Eight Most Dangerous Places to Live on the Planet

If danger is your middle name and you like to eat, breath, and sleep in danger, then you might want to check out this Popular Mechanics article.  Whether you like the extreme cold, fiery mountains, potentially getting drowned by global warming, living in the eye of hurricanes, there’s a place here for you.  I’m no expert in real estate, but I have to imagine at least a couple of these places would be housing bargains.  I can’t imagine, “Scenic views of lovely lake housing billions of cubic feet of methane and carbon dioxide that can potentially be released and kill you with a toxic cloud” is a big selling point in most “For Sale” ads.  Then again, I’m not in marketing, so I could be wrong.

Google Ocean…?

PCPro in the UK is reporting that Google may unveil a new product in its family of mapping tools – Google Ocean!  The application would feature topographic layers of the ocean floor, underwater photos, and even points of interest like famous ship wrecks.  For those intreguied by the inner space, this should be great!  Now call me when someone makes the first Google Earth Pirates of the Ocean Text and Map Adventure Game (TM) 🙂

Using Remote Sensing to Spot Cholera Outbreaks

Scientists have figured out how to predict cholera outbreaks by looking at sea life. The idea pioneered at the University of Maryland is a rise in sea temperatures lead to the production of Phytoplankton, which are the root cause of cholera. As these phytoplankton get into the water supply, cholera pathogens are released and can lead to outbreaks. Obviously fore warned is fore armed, so this is will certainly help public health officials cope with these devastating outbreaks.

Via BBC News

Welcome fall…so long summer

If you have ever run into us at a conference, you know that at least Frank and I are not warm weather folks. On that note I want to welcome fall (in the northern hemisphere) and the cooler temperatures that it promises, once again. Along with fall we move from industry geospatial conference season back to the academic heavy conference time of year with the various AAG divisions meeting over the next 2 months around the country along with tons of other conferences happening.

For those of you down in the southern hemisphere, welcome to spring!

INFOMAR – Mapping Ireland’s Seabed

nullJust as countries are spending increasing amounts of money and resources to map their territories using high-resolution technologies such as LIDAR, some, like Ireland, are devoting significant effort to map their undersea territory (and potential resources) as well. Beginning in 2006, the INFOMAR (INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s MArine Resource) project has been focused on mapping Ireland’s bays and undersea territory using LIDAR, vessel surveys, and seabed sampling.

The INFOMAR website has a web mapping application with some of the vector data related If you would like to see examples of processed LIDAR data layers of some of Ireland’s bays in Google Earth, the INFOMAR site has several KMZ files available for download here.

Via Herald

New NASA Science Website

NASA has just unveiled a new skin for it’s Science website. The site is serves as the public face for all the nifty scientific stuff done down at NASA central. I have to say the thing look pretty spiffy. There’s lots of useful links right off the front page, including a section for kids and for ‘Citizen Scientists’. I might start adding that title to my name… Frank, Citizen Scientist!

Carbon Footprint Map of the US

Carbon Footprint Map
The Vulcan project is an interesting project out of Purdue University. They seek to “quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at space and time scales much finer than has been achieved in the past.” They’ve just released a new carbon footprint map detailing fossil fuel based CO2 emissions from around the US. One of the interesting findings to come out of their effort is that we previously assumed that the North East portion of the country was the primary emitter in the country. Turns out while there’s a lot of truth in that, the coal fired plants of the South add nearly as much.

What’s interesting to me are the comments section of the Wired article that pointed me towards this site. People have come up with lots of interesting ways to expand and extend this research by including other bits of data, particularly human geography pieces.

US Atlas of Renewable Resources

While looking for some sample GIS data for a demo, I ran into the US Atlas of Renewable Resources, a project of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The atlas (which is still under development) includes a web mapping interface that show the geographic distribution of wind, biomass, geothermal and solar resources, and the NREL site also has data available for download. The Atlas of Renewable Energy is one of several GIS projects and data sets available from NREL, so if you are interested in mapping or GIS analysis related to renewable energy sources here in the US, it’s a good place to start.