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Best of the Blogs – 22 February 2017

Each week, Spatial Source finds the best that the internet has to offer.

Geologists this week claimed that the Earth has a long-forgotten eighth continent submerged under the Pacific Ocean. Zealandia, they report, extends 1.9 million square miles and is 94 percent underwater. The land that peaks above the ocean surface is primarily the two islands of New Zealand and the island of New Caledonia. But this land mass is elevated relative to other parts of the ocean floors and is isolated from Australia. [Atlas Obscura]

Machine learning will be one of the words that you hear again and again in 2017. It’s now being used by Google for “Project Loon,” which aims to provide internet connectivity to farthest corners of the world by launching fleets of balloons. The continuous stream of balloons is planned to circumnavigate the world on a daily basis is now much closer to reality than it ever was, all thanks to machine learning. [Geoawesomeness]

 

It’s a strange thing, mapping something which is barely there anymore and likely to soon disappear. But that is what is necessary when mapping endangered species. Maps Mania exposed the great number of species under threat with the ICUN map of animal and plant species which are at risk of extinction around the world. Another map, “What is Missing?”, offers a timeline of animal species around the world that have either become or are in danger of becoming extinct. [Maps Mania]

 

Watch this! An inflatable globe and a kitchen knife was all this reporter needed to demonstrate explain map projections. Learn why it’s not possible to represent an ellipsoidal Earth as a flat shape without distortion of some kind and why the Mercator projection has historically been so widely popular despite so many possible options. [Vox]

 

Also watch this! Flying cars are to become a reality- this very year. You might just need to fly to Dubai first (in a normal aircraft). But once there, you can tour the city in your very own autonomous drone taxi.  Don’t expect to woo your partner on the ride, however, because it’s only one player game. [Mashable]

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