Mobile Gulf Observatory

Discovery News and Treehugger are reporting on the new citizen scientist MOGO iphone app which lets the users can “take photos of oiled or dead wildlife, tar balls and oil slicks and upload them into the database which pinpoints their location for rescue workers”. Science for Citizens.net is a blog that can matches up potential citizen scientists with organization projects. Science has a June 2010 article on how scientists can find and collaborate with citizen scientists such as using locating and managing volunteers. One of the most well documented citizen science projects is the Galaxy Zoo project which asks volunteers to classify galaxy images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope archive.

Now that is fan(tastic) dedication

GIS experts make really cool fans, especially when locations are involved. Unlike other types of fans who are limited to writing fanfic or posting comments about their favorite show, GIS experts can literally guide you through a universe. Apartment Therapy posted about Jonah M. Adkins, GISP Newport News, Virginia spent four (4)! years creating a geographic study of the fictious “ISLAND” from the TV show “LOST”. Of course there is always the Complete and Official Map of the Verse or Firefly Universe and a white paper on the discovery, colonization and structure of The Verse. Also, the Simpsons Interactive Map, an ambitious Big Bang Theory map which tries to locate fictional places in real life. According to TV Tropes, “Really deluxe worlds [fantasy world maps]are proportioned like two pages side by side” so that must make a geospatial map super deluxe or super obsessive.

GIS- Golf Industry Show

GIS has more than one meaning for the Golf Industry Show and education conferences that is going to occur in February 2011. The use of geospatial technologies in the golf industry has exploded in recent years with companies like GolfLogix, Inc. who created the first handheld GPS device for the golf industry, out of where else, Scottsdale, Arizona.. Other geospatial golf technologies include phone apps such as the Golfshot for the iPhone and iPad which keeps track of scoring, aerial images of golf courses, GPS, and statistics. There are an amazing number of golf gps sites and review sites going by a variations of igolf and CompareGolfGPS variants.

Dave Rumsey Historical 3D Maps

The Dave Rumsey site has a cool Web based 3D GIS viewer with historic maps like the Lewis and Clark Expedition and an 1880’s map of Los Angeles basin. The maps can also be viewed on Google Earth viewer. They provide a video of the 3D process. E-perimetron has an article on “3D digitization of historical maps”. E-perimetron is the the international quarterly e-journal on sciences and technologies affined to history of cartography and maps.

Geography, the environment, and sales

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.

Law and Order and Geography

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.

Topographic Rugs

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.

Tutor/Mentor Connection

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.

Mapping philanthropy

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.