The Wall Street Journal has an article that highlights the money to be made in the convergence of real places and their virtual counterparts in games. Much like many seaside resort towns the beautiful Atami hot springs used to be Japan’s honeymoon spot but due to competition from Hawaii and Australia was experiencing a serious downturn. However, in the Japanese dating-simulation game LovePlus+ Atami is still a vibrant, romantic destination for virtual steady girlfriends and their real life boyfriends. The town of Atami hit on a great marketing strategy when they decided to recreate the virtual experience in real life by creating a LovePlus + destination vacation. Much like how movies such as Twilight can create tourism for their respective locations, games are another great tourism cross over idea. This should be in every great marketing textbook next to the Got Milk? Campaign and movie product placement.
One of the fun things I get to do in prepping for my classes is getting to look at all the amazing video resources out on the interwebs for Geography and geospatial technologies. While putting together my Intro to Mapping lecture, I remembered this great 6-minute video introduction to the National Map, including a little bit about the history of the USGS’s role in mapping the US, how digital technologies are changing mapping, and the development of the National Map and its functionality. Even if you saw the video when it came out back in January, it’s still a great reference for what the National Map is all about.
FlowingData is a fun website created by a Ph.D candidate in statistics that “explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better – mainly through data visualization”. If you think statistics is a dry topic, its probably because you haven’t seen this website. It’s amazing what decent data visualization does to make it easier to keep your eyes focused on data. He has a discussion of tables as visual obstacles to understanding data and an awesome quote, “Suppose that you are reading an article and the text refers you to a table on the next page. Before you turn the page, what are your expectations of the table? Chances are, you would like it to communicate trends and patterns. Chances are, too, that it will fail and simply deliver numerical minutiae.” I could reference some of the data he has explored in the past such as elevation data to show data but instead I want to focus on these fun visualizations — the history of the Beatles through their hair (time series) and How to win rock-paper-scissors every time (fun and educational). I think it would make a cool t-shirt like the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock one at ThinkGeek.
To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating landfall in the Gulf Coast, NASA Earth Science has released this short video retrospective of some of the imagery and analyses that were used to track and visualize Hurricane Katrina
I know, another xkcd comic, but I just couldn’t resist:
Via the Esri Developer Network Facebook page is a hip preview video for the upcoming ArcGIS Explorer 1500, complete with catchy music (Sorry the video isn’t set up to embed, so just click the image below to go to the video) -
Alright, I admit I stretched a bit for that headline. However, the important bit is that Facebook has now added Places to it’s features. Places allow you to tag where you’re at when you post status updates. On the benign side of the coin (that’s the Harvey Dent one for you DC nerds reading), this will allow a richer connection between people’s status and their location. You’ll be able to start getting a good feel for what places drive your friend’s positive or negative status. There’s an associated iPhone update their iPhone app that automatically tags your location, should you opt into using Places. Otherwise, you can ‘tag’ your location manually if your phone does not support LBS. On the malignant side of the coin (Two Face side), this raises a whole host of privacy concerns. Cyberstalking isn’t anything new, but the ‘scale’ of the problem given the popularity of Facebook just got a whole lot worse, I think. On top of that, make sure you’re not updating Facebook status during ‘work’ time when you’re actually at the local watering hole. Your boss might be able to find that information out and use it against you. We already have plenty of reports of companies using Facebook updates and information against employees. Take the warnings of Google’s boss Eric Schmidt – be careful what you put on the Internet! You don’t want to have to change your name every couple dozen years to cover up past online sins.