Details of an interesting summer program perhaps of interest to some geographers out there… For the past 12 years, the University of Manitoba has been running a six-week summer school in collaboration with the hamlet of Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), Nunavut, Canada. The program offers four undergraduate courses for credit in Native Studies and Environmental Science. Most students come from other universities across Canada or abroad. Students learn about past and present Inuit culture, language, and interaction with the environment, while living in the small community of Panniqtuuq on Baffin Island in northern Canada. In addition to more standard lectures, we also take a week-long hunting and fishing trip “on the land” with local families. Students participate in workshops with local elders and design their own community volunteer projects. I’ve been both a student and an instructor on this program and I have learned so much in both capacities. From my experience, the program provides an excellent grounding in past and present issues affecting the Canadian North — issues which are relevant to many other indigenous and northern cultures. Students learn about topics like the seal hunt controversy, arctic climate change, and the history of colonialism in the North in a deeply personal way. There is a short video about the program here: http://www.isuma.tv/?site/displayFilm/id/765. The official website is HERE
Archives for January 2009
Remember way back when you were watching the Obama Presidential Inauguration on CNN and the cool imagery from GeoEye was shown? Well just today GeoEye has announced that they are now making available a poster for sale – The ‘Presidential Inauguration from Space’ Poster.
About the poster… On Jan. 20, 2009, at 11:19 a.m. (EST), GeoEye-1, the world’s highest resolution commercial Earth-imaging satellite, took a color image over Washington D.C. The image shows the monuments along the National Mall and masses of people gathered between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. The “Presidential Inauguration from Space” poster is 23 by 35 inches and sells for $29.99. It may be purchased by clicking on the link from the Company’s home page at (www.geoeye.com). GeoEye-1 took the image while traveling at 17,000 mph or about four miles per second from 423 miles in space as it moved from north to south along the eastern seaboard of the United States. See details HERE
The topic of privacy (and security) is a huge one with respect to location-based services… case in point, this article which has been floating around for a week or so now! It got me thinking.. indeed, with so many GPS-enabled and location-aware devices on the market these days (all the new S60 devices, iPhone, blackberry etc…) and the love of mobile users for sharing their media with the World (flickr, youtube, mosh, jaiku, twitter, facebook, etc…) do mobile device users really have any idea what kind of information they are sharing?? I know myself I’ve shared information on my facebook that I never realized I was sharing – also receive info that I’m sure others aren’t aware that I’m seeing!
Using the previously mentioned article as an example though, are users really informed and aware what they are sharing when they upload and share photos from their cell phones? Geotagging is all the rage and there’s many tools around to help users add geo location to their photos (shozu, locr, zonetag, brightkyte etc…) and there’s numerous ways to embed your location information via social networks like Twitter and facebook (wehereyougonnabe, brighkyte, twitpic, sports tracker, gps twitter, twibble, etc…). Building on the example in the article, I did my own test the other day as I wandered around Flickr. Browsing a Flickr map in my region I easily viewed recently uploaded photos in my neighborhood – one can also do this on Google Maps viewing Panoramio images. One photo got my attention… it was a shot of 2 young women posing for a portrait. It turns out that it was captured by what seemed to be a pro photographer who had then uploaded the photograph to his own portfolio of work that he keep son flickr. Looking closer I noticed that he had also not only included locations (geotagging) with all his photos, but he also was sharing that information with the World – I wasn’t a contact, friend, or connection of his. With a click of the mouse I could see exactly where he captured the photograph of the two women – the location was a home in a residential neighborhood.Using other online search tools, local search, white pages, reverse geocoding etc… I’m sure I could have also easily determined the names, address and phone number of a girl in the photo… a bit disturbing, right??
An interesting acquisition from Nokia this week as the company notes they are purchasing the german-based location technology solution provider. Interesting move, particularly as Bit-side also has expertice in developing for iPhone (think Plazes for iPhone),and Android – the company developed the http://pixelpipe.com/technology for the T-Mobile G1. Bit-side is also the developer of the Panoman application for stitching images together into panoramas. See more on this buy-out here.
I recall it was some time ago that websites were abuzz about details of Google Ocean – 3D oceanographic maps and data etc… well, it seems that the service is now close to reality as details of a coming PR event in San Fran where Al Gore and others will officially welcome to the stage Google latest offering via the Google Earth service. According to rumors the application will enable users to see the underwater topography, search for particular spots or attractions, and navigate through the digital environment by zooming and panning. Cnet has more details about the event and no doubt more will be surfacing soon…from Cnet… “Gore is set to join Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, at the on February 2 event at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco’s newly rebuilt aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum.”
the Official Event Guide is a composite of all Super Bowl-related events with specified locations and times, venue maps and a full roster of area restaurants and accommodation options. The guide will be distributed in Tampa-area hotels, airports and onsite at official Super Bowl XLIII events. Traffic congestion monitoring will assist event organizers in managing the high volume of traffic in and around the Super Bowl venues.
Using the guide, visitors can access Venue maps, traffic and location content giving event organizers and fans essential information. The Official Online Map — customized to meet the Host Committee’s specific needs, the Online Map, now available at http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/43/guide/map
An interesting new Google maps app serves up the latest nautical charts from NOAA via the Google maps UI. The site boasts regular updates and the following work in progress:
– RSS news feed for readers who wish to subscribe to chart updates and messages from the us
– Accessing data from mobile devices: how-tos for popular mobile hardware (Nokia’s N800 and N810, Apple’s iPhone, the G1)
– National Weather Service Data points for winds, tides, wave height
– Favorite harbors: add your favorite harbors to quickly find charts, local weather
Some interesting early results from a poll we recently launched asking what kind of GPS people are currently using for work… seems Blackberry, Symbian S60, and Garmin are at the top of the responses so far. You can respond to the poll question HERE
The USGIF is 5… wow, where has the time gone? Today, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) marks its fifth anniversary as a not-for-profit educational organization committed to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and building a stronger GEOINT community.
The following message was conveyed on the USGIF website… “In celebration of USGIF’s five year anniversary, we wish to thank our membership, Board of Directors and the many volunteers who have helped make this momentous occasion possible. With their help, the Foundation has achieved so much and created a truly unique organization that continues to be a key player in the tradecraft’s continuous growth and success.” See more
Looks like Nokia has discontinued the sale of the N810 WiMAx Tablet PC (maemo open source OS) – too bad asa this was a very sweet device which appeared to have gotten great reviews in the past. Indeed this likely may have something to do with the sloooow rollout of WiMAx in the US… I guess having the supporting infrastructure in place is likely a good idea before getting your device on the shelves. The N810 is still available – see more from the AP
FYI, the N810 Tablet (WiMax) sported the following features: WVGA touch, GPS, 2GB memory, WiFi, camera, Bluetooth, QWERTY keyboard, USB and much more – a true workhorse and under $500!