Month: December 2011
There are many sources for New Year’s interactive maps for 2012. The Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Education site has an interactive map and social studies quiz on “Celebrating New Year’s Around the World: Understanding Time Zones“. If you get stuck on the answers, point flags pop up on the map with additional information. Maps of the World has an interactive map that counts down the time to 2012 for each country. The BBC news online also has an interactive map which shows the most popular news stories for the day in real time. So far, New Year’s Eve Celebrations Start has remained the most popular in world traffic to the site. Last Year, Twitter posted an interactive map of Tweets on New Year’s Day calling it an “epic Tweet Day”. It will be interesting to see what 2012 holds.
It’s always fun to compare the modern marvels of yesterday to their technological equivalent today. I spent about an hour on Charles Shopsin’s blog “Modern Mechanix: Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today” reading all of the old geospatial related articles I could find. A short article from a issue of Popular Mechanics extols the convenience of a Dashboard Map that Holds a Roadmap from November 1950. Just like the GPS units today it plugs into a cigarette lighter socket. Unlike the Garmin Nuvi lighter socket mount, it probably cost a lot more than around $10.00.
In another article from the early 1950’s, the author creates a business building 3d models for industry and business such as scale models of factory lots and contour maps of real estate property. The support and criticism of 3d models is very similar to those still being argued about geospatial modeling today. From “Isn’t there some easier way of selling those mountain lots than driving prospects 90 miles to see them?” to “Build little models,” he scoffed, “and you’ll have an income about the same size.” There are articles from old National Geographic’s on The Earth as a Satellite Sees It (1960), Modern Mechanix’s on Amazing Robots speed Check of Nation (1930 Census), and advertisements in Scientific American for Texas Instruments micro processors for data loggers (1977).
We don’t feature Real Life Comics that often, but it’s a funny comic and worth a read… especially today 🙂 Plus, I’ve met Greg Dean (the artist) at a con and he’s a super nice guy.
It’s that time of year again in North America, Project Bird Feeder Watch for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. It is a great opportunity for an easy to do citizen science activity. Citizen scientists count the count the birds they see at their bird feeders. The data is used to map bird migration and bird populations. Because it comes with a kit to do the bird count, there is a $15.00 participation fee which supports the project. Project Bird Feeder Watch has been around for more than 25 years making its data extremely important. You can explore some of the data and maps on their site.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada along with the Audubon Society are also sponsors of the Great Backyard Bird Count which starts in February and is free for participants. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a list of other citizen science projects that people might be interested in doing such as urban bird count, pigeon count, and migratory birds. Bird Studies Canada has citizen science projects such as The Christmas Bird Count, Canadian Migration Monitoring Network, and the nocturnal owl survey. I think these would be fantastic school, family, or even team-building exercises that involve geospatial data and the local community.
In the era of GPS and Web Mapping you might think that paper(physical, concrete things you hold in your hands) maps are on their way out. I don’t necessarily agree, paper maps are very useful when you’re away from our friend electricity and are certainly handy in emergencies.
Beyond that I’ve started to notice, perhaps a bit late, that paper maps have started to take on another life as a creative medium. A few post’s back I highlighted AxisMaps where the maps were transformed into a piece of art. And if you leave the house more often than I do, you’ve probably noticed the topographic map stationary sets. Today I found another unique use of maps at CityFabric, where metropolitan areas are screen printed onto tote bags and t-shirts, complete with a pin to highlight a favorite location.
I know there are a lot of neat geographic themed gifts out there, but I think I’d like to hear from our readers and listeners if they have seen, heard, witnessed any novel uses of geographic data (not just gifts or nick-knacks). I mean it. Find some really weird or unique use of geographic data and send a photo or link in and I’ll compile a post of all the neat stuff you find!
Nice try Scorpions. Not good enough. The Foo Fighters ACTUALLY rocked us WITH earthquakes! Real, honest to goodness earthquakes! The band took the stage in New Zealand after Tenacious D for a 3 hour set that caused tremors a mile away. How do they know it was the band and not a freak occurrence? Science explains all – ‘There are lulls in the signal between the songs and peaks in signal intensity during the songs.’ Scientists believe the tremors came from the 50,000 fans dancing to songs. In fairness, Tenacious D actually started the tremors during their opening act (I like to think this kicked it off). But really, it was the Foo Fighters that took the tremors to the wall… possibly with this 🙂