The Geospatial Community and Public Interest Declassification Board

The National Archives Blog, Transforming Classification: Blog of the Public Interest Declassification Board recently asked different listservs –  “What records should the US Government prioritize for declassification?” They took suggestions from historians and the public in five categories:  older records (25+ years), newer records (less than 25 years old), records relating to nuclear weapons policies (also called “FRD information”), records of general interest, and  records from the various US Presidential Libraries. Continue reading “The Geospatial Community and Public Interest Declassification Board”

Meet your Polar Vortex Meteorologist

Meteorologists made the Style section of the The Washington Post today in the article,  “What’s it like to be the voice of the Polar Vortex? These Weathermen Know”  Giving meteorologists an introduction worthy of a movie trailer, Rachel Lubitz asks, “So, what is it like to be the voice of this polar vortex, bringing the grim news about temperatures that are flirting with — and in some cases breaking — record lows?” It is a good introduction into how broadcast meteorologists approach their jobs. But what does it take to be a broadcast meteorologist? Continue reading “Meet your Polar Vortex Meteorologist”

Why OpenStreet Map Matters

I really liked this essay by Serge Wroclawski on why OpenStreet Map matters, which I found through the Gizmodo reprint. To be honest it doesn’t exactly say anything ground breaking for geographers, but it does so in a nice, concise presentation that anyone who isn’t a geographer can follow. The punchline of the piece is that OpenStreet maps matters because no one company should own/control ‘place’. Serge uses the analogy of time standardization from the 19th century to get the point across. It’s a neat idea and one I think we can adopt more fully when trying to explain some of these critical issues to the non-geographers in our lives.

Updating the podcast format

Over the holidays I have been upgrading most of the pieces of the podcast equipment that were either shutting down randomly after years of faithful service (looking at you 2010 Macbook and H4N) or starting to leave black, flakey material in our hair (headphones). That said this week I edited and am exporting on different equipment and new versions of software. In the past this has lead to issues with the uploaded files for a small portion of listeners.

Hopefully there will be no problems for anyone downloading the podcast, but if there is please be sure to contact me so that I can try to figure out what is causing the issue.

We are still rolling out an MP3 and AAC version of the podcast. I have bumped the audio quality up to 128 from 64, so expect the downloads to take about twice as long (my guess is about 30-45 seconds). Now that I am not trying to race the clock before the next random shut down, I have put chapter breaks and links back into the AAC version.

In case you are wondering what our new(ish) set up is on the SC end of the podcast we are now running through a Mac Mini for the Skype connection to Frank and to edit the podcast on (in Audacity), we are still using the Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire (though connected via audio cables not firewire) in SC and the Alesis MultiMix8 USB in WV (also cabled, not USB), MXL mics all around 2 990s and 1 770, and we record it all out to the drool worthy Samson Zoom H6. The Samson is nice recording weekly, but it will really shine when we don’t have to do the mic shuffle during conference interviews. That said, we still have an H4n for when we break up into teams to cover the conference floors faster (and for when we accidentally double book interviews).

The upshot…if you have any issues while listening to Episode 442 please let me know!

Pins on the Map: George Washington Slept Here

As you shiver in the cold today during what The Weather Channel is predicting could be the coldest winter on record for decades in North America, reflect on the 1780 snowstorm that hit George Washington’s army at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ, now a National Park that commemorates the Continental Army’s winter encampment (December 1779 – June 1780). Here the soldiers survived the tail end of what historians and paleoclimatologists dub, “the little ice age”.   Continue reading “Pins on the Map: George Washington Slept Here”