Posts Tagged ‘mapping

23
Jul
12

There’s Buddingtonite in them there hills

The USGS has used hyperspectral imaging data to map out Afghanistan’s mineral resources.

More than 200 flight paths  at 50,000 feet were used to measure surface reflectance  covering over 70% the country. The results were then analyzed to determine which minerals, among other surface materials,  were represented. The various levels (across 800 million pixels of data) were plotted for each flight in a data layer over Landsat satellite imagery.

USGS: Afghanistan

Because the accuracy of the process can be adversely affected by the occurrence of airborne dust, cloud cover and surface moisture, in some areas the map is cross hatched, for example, to indicate possible discrepancies in the data. These inaccuracies do not affect the viability of the process however, given the huge surface areas that can be covered much more practically than with any other process. The results also show the locations of vegetation, water, ice and snow cover.

No news on when a new version of Google maps is due out with ‘mineral deposits view’ as a switchable layer.

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23
May
12

Tablet Wars: The OS Battle

Ever since the iPad burst onto the scene, tablets have been the darlings of consumers and educators alike, with hundreds of millions of units sold. But is the US market indicative of the Worldwide trend in mobile platform adoption?

This past week on the NPR/KQED MindShift education blog, Frank Catalano examines the trends in the global market and finds that while Apple has a majority of the market share in tablet adoption by both consumers and educators in the US, it is Google’s Android that is leading the way with multiple sub-$150 devices being created in several countries and large scale adoption on a national level. Read Frank’s post here: “Which device will win the tablet battle?

Image

The question for publishers and content developers then becomes how to create content and curriculum as platform-agnostic as possible in order to capitalize on the adoption of as many of these devices as possible worldwide. At the moment, there are no easy answers, especially when publishers have to reach schools that are on the front lines in adopting the newest technology as well as those that lag behind, having to make do with years-old hardware and software.

At Maps.com, we are creating content and applications both specific to iOS and Android operating systems as well as cross-platform applications – primarily with HTML5. For instance, in our Maps101 Web service, we have long had a collection of hundreds of outline maps and a Flash-based MapKit drawing tool for users to create and modify their own maps. This month we released a new tool called MapSketch that adds to all of our maps an HTML5-based drawing tool that is cross-platform compatible. MapSketch will also be made available to add the same drawing tools to third party sites and applications such as Interactive White Board Activities. Contact us to find out how.

14
May
12

congratulations mcgraw-hill on your codie award

Maps.com is celebrating with Educational Publisher McGraw-Hill after they scooped a CODiE award for “Best K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution”

Networks: A social studies learning system” is a complete Social Studies resource incorporating print and digital solutions. The system is designed to bring abstract concepts to life through hands-on, interactive activities such as interactive maps and games, graphic organizers and engaging multimedia.

McGraw-Hill Networks US History image

US History – Grades 6-8: McGraw-Hill Networks

The publisher included comprehensive teacher resources, worksheets, training videos, lesson plans and assessment tools.

Over 600 maps were produced for the project by Maps.com Cartographers, while the company’s programming team developed a presentation platform for the digital content that included  timeline animations, voice narration and editing tools for a truly interactive classroom experience.

“The success of this project was the result of a huge effort by the McGraw-Hill team and we congratulate them on this significant recognition.” Revealed Bennett Moe, who coordinated the digital and cartographic elements delivered by Maps.com. “We are proud to have played a key role in such a high profile and challenging project and delivered exactly what was required.”

The CODiE awards are annually presented by the Software and Information Industry Association – the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. Initial reviews are carried out by tech-savvy educators, with a shortlist of 128 finalists reviewed by a panel of SIIA members.

Maps.com has more than 20 years of experience in the mapping industry and serves a variety of markets including education and news media. They have an in house development team producing  location based applications including online store locators and smart phone apps and ebooks. Maps.com is also home to the world’s biggest map and map related online retail store which receives almost 1 million visitors each month.

20
Apr
12

Latest ESRI FanMap – Stanley Cup Hockey

Following on from our Bracketology post (there’s just something about sport on maps that our Carto team just CANT RESIST) – Jim Herries from ESRI contacted us with their latest FanMap offering.

Its a Stanley Cup Hockey map  that enables you to vote on the outcome of all of the upcoming games, and then shows you what fans across the country are predicting/rooting for. Type in your Zip code to see how your area is voting.

