Month: January 2008
Wednesday evening Garmin apparently surprised a press event with their announcement of the nuvifone, the company’s first foray into the mobile phone market. The Garmin Blog has an amusing post about the event. The nuvifone itself is supposed to be available sometime in the third quarter of the year, according to the nuvifone webpage The page is pretty sparse right now, with just a few links for carrier inquiries, and the official press release There is an image gallery, though, with some nice shots of the device and its interface.
Oh, and you can preview Garmin’s Super Bowl ad here. Just watch it, that’s all I can say…
Our reader Ed always sends us great links to cool applications and projects, and Globe Glider is another great find. According to the site, it’s a “geo-browser” with an interface that allows users to search and browse by location. Both a Google Maps and Virtual Earth interface are available (you can also use it in Google Earth), with the top half of the browser window given over to a larger view of one of the web mapping apps, while the other is still available in a smaller frame in the lower left corner. If you want to switch the views, there’s a button to flip the two. What the heart of Globe Glider is, though, is its linkages to other sites and resources that are all linked to the locations you are browsing in the mapping interface. For example, I used a Virtual Earth 3D interface in the upper window to navigate to northern Wisconsin, and typed hotels into the Google Local search bar, which gave me results for the nearest hotels to the location. I could then click on the GeoURL tab and see websites from IP addresses nearby, Flickr for geotagged photos, and even weather (a ridiculously cold -27F). Globe Glider brings together tools from Google, Microsoft, Wikipedia, Flickr and others to create a one-stop shop that gives a great example of how location-based search can really change the way we navigate the Web and find information.
Apologies about the feed not being updated on Sunday. I have been “out of the office” since I uploaded the episode on Saturday night. Episode 132 should be showing up in your aggregator soon.
The US Secretary of the Interior announced today he has named 28 people to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. This is a new committee for the Department of the Interior whose mandate is to serve in an advisory role on Federal geospatial programs. The Committee meets three to four times a year and they’re open to the public for comment. So if you’re a US citizen and wish to give some input to Federal geospatial programs in the US, the committee will serve as your outlet. The members seem to come from all players in the geospatial community, including federal, state, and local governments, non-profits, academics, and the private sector. The announcement just came out today, so I can’t seem to find a link on the Dept. of the Interior’s website.
UPDATE: One of the people in our comments was helpful enough to provide a PDF link to the full announcement, including the list of names. Thanks aaronr!
We’ve highlighted some of the efforts to utilize web mapping platforms as a tool for organizing and presenting information about the US presidential election, but I just ran across a unique interactive web map for the UK’s current political makeup and what that would mean for the next General Election, put together for the Telegraph newspaper. Each UK constituency is represented by a hexagon that a user can click to bring up relevant information. The map also has some cool functionality, such as a swingometer, where you can use a slider bar to see what would happen if the vote swung in different directions.
Since elections are not held at fixed intervals, the next General Election may not be for awhile, but I think the map is worth checking out, if only to try out their unique interface.
Anyone who’s been an avid pizza eater in the US knows there is a great deal of variation across the country on pizza. Most people know the difference between Chicago Deep Dish and New York style, but could you pick a New Haven style pie out of a lineup? Neither can I. Luckily for us pizza aficionados, the good people over at Slice Serious Eats have seen fit to detail all the regional styles for us! There’s even a pretty cool set of pizza maps for those who might live in the areas they’ve visited.
Google has already been plotting US presidential primary results on Google Maps and Google Earth, but in preparation for “Super Tuesday,” YouTube has a Super Tuesday channel that features a Google Maps interface that allows users to upload their own comments and multimedia related to the upcoming primaries. In addition, there are also videos from local news outlets, candidates and even voters themselves in each of the states. Super Tuesday is February 5th, and is the day in which 24 US states will be holding their presidential primaries or party caususes. This day will have a huge impact on who will be the Democratic and Republican candidates for the presidency, and there’s a lot of campaigning going on.
New Media and the Internet seem to be playing a significant role in the 2008 US presidential campaign, although it may not be clear how much of an impact it will have on the actual vote. I think sites and resources like the YouTube/Google Maps Super Tuesday site are really bringing new perspectives on the campaign and its issues and I hope it will also increase voter turnout, especially with younger and new voters.
Have humans brought about a new Geological age? Seeing as we’re in a department that shares space with not only Geography but Geology, I occasionally scan for any new Geology news. Apparently this theory has been around for five years or so, but I just ran across it, so I’m reporting now. The idea is that Geological ages are defined by a few specific things, one of which is major change in plant life. The theory is that the impact humans have had on the environment has brought about a fundamental shift, and thus a new Geological age. As the article points out, you can’t just declare a new age – it takes some time and a bit of agreement by the general scientific community. Thus the Geological Society of London have kicked off this effort by arguing their case for in next month’s Geological Society of America issue.
I can’t say I know anything about the validity or lack there of concerning the case, but I do think it’s kinda cool to be living in a brand new Geological age. How often does THAT happen?
I am, as usual, a bit behind on the blogs and podcasts. But as I am catching up (aka procrastinating writing) I wanted to highlight a couple of podcasts that have come out recently.