Indy and friends win with Flash

One on the main reasons to stop by the U of Redlands booths, besides the general heckling, is to catch up with Indy who is a PhD student at UCSB. We met her a couple of years ago at the ESRIUC where she turned the camera around on us for a video she was using in a class she was TAing. Apparently, our friend Indy along with Kailen Wright and Chris Thilgen recently won ‘best student app’ at FlashCamp an Adobe CS4 event at the San Francisco Adobe offices. Their app was, of course, geospatial in nature and looked to the election for inspiration. The result was a flash map that shows the way states are leaning in polls and cartogram version of the states based on electoral votes. For a weekend project it is fun visualization of the information. Congrats to Indy and team for their victory and bringing the spatial to FlashCamp!

UC Santa Barbara Geography / News and Events / Department News

Poll results, new poll

The poll has closed and the question we asked was “Which element of GIS is most important?”. The results broke down as follows (based on 122 votes):

  • Hardware -3%
  • Software – 13%
  • Processes – 8%
  • Data – 34%
  • People – 42%
  • The new poll is a quick question for those of you heading to an AAG regional meeting. The question is which regional meeting are you attending. If you are attending more than one, please pick the one you are looking forward to more.

    “vampire tourism” and geography

    Accodinng to this article in MSNBC news, the book Twilight has created booming tourism in the town where the novel is set… where the author never visited when she wrote the first book, which has now gained Harry Potter status. The town set out to match places in the book with places in the town. What’s really interesting is this quote, “It’s not quite how I thought it would be,” says Yena Hu, a University of Washington sophomore who made the four-hour trek from Seattle to visit. “They’re always talking about all the windows — and in the book, the house is on the water.” What expectation does the public put on geograhic realism between fiction and real places. I guess they had an easier job than someone trying to locate Aquaman’s New San Diego which is one of the real places in the DC universe. It is set in San Diego around the convention center where Comicon and the ESRI user’s conference take place, except that it is underwater!

    LHC/CERN follow-up

    Since Sue is still enamored with the LHC rap video (I guess it is time for us to introduce her to nerdcore) I thought I would just mention that the Large Hadron Collider had its first successful run today, and no, the world did not come to an end via blackhole or other atom smashing means. The 27 kilometer particle accelerator will hopefully provide physicists with a means to take many theoretical concepts to the experimental stage.

    Who Buys What, Globally

    It should come as no surprise that we in the US buy the most of all the categories. However, if you’re curious how other nations stack up, the New York Times has a flash interactive map showing how nations compare in purchasing of clothes, electronics, alcohol & tobacco, household goods, and recreation. The map is per capita, obviously. I thought it was interesting how the US stacked against the rest of the world on alcohol & tobacco. I’d love to see that broken down into those two groups to see if the anti-smoking campaigns are working. Also, it should be noted this map has a HEAVY western/industrialized/northern bent to it. That’s probably a function of the subject matter itself, so it’s not a huge surprise.

    Location sharing apps for your iToy

    So as has been suggested on quite a few sites, the number of location apps on the iTunes app store continues to increase. Today I am focusing on location sharing apps. These are apps that allow you to acquire your location (via GPS, wifi, or cell location) and email your location. The app the I am currently using is I Am Here by Aboretum Software which is a free app that does not provide a map interface but offers a text display of your current lat/long in a nice clean interface and then email your location in a Google Maps URL. Two other recent additions with similar functionality are the $.99 Breadcrumbs and SpotMe! which provide the same functionality, but add viewing your current location on a map. There is another app named I Am Here with similar functionality but it isn’t rated very highly so I skipped it. I will keep an eye on the new offerings in the app store for something with a bit more umpphh though I recommend checking out Nearby, Platial’s location app while we wait for the mobile GIS iApp that is sure to come along some day.