Reminder: Call for contributors

Just a quick reminder that we are going to begin to review the submissions for potential contributors later this week. So far we have a great group of folks who have shown interest. If you would like to toss your map in the drawer (so to speak) then email me (at jesse at veryspatial dot com) with the following information:
Name, current position or experience with Geography or geospatial technologies, how often you would be interested in contributing, potential topics you would like to write about, and a writing sample of 300-500 words on a topic in Human Geography, Physical Geography, or any area of geospatial technology.

The MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize

If you are a student team or professional start-up anywhere in the world, The MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is now open. According to their website, “MIT student teams, other student teams, and professional start-up teams are eligible to participate in the Energy Track only. The process will include networking and team building events, professional mentoring and skills development, along with a unified judging process.” Entries are due February 28th and must include a 1,000 word business plan executive summary and small 10 page power point presentation. Their vision includes enabling technologies such as sensors and integrated systems or planning.

3D Street-style Mapping with Kinect

Almost daily, I see a new cool and amazing hack that someone has accomplished with Microsoft’s Kinect that tops the last one. I’m hoping to try my hand at some much more modest attempts this summer related to my immersive simulation project, but I couldn’t come close to what Martin Szarski has done: 3D street mapping with a Kinect, his Google Nexus One phone for GPS, and his trusty car. If you haven’t seen this yet, the results are pretty awesome. The Kinect captures images for real-world objects as he drives along the street, and his phone GPS allows him to tie the image data to real-world coordinates. Up till now, you had to have some pretty expensive equipment to pull this off, and he demonstrates that you can do it with fairly inexpensive hardware and some great coding ability, of course. Martin already has some plans on how to improve on his first setup which began as an indoor experiment, and you can read his explanation of how he did it over on his blog.

Via TechTree

Need help finding a Seattle spot

We are thinking of hosting a Geography meet up at the AAG in April to get a chance to meet some of you who will be in attendance of the conference or in the area. It will also be a chance to celebrate our 300th weekly episode which will come out the day after the AAG wraps up. The main thing that we are missing right now is a place to hold said meet up. If you are in Seattle or familiar with the area around the Sheraton and Convention Center and have suggestions of a place that be used for a small meet up please email me or leave a comment on this post with your suggestion. I would like to keep the location within 4-5 blocks of the conference if possible and we will probably try to have it on Thursday or Friday night (April 14 or 15).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Getting rid of all Left Turns

Some transportation engineers at NS State University have published a new study that shows left turns aren’t needed.  We can create what are called “superstreets” that allow only right hand turns.  This improves both travel times and safety, not to mention fuel economy.  This isn’t exactly a new idea.  Michigan already has this type of system (hence the “Michigan left” nickname) and it seems to invoke a love/hate relationship with drivers.  UPS implemented a virtual system of no left turns years ago to save fuel and increase safety.  There are a couple of things left out of the news reports on this, however.  A system like this would take more land for roads, not less.  Also, crossing 2-3 lanes of traffic to get to the U-turn can be problematic, I’d imagine, especially in rush hour.  I’d also imagine the British would suggest this problem can be fixed with a good old ’round about’, although they’ve not really caught on in the US.

What do you guys think?  Should left turns be a thing of the past we tell our grandkids about, like Atari and TV tubes, or do left turns make the most sense if you’re going left?

New Poll – Esri Tech Certification

As we mentioned a few weeks ago on the podcast, today (January 17) is the first day that you can register for the new Esri Technical Certification tests. At launch there are five options:

  • ArcGIS Desktop Associate
  • ArcGIS Desktop Professional
  • Web Application Developer Associate
  • Enterprise Geodatabase Management Associate
  • Enterprise Administration Associate
  • with more to come later. Our new poll asks which certification category, if any you are interested in. If you want to share additional thoughts on this new certification please share them in the comments section below.

    A bit more information…the tests will be administered at Pearson Vue locations which means that there is probably a testing center in your country (if not multiple) and if you are in the US, there will definitely be options that are probably an hour or less drive. The tests are 90-95 questions which apparently take around two hours. There is no specific passing score apparently so you will have to wait a few days to receive email notification of your pass/fail results.