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
A website called Postini has maps that show the sources for spam, virus, and directory harvest attack activity (based on originating IP) for the past 24 hours.
So, if you want to see where it’s all coming from, check out the Postini stats page
According to their website, ” The Green Map System (GMS) is a locally adaptable, globally shared framework for environmental mapmaking.”
Basically, it’s a collaborative worldwide project that is collecting Green Map projects together on one website and also offers tips and examples on using Green Maps in local community planning and education. They’ve already got an impressive list of projects from around the world (though many are still in progress or just started)
If you are interested in environmental issues and how geospatial technologies can be used, check out Greenmap.com
This is a pretty cool project that I just read about via Wired. It is about mapping our world based on our perception of it, not just by physical coordinates. It was started only a month ago by Michael Baldwin, an English teacher living in Brazil.
You can participate in the project by going to CommonCensus.org and adding your address and answering a few questions.
You may or may not already know this, but a controversy that could change the way the Internet is run has been simmering since the spring and now will be coming to a head next month at the U.N. meeting on the Information Society. Basically, the US has always controlled the root servers for the Internet, through the private company known as ICANN. During the Clinton administration, a memorandum of understanding was apparently signed saying the US would eventually give up some of that control. In April, the Bush administration announced that the US would no longer be abiding by that agreement. There have been tense negotiations since then, but after no luck getting the US to budge, the European Union and the UN are now putting together a coalition to wrest control of the Internet from the US at the meeting in Tunisia in November. The implications of this will be far-reaching, and anyone who depends on the Internet should be paying attention to how this plays out.
The Guardian, a UK newspaper has been covering this, and you might want to check out their most recent article
US media outlets have had a couple of mentions, but not a lot of coverage. It has also been mentioned on SlashDot and other blogs.