One of our listeners, Jody, emailed us a link to ColorBrewer, an online tool to help people select color schemes for maps. It uses a flash-based map to demonstrate how changing colors affects the look of a map and how that impacts the information being represented. It’s a nice tool to give a user an introduction to choosing colors for maps, so they can immediately see the visual impact of their choices. Cynthia Brewer, the Penn State geographer who designed the ColorBrewer, has also written the book Designing Better Maps: a Guide for GIS users.
BBC has an interesting article on the use of sedimentology to study ancient ocean currents by the Woods Hope Oceanographic Institute. It is amazing how many articles are coming out of the American Geophysical Union meetings from this fall.
A cartogram is a map that distorts geographic boundaries based on different values of a variable. So, if smaller areas have higher values, they will be deliberately distorted to look bigger. Here is an example of the world map distorted based on population. It was done by ODT, Inc. which produces alternate views of map, such as world maps with South on the top or the Pacific Ocean in the center.
The new version of Yahoo! Widgets (formerly Konfabulator) now includes quite a few Yahoo! centric tools including a Yahoo! Maps widget. After I heard about the new version on SpatiallyAdjusted I checked to make sure that the WebMap Widget we posted a couple of months ago still works, and all is well.
For those of you who weren’t reading back then, the WebMap Widget allows you to view OGC compliant WebMapServices and search by address. We included a couple of default sites but the real utility of the widget is for you to use your own WMS site (ie raid Mapdex).
To learn more and download the WebMap Widget
To download Yahoo! Widget Engine
The BBC has an interesting article on the scanning and modeling of heritage sites in Africa. This is along the same lines as some of the work that Sue and I have worked on here in the US and are starting to work on in Japan (now if we can just talk someone to sending us to Japan on their dime ). Much of the work to date has not contextualized the individual structures in their landscape which is what we are trying to push in the presentations we have been involved in with Trevor Harris, our committee chair.
Although Landsat is NASA’s most well-known satellite program, other missions are providing a wealth of information about our Earth. Aura, a satellite which was launched July 15, 2004, collects data that are used for studying the composition, chemistry and dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere, including ozone levels, air quality, and climate. At the recent American Geophysical Union conference, maps based on Aura data were presented showing the levels of Nitrogen Oxide (a precursor to ozone formation) in the eastern US.
Main Topic: Physical Geography and our changing earth. News: Contest 2, Windows Live Local, OGC WMS ISO, AAA Travel Challenge
An interesting article from the BBC. While we spoke to Dr Warner primarily about sensors that record reflectance values of the surface of the earth, there are several sensors in orbit that record nonterrestrial phenomena such as weather and, in the case of this article, pollutants.
As we announced in Episode 21, avsp Contest #2 is now underway. What you have to do is send the answers to the three questions below to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 12, 2006. Eveyone who answers the three questions correctly will be included in the drawing that will take place on January 14, 2006. Winners will be announced on avsp Episode 26, our half year episode!
- 1) Which US research satellite was recently encountering technical difficulties?
- 2) What web-based mapping project seeks to redefine geographical boundaries of the US based on peoples perceptions as opposed to the existing state or county boundaries?
- 3) What is the phrase Sue coined in episode 19 for the new Web 2.0 mapping interfaces?
Please include your name in the email. We will contact the winners for their mailing address after the drawing. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM PST January 12, 2006 to be eligible. Only one entry per person.