A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 412
June 9, 2013
Main Topic: Qualitative GIS
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It isn’t often in geography that you are able to get a 1:1 ratio on anything but a post this week by Luke Y. Thompson about the classic table top game The game of LIFE shows that Yoron Island in Japan is going to give it a try or “Super Terrific Japanese Thing: Yoron Island to become Real-Scale Game of Life.” The post references news by RocketNews24 and Yoron Island Tourism. The shape of Yoron Island mirrors the shape of the game board in the The Game of LIFE. The Yoron Town Chamber of Commerce youth were brainstorming ways to increase tourism, since the island is still in reconstruction following typhoons last year. At the same time, Hasbro’s game of The Game of LIFE is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and is enjoyed by families across Japan and the world. Therefore, they decided to create a real life – “Game of Life Island, Yoron.” Visitors to the island will be able to play LIFE in real scale from July 20, 2013 – September 16, 2013. Yoron Island is part of the Amani Islands Quasi- National Park and is located in the Kagoshima prefecture. Kagoshima is home to Kagoshima University and the Kagoshima Institute of GIS and GPS Technology.
The question of what size would a game environment be to scale in the real world is one that gamers and artists often ask themselves. In 2011, artist Aram Bartholl provided a good background essay on why he wanted to build a full-sized Counter-Strike game map in the Game Informer Show. In his proposal, he says that games are a form of cultural heritage because millions of people have a shared spatial memory of the game space. While he was talking about 3D game environments, this is could possibly be even more true of older board games such as LIFE.
I love cars. I’m a proper gear head, or petrol head if you’re in the UK. Each and every year, I eagerly gobble up all the new cars news from the various car shows from around the world. Designers and engineers are always tweaking this and playing with that, trying to eek out more power, better fuel economy, and prettier designs to get the public to buy. And I can’t get enough of every little change, every little evolution, every revolution of car design and technology. It isn’t just the supercars that cost 80 bagillion dollars and I couldn’t hope of buying sans a really lucky lottery ticket. I dig the small cars that designed for the intro market (current object of fascination – Fiat 500 now available in the States). I dig the cheap rear wheel drive sports cars for the people under a tight budget (I lust after the new BRZ/FR-S/GT86). Even the idea of a returned Ford Ranger pickup gets my heart a racing. I just love all cars.
As much as I love all these new cars and their ever greater technology, my real car passion is in the classics. Every year for the last three years, you’ll see my ESRI User’s Conference badge reads, “Ask me about classic cars”.I especially have a weakness for classic British cars, particularly the roadsters. I can talk for hours about the average MGB roadster (heaven help you if you get around ESRI’s Elvin Slavik and myself when the subject of MG’s come up). I’d almost give a toe for the chance to own an old Mini at a decent price. That doesn’t keep me from loving other cars from other countries. The Camaro is clearly a thing of beauty. The People’s Car, despite it’s questionable heritage, is a marvel of engineering. Honestly, how can you not be impressed by a car you can remove the engine in under 2 minutes with no power tools? For that matter, I’ll always lust after a VW GTI Mk1, the originator of the ‘hot hatchback’. If there’s someone that isn’t just blown away by the sheer beauty of the Ferrari California GT Spyder, I’m not sure I want to meet them. The ‘49 Shoebox Ford is just such the definition of classic it practically screams to be in a parade or at least on a long Sunday drive. Is there anything more American than the classic Ford F100 truck? Or anything more British than the Land Rover Series I, II, and II (except, of course, the sexist car that ever existed)?
Howdy everyone! We’re beginning the hard planning push for A Very Spatial Road Trip: Across the US! Barb and I are excited to take our road trip across the US on our way to the ESRI User’s Conference. We’ve got our big virtual paper map with our big virtual ‘paper’ pins and we’re ready to stick’em in the board. We’ll be taking videos, photos, and journal logs along the way and updating the road trip as we go so you can chart our progress. We’ll want to hit exciting and interesting stops along the way and we want you, dear listeners/readers, to give us suggestions. We’ve already been invited to visit a GIS shop in Oklahoma City! If you have any good ideas for places we should see, whether it be a natural wonder, a local point of interest, a decent bar-bq joint (shhhh! don’t tell Barb, but the sub-subtitle to our journey is a Bar-BQ Bash Across America) or your GIS shop, then either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment to any posts titled: A Very Spatial Road Trip.
