27 June 2013

The future of municipal data?

Emily Badger presents a great perspective on how Yelp!'s incorporation of health inspection data in San Francisco could eventually lead to better municipal data across the country. Imagine what would happen if parcel ownership data got standardized and integrated into tools like Google Maps and SimCity.

26 June 2013

NZ needs more GIS

Want more proof of a geospatial shortage? Computerworld reports that the immigration service for New Zealand has decided to recognize spatial skills workers as a group so desirable that they have a much better chance at a worker or residence visa.

18 June 2013

Post-Sandy FEMA flood maps

I have to admit that I am pretty surprised to find how frequently this summer I am hearing about the FEMA flood maps from unexpected sources around our region. At strictly social events with non-designers and non-planners, it still comes up. To help with those coffee shop conversations, you may want to check out this FAQ on the flood maps that was published by the Star-Ledger. For students in the regional design studios this fall, not only should you check out the FAQ, but you should be thinking about what it means for places like Tuckerton, Eaglesboro, Stafford, and Little Egg Harbor.
View Larger Map

11 June 2013

Another historic tree lost

Superstorm Sandy doomed Teaneck's historic Red Oak and now it is gone.

Great presentation in Christiansted

If you are in Christiansted this week, make sure you catch this great talk by Alex Duro at 5 pm Thursday at the Danish Guinea West India Company Warehouse/Slave Market Building. Great talk, great island.

Tornadoes from space

Various programmatic units at NASA have all been using the Oklahoma tornadoes to demonstrate their relevance to Planet Earth. 

You can watch a grainy video of the storms forming at Visible Earth.

Looking at Earth has higher resolution full color imagery and video.

Or, you can see the swatch of destruction in Terra's ASTER device. This is the one that really amazed me. You can see the path of destruction clearly in these images once you zoom in a little.

09 June 2013

Sandy Recovery

As we prepare for a studio focused on Sandy recovery, it is interesting to follow the media coverage of the recovery. It usually seems like the stories mostly come from small beach towns or places where politicians have called press conferences ro places that have made an improvement in one specific area. So I have to commend the Star-Ledger for their Sandy Recovery Scorecard that looks at 5 different areas of recovery in 15 different municipalities.

For us it is particularly worth noting that Tuckerton (which we mapped last week) shows no progress in 2 categories.

07 June 2013

Friday Photos: The Eames House

Southern California's Eames House, aka Case Study #8.

"Whether its a house or film or a chair it must have a structural concept." - Charles Eames


06 June 2013

New White House statment on Earth Observations

When you watch the movies, you would think that outer space is crowded with satellites for measuring land use and monitoring climate change (and chasing spies in exotic sportscars). In reality, we have a shortage of earth observation satellites and the situation is going to get worse before it gets better.

A recent issue of Nature reports:
Yet the long-term forecast for US Earth observations remains grim. The US government plans to launch just six satellites between 2014 and 2020, including only two of the four missions that the NRC panels deemed the most important. The other two — designed to measure long-term changes in solar radiation, ice-sheet velocities and terrestrial biomass — have been shelved indefinitely by the White House.

The White House recently acknowledged the situation with a new strategy document:
Today, the Obama Administration’s National Science and Technology Council released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations—a framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation’s Earth-observation enterprise.
Will it be enough?