December, 2013


GIS Data

Gossamer deorbit sail. Source: University of Surrey

Creating a Sustainable Space Environment Using Satellite Sails

Scientists within the European Space Agency are taking the first steps towards creating a sustainable space environment by developing and testing innovate satellite technology. This technology comes in the form of a gossamer sail produced by the University of Surrey’s Space Center.

GIS Software

Figure 5 from Apple's Interactive Map Patent.

Apple Files a Patent Request That Sounds Eerily Like GIS

Apple has recently filed a patent request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to patent an “Interactive Map.”  The Provisional Application was first filed on June 5, 2012 and was published on the USPTO web site on December 19, 2013 and the listed inventors of Apple’s Interactive […]

GIS Learning

Sunday Maptinee: The Mapmaking Process (1973)

In 1973, the United States Army produced training film TF5-4523 entitled, “The Mapmaking Process” which it described as explaining the “theory of mapmaking, and illustrates the methods and techniques used to produce maps; planning, surveying, compiling, and reproduction.” Retrieved from the National Archives, the training video is available in three parts for […]

GIS Data

Global wind speeds at 10hPA using the Waterman butterfly projection.

Earth Wind Map

Last year, Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg of the site Hint.FM pulled near real-time data from the National Digital Forecast Database, to create a dynamic wind map of the United States.  Now,  Cameron Beccario has taken it one step further and create a wind map of the entire Earth. Simply called, “earth”, the visualization […]

GIS Learning

Opinion piece: How Micro-Location, Geofencing and Indoor Location Are Driving The Retail Revolution

Indoor Location has become the holy grail of location based-marketing, bringing consumers from their home to the closest shopping mall or retailer, greeting them with a message as they enter the mall or the store, helping them navigate indoors, send product information and special promotions as they get closer, and […]

GIS Learning

Christmas Map: A World of good wishes at ChristmastimeA World of good wishes at Christmastime / General Drafting Co., Inc., 1950. Click on image for larger versions of this Christmas map.

Christmas Maps and GIS

The biggest mapping fun at Christmas time is NORAD’s Santa tracking.  The tracking started back in 1955 when a Sears department store misprinted the number children could call to get updates on Santa’s whereabouts.  The number instead went through to the Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center.  The then Director […]

GIS Data

Historic airway beacon located in Utah.

Guiding Airmail Flights Using Giant Arrows

Long before the advent of radio navigation and Global Navigation Systems (GPS) to assist in air flight, the Transcontinental Airway System was developed to aid nighttime airmail flights.  Proposed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the TAS was a series of beacons on concrete arrow platforms to form […]