Zombies are cool. Period. That’s a non-debatable, empirical fact of current pop culture. Like any good citizen, it helps to know what to do in the case of a zombie outbreak. Lucky for us all, one of the more geographic minded of us has released the Zombie Survival Map. The map shows location where zombies are likely to exist in red (in other words, population centers) and places that are likely to be zombie free in black/grey. On top of that, the map overlays locations for supplies such as food, shelter, hospitals, and oddly liquor stores. Although the map is obviously kinda silly (never mind the Zombie Outbreak Response Vehicle I have on my truck), it does highly some important base information for any sort of widespread emergency response issues. Similar things are being done by state and local governments to help detail routes for evacuation and emergency response. The map hopes to incorporate user generated data and some point, which will make it even more useful in the case of a natural or man made emergency…. or if the zombies ever do rise up and attack…. whichever
We’ve featured AirPano before on the site, but a set they’ve put up just took my breath away. They have a wonderful 360 degree air panoramic of Angel Falls in Venezuela. You can see these falls from the base on up to the top of the waterfall. The waterfall drops water nearly a half a mile to the ground. It’s just amazing. I really liked being able to start at the bast of the fall and virtually travel up via helicopter to the top. If you’re really interested in some of the details of the shoot, the link also has a bit of a pholoblog of the shoot and the area.
Unfortunately most of us won’t have the opportunity to see majestic sites like this in person, so effort
s like the AirPano project can really help us see our amazing world in ways never before possible. Not everything on the site is geographic (the ‘being a sandwich‘ one is kinda quirky), but the vast majority cover sites around the globe. Take some time to explore what they have – I think you’ll be blown away by the sites.
Web Map Solutions, a mobile application development company, recently posted their “Hot Topics in Mobile GIS” in which they reflect on the development trends they see in the applications they have developed or are developing for clients. Their list includes applications such as cultural resource management, genealogy, political campaigning, and mining. This list would be an accurate reflection of overall trends in mobile web applications. One of the hottest is related to true mobile applications – one’s developed for the automobile industry.
The Wall Street Journal has a recent article on the mobile app market, “Mobile Hot Spots: Web Radio, Apps Move to the Dashboard“. They say that mobile apps such a huge growth market that car manufacturers are setting up mobile and spatial app shops in Silicon Valley to be more integrated into the development process.
According to ReadWriteMobile, a web channel devoted to the mobile application industry, the projected growth of the mobile web app market is over $100 Billion by 2015. Of course, they have an interest in seeing that market increase but the spatial application market seems to be growing as more and more people expect it as a matter of course during their every day routines.
Is your portion of the night sky polluted by artificial light? Check out this really slick Google Map interface I found on the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) web site . For over 22 years, the IDA has been advocating to keep our night sky clean of light pollution. Their reasons go beyond astronomy purposes and have provided resources for legislation that would both reduce night sky lighting and provide very large amounts of energy savings to the global economy.
Adobe announced today they are killing development of a mobile flash player. Is this the death call for flash? Maybe not, but it certainly is a serious blow. We all know the mobile platform is growing at a phenomenal rate and it’s hard for IT departments to contemplate new development that doesn’t include mobile platforms. However, for now at least, flash on the desktop is secure. Adobe has re-affirmed commitment to HTML 5 development and tools. It may take over the Flash platform even on the desktop in the not too distant future. I rather curious to see if API developers are looking to expand into the HTML 5 market anytime soon.
Flickr has added a pretty cool new feature to their API set – Geofences. The idea is based upon the increasing concern over privacy, particularly spatial privacy. In the past versions of the API, one could only make the spatial location available to all or hide it from all. Geofences adds the ability to specify where ‘public’ photos are taken in your stream and where ‘private’ photos are taken. You can then share your ‘private’ fence with different classes of people of your choosing. For instance, you might make photos taken in and around your home in a ‘Family and Friends’ private Geofence and those taken at a public park as a public Geofence. The neat thing is you set the geofence spatially. You draw an area around a place you want to be private and by default any photos taken within that area are private. It’s a fairly cool implementation of privacy and it allows you to change your feelings about place without having to edit a ton of photos to reflect that change. Plus, to be honest, I love the phrase ‘geofence’ ?
