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.
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.
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.
Apparently the hispanic community doesn’t even warrant an actual month for Hispanic Heritage Month since it runs from Sept 15 to Oct 15. In recognition of our friends who hablan espanol or are descended from those that do I want to remind you that are some great spanish blogs and podcast. Just to mention a few, check out Geografia Para Llevar, El mundo de los mapas, and La Cartoteca.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
This is mostly for the geobloggers out there. There is a group of well known podcasters/bloggers who are looking at the need for an association of New Media publishers. They have just posted a survey to try to get initial thoughts and determine the need for an association. While most of us do this for fun and only get a little ad revenue (ie none of us have quit our day jobs), I still see a need for an organization that can support education, research, and outreach about the various New Media. As those of you who have joined us at the sessions we have organized at the AAG and ESRI UC know, there is interest, but not always understanding about what we do…this is where I feel that an association of New Media publishers could really make a difference.
If you are interested you can find there survey at http://www.surveymethods.com/
In advance of the launch of their Planet Green cable network (set to debut in 2008), Discovery Communications has agreed to pay $10 million US for Treehugger.com, probably the leading online site for news, blogging, forums, and other resources related to green initiatives. Treehugger started off in 2004, and has seen amazing growth, with news reports for the acquisition putting the site’s monthly visits at about 1.4 million unique monthly visitors. I have been reading Treehugger for awhile, and I think it’s really cool that another New Media/Web 2.0 resource will be partnering with mainstream media.
From the press release: “The deal brings TreeHugger.comÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rich mix of news, blogs and advice to Planet Green and furthers DiscoveryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s previously announced goal of developing original programming related to the environment, sustainable development, conservation and organic living. In acquiring TreeHugger.com, Discovery is pursuing its multiplatform strategy of being the leading content provider across nonfiction genres around the world.” (Here is a link to the full press release at Discovery Communications)