Releasing data really works, part III

Bloggage update: More and more free data are available that are quality-controlled and verifiable. Guardian Data Blog's @smfrogers (now at Twitter) was quite sanguine about this: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred". This reflects the geo-industry's credo is "say what you want, but ensure your data's Triple-A rating: available, accurate and auditable."

Guardian Data posted Great Britain's train station data, and they used Google Fusion Tables to post some of the data. I downloaded the data set, mapped it against UK post code data from Doogal UK to place stations at post code centerpoints, and classified it by year and frequency. UK Ordnance Survey County and District data, and NOAA GSHHS coastal outline subset completed the picture. The maps were created on ArcMap for Home Use. then posted on loader for ArcMap data was then used to post it online here and below, together with USGS SRTM web map service for background.

This is yet another example where posting data and making it publicly available can move forward map making through mashups of various data sources. The key proviso, however, is that data sources are acknowledged all the way. Not only will it allow auditing and referral, but it also allows others to create more of the same according to their particular expertise. Isn't that, after all, what crowdsourcing is all about?

Landsat 8 Satellite Successfully Launches Into Orbit

I'm currently abroad but wanted to share the good news that Landsat 8 Satellite Successfully Launches Into Orbit.

The Slashdot summary: ""The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery, and agriculture." We still need more new observation satellites to avoid losing Earth observing capabilities as the work horses of the NASA/USGS fleet die of old age."

Understanding the Instantaneous Geological Deformation of The Mississippi Embayment

     There has been recent findings to suggest that a meteor from a serial impact off the dust tail of Comet C/1811 f1 [The great Comet of 1811] was the initial mechanism to cause The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812. Satellite views show a central semi-circular depression in Northeastern Marshall County, Mississippi which every hill in the valley reverberates out from in an obvious shockwave pattern.

     Don't just take a look, study all the evidence that you may find on these events. You will find this site to be a good start: ,or search- "Kalopins Legacy", go to the "wix" site "documents and links", A Few Comments on 1811". Here "A Theory of Cometary Associations with Earthquakes" is where you will find the truths behind the myths...

Batch Geonews: Tracking Santa Claus, MapInfo Stratus, Seamless USGS Topo Maps, Wikileaks Spyfiles Map, and much more

A lot of interesting geonews in this 'batch mode' edition.

On the Google front:

On the Esri front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

And as a bonus for reading this, see this wonderful time-lapse movie from the International Space Station around the world in 90 minutes

Landsat 5 Mission in Jeopardy

SS informed us that the USGS reported that the Landsat 5 mission is in jeopardy.

From the USGS: "The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has stopped acquiring images from the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite due to a rapidly degrading electronic component. Landsat 5 was launched in 1984 and designed to last 3 years. The USGS assumed operation of Landsat 5 in 2001 and managed to bring the aging satellite back from the brink of total failure on several occasions following the malfunction of key subsystems. There is now an increasing likelihood that the Landsat 5 mission is nearing its end. [...] For several months, the Landsat flight operations team has been closely tracking the fluctuating performance of an amplifier essential for transmitting land-surface images from the Landsat 5 satellite to ground receiving stations in the U.S. and around the world.  Over the past 10 days, problems with the amplifier have led to drastically reduced image download capabilities, a sign of impending failure. [...] Landsat 8, currently called the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is now scheduled to be launched in January 2013."

We obviously mentioned Landsat 5 often in the past, including in 2005, 2007 and 2009 when it suffered technical problems, but each time, was able to resume satellite imagery acquisition. This time, it's probable it's really the end of Landsat 5. Here's the Landsat 5 Wikipedia article.

Bloogage update

Guns & Roses, or: 3D GIS anyone? behind the colorful history of Teapot Dome in Wyoming, US and its current incarnation that released a comprehensive 3D petroleum dataset, lies this challenge: how is GIS approaching comprehensive 3D treatment (truly with overhangs and multi-Z's per XY, not 2.5D extrusion however useful that may be), with the increasing availability of robust 3D tools some for free (recent slashgeo post). To help with that I posted said dataset on and started revamping my geoscience classes also coming soon to a screen near you.

Saturday Geonews: TileMill 0.4.1, Esri FileGeodatabase API 1.1, GIS with Google Earth, Layar Vision App, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Yes, on a Saturday! I'll be away for the next three weeks and dare delay my family's departure to feed you with these.

From the open source front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Friday Geonews: China Crippled Maps, QGIS Improvements, AutoCAD WS Launched, and much more

It's Friday! Here's the geonews that haven't made it into an individual story, in batch mode.

In the open source/open data front:

In the miscellanous category:

In the maps category:

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