

Collect and Update Spatial Data
* Collect new GIS features using the map or GPS
* Complete intelligent data entry forms specific to your data
* Attach photos

Find Places and get Directions
* Find places and points of interest around you
* Get driving directions to places and your features (via your ArcGIS Online Subscription)

* Calculate distance and area on top of the map

Location Tracking
* Periodically report your location

Map Viewing
* Open bookmarked locations
* Switch basemaps
* Turn on/off map layers

  • GeoMobile for ArcGIS

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GeoMobile for ArcGIS is a cross platform mobile ArcGIS viewer. Based on the popular ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, users can load their own GIS map layers into the app via a Web hosted configuration file. The application includes a number of mobile GIS tools including annotation/measure, interactive overview map, geo-coder, search, routing and a geolocator. The viewer is highly customizable, and can be extended to include additional mobile GIS functionality.

  • Wolf-GIS

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With Wolf-GIS, you’ll have access to detailed land information and GIS functionality anytime, anywhere.

Wolf-GIS is useful to those working in timber management, mining, real estate, utility companies, farming, construction, government land agencies, recreational purposes and more.

In any field big or small, Wolf-GIS helps to provide geographical information where you need it when you need it.

Introduction in Python


What is Python?

Python is a language that is used to automate computing tasks through programs called scripts. In the introduction to this lesson, you learned that automation makes work easier, faster, and more accurate. This applies to GIS and many other areas of computer science. Learning Python will make you a more effective GIS analyst, but Python programming is a technical skill that can be beneficial to you even outside the field of GIS.

Python is a good language for beginning programming. Python is a high-level language, meaning you don’t have to understand the “nuts and bolts” of how computers work in order to use it. Python syntax (how the code statements are constructed) is relatively simple to read and understand. Finally, Python requires very little overhead to get a program up and running.

Python is an open-source language and there is no fee to use it or deploy programs with it. Python can run on Windows, Linux, and Unix operating systems.

Python in ArcGis

In ArcGIS, Python can be used for coarse-grained programming, meaning that you can use it to easily run geoprocessing tools such as the Buffer tool that we just worked with. You could code all the buffer logic yourself, using more detailed, fine-grained programming with ArcObjects, but this would be time consuming and unnecessary in most scenarios; it’s easier just to call the Buffer tool from a Python script using one line of code.

Python syntax

Every programming language has rules about capitalization, white space, how to set apart lines of code and procedures, and so on. Here are some basic syntax rules to remember for Python:

Python is case-sensitive both in variable names and reserved words. That means it’s important whether you use upper or lower-case. The all lower-case “print” is a reserved word in Python that will print a value, while “Print” is unrecognized by Python and will return an error. Likewise arcpy is very sensitive about case and will return an error if you try to run a tool without capitalizing the tool name.

  • You end a Python statement by pressing Enter and literally beginning a new line. (In some other languages, a special character, such as a semicolon, denotes the end of a statement.) It’s okay to add empty lines to divide your code into logical sections.
  • If you have a long statement that you want to display on multiple lines for readability, you need to use a line continuation character, which in Python is a backslash (\). You can then continue typing on the line below and Python will interpret the line sequence as one statement. One exception is if you’re in the middle of parentheses () or brackets [], Python understands that you are continuing lines and no backslash is required.
  • Indentation is required in Python to logically group together certain lines, or blocks, of code. You should indent your code four spaces inside loops, if/then statements, and try/except statements. In most programming languages developers are encouraged to use indentation to logically group together blocks of code; however in Python, indentation of these language constructs is not only encouraged, but required. Though this requirement may seem burdensome, it does result in greater readability.
  • You can add a comment to your code by beginning the line with a pound (#) sign. Comments are lines that you include to explain what the code is doing. Comments are ignored by Python when it runs the script, so you can add them at any place in your code without worrying about their effect. Comments help others who may have to work with your code in the future; and they may even help you remember what the code does.


Training Seminar with Python


Esri uses the cloud today in several different ways. The currently available options include the following:

  • The ability to deploy ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services.
  • ArcGIS.com, a Web site offering tools and shared data for GIS applications.
  • ArcLogistics, a cloud application for optimizing routing, such as for delivery vehicles.
  • Business Analyst Online, a cloud application for geographic analysis of demographic, consumer, business, and other data.

These examples illustrate how cloud computing can make life better for GIS developers and users. Each one is worth a closer look.


