Category: general

 

Maps and U.S. (Mid-Term) Elections

Each year the number of media sources using interactive election maps increases, from search engines like Bing Elections to newspapers of record like the New York Times Elections 2014, to public television like PBS.org, or media like USA Today. Even Facebook has added an ‘I voted‘ button. Some are created in-house using geospatial software like ESRI GIS for Elections and Redistricting, others use mapping software like Google Maps, but interactive election maps are so important to election news reporting there is a market for companies like InstantAtlas, Axismaps, and others to sell election results reporting tools.  In 2012, Visual.ly provided a critique of Eight Different Takes on Presidential Election Maps, which remains relevant to the U.S. 2014 mid-term elections.

However, an Electoral College Map Activity from Colonial Williamsburg for the election of 1800, 270 to Win’s historic presidential election maps, and a project on A New Commonwealth Votes: Using GIS to Analyze the Politics of Turn of the Century Massachusetts demonstrate that mapping and GIS are engaging no matter the time period or the election. Although it is nice to see an elected officials office littered with maps whether they be on multiple monitors or strewn around the office as In Jefferson’s Cabinet, 1803.

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Geospatial Professionals, Law, and Law School

Geospatial technology is changing the legal environment in several distinct ways that have made the news recently. The first is the relatively new legal speciality of Spatial Law. According to GeoLaw, a Virginia law firm specializing in geospatial legal issues or Spatial Law, the rapid growth of geospatial technology has created the need for specialized knowledge of location based privacy, intellectual property rights in geospatial datasets, liability over spatial data, geo regulations, and national or other security issues.  GeoLaw maintains a Spatial Law and Policy Blog on Legal and Policy Issues associated with geospatial data and technology. It is the blog that you are directed to from The Centre For Spatial Law and Policy  which educates lawyers, businesses, government agencies, policy makers and others on the unique legal and policy issues associated with geospatial technology. Batchgeo maintains a map of top spatial law and policy stories around the world that the public or geospatial professionals can contribute, while it isn’t extensive it has current news for 2014. Read More

Cornell Lab of Ornithology YardMap beta

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has introduced some very exciting backyard citizen science applications that utilize remote sensing data. One of them is The YardMap citizen science project funded by the National Science Foundation Information Education Program  or advancing informal STEM Learning (AISL), as it is known now. YardMap is designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments. It is also a great way to make your yard bird friendly.  So far they have had 8098 YardMaps drawn using the YardMap Tool.

 

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World Fish Migration Day 2014

Today is World Fish Migration Day 2014. It is a one day global initiative to create awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish with over 70 organization supporters worldwide. It is also a very geospatial day because much of the outreach, education, and work being done is spatial.  If you want to find an event going on in your part of the world today, they have an event map of World Fish Migration Day activities. Read More

FOSS4G calls for workshops, presentations and academic papers

logo_landing_mainVerySpatial is happy to support FOSS4G 2014 (September 8-13 in Portland, OR) as a media sponsor. We are working to get an interview or two with the organizers over the next couple of months, but until then you should get to work preparing your presentation, workshop, or paper.

“The FOSS4G organizing committee calls for presentations, workshops and academic papers. FOSS4G, to be held September 8th-12th in Portland, Oregon, USA is the premier international conference on open source geospatial technologies. With two days of workshops followed by three days of presentations and academic papers, FOSS4G features a diversity of attendees and participants spanning academia, industry, and government.

Dr. Franz-Josef Behr and Dr. Barend Köbben have issued the call for academic papers.

The first two days of FOSS4G are half day workshops. Participants are invited to submit workshop proposals for audiences ranging from beginner to advanced users, with topics covering the FOSS4G stack from server to client and anywhere between. Read the detailed call for workshop proposals or submit directly. Workshop proposals are due by March 15th.

Presentations showcase some of the most interesting developments and uses of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial. Read the details in the Call for Presentations.”

Meet your Polar Vortex Meteorologist

Meteorologists made the Style section of the The Washington Post today in the article,  “What’s it like to be the voice of the Polar Vortex? These Weathermen Know”  Giving meteorologists an introduction worthy of a movie trailer, Rachel Lubitz asks, “So, what is it like to be the voice of this polar vortex, bringing the grim news about temperatures that are flirting with — and in some cases breaking — record lows?” It is a good introduction into how broadcast meteorologists approach their jobs. But what does it take to be a broadcast meteorologist? Read More

Pins on the Map: George Washington Slept Here

As you shiver in the cold today during what The Weather Channel is predicting could be the coldest winter on record for decades in North America, reflect on the 1780 snowstorm that hit George Washington’s army at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ, now a National Park that commemorates the Continental Army’s winter encampment (December 1779 – June 1780). Here the soldiers survived the tail end of what historians and paleoclimatologists dub, “the little ice age”.   Read More

The United States Railroad Administration

On December 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson nationalized the U.S railroads from 1917 – 1920 in response to the infrastructure demands of WWI. While it only lasted four years, the nationalization and standardization needed for the war effort led to innovations in railway infrastructure and planning. Railways have always been closely tied with advances in cartography, mapping, and infrastructure.

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What is Geography

A fun video celebrating Geography Awareness Week by folks from Queens University

The Geography of Twitter

The Switch writer, Caitlin Dewey, reviewed a recent study on Twitter in her article on “Where do Twitter trends start? Try Cincinnati” for the Washington Post.  It summarizes a study done at Indiana University on where Twitter topics trend and spread.  It found that Twitter trends that start in Cincinnati tend to spread out and reach other cities more than would have been thought for a city of that size. It concluded that physical geography has an impact on social media, which is often popularly thought of as transcending geographic location, by everyone but geographers and geospatial scientists – or do they? It turns out that The Geography of Twitter is a trending topic itself in the research world. Read More

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