A little sonic cartography for your Friday listening pleasure. Ever wanted to know what the elevation of a trip from Tokyo to Rome sounds like, curious as to what satellite paths sound like…head over to g-turns.com to get an idea. The site takes elevation data and uses it like a vinyl record, so that the hills and valleys represent the grooves in a record creating the sound. You can subscribe to their podcast to listen to daily samples. Really cool. The other part of the site is the great ‘hardware’ that they offer and the numbers sold…you have to love the tongue in cheek hullabaloo. My favorite so far, the podcast based on SPOT flight path, would be a great bass track for an electronic song.
I’m not sure when this actually was actually first made available, but today I saw the press release about the USGS’ Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA), which was generated from over 1000 Landsat scenes of the continent. In addition, if you head to the LIMA website, you will also find links to other mapping and remote sensing data resources for Antarctica, including the Interactive Atlas of Antarctica, a web mapping platform that displays available GIS layers for Antarctica, including satellite and orthoimagery.
I you are interested in showing off your cartographic products you might be interested in the upcoming 23rd International Cartographic Conference which will convene in Moscow, Russia the week of 4-10 August, 2007. You can submit hard copy or digital cartographic products to the Conference. Interested parties in the US must submit an entry form to Max Baber of Samford Univ no later than March 24. For those of you in other countries you can probably find your contact on the International Cartographic Association website.
Via a post on the AAG’s GIS Specialty Group listserv
According to ChinaDaily, the city of Beijing will soon be offering free customized maps for out-of-town drivers entering the city from certain entry and exit points. The maps will be computer-generated and will provide a best route based on a number of factors, including vehicle model, distance, and real-time traffic conditions. The maps can also show restricted access areas for large vehicles or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. A trial program has been in place for about a month at one entry point, and the full program is supposed to be implemented next month. Although it’s not clear from the article, it seems that they will probably have a selection of maps based on general vehicle types, time of day, levels of traffic congestion, etc. and then they will give the driver the appropriate map. If they were individually generated, though, that would be even cooler.
The article doesn’t give too many details, but this seems like a good idea to help drivers navigate through a congested, unfamiliar city. I know there are cities here in the US and elsewhere that could really use a system like this.
A couple of news outlets in the UK are reporting on Landmark Information Group’s recently completed project to digitize Soviet military maps of the UK, which include 16,000 square kilometres and 103 UK town and cities, which have just gone on sale. The maps were mostly done between 1950 and 1990 and, in some cases are available at a 1:10,000 scale. Also included with the maps are a street index, descriptions, and lists of important buildings, such as military complexes.
The UK maps were part of a secretive effort by the Russian military and KGB to map countries around the world, and the maps only came to light really by accident. When the Soviet Union began to crumble in 1991, the Russian military was forced to withdraw quickly from many of the USSR’s satellite states. Following the withdrawal, thousands of paper maps covering the whole world were found in abandoned train carriages in Latvia and Estonia. Whether abandoned on purpose of by accident, the maps were seized by locals and sold to various private companies. The Register article has a link to another article by John Davies, which gives more information about the Soviet maps. Although the existence of these maps has been discussed before, this is the first time the UK collection has been offered for sale in digital form.
A US company, East View Carographics, bought the UK maps and in turn sold them to Landmark Information Group, which has just completed the task of digitizing the maps and is now offering them for sale online at Landmark’s Envirocheck website.
I always like to see mapping projects that focus on topics and issues that are unexpected, but informative. That’s why I was intrigued by a project featured over at the Negations blog called the Radical Apple. Although only a small portion of Manhattan has been mapped so far, the project is essentially to map the radical history of New York City, by pinpointing location that were important to social struggle in the city. The map is a static image of streets and building outlines, with sites indicated by yellow dots. As the user mouses over each point, an info window pops up with details about the site and an accompanying image.
I think it’s a great project that is trying to offer another, perhaps little-known aspect of New York City’s history, and hopefully the project will be able to expand its database to include more sites throughout the city.
I was just catching up on some emails after a hectic couple of days of grant writing, giving an exam, and grading, and Elaine, one of our readers, sent me a link to a website called Mapographer, which features the work of Scott Wittman. Scott uses maps to create artworks, and there are some cool examples of his work on the site.
The link to the site came from a mapping blog called Great Map, which focuses on providing links and info about map-related sites and news stories. I’ve just started reading it, but there are a lot of great links. The blog’s author is also interested in mapping knowledge domains, and has a couple of examples posted.
The North American Cartographic Information Society has rolled out an online survey in order to gain and understanding of what the mapping community thinks about map design. The survey will be open through April 6, 2007, so if you have a few minutes to spare head over to http://www.nacis.org/map_design/index.html and share your thoughts on map design.
The results of the survey will be presented at the 2007 NACIS meeting in St. Louis and in Cartographic Perspectives, the journal of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS).
New York City distributes approximately 1.5 million condoms each month in regular wrappers, but is still faced with large numbers of people who are contracting STDs and HIV. In an effort to increase free condom usage in the city, officials have decided to distribute an “official” New York City condom, complete with snazzy design for the wrappers.
One of the leading ideas for the NYC condom wrapper design: NY subway maps! Yes, that’s right, in the very near future, someone may ask a passer-by in New York how to get somewhere on the subway, and they can whip a handy condom out of their wallet or purse and show the way!
No word yet on when the final design will be decided upon, but here’s rooting for the world’s first geo-themed condom!
The New York Times has another article on the impacts of global warming, this one discusses how the melting of glacial ice is exposing new land area and changing our knowledge of the coastline geography of Greenland. This is illustrated by the example of a recently-identified island, which was thought to be part of a peninsula of land under the ice until the ice melted and a channel of seawater was exposed between the island and the mainland. As the melting continues, there will surely be more efforts to map these new topographic features, even though their exposure through ice melt is continuing evidence that the climate is rapidly changing. This may also impact other disciplines like archaeology, since sites that were once occupied in past times when the earth was warmer may now be exposed again by melting ice.