ArcGIS Server is a platform for delivering GIS services to software on other systems. These capabilities are exposed as RESTful services, via SOAP, and in other ways, and they can be consumed by clients written using various technologies, including JavaScript, Adobe Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight.

Today, customers typically deploy ArcGIS Server on a computer running in their own data center. It’s also possible, however, to deploy ArcGIS Server in the cloud using AWS. As Figure 3 shows, ArcGIS Server itself can run in an EC2 VM running Windows, while a relational database holding GIS data runs in a second VM.


Deploying ArcGIS Server on AWS provides an alternative to deploying it solely in your own data center. But why would anybody do this? What are the advantages of choosing this option? There are several possible answers, including the following:

  • Easier deployment: Esri provides a preconfigured AMI containing ArcGIS Server. Rather than install and configure the product on a machine in your data center, you can just create an EC2 VM from this AMI.
  • Faster deployment: In many organizations, making a server machine available to run new software requires following a multi-step process, one that can take weeks or more. With AWS, by contrast, anybody with a valid credit card can get an EC2 VM deployed in a few minutes. If getting ArcGIS Server—and the application that uses it—up and running quickly is important, using the AWS option can make sense.
  • Lower cost: As mentioned earlier, AWS charges customers for each hour a VM is running. Depending on usage and costs in your own data center, running ArcGIS Server on AWS might be a less expensive option. This is especially true for applications with elastic (i.e., widely varying) demand. If, say, an application typically uses a single instance of ArcGIS Server, but needs ten instances for occasional peak loads, the AWS pay-as-you-go model lets you pay for this higher usage only when you need it.
  • Broad availability: Because software running on AWS can be accessed by anybody with an Internet connection, GIS services exposed by ArcGIS Server in an EC2 VM can be broadly available. While this raises the security bar, it can be an attractive approach for providing some kinds of information.
  • Better performance: ArcGIS Server allows running various kinds of analysis on GIS data. If you’re creating an application that performs complex data analysis, you might choose to deploy multiple instances of ArcGIS Server in multiple EC2 VMs, then use all of them in parallel to work on the same data. Applications running on AWS also have access to large amounts of bandwidth, which can significantly improve performance in some cases.
  • Simpler development and testing: Because the AWS environment can be essentially identical to an on-premises Windows environment, a development team can build and test an ArcGIS Server application in the cloud, then deploy it either in the cloud or on premises. Given that creating (and paying for) EC2 VMs can be more flexible than creating the same environment in your own data center, this can make the development process easier.

Running ArcGIS Server in the cloud isn’t always the right solution, of course. In many organizations, for instance, storing sensitive information outside the firewall is frowned upon. Still, this alternative deployment approach can sometimes be the best option.


Using the cloud to share GIS data and applications is an attractive idea. ArcGIS.com, run by Esri, provides a good example of this. Figure 4 shows the site’s home screen.


As this screen shot suggests, ArcGIS.com provides a number of services, including the following:

  • Storage of publicly available maps and other GIS information. (Esri provides some of this data, including things such as layers and basemaps, but users of the site also contribute.)
  • Esri-created applications for examining and working with the site’s information, such as tools for creating maps.
  • A central site for finding and accessing GIS applications that use the data on ArcGIS.com, including applications that run on computers in non-Esri data centers.


Spatial Analysis in GIS

Geographic information systems uses spatial analysis in order to understand geographic questions.

This list is a work in progress.  If you would like to submit an article or GIS tutorial covering a theme in spatial analysis, visit the submissions page for guidelines.

Area Cartograms

Area cartogram maps are maps of non-absolute space where the areal extent is in proportion to some measured value.  More: Area Cartograms Explored.


Buffering in GIS creates a polygon layer that extends out or in from a set distance from a point, line, or polygon.  More: Buffers

Clip Analysis

Clip analysis is the function of using the extent of one geographic layer to clip the extent of another geographic layer.  More: Clip Analysis using ArcGIS Desktop.

Distance Decay

Distance decay is a phenomenon observed between locations or ethnic groups- the further apart they are, the less likely it is that they will interact very much. More: Distance Decay.


Geocoding is a way of georeferencing data by using a GIS data layer that has locational information.  More:Geocoding.

Heat Maps

Heat mapping, from a  geographic perspective, is a method of showing the geographic clustering of a phenomenon. More: Heat maps in GIS.

