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.
This site offers a searchable list of over 1000 Geography departments from around the world. WVU is on it, is your school (or alma mater)?
Howard Butler has provided his thoughts on the whirlwind that has been the MapServer Foundation to date. Give it a read at Unopened Letters Ã¢â‚¬â€ Hobu, Inc.
The alphabet soup in the title is a boon for the open standards movement. The OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC) announced yesterday that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has accepted the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) Implementation Specification. Now available as IS0 19128:2005, the WMS specification is currently a widely supported standard in modern geospatial products for serving and accessing information.
Read the full press release at OGC Press Room.
I have to give a little shout out here to the person sitting at the desk across from me. Dr. Briane Turley has been involved, with others, in the creation of two very successful online journals (the Journal of Southern Religion and the American Religous Experience) and is part of the initial editorial board (and webmaster) of a third. The just released Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe will focus on just what the title suggests, however the editors are distinctly aware of the role Geography and geography (the discipline and the applications) will play in many of the submissions they will receive.
I would have to say that open online journals are one of the missing pieces in Geography right now. It is great to see innovation in this area continue to move forward in other disciplines.
So, I guess the other web mapping news would be the release of Windows Live Local in beta, which incorporates Virtual Earth. I played around with it a little in both IE and Firefox, and the navigation definitely has issues right now. The main new feature is the Bird’s Eye imagery for selected US cities. The images are actually quite nice. There have been a lot of comments in various blogs and tech news sites, so you’ve probably already seen a few.
Here’s is the latest beta in Google’s stable of mapping apps: Google Transit. It’s the same interface as Google Local, except it plots your trip directions using public transportation, and takes into account the time when you want to leave and arrive. Right now, the only available city on the beta is Portland, Oregon, but they are planning of course on expanding it to other cities.
The American Geographical Society is the oldest professional Geography society in the US. The AGS distributes two publications, the Geographical Review and Focus on Geography as well as providing lectures and consulting. According to the website “The mission of the American Geographical Society is to link business, professional, and scholarly worlds in the creation and application of geographical knowledge and techniques to address economic, social, and environmental problems. The Society’s work serves to increase geographical knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world.” (Mission)
To find out more or to become a member visit the American Geographical Society webpage.