Geospatial Redux: ArcGIS 9.4, Advice for a GIS Newbie, Earth Balloon

| |, a Vancouver based site, profiles Ron Lake of Galdos Systems for their Geek Speak section.  Ron Lake is interviewed about his company, the Geoweb, and Geography Markup Language which he created: Geek Speak: Ron Lake, creator of Geography Markup Language

A whole slew of service packs for ArcGIS software have been released today.  Service Packs Released today include:

The GIS and Science blog has a top nine favorite innovations for the upcoming release of ArcGIS 9.4.  The list was taken from a presentation by ESRI’s John Calkins (aka their corporate technical evangelist).  You can watch John Calkin’s presentation here.

With the proliferation of online map directions and in-vehicle navigation, Ben Wojdyla is worried that the average American is becoming map illiterate.  To combat this lack of map readings skills, he has created a post entitled “How To Read A Paper Map Like An Old-Timer“.

For K-12 educators, Google has a host of online resources available at their Geo Education site.  The site provides resources to using Google’s Google Earth, Maps, Sky, and SketchUp applications in the classroom.  Available on the site are their “getting started” kits, ideas for the classroom and printable posters.

The Bixel is Outside blog posted a question on Twitter, asking, “What’s one piece of advice you would give someone entering the GIS field?”  Shawn Bischel sums up the quick replies he received in his post, “Advice for the GIS Newbie“.

Al Butler offers a detailed analysis of the MAPPS Decision in the MAPPS vs. U.S. lawsuit on the GIS Monitor Site.

The Earth Awareness Portable Classroom is an inflatable model of the globe.  With the Earth Balloon, continents are viewed in their true relationship to one another on the earth. The 20′ balloon is covered with true color satellite imagery of the earth.

If you want to check out your smarts on the “most” of trivia relating to geography (longest, biggest, tallest, deepest, etc) then checkout the Geographical Superlatives quiz at Infoplease.  There are other quizzes to try along with a host of other resources relating to geography: Geography at

Lat Long, Google’s blog for Google Earth and Maps has announced the ability to “layer information from multiple sources as well save content that’s relevant into a personal map”. This increased functionality can be accessed under the “My Maps’ tab on Google Maps. posted some of the more interesting photos collected from the International Space Station.  The collection includes an eruption of Sarychev Peak Volcano, evaporation ponds in Pampa Del Tamarugal, Chile, and ice floes clumping in Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk: Recent scenes from the ISS.

Do you know what the differences between the Antarctic and the Artic are?  Which one has penguins and which one has polar bears?  Do you know which one is colder?  To learn these answers and more check out LiveScience site’s North vs. South Poles: 10 Wild Differences.

Hourly updates of air quality for the United States is now available for Google Earth.  Available from the AIRNow database, information about the Air Quality Index (AQI) is pulled from different government sources including the National Park Service and NASA: Air Quality Index in Google Earth.

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