Line of Sight and Visibility Analysis

Light of sight measures the unimpeded view or access from one point to another point across a terrain or surface.  Visibility analysis is the end result, a line color coded to show which segments are visible and which segments have an obstructed view.  More: Light of Sight.


How to Import a Shapefile in CartoDB

The CartoDB platform is designed for maps of all shapes and sizes. While we appreciate linearity, we understand that many visualizations tell stories that don’t follow a straight path. The following tutorial will explain how to introduce complex shapes into your projects with shapefiles.

What are shapefiles and what do they contain?

A shapefile is a common format for transfering geographic data that you see online. Shapefiles are actually collections of three or more associated files that come together to represent vector features, such as points, lines, and polygons, each with descriptive attributes like “name” or “temperature”. When imported into CartoDB, those attributes will comprise your table.

Files extentions necessary for shapefile import:

  • .shp:
    This file contains the primary geographic reference data and records of various shape types included, such as points, polygons, or multipatches.
  • .dbf:
    The dBase format stores attributes for each shape, and its size cannot exceed 2GB.
  • .shx:
    The shapefile index format does what its name suggests, which is to organize the records of a shapefile for reference.
  • .prj:
    The projection format is essential because it contains coordinate system and projection information. As a plain text file, it describes your data using markup language, which allows it to sync with many applications.

How to import

The CartoDB interface requires the compression of shapefiles into a .zip file, all prefixed with the same name. For example, a ne_10m_populated_places.zip file would containne_10m_populated_places.shp, ne_10m_populated_places.dbf, ne_10m_populated_places.shx, andne_10m_populated_places.prj.

There are different methods for zipping your shapefiles- some more complicated than others.

To streamline the process, you may consider downloading a plug-in (such as 7-Zip for Windows) that is compatible with your operating system. Otherwise, Mac allows you to Ctrl-click shapefiles inside Finder and select “Compress” [filename]. The .zip archive is created in the same location as the original file and is named [originalfilename].zip. You can also choose File → Compress. Your file is now ready to take shape on CartoDB via drag and drop to the window pictured below:


Regardless of your preferred zip method, you will need to be mindful of selecting the complete components of your shapefile from whichever folder they are stored.


Using the QGIS

About QGIS

QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.


QGIS provides a continously growing number of capabilities provided by core functions and plugins. You can visualize, manage, edit, analyse data, and compose printable maps. Get a first impression with a more detailed feature list.

Supporting Organizations

QGIS is a volunteer driven project. We welcome contributions in the form of code contributions, bug fixes, bug reports, contributed documentation, advocacy and supporting other users on our mailing lists and gis.stackexchange.com. If you are interested in actively supporting the project, you can find more information under the development menu and on the QGIS Wiki. We also welcome financial contributions in the form of sponsoring and funding.


Using the QGIS Browser

QGIS comes with a standalone application called QGIS Browser. This is a useful companion tool to QGIS and helpful in managing GIS datasets. ArcGIS users may think of it as an application similar to ArcCatalog.

Locating the QGIS Browser

QGIS Browser Standalone Application

QGIS Browser is part of the standard install of QGIS.

  • Windows: If you installed QGIS via OSGEO4W installer, you will see QGIS Browser in your start menu.

  • Mac: The application is located at QGIS.app/Contents/MacOS/bin/QGIS Browser.app. You can create a symlink to this app. Navigate to the Application folder, right-click the QGIS icon and select Show Package Contents. Browse to MacOS ‣ bin ‣ QGIS Browser. Right-click the QGIS Browser icon and select Make Alias. Drag the QGIS Browser alias to the Applications folder. Now you can access the QGIS Browser like any other application.

  • Linux: You can launch the QGIS browser by the command qbrowser. It is located in the same directory as the qgis application.


Browser Panel in QGIS

A convenient way to access the QGIS Browser is from within the main QGIS Desktop application itself. The browser panel is located at the bottom of the left-hand panel in QGIS. Click on the Browser tab to open the QGIS Browser. If you do not see the Browser tab, enable it by doing to View ‣ Panels ‣ Browser (Windows and Mac) or Settings ‣ Panels ‣ Browser (Linux).



Now let us explore some features of the QGIS Browser. Switch to the standalone QGIS Browser application. Browse to a directory on your system where you have some GIS data. You will immediately notice the advantage of using the Browser. Instead of seeing all support files and non-spatial data, you see only the spatial layers that are supported by QGIS. Click on a layer to select it.



                                                              QGIS TUTORIAL