We’re off in just under a month, so get those suggestions in. We look forward to seeing you America!
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Photo Collection
I must issue a mea culpa because when I first looked at the sponsors and participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking June 1 – 2, 2013 I saw no mention of GIS, geographers, or geospatial technologies, even though the data itself was very spatial. Today, ESRI announced that it is sponsoring National Day of Civic Hacking geospatial events in four US cities: Los Angeles; Denver; St. Louis, and Minneapolis in order to bring geospatial awareness to civic hacking by providing subscriptions to ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based mapping platform, for hacker teams to use in their projects. They are also providing Esri developer tools for anyone who wants to participate in other locations at their ArcGIS for Developers page. This is a great way for people who want to get involved in the U.S. or anywhere in the world to participate in two days of civic engagement.
If you know of any other geospatial organizations that are sponsoring or participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking, please post them below.
Recently, I have been developing a tutorial for using electronic white boards for education. What I never noticed before, because they work so well together, is the symbiotic relationship between the use of electronic white boards and geospatial technologies. In an ENO by Polyvision demonstration, today’s modern classroom (of 4 years ago) includes a Google Earth based geography lesson. Other demonstrations include the use of Google Sketchup on an Eno Board. A short video from Bayside Secondary in Ontario demonstrates the geography classroom of today using iPad apps and a Smartboard in a geography exercise. Interactive white boards are a natural fit for geography because of the creation of interactive wall maps by many former static map publishers, such as those developed by KIDS Interactive or StrataLogica NECC. According to ESRI’s educational model for building geospatial proficiency, presentation is the first rung in developing geospatial literacy. A conference paper on the “Place of the interactive whiteboard in higher education of the Polish educational system” specifically discusses its use in teaching GIS and spatial literacy.
However, the integration of geography, GIS, and electronic whiteboards doesn’t stop at K-12 education. At the GIS Conference 2012: Logica/CGI demonstrate their collaboration between ArcGIS and SMART Board that can be used with ArcGIS Online. The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency in Tennessee likes to use a a Smartboard in conjunction with their GIS, in order to all be “on the same page”. I think I am so used to thinking of collaborative GIS as being done on a horizontal touch screen or table top device, like the TouchTable, weTable, and other multi-touch environments, that I overlooked the power of the humble interactive white board.
A quick, and last minute, reminder that the 2013 National Geographic Bee finals will be televised tonight. Head over to NatGeo at 7:00PM EDT to watch live or catch one of the replays later.
This year’s 10 finalists are:
Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, California
Pranit Nanda, Colorado
Ricky Uppaluri, Georgia
Conrad Oberhaus, Illinois
Sathwik Karnik, Massachusetts
Neha Middela, Michigan
Neelam Sandhu, New Hampshire
Harish Palani, Oregon
Akhil Rekulapelli, Virginia
Asha Jain, Wisconsin
As we have said before, any of the state and territorial finalists generally know way more than we do and should know that they are amazing for having made it to DC.
Intel Labs is sponsoring a national civic hacking event June 1 -2, 2013 in order to solve community challenges using publicly-released data. They are calling it the National Day of Civic Hacking, probably because national day of collaborative software coding sounds like work. The event is supported by 20 government agencies including NASA, U.S. Census Bureau, FEMA, NSF and other offices. The event challenges are place specific and are focused on addressing the local needs of each community. According to the Hackforchange about page people, sponsors,organizations, and city, state, federal, government looking to get involved can attend, contribute data, or promote the event in their community.
The concept was created by the same researchers who started wethedata.org to address grand societal data challenges using open source data. These four topics have often been discussed on VerySpatial in regards to geospatial technologies and neogeography including digital access, digital literacy, digital trust, and openness. However, despite the fact that generally over 75% of local data is geospatial and their specific data is very location heavy, the Civic Hackers identified are engineers, technologists, civil servants, designers, artists…. but no geographers, neogeographers, geospatial analysts, or GIS is mentioned. Maybe everyone from the GIS community should get involved so that next year we all get a shout out.