Listener Jody pointed out a great project that was highlighted on last weeks Living on Earth. CyberTracker allows anyone to capture information, including location, about animal movements. The software uses an interface that can be used by anyone from non-literate bushman to wildlife agents on a simple mobile hardware platform. The software is freely downloadable if you would like to take a look and be sure to check out July 21, 2006 episode of Living on Earth around the 32 minute mark for a great story about CyberTracker.
Who knew avians could be so high tech? A new study of real-time air pollution is being undertaken using, of all things, pigeons. Little monitors are strapped to the backs of the pigeons and data is beamed back to Earth and published on the web in real time. Apparently the data will be available in blog format for anyone to see/use.
I’m pretty proud of the work we do here at Very Spatial, but I’m not sure we can compete with a Pigeon Blog. That’s just too cool.
I was going through my Caribbean GIS listserv alerts, and I noticed one about MesoStor, a project to make GIS data about Mesoamerica available online. MesoStor is part of SERVIR, “a regional visualization and monitoring system for Mesoamerica that integrates satellite and other geospatial data for improved scientific knowledge and decision making by managers, researchers, students, and the general public.” What is really cool about this project is all the partners who are working together to make it happen. The USGS and NASA have contributed data and expertise (in fact, the site is hosted by NASA), and other partners include NOAA, The Nature Conservancy, Conservacion Internacional, ESRI, the World Bank, and several universities.
It’s a flash map, but it’s still pretty cool. Ever wonder where all the alternative energy is being produced in the world? Well now you can find out! This site has three views of the globle (which I find very attractive, by the by) and nifty 3D icons showing sources of geothermal, solar, wind, and wave sources of energy. The red dots give you nice little information about the areas in question.
The BBC is working with others to predict climate change and they want your help! The climate prediction tool runs within the BOINC environment just like SETI@home and others. This software takes advantage of free CPU cycles on client machines to crunch numbers for large data sets…isn’t distributed computing grand. If you have time head over check the project out.
If you’re like me, when you go to plan your summer vacation, weird questions like, “Is there a major earthquake fault or active volcano in the area?” will eventually come up. Now you don’t have to worry about those pesky active volcanoes in your holiday planning! The site features a google mashup with the Smithsonian and USGS Weekly Volcano Activity Report, so you know you’re always up-to-date with the volcanic activity in the area. Clicking on the volcano point brings up a handy, dandy popup featuring current activity, background, some general information, and the more complete entry into the greater database. The general tab will let you zoom directly to the volcano for a better look.
The BBC has a nice summary article from papers that were recently in Nature on insights on the paleo-environment of the Arctic Sea based on coring that took place along the Lomonosov ridge. Interesting stuff that may provide insights into our current environmental conditions.
The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) World Fire Atlas, based on a decade of Eurpoean Space Agency ESR-2 and other satellite data, is now available online at the ESA’s Ionia Web Map Server. Global fire data can also be downloaded directly from the site, although you will have to complete a free registration.
I haven’t highlighted a really good GIS project in awhile, so I thought I’d mention the Amazon GIS project, run by the Smithsonian Institution and other collaborators. They have spent years mapping the Amazon’s resources and have a number of Internet map services in conjunction with ESRI, World Wildlife Fund, the USGS, and Conservation International that cover data themes such as land cover, hydrology, elevation, satellite imagery, and parks. While they’re not the fanciest mapping applications, I really think it’s an important project that shows how GIS can be used in conservation. Also, they probably have the coolest GIS lab location – the Amazonia exhibit building at the National Zoo!
Oberlin, Ohio to be exact. A little west of Cleveland. Full Circle Fuels is a quaint little station from the 1950′s that has converted itself into an alternative fuels spectacular. They currently or are about to stock all sorts of biodiesel and ethanol/diesel mixes for your converted supper SUV. Don’t have one of those, you say? No problem! Turns out the fellows at FCF will convert it for you in their garage! They also have some fairly eco and community friendly plans in the works, including:
- Plans an auto repair self-help clinic for low-income residents
- Is a pick-up and drop-off location for a local car-sharing program
- Collects waste cooking oil from local establishments for use in converted vehicles and for biodiesel production
As one who drives one of those big honkin’ diesel trucks (what can I say? I live in the country), I can tell you I’d love to make a trip up to their place sometime and get a conversion kit. Now if they’d just setup a station around here so I can get the fuel…