I just went to a great ESRI session on social & environmental sustainability where researchers in areas as diverse as homelessness and toxic waste, asked the age old question of cause and effect. The interesting part was that they sought to gain depth of knowledge using GIS. As the last speaker, Dr. bossard from San Jose said about his upcoming book, Envisioning Neighborhoods, deeper understanding of places leads to wisdom. Wisdom can add to quality of life.
Way back in 2005, Sue blogged about Dave Rumsey’s huge historical map collection . I just recently stumbled on his Google map that has started with about 120 maps from his collection. The site is a little bit like a Harry Potter book or a Russian nesting doll with maps within maps within maps. I haven’t had a chance to check out his Second Life maps but I’m off to do that now.
According to a BBC report, geospatial technologies have helped determine that The Great Wall of China is A LOT longer than previously thought. They state that, “Archaeologists had lobbied for the survey to be done to provide scholars with an accurate understanding of the construction. ” The wall is actually 8,850km (5,500 miles) not the 5,000 km commonly thought.
A friend told me about this musician, Frankmusik, who has challenged himself to travel to his final gig using nothing but myspace and his cell phone. It is a pretty neat viral idea that uses all types of social media including Google Earth and blogs. Even if it’s a PR stunt its hard not to get caught up in the shared experience of it. I think because the time frame is short and it is easy to follow. On a whim I typed in Rick Astley too and can only say, you have to see it to believe it. Maybe one of the most bubble gum uses of social media, but cute.
If ever there was a news story that is geography related this is it. A whole village in North Wessex Downs called Linkenholt is for sale for 22.5 million pounds by the Herbert and Peter Blagrave Charitable Trust. According to the Times online property section, the new owner will get a 2,000-acre estate, two blacksmiths, a shop, a cricket club, a three-story manor house,a commercial shoot, farming land, an educational activity center for children and 22 houses. However, the residents of the village don’t want the new owners to change how anything is currently done. I’m not sure what you get for your money, but a breath taking and historic piece of geography.
According to CNN, floating cities are three years away. They quote a former Google engineer as stating, “Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who now works for the Seasteading Institute, said floating cities are the perfect places to experiment with new forms of government.” The modules would be like a cross between an oil platform and a cruise ship, which is quite a wide spread. Part of me thinks it’s really cool but another part asks if it is the set up for a floating “Bioshock” game.
VisiWiki or the Visual Wiki is like visiting inside someone’s head. It almost provides a cognitive map of specific topics such as geography. I looked up Guns,Germs, and Steel and it was like wandering Wiki, You Tube, Google Maps, Flikr, and Yahoo without all the browsing time. The topic Geographic Information Systems of course brings up among other things, John Snow’s map of the cholera outbreak. It’s fun to explore and you can imagine what it will be like as it becomes more robust.
Based on the number of news stories about people intending to go to one place and ending up on a plane to Puerto Rico instead, you would think that Puerto Rico is a plane magnet. According to a recent story, a woman who booked a vacation for Costa Rico accidently ended up in Puerto Rico. Last year, an airline mistakenly put an elderly woman on a plane to Peurto Rico instead of home to NY. I think if I boarded a plane going to a conference, say AAG, but ended up in Peurto Rico instead I would be thinking – Unavoidable Vacation! Although I can’t imagane realizing I was on the wrong flight midway to my destination.
If you haven’t seen Glogster, it’s worth checking out. It is an interactive on-line poster maker, sort of like scrapbooking or collage making on line. If you look under the education section it looks like teachers are using it for school projects, especially the ever important Poster about a country, animal,book, historic event, or other school topic. What’s tickles me is that the map side of the posters are static which makes the map sections look like the type of poster you would make in grade school – - except with video capabilities. It’s still fun to play around with and might be useful for school projects, or as the sight suggests, expressing yourself by making a collage.
Apartment Therapy has a short but sweet post on using globes for decorating in the home. Looking into globes and decorating further I found the George Glazer Gallery, sellers of antiquarian globes, maps, and prints NYC, which has several videoas and articles. I think the coolest ones are the tellurians and orreries. An interesting site about map collecting s the blog Map the Universe about the author’s quest to begin antique map collecting. A recent blog highlights the line between collecting and obsession. It states that, ” Scalpel happy and wealthy British book collector Farhad Hakimzadeh has been sentenced to two years in prison for slicing out pages and maps from rare books in the British Library. “