March was a crazy warm month. How crazy? Over 15,000 temperature records were broken in the US over the month. Check out the video to see where they happened. If you’d like to find out more (or to verify the data yourself), check out the official report on NOAA’s website.
Google has begun field tests on their new augmented reality glasses. I have to say, they’re pretty snazzy lookin’ all things considered, especially if you dig the Geordi LaForge look. The link includes a demo video to show what life is like with the glasses and it’s AWESOME for nerdy folks like myself (and maybe not even no so nerdy folks). The demo features a sort of combination of Siri, LBS, IM, Foursquare, Google+, phone, augmented reality and the aforementioned all around awesomeness Google has even started a Google+ group for it so you can keep on top of the information. What I haven’t seen much of as of yet is these things on people with glasses. The beautiful models look fantastic wearing them, but they kinda have to, don’t they
I thought this was a particularly interesting article in the New York Times since the VerySpatial crew just returned from New York for AAG 2012. The Times sat down with some city planners and academics living in and around New York to try to figure out some of the urban dynamics of large cities. Currently New York holds around 1.6 million residents, with a surge to 3.9 million during the work day. As crowded as it is, that’s nothing compared to NYC circa 1910, which housed around 2.3 million permanent residents. So how many residents can New York hold? Well, the article never really answers the question because it depends on what kind of New York you want. Is it more residential, or large buildings? Do we make it bigger by adding land fills to create a Lower-Lower Manhattan, or do we leave the current geography intact? Ultimately, the article becomes a fascinating insight into urban planning and development, so check it out.
A fellow geographer just gave me the cutest and most appropriate Valentine’s Day card he created. He printed them out in the traditional small Valentine’s Day Card style used in grade school to give to other geographers. Clinton Davis has it posted to his WVU student website but he is also letting me use the image on Very Spatial. Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s that time of year again in North America, Project Bird Feeder Watch for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. It is a great opportunity for an easy to do citizen science activity. Citizen scientists count the count the birds they see at their bird feeders. The data is used to map bird migration and bird populations. Because it comes with a kit to do the bird count, there is a $15.00 participation fee which supports the project. Project Bird Feeder Watch has been around for more than 25 years making its data extremely important. You can explore some of the data and maps on their site.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada along with the Audubon Society are also sponsors of the Great Backyard Bird Count which starts in February and is free for participants. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a list of other citizen science projects that people might be interested in doing such as urban bird count, pigeon count, and migratory birds. Bird Studies Canada has citizen science projects such as The Christmas Bird Count, Canadian Migration Monitoring Network, and the nocturnal owl survey. I think these would be fantastic school, family, or even team-building exercises that involve geospatial data and the local community.
In the era of GPS and Web Mapping you might think that paper(physical, concrete things you hold in your hands) maps are on their way out. I don’t necessarily agree, paper maps are very useful when you’re away from our friend electricity and are certainly handy in emergencies.
Beyond that I’ve started to notice, perhaps a bit late, that paper maps have started to take on another life as a creative medium. A few post’s back I highlighted AxisMaps where the maps were transformed into a piece of art. And if you leave the house more often than I do, you’ve probably noticed the topographic map stationary sets. Today I found another unique use of maps at CityFabric, where metropolitan areas are screen printed onto tote bags and t-shirts, complete with a pin to highlight a favorite location.
I know there are a lot of neat geographic themed gifts out there, but I think I’d like to hear from our readers and listeners if they have seen, heard, witnessed any novel uses of geographic data (not just gifts or nick-knacks). I mean it. Find some really weird or unique use of geographic data and send a photo or link in and I’ll compile a post of all the neat stuff you find!
Is your portion of the night sky polluted by artificial light? Check out this really slick Google Map interface I found on the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) web site . For over 22 years, the IDA has been advocating to keep our night sky clean of light pollution. Their reasons go beyond astronomy purposes and have provided resources for legislation that would both reduce night sky lighting and provide very large amounts of energy savings to the global economy.
Axis Maps presents a series of maps where all of the features, be they roads, rivers, rails, etc… are converted to text. At a distance it appears to be a “normal” map but on closer inspection the features are really linear iterations of the features name. Click the image below or the link at the beginning to check them out for yourself.
If you have a carto-fan in your life, this would make a great holiday gift!
I love lists like this – combining space and nerdy things is one of my favorite things in the world! So check out Wired’s 9 Nerdy Film Locations You Need to Visit in Your Lifetime. It covers everything from Star Wars, to Lord of the Rings, to 12 Monkeys. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize the location right away. You’ll rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles getting to them because they’re all over the globe, from Latin America to New Zealand. One of them is located in New York (Number 8 Hook and Ladder, featured in Ghostbusters), so I’m going to use AAG to mark at least one of them off my list