Month: July 2006
If you are at all interested in 3D virtual reconstructions and immersive technologies, then you have to check out Microsoft Live Labs’ Photosynth. It is too cool, although it’s not available to the public yet, but the demo videos are amazing. Basically, Photosynth “takes a collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space.” The application then allows the user to fly through and explore the reconstructed space or look at the photos in relation to each other. The word is that Photosynth will be available for free, at least at first, but no word yet on an exact release date.
You can see a demo video on the Microsoft Live Labs site here.
Wow, TV sucks. Apparently the live broadcast moon videos from the 1969 landing were actually much better than we’ve ever realized. The camera used to film the footage wasn’t capatible with TV specifications and had to be downgraded to be put on the air. How’d they do that, you ask? Easy! They pointed a normal camera at the TV screen showing the high-res images and broadcast THAT image to the world.
I guess data conversion has always been a problem, huh?
Ed emailed us with a nice roundup of open courseware directories and clearinghouses. We have posted about a couple of them previously, but I thought it would be good to highlight them again along with several new ones that Ed mentioned. For those of you who don’t know, open courseware refers to online material from actual college and university courses. A number of big schools have led the way in placing course materials online, including MIT, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie-Mellon here in the US and the University of Tokyo in Japan.
Open Courseware Directory
Open Courseware Finder
Open Courseware Consortium
MIMA Search engine
The Stingy Scholar – (Wayfaring map interface for university podcasts, etc.)
I am sure there are others out there, and open courseware is a great way to increase your knowledge about topics you’re interested in, so definitely take a look at what’s out there.
Listener Jody pointed out a great project that was highlighted on last weeks Living on Earth. CyberTracker allows anyone to capture information, including location, about animal movements. The software uses an interface that can be used by anyone from non-literate bushman to wildlife agents on a simple mobile hardware platform. The software is freely downloadable if you would like to take a look and be sure to check out July 21, 2006 episode of Living on Earth around the 32 minute mark for a great story about CyberTracker.
The VerySpatial crew spent the day today digging the ‘foundation’ for Frank’s new walkway that extends the length of the front of his house. The up shot is that Sue and I found that our mad digging skills that were honed as field archaeologists have definitely atrophied during our stint as keyboard jockeys. If anyone is going to be around next weekend, Frank could probably use help filling our hole with gravel and such 🙂
Yes, it is a shamless plug, I know. But, we wrote a short article about the ‘New Media’, including podcasts, blogs, etc. and their role in disseminating information about geography and geospatial technologies, and it was accepted for the latest issue (July-September 2006) of ArcUser magazine. We’re very excited, naturally, and hope you check it out!
The current issue of ArcNews has an article from AAG Executive Director, Doug Richardson, on an initiative to link Humanities and Geography. As you may have noted this is high on the to do list as part of our day job for Sue and I. We are in fact in the early stages (read that as writing grants) of a Virtual Center for Humanities in Geographic Information Science (I hope to get some work on the web site in the near future) with Trevor Harris (WVU), John Corrigan (USF), and David Bodenhammer (Polis Centre) as the primary investigators. There are others connected to the center including a relationship with UVA, who, to pull this back to the original topic, will be hosting the Humanities and Geography conference in the summer of 2007. For those of you who have an interest in Humanities and Geography definitely check out the conference and let us know about your project so that we can link to you.
Who knew avians could be so high tech? A new study of real-time air pollution is being undertaken using, of all things, pigeons. Little monitors are strapped to the backs of the pigeons and data is beamed back to Earth and published on the web in real time. Apparently the data will be available in blog format for anyone to see/use.
I’m pretty proud of the work we do here at Very Spatial, but I’m not sure we can compete with a Pigeon Blog. That’s just too cool.
There are two bits of ArcGIS Server related information of note today. The first is that Jeremy, one of the key people behind Mapdex, is heading over to the core ArcGIS Server team…good luck Jeremy! The other news is James’ scoop on the new tiered structure for ArcGIS Server that will apparently provide a new set of price points to make ArcGIS Server a more viable option. Also, if you are already an ArcIMS license holder you will receive the mid-tier Server package if you are still under maintenance.