Best of the Blogs 21/6/11

By on 21 June, 2011
 
The latest effort in the ongoing saga of humanity handing over the control of their brains to the machines comes from Bellevue, Washington, where three young women had to clamber from their vehicle after the driver followed their SatNav unit’s instructions so precisely that she ended up driving into a lake.
Considering there was neither alcohol nor drugs involved, I really can’t understand how any driver could possibly think it was ok to ignore the massive body of water looming ahead of them, because the 4” screen on their dashboard told them to. Perhaps there should be a part on future licensing tests where you have to learn to ignore the directions coming from a SatNav?
 
The New York Times has put together a piece that outlines a new public web-map that shows the solar potential of NY City. Using LiDAR, the researchers have highlighted every building that could potentially house solar panels. The total comes to two-thirds of the cities buildings, and would generate enough energy to meet half of the city’s peak electricity demands. Something we can probably learn from here in Australia.
 
Spatial Sustain has a post highlighting a Los Angeles Times op-ed column that talks about the global urban shift, recognising it as the largest population shift in urban history. By a strange twist of coincidence, the music I’m listening to as I type this is singing to me “Too many people // living in the city”. Well, serendipity-doo-dah!
 
Cameron Shorter from LisaSoft has a piece outlining how he managed to coordinate the seventy-odd developers, packagers, technical writers, project managers, marketers, translators and educators that helped create the OSGeo-Live open-source geospatial DVD.
 
the GeoIQ blog has a post discussing the authority, reliability, and science of consumer web-maps (mashups, neogeography etc). It should be of interest to both parties, those that love 'em, those that hate 'em.
 
GIS Lounge has a post of interest to anyone that has built an app using Yahoo’s mapping APIs: Yahoo! recently announced that they will be shutting down several of them. Check the link for the full list and a bit more info.
 
Ogle Earth have a post on yet another scientific discovery having been made using Google Earth. This time it’s in our own backyard: The Great Barrier Reef. The discovery focuses on the way that “herbivores’ collective antipredator behavioural patterns can shape vegetation distributions on a scale clearly visible from space.”
 
Finally, SlashGeo have a succinct post that quickly outlines the recently announced Esri product name changes.

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