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Archive for the ‘mapping’ category

Jun 6, 2017

Solar System Map: Surprisingly deceptive

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, gravity, lifeboat, mapping, physics, space, space travel

What’s wrong with this illustration of the planets in our solar system? »

For one thing, it suggests that the planets line up for photos on the same solar ray, just like baby ducks in a row. That’s a pretty rare occurrence—perhaps once in several billion years. In fact, Pluto doesn’t even orbit on the same plane as the planets. Its orbit is tilted 17 degrees. So, forget it lining up with anything, except on rare occasions, when it crosses the equatorial plane. On that day, you might get it to line up with one or two planets.

But what about scale? Space is so vast. Perhaps our solar system looks like this ↓

No such luck! Stars and planets do not fill a significant volume of the void. They are lonely specs in the great enveloping cosmic dark.* Space is mostly filled with—well—space! Lots and lots of it. In fact, if Pluto and our own moon were represented by just a single pixel on your computer screen, you wouldn’t see anything around it. Even if you daisy chain a few hundred computer screens, you will not discern the outer planets. They are just too far away.

Continue reading “Solar System Map: Surprisingly deceptive” »

Aug 19, 2016

How Your Next Car Could Help Make Itself Obsolete — By Tom Simonite | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: automation, mapping, robotics/AI, transportation

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“Driving cars on the road might be the best way to create maps for tomorrow’s autonomous ones.”

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Aug 3, 2016

This guy used over 80,000 old photos to create a Google Street map of New York City in the 1800s

Posted by in category: mapping

New York City has a long and sprawling history, but looking at the city today, it’s hard to tell what it looked like in the past. Luckily, an enterprising coder has solved that problem by creating a Google Street View map for New York City for the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Developer Dan Vanderkam collaborated with the New York Public Library to plot all the old photos from the Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection on an interactive map.

The project, called OldNYC, lets you browse 19th-century New York as easily as you would click around on Google Maps. The collection contains over 80,000 original photographs.

Continue reading “This guy used over 80,000 old photos to create a Google Street map of New York City in the 1800s” »

Apr 28, 2016

Google Street View Team is in town today

Posted by in categories: business, mapping

If you’re in Buffalo NY today; smile because you’re on Google Camera today.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Make sure you’re on your best behavior today. The Google Street View team is in town, and they’re not in the Buffalo Niagara region to take pictures of your street.

Google is using the same technology they use to take images of streets and bringing it inside local businesses and establishments. Businesses and establishments that participate will be included in Google’s new Virtual Business and Area Guide.

Continue reading “Google Street View Team is in town today” »

Jan 12, 2016

Where Will Advanced Brain Mapping Lead Us?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, mapping, neuroscience, robotics/AI

In the early days of the space race of the 1960s, NASA used satellites to map the geography of the moon. A better understanding of its geology, however, came when men actually walked on the moon, culminating with Astronaut and Geologist Harrison Schmitt exploring the moon’s surface during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Image credit: Scientific American

Image credit: Scientific American

In the modern era, Dr. Gregory Hickock is one neuroscientist who believes the field of neuroscience is pursuing comparable advances. While scientists have historically developed a geographic map of the brain’s functional systems, Hickock says computational neuroanatomy is digging deeper into the geology of the brain to help provide an understanding of how the different regions interact computationally to give rise to complex behaviors.

“Computational neuroanatomy is kind of working towards that level of description from the brain map perspective. The typical function maps you see in textbooks are cartoon-like. We’re trying to take those mountain areas and, instead of relating them to labels for functions like language, we’re trying to map them on — and relate them to — stuff that the computational neuroscientists are doing.”

Continue reading “Where Will Advanced Brain Mapping Lead Us?” »

Jan 8, 2016

Half the World Lives on 1% of Its Land, Mapped — By Tanvi Misra | The Atlantic CityLab

Posted by in categories: habitats, human trajectories, information science, mapping, sustainability

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“[H]alf the people in the world cram into just 1 percent of the Earth’s surface (in yellow), and the other half sprawl across the remaining 99 percent (in black).”

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Jul 23, 2015

2015 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium | July 26–31, 2015 | Milan, Italy

Posted by in categories: big data, complex systems, computing, food, information science, machine learning, mapping, space, surveillance, sustainability

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Hosted by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2015 (IGARSS 2015) will be held from Sunday July 26th through Friday July 31th, 2015 at the Convention Center in Milan, Italy. This is the same town of the EXPO 2015 exhibition, whose topic is “Feeding the planet: energy for life”.

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Jul 3, 2015

Who Owns the Digital Map of the World? — Laura Bliss | CityLab

Posted by in categories: geography, mapping

“Last week, Mapbox, a map development company based in Washington, D.C., announced that it has raised some $52.55 million in Series B funding, a sum CEO Eric Gunderson called the biggest ever for a mapping company. Mapbox doesn’t exactly make maps, though. It builds towers of software that organize sets of geo-spatial data for other kinds of businesses—real estate, transportation, agriculture, government, smartphone apps.” Read more

Jul 1, 2015

Pax Google — By Paul Ford | The New Republic

Posted by in category: mapping

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Google, as a search engine, had built a fine business by “indexing” all of these documents and making them searchable. The company was built on a principle of centralization: If you take the chaotic Web and bestow order upon it, merge it into a single consolidated index, make it make sense, you can make users very, very happy. And upon that index, and that shared happiness, and the willingness of some users to click on targeted advertising, Google could construct a tremendous enterprise. An empire, if you will. Except empires are not traditionally constructed from indexing documents. But maps are.

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