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Friday, February 28, 2014

Mark your calendars for a #science chat:
Live Q&A if time permits, April 14, 12:15 pm EDT.
Link for the event

How will energy development affect endangered species habitat? How will landscape fragmentation change if one or more conservation actions are taken? The answers to these questions and many more depend on geospatial information. And an increasingly easy to take advantage of, huge variety, of data and tools are becoming available. This month's guest in the Office of Policy Analysis Speaker Series is Jerry Johnston, DOI’s Geospatial Information Officer. Jerry will discuss how the Geospatial Platform can enable more effective landscape-level decision making in support of many different policy and program needs, including climate change adaptation, ecosystem services and resilience, energy assessments, and hazard response.

Suggestion to organizers: Arrange the session such that there is time for the Q&A. I know you can do it!

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 04:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Geography and Gut Bacteria

People living in cold, northern latitudes have bacteria in their guts that may predispose them to obesity, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona, Tucson. The researchers looked at data from more than 1,000 people from around the world. On the map at right, the blue represents the proportion of obesity-related bacteria in the gut, while red is the proportion of bacteria associated with slimness.

Mapping Underweight Children

Journalist Tim de Chant offers a map of where children are underweight (interactive, CartoDB). Data: "The data covers 1990-2002 and isn’t available for all regions (those that are unavailable appear blue on the map). The raw data was compiled by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network." Quartz did some analysis.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/28 at 04:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, February 27, 2014

DigitalGlobe's stock (NYSE: DGI) was slammed yesterday by investors upon hearing the news that they missed Wall Street's consensus estimate and took a 27% price hit. The stock has rebounded in early trading today.

Reason's given by stock analysts include not only the missed expectations to their quarterly report but also a their full year earings estimate. According to the Denver Post, "The company expects 2014 revenue to fall to between $630 million and $660 million, below its previously stated $712.4 million estimate."

DigitalGlobe also announced yesterday's acquisition of Spatial Energy, a 35-person company that performs image classification and analysis of satellite imagery and has a particular focus on the oil and gas industry. mentioned that DigitalGlobe was coming under fire from "low end, lower resolution" competitors. The article didn't mention company names but presumably this would be from rivals Airbus Defense and Space (formerly Astrium) and Blackridge (formerly RapidEye). While SkyBox Imaging and Urthcast are still considered in start-up phase, these companies have also entered the market with different solutions for earth observation imaging data. These new challengers will continue to put pressure on DigitalGlobe as it also looks to expand beyond selling imagery and move more toward services such as location analytics.

by Joe Francica on 02/27 at 08:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today, Google is announcing the Google Maps Gallery (see example of the Gallery's home page below), which, according to the company will "serve as an interactive digital atlas where anyone can search for and find maps by third party organizations, including businesses, governments and nonprofits. With Maps Gallery, users globally can explore maps by organizations such as National Geographic, World Bank Group, United States Geological Survey, Florida Emergency Management and many more."

A secondary objective of the Gallery is for organizations to publish maps and manage content whereby the data would also become available on Google Earth.

In a blog post by Google Maps Product Manager, Jordan Breckinridge, he states that:

Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas where anyone can search for and find rich, compelling maps. Maps included in the Gallery can be viewed in Google Earth and are discoverable through major search engines, making it seamless for citizens and stakeholders to access diverse mapping data, such as locations of municipal construction projects, historic city plans, population statistics, deforestation changes and up-to-date emergency evacuation routes. Organizations using Maps Gallery can communicate critical information, build awareness and inform the public at-large.

Last October, we published an article about Google's Public Data Program and a representative from Google stated that the Maps Gallery is the next phase of this effort.

Publishers who wish to post maps to the Maps Gallery will be free by using Google Maps Engine. These maps will be available in Google Earth through the Maps Gallery website and in major search engines.

Frank Biasi, the director of digital development for National Geographic Maps, said this about the partnership with Google:

Over the last 125 years, National Geographic has developed and published more than 800 maps, as one of our primary vehicles for achieving our mission to inspire people to care about the planet. But access to these maps has been limited due to their physical printed nature and their range of publication dates. Maps Gallery makes our entire collection and individual maps discoverable and viewable to the world through a simple Google Maps user experience.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 02/27 at 08:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share


The Dr. Walter W. Ristow Prize, offered annually by the Washington Map Society since 1994, recognizes academic achievement in the History of Cartography. It is open to all full or part-time undergraduate, graduate, and first year post-doctoral students attending accredited colleges and universities anywhere in the world. Student papers are judged and the winner receives a cash prize and publication of the paper, among other things. Submission deadline: June 1.

The 3rd GIS-focused algorithm competition, GISCUP 2014, is co-located with ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014. The contest is on map generalization. No information on prizes is available that I could find.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/27 at 04:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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