Month: April 2013


A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 406

A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 406
April 28, 2013

Main Topic: News

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    Minute Earth looks at deserts

    In case you missed this episode of Minute Earth when it first made the rounds last week.

    Happy Shakespeare Day!

    Today is 449th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday and also according to, the anniversary of his death day. There are may Talk Like Shakespeare activities to choose from worldwide including Talk Like Shakespeare by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS with maps of the different scenes and their deaths, and a plethora of Shakespeare lore. King’s College London English undergraduates have created the Early Modern city map to provide context for Shakespeare’s plays.  The Kennedy Center created an interactive map on the life and legacy of William Shakespeare.

    There are many 3D versions of the Globe Theatre in Trimble 3D Warehouse Search, while Flowing Data demonstrates how to use visualization to understand Shakespeare. The Folger Library has a literal approach to visualizing what Shakespeare is describing, such as Falstaff’s favorite bar, Boar’s Head Tavern in Eastcheap. A September 2012 blog post by the Shakespeare Blog discusses “Mapping Shakespeare’s Imagined World” and how his writing reflects concerns about real life property and land ownership at the time.

    There are many different resources for celebrating Shakespeare that naturally tie in with geography, cartography, and geospatial analysis and visualization. Happy Shakespeare Day!



    A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 405

    A VerySpatial Podcast
    Shownotes – Episode 405
    April 21, 2013

    Main Topic: Digging for old(ish) sites.

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    U.S. Taxes and GIS

    April 15, 2013 is Tax Day in the U.S. when state and federal taxes are due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state tax offices. By it’s very nature, taxation is highly geospatial. According to an article on the history of U.S. property tax in The Assessment Journal, property taxation has existed in the U.S. in basically the same form since colonial days because of “the relative ease with which land and  buildings can be located and identified, and their stability over time”. It continues to be the largest single source of autonomous local revenue for most cities and towns. President Lincoln passed the Revenue Act of 1861, during the Civil War Congress, but it  wasn’t official until the Revenue Act of 1913 was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on Oct. 3, 1913 as part of the 16h Amendment, making the Internal Revenue Code 100 years old.


    While being a property tax assessor is still a field work heavy job, in the past several years, many local municipalities are moving towards interactive maps,  computer assisted mass appraisal for property taxes and online tax maps.  Residents have come to expect to be able to access tax parcel viewers, but moving to an online system, like many municipal projects, takes time and money. Many county assessors are becoming expected to have GIS skills and training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics most appraisers and assessors have an associate or bachelor’s degree, must be certified by their state, and earn about $50,000/yr. In 1913, an assessors salary couldn’t exceed five cents for every $1,000 appraised, according to A Treatise on the Federal Income Tax under the Act of 1913.

    A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 404

    A VerySpatial Podcast
    Shownotes – Episode 404
    April 14, 2013

    Main Topic: Our conversation with Beau Legeer from Exelis VIS

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    A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 403

    A VerySpatial Podcast
    Shownotes – Episode 403
    April 8, 2013

    Main Topic: “Content is King”

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    New Poll: DIY Imagery

    5990888651_7cdbf146ae_zThere is a wealth of ways to get imagery today from buying or downloading satellite imagery to hiring a company to fly your project, but it is the low cost, low effort DIY imagery that is the most exciting and fun. The picture to the right is one of many that is available from Flickr, and other photo sites, that was taken with one of these methods (in this case a kite). With that in mind, the new poll wants to know what technology you prefer to use or are interested in using to capture low altitude imagery. Head over and share your thoughts. If you have a method that isn’t listed leave a comment on this post and I will add it to the list.

    Poll results: Jesse’s next portable

    SurfaceProSo, I put my decision to the community and I think I have to disagree with the majority. Of the 65 responses the breakout was:

  • 8 votes for 13″ MacBook Pro (12%)
  • 18 votes for 15″ MacBook Pro (28%)
  • 24 votes for a Surface Pro (37%)
  • 11 votes for Lenovo Yoga 13 (17%)
  • 4 votes for Dell XPS 12 (6%)
  • As you can see from the image we already have a Surface Pro in the company with Sue’s preorder and first day acquisition. I like it, but while I want something portable I have decided that a 10″ desktop area is too small. It is great for apps, but I am not comfortable with traditional Windows applications at that size. On the other hand 12-13 inches seems doable and I want to cut down from my 15″ laptop from the last 6 years, especially since I have have access to brawny, large (multi)monitored desktops for when I need the power.

    Clearly the top two votes are out and the low vote, XPS 12, is currently in the lead. However, if something else comes out before I have the cash to upgrade this summer, my decision making will restart. On a side note, hopefully Sue will take a minute to share her thoughts on the Surface Pro in the near future.

    First Weather Satellite Image of Earth, April 1 1960

    First Tiros image of Earth

    This is the first weather satellite image of earth was taken slightly over 53 years ago on April 1, 1960. It was taken by the TIROS-1 satellite and it’s the first television image of earth from space. Look how far we’ve come.

    Via io9

    Image courtesy of Rick Kohrs, SSEC via CIMSS Satellite Blog.

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