GISuser.com’s Flickr photo gallery has tons of photos of web mapping and GIS examples, including lots of Google Maps mash-ups and other themed maps. Most of the photo descriptions have links to the actual websites, so if you’re looking for a quick roundup of what’s out there, check it out.
The SSETI Express, a satellite designed and built by 100 students from 10 universities in Europe will launch from Russia on Thursday. The satellite is equipped with a camera that will take images of the Earth. Although the satellite is mainly a demonstration, the European Space Agency, which funded the project, sees this launch as the first step for the Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) which will train European students in space science and remote sensing.
Another satellite that is launching with the SSETI Express is China’s Beijing-1 microsatellite, which is carrying the China Mapping Telescope. Its mission is to provide high-resolution imagery for mapping Chinese territory.
The plan to close the USGS mapping center in Rolla, Missouri and move its operations to Denver has been put on hold after Missouri officials and legislators protested, and the decision will now be reviewed before any further action is taken
On Friday, an article at NY Times Online reported that the original map delineating the legal boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been missing since early 2003. And, to make matters worse, there are no known copies, no digitized GIS data, no scanned image, nothing. The USGS made a new map, but it apparently differs significantly from the original. The last person known to have seen the map was quoted as saying he did not believe the map was stolen, but only a few people knew where the map was stored. In any event, the new map has already been used as part of a measure to open the ANWR to drilling.
The NY Times online posted a new article on Google Maps mash-ups. For those of you still not really sure about what the Google Maps phenomenon is all about, it’s a good introduction and mentions some cool sites.
You can read the article here (NY Times online requires free registration to view their articles)
It’s less than a month until Geography Awareness Week (November 13-19) and GIS Day (November 16). Already, ESRI announced last week that all 6 New England states and New York are participating in GIS Day. For those of you who may be new to working with geospatial technologies, GIS Day is an annual event that promotes GIS and includes events in schools, universities, and other organizations and has participants from around the world. If you or your organization haven’t participated or recognized Geography Awareness Week or GIS Day before, it’s a great event that can showcase how GIS, geospatial technologies and geography play a role in your work. So celebrate Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day!
A resolution has been introduced in the US Senate to back the Bush administration’s efforts to stop the UN from taking some of the control of the Internet away from the US. It basically says that the Senate will support the US efforts in the negotiations in Tunisia, but at least they are aware of the importance of this issue. In this article from ZDNet UK, a couple of points were brought up that I didn’t even know: there have suggestions made that taxes be levied on domain names to pay for “universal access” and since 1999 UN agencies have thought about taxing Internet email. I know that people from other countries may not think that US control of the Internet is best, but given the current alternatives, the status quo seems like the best option.
If you think it’s ambitious to map the entire earth, check out the Sloan Digital Sky Survey According to their website: “the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the most ambitious astronomical survey project ever undertaken. The survey will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects. It will also measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars.”
They have already made quite a lot of progress, and their SkyServer offers all kinds of images and other data, and other cool tools for just exploring their data or for school and research projects