On 16 July 2014, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nepal, ICIMOD, received a "Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award" at the ESRI International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California, honouring its innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology for addressing mountain issues in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured dozens of wildfires in Canada and the northwestern United States. Actively burning areas, detected by the thermal bands on MODIS, are outlined in red. Forests appear dark green.
In mid-July 2014, the Humanitarian Open Street Map team (HOT) launched a new Version 2 update to their Tasking Manager. This tool makes it even easier for people to contribute to the maps, giving them access to project descriptions on recent humanitarian mapping work, and to join in with the mapping by taking a task.
Researchers from the Institute for Research on Social Issues and the Center for Urban Health of Indiana and Purdue University at Indianapolis recently published a study showing major advantages in using remote sensing assets for extreme heat vulnerability studies.
A new Urban Data map will be unveiled at the Esri User Conference July 2014 and introduced in February 2015 at the newly renovated Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C. by the Urban Observatory. The Urban Observatory is a collaboration aimed to serve as a big data telescope for urban planning by Esri and Richard Saul Wurman, founder of the Ted Conference series.
According to new findings from the University of California Irvine the use of satellitedata could be used to greatly improve the overflow predictions of a river months before the event occurs which could potentially save lives and property with earlier flood warnings.
On Wednesday 2 July 2014, NASA reported the successful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The satellite's mission will last at least two years to study the sources and storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide. OCO-2 is the second of five scheduled NASA Earth Science missions to be launched in 2014.
The California-based company SpaceX has recently presented its Dragon V2 spacecraft. What makes Dragon V2 sp special is that it will be able to take-off and land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter without a runway.
The re-useable space capsule which has seven seats can land vertically due to its side-mounted thrusters and legs. The company is applying for NASA contracts, as NASA depends on Russian Spacecrafts for transporting its astronauts into space.