For my own little Earth Day shoutout, I thought I’d share actor Paul Rudd’s awesome musical tribute to our planet – “Earth Rocks” from his time collaborating with the great Sesame Street muppet crew
The RSPSoc – Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society is a UK-based academic association that looks at the application to education, science, research, industry, commerce and the public service of RS and aerial imagery. The RSPSoc maintains a significant number of activities and publications. The upcoming RSPSoc 2009 conference will be taking place in Leicester on September 8-11. Publications from the association include the International Journal of Remote Sensing (IJRS), the The Photogrammetric Record (PHOR), a newsletter, and proceedings from the annual conference. The RSPSoc website has a wealth of information including an educational area, public outreach, student community, and special interest groups.
Just got my latest MyWonderfulWorld e-newsletter, and National Geographic and SunChips are announcing a new initiative called the Green Effect, which will award $20,000 each to 5 individuals or groups to implement their community green project.
The contest opens on April 22nd and runs until June 8th. You’ll be able submit your green idea to the Green Effect website (the submission page isn’t live yet), and on July 7th, 10 finalists will be announced (Each of the finalists will get a Flip video camera!). The finalists will be judged again, and there will be online voting as well. The winners will be announced around July 21st.
So come on out there! Get your green thinking caps on and, if you’ve got an idea that can help your community become greener, write it up and submit it!
November 18th will be here before you know it, so now’s the time to start thinking ahead about hosting an event for GIS Day 2009. To help get you started, here is a short video from GISDayTV’s YouTube Channel on how you can participate:
Ars Technica has a nice discussion about nuclear power discussions that took place at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago. The short of it is that several prominate scientists are arguing that nuclear power has a place in our future power needs. Coming from a coal state, I’ve often wondered about which is the lesser of two evils – nuclear power or coal energy. I’m certain strong and informed opinions can be made both in the pro and con column for each technology. What I believe this strongly underscores is the notion that we will most likely use a mix of technologies to power ourselves in the future.
BBC Radio 4′s Today program recently asked “Where’s left to explore?”. The answer is an interesting discussion of the impact of geospatial technologies and the meaning of exploration that is definitely worth a read.
For my part, I think that while the grand concept of exploration is important it is our small adventures that allow us to explore beyond location into what Anthro or Cultural Geog (me included) will think is most important…our social and cultural interactions. Geocaching, tweetups, and any other small exploration of locations and people are explorations that we can all take and result in grand adventures as well as new understandings, no matter how small, of the world we live in.
The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting article heavily quoting Google Earth’s project head John Hanke, “We’re not the bad guys.” The article goes on to heavily quote Hanke concerning the issue, but the gist of it is that technology is morally neutral. You can use it for good and bad things and it’s up to the end user to dictate the use. We talked about that point quite a bit in this week’s podcast. However, it think it’s pretty clear that nearly any technology can be used for both good and bad purposes. If you deny the good based upon the bad, is the net benefit to the public better or worse? It’s a tricky situation and has to be largely decided on a case by case basis, I think. In the case of geospatial technology, sometimes even on a layer by layer basis. Certainly the debate is interesting and I believe that geospatial professionals should keep it in the forefront in our thinking.
I have recently been looking at Open Journals for various types of content. Open Journals are freely accessible online journals, some are digital versions of traditional journals while others are electronic only published in new ways and under Creative Commons license. Below is a list of some of the Open Journals that are available in Geography and geospatial technologies. If you know of others, please mention them in the comments.
There have been several companies moving to the webinar route over the last year. These are great ways for users to get to know the nooks and crannies of products, geospatial or not, and it allows for some level of interaction with the person leading the webinar. The downside is that they aren’t always convenient to fit in your schedule, no matter how many times a given webinar is offered. Perhaps the most useful thing about a webinar is that it can be tossed online afterward for any and all who missed the original or just missed a point. ERDAS has gotten around to archiving their webinars for the general public. What is more, they seem to be rolling them out quickly so you don’t have to wait a month or more if you missed the live webinar. And…AND…you can take it with you when you download the webinar and run it on your laptop though you will need the WebEx ARF player to view the file, so no viewing on your personal media player of choice.
We recorded this week’s episode before seeing the press release Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) Urges Congress to Establish Geospatial Subcommittee in House and Senate. The letter is available from the URISA/COGO site (pdf). It points out existing government led spatial organizations, talks about the use of geospatial technologies by various government offices and suggests existing subcommittees in the House and Senate that might best oversee geospatial activities. Duane Marble commented on the announcement over on All Points Blog stating “both Federal and non-Federal geospatial activities have been significantly hampered by the lack of any central voice at the Federal level.” It will likely be some time before any meaningful response comes from COGOs letter, but it offers significant opportunity for the geospatial industry as a whole.