Special Episode 23…the correction

The great and powerful Dave pointed out a couple of oversights in the post for SE 23 (thanks Dave!). I misspelled Aileen Buckley’s name (apologies Aileen) and I completely forgot to post the second half of the interview which was a discussion with Craig Gilgrass about how folks are taking to some of the Geodatabase features in 9.2. An insightful little discussion if I do say so.

In my defense, I am…well, I am a person who needs to be edited. Check out SE 23 and keep an eye on the conference feed for the final ESRI UC vendor coverage coming soon. Also, now that we have moved the department it is almost time to move apartments as well.

One Seriously Geographic Car

In more ways than one….. it’s the Think City! The article is rather lengthy but it’s well worth the read. This car touches on so many sub-disciplines of geography it’s almost scary – environmental issues, globalism, sustainability, mobile computing, and distributed information sharing. Not only is the car itself impressive, the business model is fairly interesting when applied to large scale goods like automobiles. From the article:

He might describe the City as a computer on wheels, but in truth what he’s selling is a rolling iPod — a hip, desirable chunk of plastic and metal with Zenlike simplicity.

I have to say it will probably be awhile before something like this is available in West Virginia. But if they had a show-room here (which they don’t have any show rooms anywhere!), I’d definitely want to take it for a test spin.

National Geographic World Championship Starts August 6th

On Sunday in San Diego, CA, teams of students from 18 countries will meet in the National Geographic World Championship. Each country’s 3-person team consists of winners in national geography bee competitions, and will have to get through a preliminary round that includes a written portion and an outdoor activity, to get to the finals at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium on August 9th. The finals will be moderated by Alex Trebek, host of TV’s “Jeopardy.”

The US is the defending champion, and will be facing teams from Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore and the UK. Good luck to all the teams, and if you’re in San Diego next week, maybe you can head over to Shamu Stadium and cheer the kids on!

Via National Geographic

Associations/Groups – National Council for Geographic Education

It has been over a year since I added to our posts about professional organizations for Geographers and geospatial professionals, so I wanted to start up again with an organization that helps to support the educational efforts that will yield the next generation of Geographers…the National Council for Geographic Education. The NCGE seeks “to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning.” They do this by supporting educators, facilitating communication and offering educational materials on the website. With its annual conference coming up in October to be held in Oklahoma City, the NCGE is continuing their efforts from a new office in Washington, DC (housed with the AAG offices) with a new executive director, Kimberly A. Crews. The council publishes the Journal of Geography and the Perspectives newsletter. For membership information, and to learn more about the NCGE, be sure to visit their website.

Landscape as Art…..Literally

Rice field artEach year, people in the Japanese village of Inakadate create works of art in their rice fields by planting different colored varieties of rice within the main green-leafed variety. This year, the fields recreate 2 famous wood block prints from Japanese artist Hokusai, the Great Wave and Red Fuji. They are pretty cool, and will only be visible until rice harvesting time in September.

Via PinkTentacle

CyArk 3D Heritage Archive

Although this actually launched a couple of months ago, I wanted to point out the CyArk 3D Heritage Archive, which has a great story behind it and touches on some of the research we do in the area of representing landscapes, especially past landscapes, through geospatial technologies and virtual reconstructions. The CyArk 3D Heritage Archive is a collection of 3D models of cultural heritage sites, which are available freely from the CyArk website, which is part of the larger CyArk 3D Heritage Network. There are some amazing scans, like the ones for ancient Thebes or Mesa Verde, and some of the site have other documentation such as 3D CAD drawings, maps and photographs. There are currently 60 scans available, and there is a Java-based 3D point cloud viewer for viewing them in 3D. The hope is to use the models to do what we are working on in our own research, which is recreate past worlds in a virtual environment.

Also check out this San Francisco Chronicle article that talks about the founder of the CyArk project, Ben Kacyra, whose work on developing a 3D laser scanning tool led him to found the Kacyra Foundation to help archaeologists and other researchers scan historic sites.

New Geoblog….. from the Future!

Wired magazine is hosting a new geoblog from Bruce Sterling. However, there is a twist in that this is the blog of a fictional character named Harvey Feldspar and it takes place in the year 2017. For those unware of Sterling’s work, he’s a fairly prolific science fiction writer (particularly of short stories). A lot of his stuff deals with near-future events to try to imagine what direction society is taking in the near future. The blog, as one would imagine, has a heavy geography focus to it, featuring lines like:

The SeeMonster is fully integrated with a state-of-the-art seamless Geobrowser. With SeeMonster, you can juggle the entire planet with your bare fingertips, including spatially related photo images collated from all over the Web — yes, data from the entire collective social memory of Planet Earth! — and it’s all cross-modally spackled and pixelated into an immense, searchable, navigable, linked, tagged, emergent, hybrid-satellite-streetmap virtual Earthwork! The fantastic richness of the imagery… the semantic interconnection… it’s the techno-magic of the World Wide Web layered like a tasty olive-oil emulsion right over the Whole Real Wide World (c) (R) (TM)!

It’s definitely worth reading. You can definitely see some of these things coming at least partially true in the not too distant future.