A commerical for NCIS showed a low res image from Google Maps satellite view. One person said the area they were looking at was “Off the map” the other called it the boondocks. That’s right, if you live in an area with low res imagery…you live in the middle of no where
Yes, I am posting about a non-CES or Macworld event, the planned launch of the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-7). The vehicle will be carrying 4 satellites, including CARTOSAT-2, the latest IRS sensor, and satellites for Indonesia and Argentina. ISRO’s previous mission, the launch of another vehicle, GSLV-F02 ended in failure back in July, so hopefully they can get everything safely into orbit and deployed.
Via The Hindu
Update: The launch was a success, and the satellites have been deployed!
It seems that Google Maps and Google Earth just aren’t enough for Google – they want to show us the universe! So, to accomplish that lofty goal, Google has joined the 19 organizations partnering to build a huge sky-scanning telescope, called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. The project is already underway, with universities, national laboratories, and a number of other partners, and Google seems to be adding their support to the project mainly for the imagery. The goal is to provide public access to digital imagery of features in space, such as stars, galaxies, nebulae, supernovas…..you name it. There are few specifics as of yet, other than the telescope will be installed at a facility in a mountainous region of Chile, and will hopefully be online in 2013.
I was glancing through my issue of GITA’s Conference News that came today and I noticed a little writeup about the expansion of GITA’s “Location for Education” program, which allows middle and high school teachers to include GPS and location based exercises in their classes. Kits are available for 2-week periods, and include 12 GPS units, a video, a geo-caching book, and instructions. The teacher only has to pay the shipping costs to get the kit to them and back to GITA. There isn’t a lot of information up on the GITA website yet, just a landing page basically, but hopefully there will be more soon, and maybe even some supplementary materials to go along with the physical kits. Right now, you can call email for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone GITA at 303-337-0513. I know I am going to be forwarding the info to some teachers in the area that we have done outreach with before.
I think this is a great program, especially for schools who would like to include more geography and geospatial technologies in their curricula, but can’t afford to purchase specialized equipment like GPS receivers. I’d really like to see other organizations partner with GITA to really expand a program like this, and maybe start others.
So on the premier Net@Nite with Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur they discussed Google Maps/Earth and the surveillant issues. That happened around the 25 minute mark.
The National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian is debuting a new exhibit starting today entitled Earth from Space. The exhibit features a gallery of remotely-sensed images of the Earth, as well as showing how remote sensing data is gathered and some of the applications it is utilized for. The exhibit has been getting some news coverage this week ahead of the opening, and some of the previewed images are really amazing. I always love visiting the Air and Space Museum, but it doesn’t look like I’ll get there in the near future. But, if you’re in the Washington, DC area, definitely head over to the museum and check out the exhibit.
Another article in National Geographic’s Digital Places series touches on a topic of special interest: geospatial technologies and archaeology. The article discusses how users of Google Earth and other web mapping applications that feature aerial and satellite imagery are incerasingly being used to identify features of archaeological significance. As UNC-Chapel Hill archaeologisty Sccot Madry noted: “I’ve spent 25 years on and off bouncing around in low-level aircraft, searching old maps, looking at aerial photographs, and I found a handful of new archaeological sites. I found more sites on the first day of sitting down and doing a systematic survey on Google Earth than in those years of using the other techniques.”
The article also rightly points out that the use of remotely sensed images for identifying archaeological sites goes back to the beginning of aerial reconaissance during World War I when observers were able to see features such as ditches, circles and vegetation discolorations that weren’t visible from the ground, but until the new push for high-resolution imagery spurred by the web mapping boom, imagery was expensive and coverage was often spotty. It will be interesting to see how Google Earth and other applications will continue to impact archaeological survey and site identifications.
BBC News is back at it with another column on geospatial technologies. This time they looks at the impact of geospatial technologies over the last couple years in response to disasters and how it is used everyday. They look at aerial imagery, Pictometry and some of the privacy issues that have been raised by the general public now that they know that we have access to this type of information.
Honestly, we just don’t know. Apparently the basis of most of our belief in the lack of life on Mars might be bad data. The Viking Mars Mission from 30 years ago flew close enough to Mars to see if it could remotely detect signs of life. Apparently scientists have reproduced the technology the Viking mission used and tested it in remote regions of Earth. Their findings show that Viking wouldn’t have found life on Earth using the technology it employs in similar climate regions when clearly there is life on Earth in those regions. Does that mean there is life on Mars? Nope, not necessarily. All we can say is that the Viking Mission employed techniques that wouldn’t have found signs if there were any life on Mars. Hopefully the 2009 mission will help decide once and for all this age old question.
For those of you interested in using GIS and remote sensing in conservation-related activities, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center is offering a week-long advanced GIS and remote sensing course from Sept. 11-15th at their facility in Virginia. They still have some slots left, and this would be a really good chance for people to learn about specific applications and issues related to Conservation GIS. The price is $1300, but does include lodging and breakfast.