Fun map things you find when meandering the web

While doing research for something else I ran across some interesting sites that compare different countries. The first is Nationmaster which is “a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations.” They want to be “the web’s one-stop resource for country statistics on everything from soldiers to wall plug voltages” There is also the world values survey which includes a map of survival versus well-being. Also interesting is the Condor Project out of UW-Madison in which “The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science fund program to operate and expand upon the two-year-old national grid. This project collectively taps into the power of thousands of processors distributed across more than 30 participating universities and federal research laboratories. If you want to participate they have maps of all the Condor sites, which needs some help by their own humorous admission “Is the plotting accurate? Why do some points fall in the ocean? Condor pools tend to clump together. It we plotted them accurately, you wouldn’t be able to see much. So, we line up the squares in a grid so that they can be seen and counted Due to the grid structure, some squares are significantly out of position, and some, such as Miami, fall in the ocean. Our map data has several significant omissions. For example, Ireland appears to be missing.” Also funny is Wanda Wanders blog in which “she” critiques a metro map for Copenhagen. Wanda writes about sustainability and city planning on her travels.

What are the 9.2 graphics requirements

I am in the market for a new laptop. My sticking point is that I have no idea what the graphics requirements will be for ArcGIS 9.2. I would prefer to save money and buy a laptop with shared video memory as opposed to spending significantly more for a dedicated graphics card. However, since I tend to use my laptop as my primary machine I will shell out the extra cash if 9.2 does a better job of pushing graphics processes to the GPU than previous versions…which I thought I heard would be the case (though I can’t remember where).

Could someone from ESRI or a beta tester give me a hint as to how the graphics in 9.2 compare to 9.1, does more of the graphics rendering get offloaded to the GPU or does the CPU still feel the brunt of the work. Feel free to leave a comment or email.

Thanks in advance.