Best of the Blogs, 22 October 2013

By on 22 October, 2013


GIS Lounge has a post showing an interactive poster that displays 40 years of NASA earth observation data. Placing the cursor over one of the tiles enables a pop-up window that displays the dataset name, the mission, and a short description of the data.  Click on the pop-up leads to a larger window with more detail. Well worth a look.

GIS Lounge also has a post that looks at the importance of checking GIS data.


Business Insider has created a visualisation that places the current NSW fires over cities of the world, as a scale comparison. This is what the Blue Mountains bushfires look like as of Tuesday morning, and just how big they are in comparison to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, New York, Hong Kong and London.


The Wall Street Journal has a piece on an open source competitor to Google Maps, MapBox, raising US$10M in funding. Chief Executive Eric Gundersen said MapBox’s software as a service makes it easy and affordable for designers, journalists and developers to put a custom, interactive map into their websites and mobile apps using open-source tools and data. Look out, Big G – there’s a challenger on the horizon!


SKM Achieve has a summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). “While there is little that is materially new in the IPCC’s general findings, this report reaffirms the urgent need for international action to contain greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly “decarbonise” the global economy. Regardless of success in this arena, there will be a growing need for adaptation to mitigate the inevitably increasing risks posed by extremes of climate and weather.” It’s past time to act.


Space News has a post that talks about Germany’s recent decision to remove the limits on resolution of space-based imagery, taking the decision to approve sale of fine-resolution (currently, as fine as 25cm) on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, taking into account national security. Availability of these fine-resolution sensors is already pressuring the US to look into its current laws, and will likely affect Australian laws, too.


The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story last week on a new startup that is looking to deliver text books using UAVs. No word yet on if CASA is happy with this concept or not, but it’s definitely prime-time for UAV adoption.


Google Maps Mania has a post outlining Google’s new Maps Engine Pro, which may be of interest to business users looking for a way to distribute maps, without having to pay for the infrastructure.


In following up from last week’s Between The Poles post on proprietary + open source business models, Geoff Zeiss has written a post highlighting a successful product based on such a model: Google’s Android mobile operating system.

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