The map makes no accommodation for ‘who will win the first violent clash against the plexi-glass’ but I am assured by real hockey fans that this is lots of fun.

Esri Hockey Maps

Stanley Cup Hockey: ESRI

20
Apr
12

GPS – For the love of the rain forest.

People indigenous to some of the world’s most precious natural environments are helping to preserve their way of life using GPS mapping.

Communities native to the world’s second biggest rainforests in the Congo Basin, for example, rely on the ecosystem for 80-90% of their resources, through activities such as hunting and fishing that they have practised for years.

GPS_Training_in_DRC

GPS training in the DRC: Rainforest Foundation.

Because they are semi-nomadic, meaning that they move around the rainforest rather than living in a single, fixed location, the extent to which they live and work there is often disputed. The rainforests are under constant threat from industries such as logging and farming (both legal and illegal), so already these people are used to seeing their world shrink around them. But even conservation itself can, ironically threaten their way of life, as frequently protections not only prevent the destruction of the forest but also their right to continue their own activities there.

Tribes are also enabled, using their GPS devices, to hold companies who have been granted specific rights to be held accountable when they exploit or violate restrictions that have been set upon their operations. For example more than 6000 Bantu and 1500 Pygmies are now involved in policing logging activity in the Bandundu and Equateur provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo through participatory mapping.

Organizations such as Rainforest Foundation UK have been training community members as ‘Master Mappers’ to create maps by initially sketching their homeland out and then using GPS devices to accurately locate the places on the map.

The aim is to create a territory map that can be presented to the Congolese Government when they meet on May 8th to determine the future of the rain forest – with regard to parceling of the forest for industrial purposes. The government has already made 11 concessions to logging companies from several European nations.

The maps will be offered as hard proof that these communities exist and live throughout the rainforest, and offer their representatives a chance to play a part in negotiations about their homeland.

As reported on CNN, a similar project has existed for more than 10 years in the Cameroon, where tribes in the Boumba Bek collected honey, mangoes and medicinal plants prior to it receiving National Park status under the jurisdiction of the World Wildlife Fund.

The Baka people were able to provide similar GPS based evidence and restore their right to operate within the region.

GPS offers an opportunity to these indigenous peoples to talk in the technological language that those contesting their rights have traditionally used to defeat them, and provides a very portable, low impact way of preserving their way of life.

Villagers celebrate completion of a community map, this time in the Central African Republic.

This article was also published on our K-12 Education blog – The maps101 blog.

24
Feb
12

Map fun, but beware of the fallout

Ever wondered what would happen if the French targeted your house for a nuclear attack?

Or perhaps considered where you would need to be if a stray ‘Dong Feng’ (the largest nuclear missile tested by the Chinese) went off in your local branch of K-Mart?

This super mash-up lets you pinpoint your favorite target on the map, select your preferred choice of radiation delivery and hey presto – see how areas in the immediate vicinity will be affected by the fireball, air blast and thermal radiation.

The map includes a permalink feature so you can send your finished vision of Armageddon to your friends. It sure beats ‘Elf Yourself’.

Try it this weekend – You’ll have a blast!

Nuke Map - Maps.com

Effects of a direct strike on Maps.com HQ: Dont panic - this blog is hosted out of the danger zone.

27
Oct
11

Map community watches Thailand closely.

Maps have many uses!

Bangkok Resident waits out the flooding: CNN

With much of the world’s weather attention focused on the flooding and destruction in Thailand, many in the ‘map community’ are not only concerned for the health & safety of the friends, family, and the Thai people, but also the fate of the annual International Map Trade Association’s Asia/Pacific (IMTA AP) conference, set to take place in Bangkok November 10th & 11th.

Many IMTA members, particularly those traveling from North America, are having trepidations about travelling to a country that may be in need of relief more than conventioneers. Although the conference organizers have been assured that the primary hotel, international airport, and convention center are all dry and in working order, news reports from around the world and inside Thailand paint a more dire picture. Certainly a portion of the Thai and Bangkok economy is based on visitors, and the map community is very sensitive to this, perhaps even more so than most.

The flooding and displacement of people certainly isn’t a laughing matter, but this photos shows a unique use of map.  For travelling delegates we recommend lamination!

See more images from CNN coverage here.




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