Month: February 2009
Sony released around 60 terrabytes of raw log data to a group of researchers for analysis. Lots of different disciplines appear to have mined the data looking for interesting patterns. The data spans four years and 40,000 players. What strikes me as particularly noteworthy is none of them seem to be geographers even though some of what they’re talking about is part and parcel of geography. It’s also interesting to note that some of the research shows the limitations of current social science research methods. Simply put, the data is just too darn large. It also showed some existing survey methods tended to under-report phenomena, such as the number of older female gamers. All in all, I’d love to get my hands on some of that data. However, it would be fun to do the same thing with World Of Warcraft, who have signigicantly more players and thus significantly more datapoints.
The CrunchGear blog has a post regarding Boston College’s use of Lidar for mapping rivers and streams for fish repopulation. Nothing ground breaking technologically but it was interesting to see a mainstream tech blog talking about what we consider a mainstream technology.
The GIS Forum is the result of a twitter coversation from a month ago. Today it is a well designed site that has the promise to be an exceptional resource for the geospatial community. The masterminds of behind the site have created a site that combines a traditional forum with a blog roll and wiki. The forum sections set up so far focus on the technical areas of geospatial technologies such as Desktop GIS, CAD, Server-side GIS, LBS, and others. While there are conversations already going on in the forums, the power will come as the community grows and people share their personal experiences. The same holds true for the wiki. In the wiki you can post education details like how-to’s, where to access data, and how to create connections with other geospatial folks.
Beyond the content The Geospatial Forum is well designed and easy to navigate. The designers went all out and made the search box obvious (a personal beef with some forums). The interface is clean and informative to allow you to easily find what you are looking for in different ways (tag clouds, by user, by topic). There are also groups that you can join on the site that are regional and topical. This brings the additional ability to talk to people with more specific interests such as GIS and Education or the Southeast US (the two groups I have joined so far). Overall, I think the site is going to be a great resource to the geospatial community as the number of folks participating grows.
I have had a chance to crash a few classes this semester both out of town and here on campus and I have used this as an opportunity to rethink what I would want students to walk away from one of my classes with. The plans for the intro to GIS, advanced undergrad GIS, and graduate level geovisualization class I taught this year began with an existing syllabus and PowerPoint decks that I had from when I previously taught these classes, but VerySpatial, PlanetGeospatial, and Twitter have changed my perspective since I first taught the undergrad classes. As a first time lecturer in the undergrad classes (aka my first preps) I grabbed everything I had access to from when I took the class, liberally used the PPT the publishers provide for the text to build my own PPT decks, and generally stuck to what was in the book. Sure, after 2005 I added a lecture on neogeo, Google/MS/Yahoo/…, and generally tried to give current examples related to various topics, but the content was basically the same a decade ago.
This is your last chance to enter our most recent contest. You have until Thursday, 12 February at 23:59 PST to answer the four (4) questions. We are extending the time for you follow VerySpatial on Twitter to Thursday, 12 February to match the question deadline. The Grand Prize is a Flip Mino with 2 additional winners receiving VerySpatial SWAG. We will announce the winners in Episode 187 this Sunday.
Based on the number of news stories about people intending to go to one place and ending up on a plane to Puerto Rico instead, you would think that Puerto Rico is a plane magnet. According to a recent story, a woman who booked a vacation for Costa Rico accidently ended up in Puerto Rico. Last year, an airline mistakenly put an elderly woman on a plane to Peurto Rico instead of home to NY. I think if I boarded a plane going to a conference, say AAG, but ended up in Peurto Rico instead I would be thinking – Unavoidable Vacation! Although I can’t imagane realizing I was on the wrong flight midway to my destination.
I was just checking my Twitter feed, and I had to check out a tweet from NASA about their interactive page called Eyes on the Earth, which is a cool gateway to information about all of NASA’s Earth Observation missions, like ICEsat, Cloudsat, Landsat 7 and even the new OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory) that is scheduled for launch later this month.
Oddly, though, Landsat 5 is not shown on the Eyes on the Earth graphic. I know Landsat 5 was experiencing some age-related issues, but the word I remember from back in February 2008 was that it was back in action. Hmmm, maybe I missed a press release or news item somewhere…