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Best of the Blogs – 9 July 2017

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

You may be familiar with continental drift theory, but have you seen it in action? A new interactive map shows how the continents have drifted over the millennia and how we got to where we are today. You can sit back and watch the world spin and evolve, or you can zoom to specific times in history, like first plants, first animals and the age of dinosaurs. [Map of the Week]

 

MIT is using machine learning & Google Maps Street View to automatically detect which areas of a city are evolving faster than other neighbourhoods. Google Maps now includes historical Street View imagery for a number of cities around the world. MIT is able to compare this historical imagery to the most recent Street View imagery to ‘quantify urban change’. [Maps Mania]

 

The U.S. remains the world’s biggest superpower – if by that you mean: the country with by far the biggest military footprint throughout the world. These maps, produced at the end of last year by the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER), show the geographic distribution of foreign military bases for five countries with some of the largest defence budgets in the world. [Big Think]

 

The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn as seen from a balloon (string visible at left) EYMUND/PUBLIC LAB/CC BY-SA 3.0

Forget drones, satellites and aircraft, you can just use a kite or a balloon to take aerial imagery. Non-profit Public Lab is helping individuals and communities use low-cost technology to learn about their local environments and conduct aerial photography. It’s now allowing more people to capture protests, oil spills and pollution. [Atlas Obscura]

If you haven’t seen an augmented reality sandbox in action, it is truly a sight to behold (see above video). Doing it in real life is even better. Now you can make your own, thanks to this post from Constant Geography, which runs you through all the kit required and all the steps you need to take. [Constant Geography]

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