Month: April 2009


NPR shows us where our electric power comes from

NE Power Grid from NPRI saw this cool interactive flash map from NPR yesterday, and it brought back memories of the time our lab spent working on the mapping portion of planning for one of those transmission lines that actually got built.

In addition to the standard transmission lines, there are also maps related to wind and solar power and proposed transmission line that would carry electricity from those sources, and interactive graphics for each US state and what energy sources its electricity comes from. Some of the figures might surprise you, although our continued reliance on coal in many states to fuel electricity generation comes out pretty strongly.

Via Gizmodo

Jesse comments on “Aspiring Academics” – Part 1

The recent AAG text Aspiring Academics: A Resource Book for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty edited by Solem, Foote and Monk (2009) offers a great deal of information in just a few pages (212 pages). Clearly as a book aimed at academics it references other academic materials on the various topics. As I read through the text on the flight back from Las Vegas I thought of several online and ‘real world’ examples and resources that might be useful to readers. This post covers section 1 of the book, chapters 1-5.

Chapter 1 Time Management
-GTD is the acronym for the philosophy that spread through tech and business sectors. David Allen’s ‘getting things done’ is an effective way to plan your activities and projects. No one does GTD more amusingly than merlin Mann of 43 folders.

Chapter 2 Career Planning
-This is a significant area of importance and due to the restrictions of the text’s topic looks at only the academic issues. But with the market as it is and the reality of changing interests through the grad school we have to look at jobs in government and the private sector as well. There several jobs that ate outside of academia that allow for research, teaching and service just like that plumb tenure track job that you could have gone after.
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ToxicRisk – mapping Toxic Release Inventory data

Mike from MapCruzin sent us this comment based on our December 2007 post on the MapEcos project, in order to let us know about a project he’s working on called ToxicRisk. Our comment system apparently didn’t want to play nice, so I thought I’d post Mike’s comment in full below, so that you can read more about the ToxicRisk mapping project and the US Toxic Release Inventory:

“Two weeks ago we launched ToxicRisk. It is based on Google Maps, as is
MapEcos, but uses the most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) 2007 data
released March 19, 2009 by EPA rather than older 2005 data. We wanted to
make the maps as easy to use and fast as possible so my son Aran did all of
the program in house. He has released some of this programming to the
public domain and you can access it at CPAN.
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Lost in the Virtual Fog – A diary of my triumphs and travails

Virtual Morgantown Winter SceneI’m sure many of you out there have noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much since the first of the year. I know, I know, no excuses, I should always make time for posting cool geography and geospatial-related content. I’ve been knee-deep in my research stuff, working on my prototype application, and getting a crash course in lots of neat topics (and plenty of boring ones, too!).

I’ve posted a few times about various stages of my project, which is now centered around the development of a prototype game-based engine for displaying and exploring virtual landscapes. It’s been a strange road for me to get to this point, but the more I work on this stuff, the more I find myself really feeling like I’m on to something. However, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses, as they say. I’ve had to teach myself a new programming language (C#), absorb tons of new concepts, like depth buffers, and view frustums, and particle systems, issues related to user interfaces and Human-Computer Interaction, and put all those technical bits together with concepts that are central to Geography and GIS. Now, I have to try to meld all that with EVEN MORE new ideas from the world of game design, and design in general.

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A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 197

A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 197
April 26, 2009

Main Topic: Conversation with Jeff Holden of Pelago

  • Click to directly download MP3
  • Click to directly download AAC
  • Click for the detailed shownotes

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    VerySpatial TV Conference – Jesse’s AAG Presentation

    This is a recording of Jesse’s AAG 2009 presentation titled “Building and Experiencing Virtual Worlds”.

    Click here to download VSTV URISA Episode full size (135 MB)
    Click here to download VSTV URISA Episode small size (30 MB)

    Broadband Providers Teaming to Outlaw Community Broadband in NC

    I should start by saying I’m not even going to pretend to not be biased on this issue.  The community of Wilson, NC decided that they were tired of paying so much for so little with regard to broadband and cable.  So what’s an industrious community who’s tired of their contractor to do?  Well do it there darn self, that’s what.  Turns out they offered a better product for less than either major cable company could.  So what’s a cable company to do?  Lobby the state legislature to make that type of stuff illegal!  Personally, I’m a big supporter of community broadband, especially in markets where the cable companies don’t want to complete.  I find this trend rather flustrating and disappointing.  I understand the point about private/public competition, but if the private isn’t willing to compete, why should the public be prohibited by law from doing so?

    Celebrate Earth Day – because Earth Rocks!

    For my own little Earth Day shoutout, I thought I’d share actor Paul Rudd’s awesome musical tribute to our planet – “Earth Rocks” from his time collaborating with the great Sesame Street muppet crew

    HUGE historical map collection

    Way back in 2005, Sue blogged about Dave Rumsey’s huge historical map collection . I just recently stumbled on his Google map that has started with about 120 maps from his collection. The site is a little bit like a Harry Potter book or a Russian nesting doll with maps within maps within maps. I haven’t had a chance to check out his Second Life maps but I’m off to do that now.

    The Great (er) Wall of China

    According to a BBC report, geospatial technologies have helped determine that The Great Wall of China is A LOT longer than previously thought. They state that, “Archaeologists had lobbied for the survey to be done to provide scholars with an accurate understanding of the construction. ” The wall is actually 8,850km (5,500 miles) not the 5,000 km commonly thought.

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