Month: March 2006
ShinyShiny, a tech gadget blog especially for girls, posted a review of the new Navman icn720 and 750 GPS in-car navigation systems that let you use photos to navigate to places. The unit has a built-in camera, so you just snap a picture of the IKEA store, your favorite restaurant, or whatever, and the photo is tagged with coordinates. Then, next time you want to go, you just bring up the photo and the Navman will get you there. Of course, it’s yet another cool device that we probably won’t get here in the US, at least not for awhile.
Glenn over at Anything Geospatial (nice new interface BTW) blogged about something in-house for us, so I figured we should mention it too…the West Virginia GIS Technical Center has made available 3m DEMs for WV that were derived as part of the State Address and Mapping project that has also provided us with high resolution statewide imagery as well. Keep in mind that if you crash the server by rushing out a downloading the entire dataset Frank will be quite cross with you 🙂
MapMemo, as you might remember is the MacOS X only software that allows you to drag and drop system folders and web links onto a map (or any raster image). MapMemo has released a new version (2.5) and has distributed a press release on a new map archive to be used with their software. They have improved the interface since the last version giving you more control over the markers, however they still haven’t given you a way to set the coordinate system to real world coordinates, for them this would be a fairly simple x,y translation giving the user the ability reset the 0,0 to the appropriate coordinate that is available in the world file. This was of course my complaint with the software the last time we looked at it, since, if I am going to drag and drop all of my icons onto a map, I want to be able to export an xml (or KML) so that I use the information in other software.
Es verdad…this week we saw the introduction of ANOTHER geography podcast. I am very excited about this one since, as far as I know, it is the first non-english Geography podcast. I am also excited since it will give me a reason to listen to Spanish and hopefully remember some of what I have forgotten in the last 10 years (not that I knew much 🙂 ). Check out Geografia Para Llevar for their first episode and also look at iTunes if you would like to subscribe.
This is kind of off the beat from normal geography stuff, but this guy in France who is 28 and is autistic has created a detailed city named Urville from his imagination. He has a detailed geography, culture, politics, history, and economics for the city, as well as a few hundred drawings of the city! That’s pretty impressive, if you ask me!
Tomorrow (Wednesday) there will be a total or near-total solar eclipse that will be visible in parts of Europe, Africa, and South America (see this guide from MSNBC). For the rest of us, however, NASA and the Exploratorium will be offering a live satellite broadcast of the eclipse from Side, Turkey, starting at 5am Eastern US Standard Time Wednesday. Over 90 museums, planetariums and other sites around the world will be broadcasting the eclipse, and the video will be streamed live over the Internet via MSNBC.com, NASA, and other outlets. EclipseLive.com will also be offering their own coverage.
In a cool twist, the Exploratorium will be streaming the total eclipse into the virtual world of Second Life, the online virtual world game, where a developer has created a virtual version of the Roman-era ampitheatre where NASA will be broadcasting from.
So, if you can get up at that hour, or for those of you in Europe and Asia where it will be much later in the day, check out the eclipse without the danger of damaging your eyes!
Over the last few years the idea of serious games has come on to the scene as computer game technology has outstripped anything that can be created in a university or other research environment, it has even spawned its own conference (that I am going to try to attend this year). It is obvious that many people can relate to the interaction offered by these games and that they can be used to represent real world and fantasy a like to impressive results (check out Virtual Notre Dame built on the original Unreal Engine if you can find it). However, game engines continue to move forward as computing technology progresses, luckily some game developers are nice enough to make their development tools available for non-commercial use. The most recent entrant is the Quake 4 SDK. I think all of us here at AVSP would agree that game engines are likely to be the next round of technology that will be connected to geospatial technologies…that might be because that is one of our areas of research for our day jobs…but we aren’t the only ones looking at this intersection. Well, either way keep an ear out for the discussion we recorded last weekend that is actually kind of an introduction to Virtual Worlds and Virtual Reality.
We had a session devoted to Virtual Globes at the AAG Annual Meeting, and now there is going to be an entire conference sponsored by research centers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Arctic Region Supercomputing Center and the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2-day Virtual Globes Scientific Users Conference will focus specifically on the use of online Virtual Globes in earth sciences, and will be held in Boulder, Colorado from July 10-12, 2006.
Registration is free, but limited, and registration closes on June 9, 2006. They are looking for presenters, so if you are interested, check out the conference registration page for details.
Main Topics: Interviews from EDS06 with Microsoft and ESRI. News: Location Based DRM patent, Windows Live Development tools, and US Federal Geospatial offices.