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.
In a time when we have become jaded by something as awe inspiring as the time, technology, and $$$ behind creating 3D city models, it is nice to see something that reminds us how cool and realistic imagery and models can be. The above video was made using Nokia’s Here Maps as a personal project by Paul Wex Films.
I offer my contribution to the John Snow meme.
Onion News – thinking of solutions before even Apple can.
It’s never too early to get kids interested in geospatial technologies and geography. I was searching for a fun gift for a young kid and ran across the Daily Grommet, which is an online catalog that practices what it has termed “Citizen Commerce”. The site uses crowd sourcing to identify products and companies that people want to support. Their product lineup is constantly changing, but many of them are geospatial in nature. The ones that caught my eye were a number of games that teach 3D spatial skills such as a 3D maze game, the OGO build set which is basically a point, line, and polygon game, and the spatial 3d Challenge game.
The one that I thought might be really interesting was the GeoPalz Activity Tracker. It combines a pedometer tracker with an online interactive site that allows kids to earn prizes. When I initially read the description I thought that kids would be able to upload a map of their daily activity to the GeoPalz website and use it for interactive games, sort of like a mash-up of Google Maps with GPS Tracker and a Family Circus cartoon. The site looks like it uses the actual pedometer count,which is still really cool. It just goes to show how much we have come to expect of our geospatial technology in everyday life. More, More, More even for a kid’s toy.