Sunday, May 28, 2006

WaPo Outlook: 'Borderline'

Reading the Washington Post this morning I came across an interesting article in the Outlook section of the paper by Moisés Naím, who is the editor of Foreign Policy magazine and author of "Illicit: How Smugglers, Trafficers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy." The article discusses what national boundaries are, how they are percieved, how they are dynamic, and how they have changed in the past decade with the explosion of globalization. The point the author is trying to make in the article is, "it's more than just about maps," which is something I agree with. Plus, it also gives me some cred with my colleagues who I talk to about the study of geography and how the discipline is about more than maps. It's a good, quick read if you're into borders. Page B01 in the Outlook section of the Washington Post.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More MapCruncher

I don't know what it is with me this week and MapCrucher? I can't stop screwing around with it and dropping points and adding maps. I guess I'm hooked? Then again, if I was hooked I'd make a page with my mash up. I guess not. But it is fun! On a happier note than being hooked on a Microsoft product, I'm going to the ESRI UC! See you there. On a bonehead move this morning, half awake and craving a cup of coffee, I jacked up my coffee maker. How? I was dumb enough to grind my beans, then dump them into where the water goes. Doh!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Crunchin' Map Bones

Ok. So, we've all heard and saw the news about Microsoft Research's MapCruncher. Well, on the PLANET we've decided to take it for a whirl. As always, we advocate safety on the job, so we'rekeeping all our fingers out of the Cruncher. Here's our screen shot of the interface. It's pretty easy to understand for a GIS professional. Here we uploaded a PDF map of the US & Canada. We had to register 17 control points to get the map to fit nicely over the Virtual Earth base data. We used state boundary intersections as control points for ease of use. An interesting thing once you lay down your control points is that you can lock them. Then save your mashup as a native .yum file. Once you've done that, it's time to render the mashup, or "Crunchup." When you render the crunchup, you can set the max zoom level. This determines the size of your crunchup file. If you go into the max VE zoom level of 10, in our case, we would have ended up with a 2500MB file! Remember, MapCruncher renders tiles just like the imagery for VE. So your mashup is only big as what you set your max zoom level at. In this case we set it at 6 and we ended up with a 14MB file. Above you can see our final mashup. It's ok. I would be better if there was a transparency setting. Anyway, it's not bad. I'm not a VE API guru, but if I was, this would be good if I had a website and wanted to try a few things.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Got My 8 x 10 Glossy!

Ever since my friend went to be the head of Federal Sales at Google Earth I joked with him that he needed to get me an 8 x 10 Glossy of Vint Cerf. Well, today's mail brought the fruition of our little joke. I received the 8 x 10 glossy of Vint, and nonetheless signed. Ahh, I need to take a picture of the faces of my collegues at work when I post the picture up in my cube. I'll be the coolest GIS geek on the Planet. So, who should the next glossy be of?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Metaverse! Metaverse! Metaverse!

Damn, people! The Metaverse is catching on like wildfire. I guess we can chalk it up as another thing a geographer created.

Mini-GeoBlogger Meet Up

I just got back from dinner with Jeremey from Mapdex and Matt from "Let's Push Things Forward." What a great bunch of guys who are a part of an even better group of people: geobloggers. I usually like to talk to a number of you out there. If I haven't, I'm sorry. But I highly recommend that you get together at conferences and on trips when you're out and about. It makes being a part of the geoblogging community something special.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

No Blogging Tonight. . .

. . . Commando is airing on Spike. So much for the 'World Brain.'

Mapping the 'World Brain'

Believe it, or not, I actually referred to the Internet as the "World Brain" in a meeting this week. God! I've geeked out. Actually, I was talking to some researchers this week about quantatative analysis of the bloggospere and I brough up the reference, because as I keep going along this path of learning about social networks, societies, and semantics I see a pattern similar to the self organization of cells and biological entities. Especially, between images and research of the human brain itself and the Internet. Hence, "World Brain." Anyway, some of the researchers I spoke with said the "World Brain" isn't mature enough to quantify yet. I noted that it may never be. If the Internet and the bloggosphere are really like a brain, you can map the connections, but each experience in the brain is dynamically stored. There is no linear way to easily measure what someone is thinking otherwise, the CIA would have figured it out years ago and tin foil hats would all be the fashion today. This conversation brings me back to my noon-time geek-out sessions at NASA about processes of the brain. One of the researchers there, who is actually a real rocket scientist, noted that he read something about the brain working the quantile level. Or, I think, something about all the chemical and electric make up of how our brains works is based on quantum physics. I can't remember, but it has stuck with me for about three years now. So, I'm thinking of how biology scales into the small scale of the Internet and how to map it. I just wish I could get a PhD out of this hobby?