Today, NASA, geospatial scientists, and people from around the world celebrate the first time that we saw Earth, in a now familiar view, from space. Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first American in space, took the famous photo from the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule on May 5, 1961. The Space Fellowship website and community discuss “The Pioneering Mercury Astronauts Launched America’s Future” . The Kennedy Space Center Historical Archive of Manned Space Flights gives a detailed mission objective for the Freedom 7 from May 5th. If you want to relive the moment, Extreme Tech provides a live video feed of Earth from Space, as part of the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment.
The Federation of American Scientists has an information rich remote sensing tutorial that states, “Before entering this Overview, ponder this slogan: REMOTE SENSING is the BACKBONE of the SPACE PROGRAM”. The backbone of modern remote sensing might well be education, innovation, and experimentation – Alan B. Shepard said that , “The first plane ride was in a homemade glider my buddy and I built. Unfortunately we didn’t get more than four feet off the ground, because it crashed.” Educators, citizen scientists, and hobbyists of all types are creating hands-on remote sensing and unmanned vehicle education that will inspire the next generation.
Celebrate Earth Day! by taking a #GlobalSelfie. It’s remote sensing, it’s geospatial, it’s VerySpatial, it’s fun!
From the NASA website on EARTH RIGHT NOW.
NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.
The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science. Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching to space this year. NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now, and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.
While NASA satellites constantly look at Earth from space, on Earth Day we’re asking you to step outside and take a picture of yourself wherever you are on Earth. Then post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.
The Guardian this week has a nostalgic reflection by Rachel Hewitt asking if this is “The end of the road for Ordnance Survey? Ordnance Survey paper maps are under threat from digital devices. Rachel Hewitt celebrates an ‘icon of England’ beloved by generations of hikers, poets and artists” Continue reading “The Ordnance Survey and John Betjeman”
The UK Pensions Minister has proposed a plan that estimates life expectancy based on such as home location. In a BBC article, “Pensioners Could Get Life Expectancy Guidance” the Minister Steve Webb states that life expectancy planning based on data such as how long our grandparents lived is no longer a valid estimate tool. A review of articles in the BBC, Telegraph, The Mirror and The Guardian reveal that none of the articles mention aggregated spatial data, location based data, or give an indication of using classic spatial analysis, despite quotes such as ““My idea … is to say to somebody, ‘Look, someone of your generation, living in this part of the country, ……” Continue reading “UK Life Expectancy and Spatial Analysis”
Location-based technologies are helping Easter Egg hunts go high-tech with the assistance of geospatial professionals taking their love of spatial technologies into their communities.
The funniest quote from an article in the Fairbanks News-Miner about how “To Hunt Easter Eggs the modern way, Fairbanks students grab GPS” is “When students in Kuntz’s multi-grade class raised the idea of holding an Easter egg hunt with their buddies, fourth-grader Tanja Gens volunteered her mother, Anupma Prakash, to lead it. Prakash is a professor of Remote Sensing Geology and Geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.” The North Central Ohio Geocachers hosted a “Hunt Easter Eggs with GPS Units” event at The Crawford Park District. Danbury Park in Essex UK held a GPS Easter Egg Hunt for their Young Rangers.
Some towns are holding GPS Easter Egg Hunts for fun and to increase tourism. Many of these are more challenging than regular Easter Egg Hunts. They charge per team and require teams to bring their own handheld GPS unit. The town of Ninety Six held a GPS Easter Egg Hunt at Lake Greenwood State Park. The Vermillion River Reservation in Lorain County held one. The Northern Life Canada found that the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area combined “Easter Eggs, GPS, and Nature” into an Earth Day EGG-Stravaganza. Even REI Outdoor Outfitters held a class on Family Geocaching: Easter Egg Hunt.
One of the heralds of spring in our region is the arrival of the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. In the past, it was difficult to time visits just right in time to see them in bloom. The Washington Post has made a crowd sourced map for Cherry Blossom Season 2014 all around the DC area.
The Washington Post make it easy to post geotagged #DCblooms photos via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Phoebe Connelly, one of the map creators, created easy to follow instructions on “How to geotag Cherry Blossom Festival photos and videos on Twitter, Instagram“. A nice service that many media sites leave out of their crowd sourcing events, which makes crowd sourcing more accessible to the general population and useful as a collaborative learning tool.
The Technical Services Department at Casey Trees, a tree preservation non-profit in Washington D.C. created a “Mapping the Blossoms” tool which identifies each individual cherry tree in the D.C. Tidal Basin along with its background information who it was planted by and its geographic coordinates.
Japan’s National Tourism Site has a beautiful “The Bloom of Cherry Blossoms 2014” interactive map which combines usefulness with beautiful cartography. The most amazing Cherry Blossom Season map is Google Street View Guide to Japan: Sakura Edition.