Engaging Cities raffle can get you into the Where Conference

The folks over at Engaging Cities are offering up a free registration to this year’s Where Conference. The catch? They want to hear how you have used GIS or LBS to engage citizens. From their post:

Have you been involved with a project that utilized GIS or location-based services to engage citizens? We want to hear details about which app was used, and how the public was engaged using maps and technology. The more creative, the better.

Please share links to projects, research, news, a blog post – anything that documents your story.

All you have to do is share your activities as a comment on their post to be entered in their raffle. Get to commenting as the deadline is Friday, February 24th.

You know you have some great examples to share, so get out there and get involved and get a chance to attend a great conference.

Geography Web Comics

It isn’t often that world geography and international relations can make you laugh out loud, but the web comic Scandinavia and the World manages to do it very well.  A friend who teaches Eastern European languages posted their comic about Scotland joining the Nordics. The BBC did a good article on “How Scandinavian is Scotland”,        I found it almost as funny as Eddie Izzard’s comedy about the flag of England.

However, the  SATW comic I found the most interesting geo-spatially was the one that depicts humanoid countries in relative “country” ages. Like how a dog year equals seven human years, the comic says, “I’ve drawn Denmark as younger than Sweden and Norway a few times, but that had to do with the age of the landmass. This shows how old the Nordics are as countries.”  I like the fact that they took the time to explain the background of everything in their comics and thought that hard about how to accurately represent them. I wonder what other countries would be depicted as for their land mass and country ages are?

Lightsquared Pretty Much Out Of The Fight

Lightsquared, who last month received a conditional waiver from the FCC on its products, looks like it might be in trouble as the FCC has withdrawn that waiver.  Obviously the FCC acted in response to concerns over GPS interference.  This officially ‘kills’ Lightsquared’s proposed solution to rolling out a 4G-LTE network over the spectrum it owns, baring some sort of miracle intervention from who knows where.

However, I think they’ve made an interesting counter argument to the GPS interference test results – the GPS industry is too big to fail.  What they’re effectively arguing is that industrial GPS manufacturers use equipment that over listens to signals, meaning it’s paying attention to a portion of the spectrum upon they never were licensed to listen.

I’m not personally knowledgeable enough about spectrum use in general (and GPS spectrum use in particular) to know if the argument holds any water.  I do think it’s interesting the FCC chose – wisely in my opinion – to preference navigation over cell communications.  However, I believe more knowledgeable heads than mine should certainly investigate Lightsquared’s claims.  The license of the spectrum really only works if everyone obeys the virtual fences properly.  That’s true whether GPS is encroaching on Lightsquared’s territory as Lightsquared believes or whether Lightsquared is encroaching on GPS territory as testing has suggested.

Looking for a few good interviews at the AAG in NY

The VerySpatial crew will be at the AAG in New York from Friday, 24 February to Tuesday, 28 February. We have a handful of conversations lined up, but if you would like to sit down with us at the conference to talk about your project, class, product, etc. contact us via email (or twitter or facebook or google+) to arrange a time to sit down and talk. If you aren’t going to be at the AAG (for instance if you are hitting the Esri FedUC earlier that week instead) but would like to talk, we can always set up a phone/skype interview in March.

See you in New York!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Geographer's Valentine

A fellow geographer just gave me the cutest and most appropriate Valentine’s Day card he created. He printed them out in the traditional small Valentine’s Day Card style used in grade school to give to other geographers.  Clinton Davis has it posted to his WVU student website but he is also letting me use the image on Very Spatial. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Data Fusion Contest

The 2012 IEEE GRSS Data Fusion Contest is up and running and something that you should think about participating in. While with ever increasing spatial and spectral resolutions in the variety of imagery and elevation data available now-a-days has reduced the need for certain data fusion products, it is also creating new opportunities to fuse the new data options. This year’s contest is based on data made available by Astrium, Digital Globe, and the USGS CLICK.

The Data Fusion Contest is designed to investigate the potential of multi-modal/multi-temporal fusion of very high spatial resolution imagery. This year, participants will download three different sets of images (optical, SAR, and LIDAR) over the downtown of San Francisco and each participant will get to choose their own research topic to work with.

The contest is open to everyone and the deadline for submission (of the paper) is May 1, 2012. The entry details and prize list are available on the contest website.

Good Luck!