Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the preferred industry term by the UAS Association for what the public sometimes refer to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or unmanned drones, are clever works of aircraft in geospatial technology. Generally, the devices are used to collect aerial data, but can serve multiple purposes. They are being used to perform a broad spectrum of duties such as boundary and topographic surveys, route planning, volume determination, and disaster analysis. Generally, the devices are used to collect aerial data. Continue reading
A couple of podcasts that I just came across on SoundCloud…
A new podcast series is just around the corner entitled Placing Culture by Shaun Huston of Western Oregon University, here is the “teaser”.
At the same time, here is an older interview with Anne Kelly Knowles from a year ago on the Geography:Digital Humanities connection.
This is not a post about Hexagon Geospatial’s Power Portfolio 2015 (we hope to have an interview about this year’s update in the coming weeks). Instead it is a post about their new video ads.
They have taken our love of infographics and created something great. But it isn’t just the graphics, it is also the quick, approachable story that utilizes the approach that good infographics do so well. So far there are two video ads available (Power Portfolio and Producer Suite), but I hope there are more coming next week.
If anyone from Hexagon Geospatial is reading, it would be great if you redo the narration after the ad campaign and release them as general geospatial technology videos that could be used in classrooms and informal ed outlets…just a thought.
Over the holidays I have been upgrading most of the pieces of the podcast equipment that were either shutting down randomly after years of faithful service (looking at you 2010 Macbook and H4N) or starting to leave black, flakey material in our hair (headphones). That said this week I edited and am exporting on different equipment and new versions of software. In the past this has lead to issues with the uploaded files for a small portion of listeners.
Hopefully there will be no problems for anyone downloading the podcast, but if there is please be sure to contact me so that I can try to figure out what is causing the issue.
We are still rolling out an MP3 and AAC version of the podcast. I have bumped the audio quality up to 128 from 64, so expect the downloads to take about twice as long (my guess is about 30-45 seconds). Now that I am not trying to race the clock before the next random shut down, I have put chapter breaks and links back into the AAC version.
In case you are wondering what our new(ish) set up is on the SC end of the podcast we are now running through a Mac Mini for the Skype connection to Frank and to edit the podcast on (in Audacity), we are still using the Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire (though connected via audio cables not firewire) in SC and the Alesis MultiMix8 USB in WV (also cabled, not USB), MXL mics all around 2 990s and 1 770, and we record it all out to the drool worthy Samson Zoom H6. The Samson is nice recording weekly, but it will really shine when we don’t have to do the mic shuffle during conference interviews. That said, we still have an H4n for when we break up into teams to cover the conference floors faster (and for when we accidentally double book interviews).
The upshot…if you have any issues while listening to Episode 442 please let me know!
Here’s a great use of LBS and I’m kinda surprised more navigation apps don’t have this built in – TurnCast will route you around weather events while you’re driving. This can be super helpful if you’re in a new area and don’t know the weather patterns or roads. Driving through hellish storms can be a chore. Sometimes going a bit ‘out of the way’ can actually save you time and energy. It certainly can be safer. TurnCast isn’t quite out yet, but the company has a number of other weather apps that provide more ‘real time’ information than most weather apps. The downside is it looks to be iOS only, so Windows and Android users are kinda out of luck.
Students do some great projects. This one uses Windows Phone to do a little Geospatial Augmented Reality for a 4th year project. Awesome!
With a little nod to Sue’s Windows Phone obsession to boot.
It isn’t often in geography that you are able to get a 1:1 ratio on anything but a post this week by Luke Y. Thompson about the classic table top game The game of LIFE shows that Yoron Island in Japan is going to give it a try or “Super Terrific Japanese Thing: Yoron Island to become Real-Scale Game of Life.” The post references news by RocketNews24 and Yoron Island Tourism. The shape of Yoron Island mirrors the shape of the game board in the The Game of LIFE. The Yoron Town Chamber of Commerce youth were brainstorming ways to increase tourism, since the island is still in reconstruction following typhoons last year. At the same time, Hasbro’s game of The Game of LIFE is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and is enjoyed by families across Japan and the world. Therefore, they decided to create a real life – “Game of Life Island, Yoron.” Visitors to the island will be able to play LIFE in real scale from July 20, 2013 – September 16, 2013. Yoron Island is part of the Amani Islands Quasi- National Park and is located in the Kagoshima prefecture. Kagoshima is home to Kagoshima University and the Kagoshima Institute of GIS and GPS Technology.
The question of what size would a game environment be to scale in the real world is one that gamers and artists often ask themselves. In 2011, artist Aram Bartholl provided a good background essay on why he wanted to build a full-sized Counter-Strike game map in the Game Informer Show. In his proposal, he says that games are a form of cultural heritage because millions of people have a shared spatial memory of the game space. While he was talking about 3D game environments, this is could possibly be even more true of older board games such as LIFE.
NPR had a March story on “The Cicadas are Coming! Crowdsourcing An Underground Movement” about the public’s involvement in predicting cicada emergence, and the time is now. If you live on the East Coast, where the Magicicada Brood II is making its “squishy and crunchy” 17-year reappearance according to Radiolab’s Cicada Tracker, be a part of citizen science tracking cicada’s. Research Scientist’s at the University of Connecticut Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department provide a tracking form, Radiolab provides instructions for a cool home made cicada sensor or a cheap soil thermometer detection method to map “Swarmageddon”.
Other cicada projects include: The Mid-Atlantic Cicada database project is collecting brood reports to map for the mid-Atlantic region. The College of Mount St.Joseph and the Indian Academy of Science have a self-report site for mapping the Indiana brood at the IAS Cicada Web site. According to the IAS website, Gene Kritsky, author of the Indiana Academy of Science’s book “Periodical Cicadas, the Plague and the Puzzle” found that Magicicada Brood II was mentioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1724 and are still found in the same place today. Leon Weinman’s poem, “Cicadas, Monticello” for Cerise Press begins, “Numberless, in cradled isolation, they nurse their common fate. Years, beneath cool pines, they wait in their white silence, emerging finally, at once, in thick surrender to the air.” While I am not sure if it refers to Jefferson’s Monticello, Georgia‘s, or somewhere else, it captures the spirit of a cicada emergence.
If you want more information on cicadas, Cicada Mania is a website “Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world”! with detailed information, maps, videos, photos, songs and a gift store. Other sources for information include: National Geographic provides information on Cicadas at it’s website, Animal Planet explains “Why are Cicadas so Noisy?”, and University of Maryland the Cicadamanics reveal “Cicada-licoious: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas” for the exceptionally curious.