For those of you in the UK (the company doesn’t do international shipping), modetwentyone has a very cool decorative mirror with the London Underground map laser etched onto its surface. For only £59 (about $83 US), you can have this lovely mirror in your own home, and be able to admire its iconic imagery whenever you wish.
I have really slacked off on the postings on the blog while I work on my research stuff, but I’ve finally got some pictures of my XNA virtual world application up and running in the VR CAVE at WVU. We had to do some tweaking because XNA is DirectX-based, so it runs on a separate setup from the Conduit and doesn’t affect that configuration. The demo that you see in the photos is our Virtual Morgantown project, and we are slowing filling out the landscape by re-texturing all of our 350+ SketchUp models that were used in the 1st generation ArcScene project, and then exporting them to .FBX for use in the XNA application. So far, it’s running great, and we’ve already created several small scenes and even have weather particle systems running. Everyone’s favorite so far is the snowy Morgantown landscape!
Just a reminder that the CAVE utilizes stereo 3D, so the photos are a little blurry because they show the double images that are drawn to give the stereo effect.
The BBC has an interesting article on plans by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) to launch a $70million satellite that will be able to capture 60cm pixel images. SSTL believes the proposed satellite system dubbed ART (Accuracy, Reach, Timeless) could cover 95% of the planet every 30 months. The key to the system is that they anticipate the cost of the imagery to be $0.15 sq/km versus current prices aroung $20 sq/km. Check out the full article over on the BBC website
A late night YouTube run is often just what the tech support prescribed…
As I’m sure many of you remember, I have been a fan of Microsoft Research’s Photosynth since we saw the first tech previews back in July 2006. Today I finally got some time to sit down and try it out myself. After setting up my profile on the Photosynth site and downloading and installing Photosynth, I checked out the Photosynth Guide and headed out to Woodburn Circle, a focal point on the WVU downtown campus. I took about 200 photos and brought them into the Photosynth dialog to pare the collection down to about 190 photos. I clicked the magic button to start the synth, and about 40 minutes later (it was a pretty big collection!) my synth was done and uploaded. The viewer shows the aligned photos as well as the point cloud Photosynth generates (It can be difficult to see the cloud at some angles).
When I saw the finished synth, I have to say I was even more impressed than I was after seeing all the examples already out there. Check it out below and see what you think!
Even though it’s a little late in the season, I couldn’t resist posting about a fun harvest time adventure for all ages – corn mazes! You can find people making them in lots of places where corn is grown (or maize for some of our readers), and of course they are often combined with those other fun down-on-the-farm activities like hay rides. Sadly, although I grew up in a corn-growing area and tromped through many cornfields, none of them were laid out into cool mazes.
Of course, for those of you who don’t want to miss out like I did, there are many resources on the Interwebs where you can find maps and directories of corn mazes, like Corn Mazes America or Corn Maze Directory, the USGS has a webpage on teaching Geography using corn mazes, and a site called Harvest Moon even has a virtual corn maze for people who’d rather not go outside at all.
I finally got a minute to post this video from SNL, and it’s hilarious in it own right, but also because it’s exactly what we all would do if we got a chance to play with one of these cool touch screen displays…
I just couldn’t resist another great comic from xkcd….
Katharine over at ChannelFlip games does a great job of giving a run down of Location-based Gaming for the general gaming public. She talks about the history of LBG’s (apologies if I just made that up) and location technologies, as well as a few examples of LBG’s. I have to say this was a great treat from one of the non-Geo podcasts I follow.
In honor of the upcoming start-up of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on Wednesday (whether or not you believe it will be the end of the world), I had to post the global YouTube hit – the Large Hadron Collider Rap. Science never sounded so hip!
After you watch the rap you can take a look at a video of what some think is the worst case scenario for when the LHC starts up.