A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 377
October 07, 2012
Main Topic: Ann Johnson of Geotech Center and iGETT
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Many popular news sites, such as the Telegraph, have picked up the story of Nestle UK’s campaign that embeds GPS trackers in candy bars, comparing it to the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Using geospatial technologies as part of a marketing campaign has been around as long as the technologies themselves.
In 2006, The Charlotte County Visitor’s Bureau used a geocaching campaign to start a word of mouth marketing campaign by reaching over 3,000 geocachers, according to an article in the Herald Tribune. A 2011 article in The Drum: Modern Marketing & Media, cites a Google study that found mapping and geospatial technology were one of the fastest growing types of marketing and were a major part of marketing strategy. Many marketing and public relations firms such as Blast Companies are using GPS enabled target marketing to reach customers. Specialized companies such as GoldRun focus on geospatial technologies such as GPS-linked and augmented reality environments. Popular types of geospatial campaigns include social media, QR codes, geocaching, and GPS-tracking.
Every year, the gaming industry teases us with the latest and greatest in new games and technology at shows around the world. One of the biggest shows, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) recently gave us a couple of previews that really wowed. The first, Watch Dogs, is by major game studio Ubisoft, and explores the implications of controlling all aspects of city functions, sensor networks, and even monitoring the inhabitants’ personal technology footprint through a single operating system, a “City OS”, and what would happen if someone had the skills to hack that system. The short preview of the game from E3 showcases stunning graphics and real-time movement, and shows that not only can the gaming world be a great source of inspiration and technology for geospatial applications of 3D and real-time modeling, but the stories played out in games can also explore the questions that arise from implementing this technology. Take a look at the preview here:
The U.K. is experiencing a summer of GIS with several overlapping large and unique events taking place that use geospatial tools for planning, management, analysis and public outreach. Like many instances of GIS integration for event planning, it might seem as if it happened overnight but in fact took more than five and in some cases ten years of planning and cooperation between many different organizations and agencies.
Olympic Torch and the 2012 Olympics
According to Public Service UK, The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) Learning Strategy Department has trained all 250,000 police officers and staff in the UK to use geospatial tools for safety operations for the London Olympics and Paralympics. This would be a big enough job, if the London Olympics only took place in London. However, the Olympic Torch Relay travels within an hour of 95% of people in the UK. The training was available through a GIS e-learning module and provides maps and plans of venues and locations for use in operational planning, briefings and deployments.
Transportation is another big area of concern for the upcoming Olympics. The interactive map website, Get Ahead of the Games, is a collaboration between the Mayor of London, National Rail, Department for Transport, Highways Agency, and Transport for London to make planning and travel easier during the Olympics and Paralympics. It includes travel by public transport, National Rail, road and river services.
The Ordnance Survey has documented the creation of the 2012 Olympics siteusing detailed ariel imagery from 2001 through to 2010. The planning and construction of the London 2012 Games was funded by the National Lottery, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency. They presented about the “Learning Legacy: Lessons Learned from the London 2012 Games construction project“. A web-based GIS viewer and spatial visualization tool was created to all contractors to access and share information. Over 2 million individual pieces of data were created and are part of the infrastructure planning and continued venue management.
The Queens Diamond Jubilee
The Olympics aren’t the only event that has had an impact on geospatial awareness in the U.K. this summer. The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) also had to prepare for The Queens Diamond Jubilee, along with routine events such as Wimbledon Tennis, Notting Hill Carnival, and football. According to a presentation entitled “Securing the 2012 Olympics: A Milestone in the UK Policing Improvement Programme” geospatial planning and integrated situational awareness has been happening behind the scenes for years before being implemented in time for the U.K.’s summer of GIS.
ESRI UK have created interactive map of the over 41,000 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons being lit on Monday, June 4th, throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, along with Commonwealth and UK territories overseas. The beacon chain itself has been used for communication and celebration for hundreds of years making it a very old form of geospatial communication.
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.