Month: February 2012


How space can make us better

Neil deGrasse Tyson was recently on The Daily Show and he backed Sue’s excitement about space (not to be confused with space) and the importance of a sense of exploration on the cultural trend toward STEM education. All and all, it is just an awesome interview/dialogue.

A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 345

A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 345
February 26, 2012

Our conversation with Nate Jennings about A Python Primer for ArcGIS®

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    Podcast delayed

    Sorry folks. The AAG activity has pushed back the release of episode 345 to at least Monday.

    A VerySpatial Podcast – Special Episode 62

    A conversation with Torsten Wißmann of the Frontline podcast over at We talk about Geography in Germany and how awesome podcasting about Geography is.

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  • Engaging Cities raffle can get you into the Where Conference

    The folks over at Engaging Cities are offering up a free registration to this year’s Where Conference. The catch? They want to hear how you have used GIS or LBS to engage citizens. From their post:

    Have you been involved with a project that utilized GIS or location-based services to engage citizens? We want to hear details about which app was used, and how the public was engaged using maps and technology. The more creative, the better.

    Please share links to projects, research, news, a blog post – anything that documents your story.

    All you have to do is share your activities as a comment on their post to be entered in their raffle. Get to commenting as the deadline is Friday, February 24th.

    You know you have some great examples to share, so get out there and get involved and get a chance to attend a great conference.

    Geography Web Comics

    It isn’t often that world geography and international relations can make you laugh out loud, but the web comic Scandinavia and the World manages to do it very well.  A friend who teaches Eastern European languages posted their comic about Scotland joining the Nordics. The BBC did a good article on “How Scandinavian is Scotland”,        I found it almost as funny as Eddie Izzard’s comedy about the flag of England.

    However, the  SATW comic I found the most interesting geo-spatially was the one that depicts humanoid countries in relative “country” ages. Like how a dog year equals seven human years, the comic says, “I’ve drawn Denmark as younger than Sweden and Norway a few times, but that had to do with the age of the landmass. This shows how old the Nordics are as countries.”  I like the fact that they took the time to explain the background of everything in their comics and thought that hard about how to accurately represent them. I wonder what other countries would be depicted as for their land mass and country ages are?

    A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 344

    A VerySpatial Podcast
    Shownotes – Episode 344
    February 19, 2012

    Our conversation with Intergraph’s Mladen Stojic

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    Lightsquared Pretty Much Out Of The Fight

    Lightsquared, who last month received a conditional waiver from the FCC on its products, looks like it might be in trouble as the FCC has withdrawn that waiver.  Obviously the FCC acted in response to concerns over GPS interference.  This officially ‘kills’ Lightsquared’s proposed solution to rolling out a 4G-LTE network over the spectrum it owns, baring some sort of miracle intervention from who knows where.

    However, I think they’ve made an interesting counter argument to the GPS interference test results – the GPS industry is too big to fail.  What they’re effectively arguing is that industrial GPS manufacturers use equipment that over listens to signals, meaning it’s paying attention to a portion of the spectrum upon they never were licensed to listen.

    I’m not personally knowledgeable enough about spectrum use in general (and GPS spectrum use in particular) to know if the argument holds any water.  I do think it’s interesting the FCC chose – wisely in my opinion – to preference navigation over cell communications.  However, I believe more knowledgeable heads than mine should certainly investigate Lightsquared’s claims.  The license of the spectrum really only works if everyone obeys the virtual fences properly.  That’s true whether GPS is encroaching on Lightsquared’s territory as Lightsquared believes or whether Lightsquared is encroaching on GPS territory as testing has suggested.

    Looking for a few good interviews at the AAG in NY

    The VerySpatial crew will be at the AAG in New York from Friday, 24 February to Tuesday, 28 February. We have a handful of conversations lined up, but if you would like to sit down with us at the conference to talk about your project, class, product, etc. contact us via email (or twitter or facebook or google+) to arrange a time to sit down and talk. If you aren’t going to be at the AAG (for instance if you are hitting the Esri FedUC earlier that week instead) but would like to talk, we can always set up a phone/skype interview in March.

    See you in New York!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    A Geographer's Valentine

    A fellow geographer just gave me the cutest and most appropriate Valentine’s Day card he created. He printed them out in the traditional small Valentine’s Day Card style used in grade school to give to other geographers.  Clinton Davis has it posted to his WVU student website but he is also letting me use the image on Very Spatial. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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