Author: Frank


Why OpenStreet Map Matters

I really liked this essay by Serge Wroclawski on why OpenStreet Map matters, which I found through the Gizmodo reprint. To be honest it doesn’t exactly say anything ground breaking for geographers, but it does so in a nice, concise presentation that anyone who isn’t a geographer can follow. The punchline of the piece is that OpenStreet maps matters because no one company should own/control ‘place’. Serge uses the analogy of time standardization from the 19th century to get the point across. It’s a neat idea and one I think we can adopt more fully when trying to explain some of these critical issues to the non-geographers in our lives.

This 5 Year Old Knows More About Geography Than You

Ok, maybe not. ¬†But probably more than you did when you were 5 years old ūüôā

Voyager 1 Has Left The Solar System….. Probably. Maybe. We Think

Honestly it’s like the space scientist equivalent of watching Lindsey Lohan. ¬†Has it left? ¬†When did it leave? ¬†Is it still here? ¬†Is it long gone? ¬†I can’t stop obsessing about this news. ¬†It appears Voyager 1 left the solar system quit some time ago (around April), IF plasma density is to be believed. ¬†The heart of the problem is plasma density isn’t constant. ¬†Quite understandably plasma is hotter nearer the sun, which means it is less dense. ¬†Therefore the calculations were all wrong and Voyager 1 is outta here already. ¬†Or maybe. ¬†Who knows? ¬†I don’t completely understand it, to be honest.

All I know is that I simply can NOT get enough of this story. ¬†This is great, nail biting science going on here. ¬†It’s like assessing the effects of the no strikes touch down rule in the NHL (or some such controversial sports rule analogy that I neither know anything about nor understand).

Weather App That Will Navigate Around Weather

Here’s a great use of LBS and I’m kinda surprised more navigation apps don’t have this built in – TurnCast¬†will route you around weather events while you’re driving. ¬†This can be super helpful if you’re in a new area and don’t know the weather patterns or roads. ¬†Driving through hellish storms can be a chore. ¬†Sometimes going a bit ‘out of the way’ can actually save you time and energy. ¬†It certainly can be safer. ¬†TurnCast isn’t quite out yet, but the company has a number of other weather apps that provide more ‘real time’ information than most weather apps. ¬†The downside is it looks to be iOS only, so Windows and Android users are kinda out of luck.


Via TechCrunch

A Very Spatial Road Trip: Day 5

Sorry for the long delay between the post for day 4 and day 5.¬† Like most travelogues, not everything goes as smoothly as anticipated and documentation gets overridden by circumstances. Then, we got distracted by the ESRI User’s Conference and then by all the stuff we didn’t get done back home because of the Road Trip and the User’s Conference. ¬†But we’re back at it and have lots more to report!

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ESRI User’s Conference Plenary: Live Blog!

We’re about to start the 2013 Live Blog for this year’s ESRI User’s Conference. ¬†Keep posted as I’ll make updates as long as the WiFi stays clean ūüôā ¬†This year I’m trying something new. ¬†I’m up in the Geolounge relaxing with a nice cup of coffee and my very own power outlet ūüôā ¬†T-33 minutes until start and counting until kickoff!

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A Very Spatial Road Trip: Day 4

One of the really interesting things about driving across the US is that distances seem to get longer when you go West. ¬†They’re not any longer, obviously, but there does seem to be more ‘openness’ between places. ¬†As a¬†colleague¬†of Frank’s said, “After Kansas City, there’s a whole lot of nothin”. ¬†Luckily, we found that axiom to be deceptively both true and false.

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A VerySpatial Road Trip: Day 3

Day 3 we started in St. Louis. ¬†The night before we found this great¬†restaurant¬†called Annie Gun’s through Yelp, a smart phone app that can find great food and¬†accommodations along your way¬†. ¬†Yelp can really knock it out of the park and has so far on this trip, not least is the example of Annie Gun’s. That restaurant got a near perfect score on Yelp and we can see why. ¬†I had one of the all time top 5 sandwiches I ever had there. ¬†Unfortunately for us, this place is jumping even on a Sunday night, so we had to order to go. ¬†That’s ok, because we ended up in a nice conversation at the bar with some locals. ¬†Funny enough, the conversation started because the gentleman mentioned Thurmond WV and we said we just came from around that area. ¬†Turns out he is going next week down to that area to work communications for the National Boy Scout Jamboree taking place around the New River Gorge area this summer. His coworker was excited to talk about the great things to see and do around St.Louis and other customers chimed in with their own comments on the area and its culture. Moral of the story is this: don’t be afraid to engage people on a long Road Trip. ¬†They can be very nice and turns out the world can be a lot smaller than you think. Read More

A VerySpatial Road Trip: Kemp Mercedes Museum

Transportation is a huge part of the history and geography of the US.  Trips like our own Road Trip have a long tradition in the US for both recreation and for commerce.  None of that would be possible without the growth of the automobile.

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A VerySpatial Road Trip: Day 1

We started off the day bright and early leaving Morgantown at 7am on our route south toward Bluefield, WV. ¬†We loaded down our car with lots of good treats, some spare undies, and lots of VerySpatial swag to hand out along the way. ¬†We gave our cats some last minute pats on the head, made sure the sitter had enough cat toys for the time we’d be gone, and we were off on A VerySpatial Road Trip across the US!

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