Esri UC 2011 Live Blog
We’re about to get underway at the 2011 ESRI UC. We’re getting the opening Rocky-esque montage of GIS in action. Jack takes the stage and here we go!
Jack starts with a big thank you and appreciation to us all and why we’re all here. Jack’s a big fan of the f2f interaction, clearly. He’s saying it’s the largest meeting they’ve ever had – around 15,000 people by the end of the week. There’s around 14,000 in here right now. Around 1/3 are here for the first time – great on them! I’m a little surprised given governmental budgets that many people are here. That’s a really good sign. We’re now having our request meet and greet of the people around you. Met a nice lady from ESRI just now. Jack started a new process called the Deep Dive process. Sounds like MBA speak, but I think he’s just saying he’s gone and fully explored a few select projects. Hope it’s a representative sample
Today’s sample – urban planning, well, really any planning; managing land (land information systems); environmental purposes; managing transportation; utilities and communications; building planning – basically he’s covering the normal big hits. Oh, a mention of visualizations, which is cool. Jack mentions geobusiness intelligence is an emerging field. Not sure how that’s much different from geodemographics exactly, but I guess it adds more modeling and analysis. Have to look into that later. Given the unfortunate events in Japan in the spring, he’s naturally talking about emergency management and response. I expect when they have people come up and talk about what they’ve done in the field, we’ll get at least one example from the Tsunami. Crowd sourcing and engaging citizens (yay!) is getting bigger and bigger. I still have issues with looking at this as primarily a top down endeavor, but I’m glad they’re talking about it more and more. Regional and national GIS infrastructures. Being in a state GIS data infrastructure, this area interests me, particularly the regional. I wonder how they get around all the politics of interaction?
At the ESRI Education User Conference Plenary this morning a few things struck me as significant for GIS use in the classroom. Bern Szukalski reviewed some of the ArcGIS.com revisions that occurred last Wednesday and these are what I thought could enhance the use of GIS in the classroom:
Intelligent Mapping – Essentially pop ups that display data in graphical formats about the feature selected ( fun stuff like pie, bar and line charts).
Time enabled mapping – The ability to connect to time aware services and bring them into the ArcGIS.com mapping environment and have a time slider available.
And what I feel is the most significant advance, “Drag & Drop Mapping” where a text or Excel file can be dragged directly into the mapping environment to add features and their associated data. Remember creating an Excel sheet with Latitude and Longitude fields, displaying events, and then exporting that event as a layer? Not anymore, just drag that excel file over the map and drop it!
While the emphasis of the plenary was to enable GIS education, the undertone was that of increasing the capabilities of web mapping and the continued integration of cloud services. The Pennsylvania State University also announced today for the first time publicly that it will be offering an open course tentatively titled “GEOG 8xx – Cloud/Server GIS“. Enrollment for this course will be open on November 7th 2011.
The Globe and Mail has an interesting article today on a site called HealthMap, created by epidemiologists at the Children’s Hospital Boston which uses participatory GIS and other information mined from the Internet to quickly identify potential patterns of disease outbreaks. According to the HealthMap website partners and supporters include Google, NIH, CDC, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Wildlife Conservation Society, International Society for Disease Surveillance and International Society for Travel Medicine which make it quite a large undertaking. Their advanced search options are very robust including being able to turn on and off layers for news feeds for sources such as ProMed, types of diseases, locations, and dates.
That’s a great quote from Google Maps product manager Manik Gupta! What led him to say such a thing is that Google is now opening their map to user input. Users will be able to edit the map to make it better. They’ve already launched the tool in 183 countries who do not have an adequate abundance of “official” data. It’s like the world’s largest Participatory GIS project! If you want to get started editing, head over to Google’s Mapmaker tool and start adding information to Google Maps.
And if you’re curious who’s doing what, you can watch edits in real-ish time via their new Mapmaker Pulse tool. I gotta say, it’s fascinating to watch people digitize in real time around the globe!