The intertwined nature of geography and environment often produces some of the quirkiest product posts on Treehugger‘s popular environmental blog. In the past week, Tom’s Shoes has unveiled the Map Shoe has a map of Africa design to fund a hand-drilled well in North West Ethiopia. The incentive is that it is a limited edition only available until enough funds have been raised for the well. This social marketing concept or integrating marketing message designed to promote a social concerns as well as a product or business is a subset of social geography. Another cool post were personalized Google Street Map stainless steel earrings from Fluid Design for $25.00. I already have a birthday gift in mind for someone at Very Spatial.
MSNBC has an insightful article “New York Gets a Starring Role” on the impact Law and Order has had on New York City. According to Randee Dawn, “”Law & Order” currently shoots 170 days of the year — including location and stage days — in the city. Meanwhile, each show in the franchise (“Criminal Intent” and “SVU”) provides about six months of steady employment for more than 8,000 New Yorkers.” She discusses how New York City itself was a character in the show. According to many recent media studies textbooks, “Law and Order” has had a huge impact on how the public perception of “law and order” because of its constant re-runs and realistic feel. I am sure that there must be similar studies on the impact of “Law and Order” on the perception of New York City, after all 20 years is a very long time.
According to Apartment Therapy, there is not only one but TWO topographic themed rug collection designers out there right now. They say that Austrian designer Florian Pucher was inspired by the ariel topography of farmland and tulip fields to create his Land Carpet collection. Designer Liz Eeuwes was also inspired by tulip fields and agriculture to create landscape rugs. After the questions, “How comfortable and stable would they be to walk on?” “Would it go with our living room?”, I wondered “How accurate are they?” and “What was their source?” Florian Pucher’s seemed to use satellite imagery as his pattern. Topographic inspiration for rugs isn’t new. In 2004 Downtown Express did an article on designer Rama Chorpash’s “Topo Rug” of Central Park. In 2008, the New York Times did an article on Maude Decor designer Patricia Baun’s mountain topography rugs of Famous Canadian Mountains.
One of the great things about comments sections on blogs is that they often contain great follow-up information. Because of a post about mapping philanthropy, I was introduced to a great interactive website called Tutor/Mentor that uses Google maps to show where tutor/mentor programs are located, poorly performing schools, churches, Boundaries of Chicago zip codes, Counties, Chicago communities and District maps. It is part of TMC Program Locator Cabrini Connections & University of Michigan. Reading through the site and the background of its founder, Daniel F. Bassill, makes me feel like I am at an ESRI plenary. At every plenary, Jack Dangermond, showcases how geospatial technologies are being used to make the world a better place and encourages people to make their own impact on society.
I spend a lot of time looking for grants, reading about requests for proposals, and generally immersed in all things “soft money”, so it was I was excited to find The Foundation Center‘s Philanthropy In/Sight tool. The Foundation Center states that, “It’s the essential tool that grantmakers, policymakers, researchers, and academics are using to visualize the scope and reach of philanthropy — from local communities to countries around the globe.” It uses data on thousands of grants, grant receivers and funders, and other demographic information to provide a both a useful analysis and search tool.
If you are interested in the impact of philanthropy as a subject, there is a book called, “Mapping the New World of American Philanthropy: Causes and Consequences of the Transfer of Wealth: Causes and Consequences of the Transfer of Wealth” which is about the history of non-profits from 1940 until the current day and the impact of the baby boomer generation on philanthropy today and in the future.
The second edition of ‘The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide To The World’s Most Consequential Trivia” by David McCandless is out soon. He also has a website called “Information is Beautiful” for anyone wanting to check out his awe inspiring visualizations of seemingly everyday data. The is also an interactive visualization of health supplements that updates itself from as Google Doc changes.
Think back to when you needed to share maps before the Internet. Did that give you the heebie jeebies? Now think back to when you needed to share maps before the invention of the copier. It has been 50 years since the invention of the Xerox copier in 1960. Back then academics were still debating the impact of the USE OF A PHOTO COPY MACHINE IN MAP REPRODUCTION in the AAG Professional Geographer. Patents, such as this copy machine table United States Patent 4066023 described the map copying process as “Before my invention, it was impractical to copy specific portions of large maps, surveys, blueprints, or plats on a standard office copying machine because the surface of most copying machines was insufficient to permit such large sheets being copied to be spread out. Consequently, the sheet had to be folded, or allowed to drape over the edge of the copy machine.” Which explains the convoluted directions for How to Use Your Copy Machine as a Draftsman and this really cool book from 1982 on Thematic Maps: Their Design and Production. Many people would argue whether copiers make life better or not but it is only a matter of time before something more complicated and just as aggravating but necessary comes along.
So I was online last night trying to locate bulk orders of Altoids tins (Don’t Ask) and stumbled across the Where’s Sindy game on the Altoid’s website a game they launched in 2007 that involves using Google Earth to follow a trail of clues to locate Sindy the Altoid’s Cinnamon girl. If you remember, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? the premise is obviously similar. This is termed a geo-specific game which is being used more often in advertising and promotion. Think about the Lost promo and their integrated advertising. Oh and Altoids Tins, who knew they had a cult following from Altoid tin hacks to outright collecting of rare tins they are out of my price range.
I recently attended the The 25th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management held in Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. If you are a geospatial professional looking for an interesting and challenging career, solid waste management is a growing industry with world wide appeal. Some of the interesting topics discussed were policy issues such as municipal solid waste policies at the core of the waste fires in Naples, professional certifications in different countries and their impact on the image of solid waste professionals, and many case studies from all world regions. Other topics were related to site placement such as for landfill siting, waste to energy, and electronics waste. Some of the most fascinating were waste composition studies, mapping of pollutants, and other GIS applications. I also found out that Institute of Information Technology employs more than 5 former ESRI employees at their route logistics company. I would encourage geospatial professionals, educators, and vendors to consider attending the conference next year.
Oscar time is here and several news sources have stories about vacationing in your favorite movie setting. The Telegraph UK article “Oscars 2010: film location holidays” explores locations of this year’s Oscar-nominated films such as Avatar,District 9, Precious, and Crazy Heart. Film induced tourism is a growing tourism draw according to books such as “Film-induced Tourism (Aspects of Tourism)”. Many tourism bureaus now have film tourism locations on their websites such as Scotland (Harry Potter, Chariots of Fire), Vancouver Island‘s flash map of locations, and New York City’s wonderful “Scenes from the City“.