Geospatial Redux: National Map Reading Week, Esri UC Call for Papers, Google Maps’s Blue Beam Measures Accuracy

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This edition of Geospatial Redux takes a look at the first annual Map Reading Week hosted by the Ordnance Survey, Esri’s Call for Papers, and Google Maps’ new blue beam for directional accuracy.  

The United Kingdom’s Ordnance Survey (OS) recently announced that it will be holding a National Map Reading Week for the first time from October 17 -23, 2016.  During the week, the OS will host free map reading workshops aimed to increase map literacy.  Noting that a survey of 2,000 adults showed that “40% of people struggled to pinpoint London and only 14% could accurately plot Edinburgh’s location”, the OS felt a Map Reading Week was long overdue.  Can’t wait until October or you don’t live in the UK?  The OS has a companion web site for National Map Reading Week that contains a host of map literacy resources:

We already have some fantastic map reading resources if you can’t wait until October to get cracking. We have a whole series of videos with Steve Backshall to take you through the basics of navigation. We have blogs with more detail and some brilliant bookletswith exercises to try out too. Take a look in the meantime, and keep an eye on this page to find out more about our National Map Reading Week plans.

[Ordnance Survey Blog]


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Esri has issued a “call for papers” for next year’s User Conference which will be held from July 10 -14, 2017 in San Diego, California.  The submission guideline is October 28, 2016.  For details about submission guidelines head over to this link.

Google Maps’ Android app has replaced the directional arrow with a blue beam.  Styled to look similar to the light beam of a flashlight, the new change not only shows users the direction they are heading but also how accurate the user’s smartphone is in terms of the direction it’s heading.  The more narrow the beam, the more accurate the direction.  A wide beam means that the phone’s compass is temporarily uncalibrated.    Charging the phone or walking by a metal pole can interfere with the proper functioning of the phone’s sensors.  A quick fix to recalibrate is to move the phone in a figure 8 movement. [Google Maps Blog]

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