Author: Frank


A VerySpatial Road Trip: A Brief Update

We’re here in lovely St. Louis in the middle of day 2 of our VerySpatial Road trip.  Barb and I have been fortunate enough to have clear roads and (mostly) clear skies on the trip so far.  We’ve traveled from Morgantown WV to the New River Gorge, down to Bluefield WV, and back up to Huntington WV.  We then went on through Lexington Kentucky and stayed the night in Louisville.  Today we rolled into St. Louis at a tad past noon.  We’ve taken loads of pictures, lots of video, and been fortunate to talk to lots of people along the way.

So why am I dancing around all that and not getting a proper post updated?  Well, the one thing that hasn’t been great for us has been…. Internet (First World Problems!  Curses!!!)  I’ve got a temporary connect for a brief update.  We have loads more to post and it will be up there really soon, we promise.  We called ahead and our hotel in Kansas is going to have wired Internet, so we should be golden.  Look for a big update tomorrow with pictures and a long discussion of the great stuff we saw in WV, KY, and MO.

Let me leave you with one sneak peek of what we’ve found – Me at the stunning Kemp Mercedes Museum!  Yep, that’s 5 exceptionally rare Mercedes you see behind me and that doesn’t even count the half dozen to left and half dozen to the right found in this room!

More to come!


The Most Popular Cars in Each State

The cartography kinda sucks, but this map on is pretty cool.  It details the most popular new cars by state.  As you can see, most of the US is fond of their F-150’s.  Toyota is big in the South East.  Subaru has Washington state locked up (not a huge surprise there).  I was moderately surprised the Accord took Pennsylvania.  Where does your state stack up on new car sales?

A VerySpatial Road Trip: Our Own Oregon Trail

We’re getting all the bits and pieces together for our VerySpatial Road Trip out west.  We’ll be taking a direct (ish) route out, stopping in the great states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and finally to California.  Ok, so not Oregon and hopefully no dysentery 🙂  If you want to see the route, check out this Google Map!  Don’t forget to follow our path with daily blog posts, Tweets, Videos, Instagrams, Photos, Yelps, and any other method we can think to show you our trip.  Don’t be afraid to comment, email, Tweet, or any other method you chose back to us for places we should see along the way!

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Photo curtsy of  the State Library and Archives of Florida via their Flickr Feed.

Space Between My Ears – The Geography of Cars

2010 - PGP - XK120 Front - small

I love cars. I’m a proper gear head, or petrol head if you’re in the UK.  Each and every year, I eagerly gobble up all the new cars news from the various car shows from around the world.  Designers and engineers are always tweaking this and playing with that, trying to eek out more power, better fuel economy, and prettier designs to get the public to buy.  And I can’t get enough of every little change, every little evolution, every revolution of car design and technology.  It isn’t just the supercars that cost 80 bagillion dollars and I couldn’t hope of buying sans a really lucky lottery ticket.  I dig the small cars that designed for the intro market (current object of fascination – Fiat 500 now available in the States).  I dig the cheap rear wheel drive sports cars for the people under a tight budget (I lust after the new BRZ/FR-S/GT86).  Even the idea of a returned Ford Ranger pickup gets my heart a racing.  I just love all cars.

As much as I love all these new cars and their ever greater technology, my real car passion is in the classics.  Every year for the last three years, you’ll see my ESRI User’s Conference badge reads, “Ask me about classic cars”.I especially have a weakness for classic British cars, particularly the roadsters.  I can talk for hours about the average MGB roadster (heaven help you if you get around ESRI’s Elvin Slavik and myself when the subject of MG’s come up).  I’d almost give a toe for the chance to own an old Mini at a decent price. That doesn’t keep me from loving other cars from other countries.  The Camaro is clearly a thing of beauty.  The People’s Car, despite it’s questionable heritage, is a marvel of engineering.  Honestly, how can you not be impressed by a car you can remove the engine in under 2 minutes with no power tools?  For that matter, I’ll always lust after a VW GTI Mk1, the originator of the ‘hot hatchback’.  If there’s someone that isn’t just blown away by the sheer beauty of the Ferrari California GT Spyder, I’m not sure I want to meet them.  The ‘49 Shoebox Ford is just such the definition of classic it practically screams to be in a parade or at least on a long Sunday drive.  Is there anything more American than the classic Ford F100 truck?  Or anything more British than the Land Rover Series I, II, and II (except, of course, the sexist car that ever existed)?

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A Very Spatial Road Trip: Across the US – Pre-planning


Howdy everyone!  We’re beginning the hard planning push for A Very Spatial Road Trip: Across the US!  Barb and I are excited to take our road trip across the US on our way to the ESRI User’s Conference.  We’ve got our big virtual paper map with our big virtual ‘paper’ pins and we’re ready to stick’em in the board.  We’ll be taking videos, photos, and journal logs along the way and updating the road trip as we go so you can chart our progress.  We’ll want to hit exciting and interesting stops along the way and we want you, dear listeners/readers, to give us suggestions.  We’ve already been invited to visit a GIS shop in Oklahoma City!  If you have any good ideas for places we should see, whether it be a natural wonder, a local point of interest, a decent bar-bq joint (shhhh!  don’t tell Barb, but the sub-subtitle to our journey is a Bar-BQ Bash Across America) or your GIS shop, then either email me at or post a comment to any posts titled: A Very Spatial Road Trip.

We’re off in just under a month, so get those suggestions in.  We look forward to seeing you America!

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Photo Collection

Once again, XKCD nails it.

Today’s XKCD coincides with today’s podcast!

The Best Geographic Visualization I’ve Seen In Ages

Map Showing Where Most People Live
It’s all well and good you can rattle off that most of the worlds population is in Southeast Asia. However, conceptualizing that is sometimes really challenging. It’s almost too abstract. That’s why this graphic is so amazing – more than half the world’s population lives inside this ‘circle’. That’s AMAZING! That tiny little circle encompasses the majority of the human population. The visual is just staggering.

Who says Geography isn’t cool?


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.

Map of NCAA Affiliation

In honor of March Madness, Gizmodo has a series of NCAA college basketball affiliation as measured by Facebook likes. So if you’re into college basketball and into maps, you’ll really dig that link (note I fit only one of these criteria, and I kinda dig’em). Note on the bottom for Sue…. most people hate Duke 🙂

New Hampshire to Consider Aerial Photography Ban

New Hampshire has a new bill circulating through its legislature that would ban aerial photography by anyone who isn’t the government. They’ve apparently amended the ban in committee that changes some of the major concerns, but a lot still remain. The original bill include kite cams or any other form of aerial photography collection, but the amended ban has scaled that back. The focus seems to be upon drones and, oddly enough, arming drones. If the ban goes into effect, flying a drone would be a misdemeanor, with certain licensed exceptions. The bill also specifies that drones can only be used by law enforcement to collect data if they’ve received a warrant, and even then the information needs to be destroyed within 24 hours.

Drones and the legalities surrounding them are likely to dominate a lot of remote sensing legalese over the next few years. This may be the first such attempt at banning for non-governmental use, but I’m willing to almost bet real money it won’t be the last.

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