Month: September 2009


Halloween Mapping Action

There are several sites on-line where people have set up controllable Halloween decorations for various causes. Alek’s Halloween site is a little crowded but that’s part of its charm. He’s been doing it since 2005, has a Google map of the people who have participated, and all the decorations are wind-powered. Halloween Addict has a 2008 link to a “This American Life” podcast about a guy who maps Jack O’Lanterns in his NC neighborhood. Finally, A&E’s Paranormal States and Unexplained Mysteries provide the most comprehensive maps throughout their sites of any I have found on-line so far.

Museum Day 2009- Free admission to participating US museums and parks!

Smithsonian Magazine, is sponsoring a great event here in the US on September 26th, Museum Day 2009. Over 1250 participating museums around the country will be offering free admission, which is a cool deal. If you follow the link above to the Museum Day website, you’ll find a Google Maps app to help you locate participating museums and historic sites in your area. You will also need to download the Museum Day admission card from the website and present it at the museum you’re visiting.

To make it even better, national, state, and local parks are also holding National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26th as well, which is a day for volunteers to help out with projects like planting trees. Last year, over 120,000 volunteers helped across the country. To participate, just use the interactive map on the website to find participating sites near you.

So, if you haven’t made your plans for next weekend yet, here are two great options!

UK GIS developers – Only 1 more day to enter the ESRI-Bing Maps Mashup Challenge!

That right – if you’re in the UK and you’re a GIS developer utilizing ESRI products, ESRI UK is sponsoring the All you have to do is build a GIS-based mashup utilizing Bing Maps and ESRI’s web mapping technology, and you could win an Xbox and a free seat at an ESRI UK web API training course.

The deadline to submit your entry is Friday September 18th, 5pm(UK time). The winner will be announced at the AGI2009 Conference, which will be held on September 23rd and 24th in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

So get coding, and good luck!

A Spatial Public Art

If you haven’t seen it already. Apartment Therapy has a post about a Dutch artist who has created real life “dead pixels” that show up on Google Earth. It is a really neat and creative example of art in a public place.

Jesse comments on “Aspiring Academics” – Part 3

Apologies for the delay in getting Part 3 of this series up. Parts 1 and 2 of my comments on Aspiring Academics: A Resource Book for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty from the AAG focused on the sections on Career Planning and Personal Management and Developing and Enhancing Teaching and Advising Skills respectively. The last section of the book covers Research Opportunities and Responsibilities. The importance of this section of the book is relative to each persons position, or at least it used to be. The focus of even teaching universities is quickly shifting to include additional scholarship responsibilities and that the almighty grant dollar means more in any institution.

Chapter 11 – Preparing Competitive Research Grant Proposals
-Writing a grant is no longer about the individual or even about the perfect project. There are tons of individuals out there with impeccable CVs and there are piles of great project ideas that are proposed every day. This chapter offers several insights into how to make your project proposal stand out, from assembling a project group to ways to show reviewers how you will ensure productivity during your grant.

Chapter 12 – Private People, Secret Places: Ethical Research in Practice
-Many of our GIS or physical geography friends might think that this chapter doesn’t apply to them…they are wrong of course, but they think it. Ethical issues arise in any research venture whether they are subject related (as this chapter discusses), object/phenomena based, or researcher related. This chapter deals primarily with issues that arise in the Internal Review Board (IRB) process and discusses some of the (often internal) thought processes researchers should walk through in considering the impacts of their work on others.

Chapter 13 – Academic Publishing
-The age old adage of ‘publish or perish’ holds as true today as ever. The problem is that while there are more venues to publish in, the number of people (and the number of papers per person) has increased even more. This chapter hits on some of the key issues such as submitting to a journal where your topic is relevant and appropriate, as well as a quick overview about the editorial/peer review process. There is also a fairly extensive checklist for authors that might be of used to ‘old hats’ as well as new authors.

Chapter 14 – Working Across Disciplinary Boundaries
-This one should be a cinch for Geographers as many of us started out in other disciplines, use literature and methodologies from other disciplines, etc. But it turns out that once we are in the entrenched in our map world, we sometimes stick to it a little too tightly. This chapter offers great suggestions regarding interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching.

Candy O Vision

Whenever Holloween starts to come around, I always think about geography and candy. The world in a candy bar map , such as the one from Indiana and Purdue, is one of the staples of social study teacher’s everywhere. Candy Critic blog has a great discussion of candy from around the world, a map of candy travels that is the beginnings of what I thought I would find out there. Candy Addict discusses regional geography and candy which is the narrative half of what I imagined I would find. No where near it, and probably something he is tired of hearing, is Dr. Ian Candy who is a Physical Geography professor at University of London. My ultimate candy site would provide an interactive map with narrative and pictures. They might even send you a box of candy so you can have a tactile eat along.

A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 217

A VerySpatial Podcast

Shownotes – Episode 217

September 13, 2009

Main Topic: Our conversation with Brian Wienke of Accela

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    Work Progress Administration (off-topicish)

    A band you should be listening (at least on Tuesday when the CD comes out). This is an alt rock/alt country mega group with folks like Glen Phillips, Sean Watkins, Luke Bulla and others. Sue, Zach and I caught an early variation of the band in San Fran a couple of years ago and it was GREAT, so if WPA is coming to your town you should definitely check it out.

    <a href="">Always Have My Love by Works Progress Administration</a>

    The home of the tomorrow…. today.

    Whenever I see articles like the one about a smart IBM guy who uses Twitter to control his house functions, it makes me think of those old Tex Avery cartoons about the home of tommorw or the clip about the future house. I can imagine it being used to prove that no matter where I am during the day, the dog is sleeping either on the couch or my bed. On a more serious note, I can see it helping with elderly relatives who want to have independence but need someone to make sure the stove is turned off. But then when you read a quote like this from the IBM website about the same guy, “How IBM’s Andy Stanford-Clark and his llamas inspired a new type of auto insurance…and other tales of innovation”, you begin to get side tracked…..

    New podcast…but not Very

    Today I launched a new podcast entitled Spatial@UNCP. It is an attempt to evangelize spatial concepts and geospatial technologies on my new campus, but I am hopeful that it will find a broader audience as it ages. The 5-10 minute podcast will present information in an introductory manner to cover the concepts and technologies to faculty and students who are new to geospatial technologies. You can check the associated page for this semester’s schedule of episodes and of course you can find the links to subscribe to the podcast on the page or search for Spatial@UNCP on iTunes.

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