Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


mobility survey

iOS remains key player in public sector

What: Good Technology Mobility Index Report Q1 2015.

Why: The latest Quarterly Mobility Index Report shows that organizations are continuing to mobilize content and develop apps at an accelerated rate, as total app activations grew 160 percent in the past year.

Industries are sticking to Apple as iOS accounts for 72 percent of all phone activations, leaving Android at 26 percent. However, iOS saw some erosion in its once-dominant tablet adoption with Android continuing a surge and Windows emerging on the scene.

Regulated industries are notably Apple-friendly. The education sector is the most invested, with 83 percent of all devices running on iOS, followed by the public sector at 80 percent and financial services at 76 percent. This is the second consecutive quarter iOS has outpaced Android in regulated industries. In unregulated industries, the high-tech and energy sectors are more Android-friendly, at 47 and 44 percent of devices respectively.

And as industries push to mobilize content, secure browsing remains the most popular app aside from email.

Get more: Mobility Index Report Q1 2015.

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 7:43 AM0 comments


NOAA expands flood-mapping tool to cover the Eastern Seaboard

NOAA expands flood-mapping tool to cover the Eastern Seaboard

Coastal communities in much of the eastern United States can now view maps and data related to coastal flooding thanks to an expansion to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper.

NOAA's flood exposure risk mapping tool that was developed in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania has been expanded to cover coastal areas along the entire U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

The mapper, which is built on ESRI's ArcGIS Online platform, filters results based on location and several flood scenarios, such as Federal Emergency Management Agency flood designations, shallow coastal flooding associated with high tides or flooding associated with sea level rise or storm surge. According to  NOAA, users can then view flood maps overlaid with any of three exposure maps to see how floodwaters might impact the community, the infrastructure or the ecosystem. All maps can be saved, printed and shared.

“According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of coastal communities is going to rise by 8 percent by 2020. Increased vulnerability plus increased population means communities are going to need accurate, reliable, and timely information to prepare for the future,” Holly Bamford, acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management, said. “Equipping our communities with ...  tools like the Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper allows them to become more resilient.”

NASA has also been paying attention to the coastal vulnerabilities.  Last year, it announced a challenge using cross-agency data to create tools and provide information so communities can prepare for coastal catastrophes.

Posted on May 07, 2015 at 12:35 PM0 comments


DISA approves 23 cloud providers

DISA approves 23 cloud providers

The Defense Information Systems Agency has granted 23 cloud providers provisional authorization to host Defense Department unclassified data. Provisional authorization is a stepping-stone toward receiving an authority to operate certification.

Among the cloud services granted permission were AT&T Storage as a Service, IBM’s SmartCloud for Government and Microsoft Windows Azure Public Cloud Solution. A full list of the cloud providers granted provisional authorization can be viewed here.

Each of the DISA-approved cloud providers had been previously granted either a FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authorization or a FedRAMP Agency Authority to Operate.

“The granting of these provisional authorizations is an important step in our strategy to drive cost down by moving more of our mission data to the cloud,” Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen said in a statement.

Posted on May 05, 2015 at 7:51 AM1 comments


FAA ERAM takes off

FAA’s ERAM takes off

The Federal Aviation Administration appears to be making progress on the implementation of the NextGen air traffic control system with the announcement of the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM).  In a speech at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced that the ERAM is functioning in 20 high-altitude air traffic control centers where it has been installed. 

ERAM is considered a major pillar of the NextGen project -- which seeks to modernize the FAA’s 40-year-old, hard-wired airspace management system and move it to a more IP-network-centric model -- because it drives the display screens used by air traffic controllers to safely manage and separate aircraft.  Described by Huerta as providing “a big boost in technological horsepower over the system it replaces,” ERAM uses two million lines of computer code to process data regarding aircraft identity, altitude, speed and flight path. 

In accordance with NextGen’s greater goal of connecting networks, ERAM is also designed to operate with other critical FAA technologies slated for NextGen implementation, such as Performance Based Navigation, which lets controllers and flight crews to know exactly when to reduce the thrust on aircraft, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, in which an aircraft determines its position from satellite-based information then broadcasts that data, enabling it to be tracked. Additionally, ERAM’s integration into communications systems will enable direct-link communication, similar to text messaging, while eliminating voice communication. 

“With ERAM in place, the FAA has fulfilled an important commitment in modernizing the nation’s NextGen air traffic control system,” Huerta said.   

Posted on May 04, 2015 at 1:02 PM0 comments


video metrics

5 metrics for effective video

Even as video becomes more common on government sites, it’s not always easy to tell if a video is reaching and engaging the intended audience.  Just looking at the number of viewers can be misleading, according to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. Here are some better ways to measure effectiveness:

  1. Play rate, or the percentage of people who click on the video divided by the total number who access the page where it’s embedded, provides feedback on the video’s context.
  2. Average engagement measures how much of the video people are watching. Greater engagement indicates that viewers find the content valuable.
  3. Comments and social shares are important because it means that the viewer found the video interesting enough to promote.
  4. Increased time on page and also indicate that site visitors are watching embedded video content.
  5. Decreased bounce rate suggests the video encourages site visitors to view additional pages.

Videos take time and resources to script, shoot and edit, so agencies should focus on metrics that indicate quality rather than those that simply measure quantity.

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 at 12:18 PM0 comments