NBC goes Green

An interesting (and amusing) note that the NBC television network is promoting their Green Week where they are offering tips to go green in shows and in between. It is definitely an interesting attempt to tie in to the viewers interest. So far I have only watched Chuck, but it has been an interesting experience with so many green banners and slogans. To see what they are up to head over to the NBC Green is Universal site.

Book – “Geospatial Analysis”

I am not sure how I missed something like this, but Drs de Smith, Goodchild, and Longley, released a book entitled Geospatial Analysis – a comprehensive guide. Now in its second edition (2006, 2007), the important thing about the book, beyond the content and the reputation of the authors, is that while you can get a bound version or PDF for a charge, there is an amazing amount of information available on the website…aka the book. This is a great resource for those who need to look up something quickly or for those who are new to geospatial analysis methods and tools and need a strong introduction. The sections of the book are:

  • Conceptual Frameworks for Spatial Analysis
  • Historical and Methodological Context
  • Building Blocks of Spatial Analysis
  • Data Exploration and Spatial Statistics
  • Surface and Field Analysis
  • Network and Location Analysis
  • Geocomputational methods and modelling
  • While this are the broad sections, the book gets into some great details like Trend analysis of continuous data (under ESDA) and Verification and calibration of agent-based models (under Geosimulation). I will definitely be talking about this in Episode 120 this weekend, and I will try to get a review of the web version up in the next couple of weeks.

    The National Map Corps

    This one definitely gets filed under the “I did not know that” category (a fairly substantial category as you might imagine). Apparently for a few years now the USGS has hosted volunteers through The National Map Corps. By volunteering you receive an area (quad sheet or less) in which you and your trusty GPS unit go out and gather information on commonly mapped features (churches, schools, communications) and send in the information to be included in the National Map. After you have completed the initial data acquisition you are also supposed to send in changes over time (demolition, name change, etc) to help keep the National Map up-to-date. A cool idea that has been echoed more recently in TomTom’s Mapshare and of course the more ambitious OSM. If you like to spend time with your GPS unit you should look into the TNMC.

    USGS Geography: The National Map Corps

    Nobel Peace Prize for Climate Change

    Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I think this is one of the first Nobel Peace Prizes awarded for an area that is dominated by physical geography. Wangari Muta Maathai won in 2004 for her work in sustainable development, which is the other prize focusing on physical geographic issues. I find it interesting the Nobel people are turning more and more to areas beyond human conflict when recognizing impacts on world peace. The Nobel Institute gives out several prizes in a range of disciplines, but I think the peace prize is the most recognized. It’s also the only slot in which geography fits nicely (although you can make a strong case for Economics). Hopefully this prize might help raise geographic awareness around the world.

    Guerrilla Geography

    Over in the UK a new movement has popped up…Guerrilla Geography. So far there has only been one activity so far where they have taken Geography education to the streets in Birmingham. The next event is planned for London in mid-October and future events already planned including a food fight event that I am waiting to hear details about. We hope to talk to Daniel Raven-Ellison about Guerilla Geography and Give Geography its Place. Hopefully we can extend Guerrilla Geography to the US around AAG or Where 2.0.

    Guerrilla Geography

    Vector1 Media: Sustainability and geospatial

    As those of you who have listened to AVSP Episode 112 have already heard, Matt Ball and Jeff Thurston have started Vector1 Media a new magazine that will look at the confluence of Sustainable Development and spatial technologies. I am sure you recognize the names as long time geospatial media creators online and editors of various industry magazines. Their combination of online magazine, newsletter and blogs that make up Vector1 Media will:

    “explore the issues of infrastructure planners, land use managers, government decision makers, visualization specialists, spatial analysis professionals, design engineers, GIS analysts, surveyors and others who struggle to make sustainable plans for infrastructure development”

    Jeff has been teasing us over the summer about what was coming, but I am really excited to see what they have planned. It is great to see a publication that will focus on a specific area, but at the same time it is such a broad, and important area, that I sure it will have a broad appeal. Hopefully we will see more content producers move in this direction to find a niche that needs a voice whether it is a magazine, blog, or podcast.

    Good luck to Jeff and Matt in their new venture.

    GIScience Podcast

    I completely missed this…there is a podcast feed from the 2006 GIScience Conference that was held in Munster last October. There are nine presentations that cover an array of GISci topics that I am definitely looking forward to listening to. You can download episodes or subscribe to the feed from the GIScience Podcast website.

    Stephen Colbert explores his deep ancestry

    Christine, who works in the research lab down the hall from me, watches The Colbert Report, and told me about a segment on his show featuring Dr. Spencer Wells, head of the Genographic Project, which we have blogged about and participated in ourselves. Although I’m sure that the video reveals that Frank and Jesse did about their results were riveting, Colbert got a personal summary of his own DNA results from Wells himself, complete with a lovely graphics display.

    There’s a bit of a twist at the end, so you can watch the video clip until Sept. 15th over at the ComedyCentral website.

    More Geography Tetris

    Raymond, the creator of the super fun Statris sent me over a couple of emails about some updates he’s done. If you’re not a huge fan of US geography, fear not! Now you can get your geography gaming in with Statetris Europe and Statris Africa! I have to say my knowledge of both those continents was decidedly worse than my knowledge of the US. See how you do playing the two expansions to this oddly addictive game. Thanks to Raymond for the heads-up (and I’d almost bet dollars to dough nuts we might see a Statetris Asia in the near future)!