Only $100,000 each...plus the cost of adding a room to your house just to display it.
"Earth Platinum, published at the end of February in an edition limited
to 31 copies, is the world’s largest atlas. The book is 1.8 m (6 ft)
high and 1.4 m (4.5 ft) wide. When opened, it spans 2.8 m (9 ft). It
contains 128 pages of maps, flags and panoramic photographs, and weighs
150 kg (over 300 lb). It’s the kind of book you can’t read alone: it
takes two persons to turn over the gigantic pages."
measuring electrons in the ionosphere using GPS signals, Professor Kosuke Heki of Hokkaido University discovered that during the
Tohoku earthquake of 2011 the amount of electrons actually increased
about an hour prior to the strike. He then found that similar data
existed for several other past quakes.
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) has introduced a bill that would streamline federal bureaucracy dealing with map making. H.R 4233, Map it Once, Use it Many Times Act, would reform, consolidate, and reorganize federal geospatial activities.
Currently, more than 40 different federal agencies have geospatial activities. This duplication and overlapping has led to a culture within the federal government of “map it many times and horde the data” whereas it should be to “map it once and use it many times.”
Based on input from hearings held by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources that Lamborn chairs, a review of past studies, and input from stakeholders, Lamborn has introduced a bill that provides a new approach to geospatial data collection and management.
“While my bill does not seek to address all these agencies, it is a proposal to better manage these resources in agencies that fall under the
jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources.“There is a capable and qualified private sector in the geospatial field, yet many government agencies duplicate, and in some cases compete with, private firms. Given the extraordinary cluster of such firms in Colorado, these phenomena particularly concern me. At a time of record debt and deficits we need to not only eliminate duplication across agencies and programs.We must also weed out government competition with
the private sector so federal assets and resources are focused on those things only government can do.”– Doug Lamborn
consolidate responsibilities for leadership in a National Geospatial
Technology Administration within the U.S. Geological Survey;
merge duplicate federal geospatial programs into the new Administration;
encourage the uses of commercial data and private sector service providers;
establish a National Geospatial Policy Commission to provide a
priority-setting mechanism that not only includes federal agencies, but
Congress and non-federal stakeholders as well;
acquisition of professional geospatial services on the basis of quality ,
qualifications and experience of competing firms;
establish an advocacy function for the dynamic U.S. private sector geospatial community;
and coordinate the tens of millions of dollars the U.S.government
spends each year on geospatial-related research and development along
strategic goals that meet the needs of government and the private
"Reminiscent of hand drawn maps, our watercolor maps apply
raster effect area washes and organic edges over a paper texture
to add warm pop to any map. Watercolor was inspired by the
Bicycle Portraits project." - Stamen Design
The beautiful watercolor overlay (or high contrast black and white, "Toner", overlay) are available for use through creative commons with OpenStreetMap.
Here's a really interesting study be the USDA on the valuation of urban forests in TN. In this case it's $80 billion dollars when taking carbon storage, energy savings, air pollution removal, and structural value into consideration.
The USDA set out to study the environmental and economic benefits and uses of trees in towns, cities, and communities in TN. Using the forest services i-Tree Eco software (itreetools.org) researchers took information from 2418 trees and saplings across 255
field plots. Variables noted include species, diameter at breast height, height, crown dimensions,
foliage transparency, damage, and proximity to buildings. The information was used to value the forests, but also will be used to help keep them healthy and flourishing.
Why has it taken 72 years for this data to be released? The 1940 Census asked for information that was a little more detailed than today's census and since Title 13 of the United States Code restricts
the availability of personally identifiable information from census
records, it will only now become available due to expiring privacy protection.
Some interesting information can be gleaned from this data, including:
"Researchers might be able to follow the movement of refugees from
war-torn Europe in the latter half of the 1930s; sketch out in more
detail where 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II
were living before they were removed; and more fully trace the
decades-long migration of blacks from the rural South to cities."
Personally, I'm not terribly picky about my coffee. There's a particular blend I like, grind it in the store and brew at home. I guess there are some people who may put a little more thought into it.
"How far will you go for a cup of good
coffee and some “thinking space”? Jim Stone, principal of Chain Store
Advisors, makes his choice based on a variety of complex factors, which
can be troublesome for retailers trying to discern their trade area.
What factors, such as convenience, quality of product and a quiet spot,
are important to you?"
"Slime mould is surprisingly good at finding the most efficient route to
food, despite being a single-celled organism with no brain or central
nervous system. Adamatzky and colleagues used oat flakes to map out the
major cities of Africa, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China,
Germany, Iberia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK and
the US, then placed the slime mould at the capital city of each and
allowed it to grow."
Wow...geospatial training to over 1.5 million students.
"Taught in the right way, GIS is a self-priming pump. A little exposure to GIS gets people wanting to know even more." - Dr. Reed Perkins, chair, Division of Math and Natural Sciences, Queens University of Charlotte
The University of Queensland and Google have teamed up to document the health of the coral of Great Barrier Reef:
"The Catlin Seaview Survey camera, developed specifically for the
expedition, will capture thousands of 360-degree underwater panoramas.
When stitched together, these will allow people to choose a location,
dip underwater and go for a virtual dive at all of the locations visited
by the expedition."
This composite image, released by RMS Titanic Inc, and made from sonar
and more than 100,000 photos taken in 2010 by unmanned, underwater
robots, shows a portion of a comprehensive map of the 3-by-5-mile debris
field surrounding the bow and stern of the Titanic on the bottom of the
North Atlantic Ocean.
Wow...5cm resolution from an UAV that you can pack in your car. The operational altitude of these aircraft is 400ft and below so HD cameras can really suck in the data. The hands off flight programming is really impressive.
But let's not forget the inherent problems with using data generated by users. Similar to the fact that Wikipedia isn't generally accepted in academic research, should OSM always be trusted as a basemap?
A great new resource is Old Maps Online which sources maps from libraries around the world. Zoom in to specific locations (or even keep it small scale) and adjust the date range sliders to see what comes up.