Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Drone Laws

I have a feeling resolutions like this might be more ubiquitous in the near future. 

"The Charlottesville City Council on Monday night rebuffed an attempt to totally ban unmanned aircraft in the city’s airspace, and instead passed a resolution that pledges that the city will not use information obtained by drones in court."

MSNBC: Virginia city becomes first to pass anti-drone resolution

I hope to get a fixed wing drone off the ground by years end.  If all goes well, I hope to document the process here.  I plan on using the Arduino-compatible ArduPlane module and a Bixler 2 powered glider. I think the biggest hurdle will be automating the picture taking process.  I am also mulling a quad or hexacopter, though.  I just think fixed wing would be good for mapping swathes of a given area.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fantastic(al) cartography! (Fantasy Maps)

This index of maps from fantasy books and settings seems to have a distinct lack of my favorite fantasy world.  Here...let me contribute to: A Fantasy Reader: Index of Maps

Oh often forgotten. 

 And therein, the great city of Ankh-Morpork. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How close are we to mapping extra-solar planets?

"Astronomers could one day create rough maps of far-away planets using information taken from starlight reflection, determining the balance of oceans, lands and overhanging clouds."

The process isn't exact.  They liken it to trying to figure out what's on a muted TV in another room based on the reflection of the light on the opposite wall.

Below is a test image of Earth from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft.  With the information from the spacecraft, they were able to discern three distinct surface types - land, ocean and cloud.

So we're not going to have a topo map of Gliese 581 c anytime soon, but we might be able to find out a little more about it.

Read the whole article:  Live Science: Mapping Distant Planet Surfaces

The Chicago Gun Trail

The New York times recently ran a map showing where 50,000 guns recovered in violent crime riddled Chicago came from.

"The Chicago Police Department traced the origins of about 50,000 guns that it recovered between 2001 and March 2012. More than half of those guns came from outside the state."

I think it's interesting to note that the states where most of the guns came from are directly bordering it, with the exception of Mississippi.  There is a blurb about the MS connection below the map.  I would really like to see more about this relationship.

NY Times: Where 50,000 Guns Recovered in Chicago Came From 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Australia is so hot, meterologists have to get creative

Australia has gotten so hot recently that meteorologists have had to add colors to their heat maps.  Previously, temperature gradations were capped at 50c (122f), but they've had to increase the cap to 54c (130f).

Australia's "dome of heat" has become so intense that the temperatures are rising off the charts – literally.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Navigating Physics - Strange Maps

Strange maps has a nice little piece up on a 1939 map of physics. I don't think I've ever wanted a map of non-spatial information more.  I want to travel down Electromagnetic River...I'll avoid Lake Radioactivity, though.

"This spatial representation of the subject, dating from 1939, defines itself as Being a map of physics, containing a brief historical outline of the subject as will be of interest to physicists, students, laymen at large; Also giving a description of the land of physics as seen by the daring sould who venture there; And more particularly the location of villages (named after pioneer physicists) as found by the many rivers; Also the date of founding of each village; As well as the date of its extinction; and finally a collection of various and sundry symbols frequently met with on the trip."

Strange Maps - 1939 Map of Physics 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Great Advice from @PetersonGIS

A wall of text does not get your point across.

My favorites:

#4 Make a dramatic graphic statement that looks different from the maps around you. This is a sure-fire way to get your map noticed.
#5 That drama needs to highlight your SINGLE teaching point

How to Design a Winning Map Poster

Monday, July 23, 2012

Historical Landsat Images

Wired is running a nice little article on some of Landsat's most significant images. 

From the shrinking Aral sea to the Kuwait oil fires see some startling imagery at:
Wired: Landsat’s Most Historically Significant Images of Earth From Space

Friday, June 1, 2012

Torch Spotting

Keep track of the Olympic torch as it travels through the UK with ESRI's latest story map.  It also references Flickr photo's tagged for the event to give you up to date pictures.

"Follow the Olympic torch’s journey around the United Kingdom

8,000 torch-bearers are carrying the Olympic flame through 1,000 cities and villages in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Explore today’s and previous days’ photos of the relay; click on future locations (gray symbols) for dates."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Cartographer's Toolkit" Getting Finishing Touches @PetersonGis

Very interested for this to be released.  It looks like Gretchen's new book will include her previous e-books "Colors For Maps" and "Type For Maps" with an additional chapter on patterns.  It will be nice to have them all in print (yes, I cling to outmoded tree-killing technology). 

Read about recent updates at Gretchen Peterson's blog.