Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Geography on a Shoestring

This week I posted over at Think: Leicester about climate change feedbacks from boreal wildfires. Here's some random fun and or cool stuff I've been paying attention to lately.

  • NASA announced PubSpace last week, where the general public can access the results of studies funded with their tax money for free! And they're requiring all NASA-funded research publications to be available for download. If you're not sure what NASA has to do with geography, they do a lot of Earth-focused research.

  • If you're in the states, you can get USGS topo maps as free pdfs now from National Geographic. Then you can go orienteering ("better than Pokemon Go!").

  • A friend reminded me about Geoguessr and we've been trading high scores (my best yet was 17661). Somewhat relatedly, I will give cash money* to anyone who can tell me what this location is. (This is like the opposite of Geoguessr in that the location is known but I don't know what it is and I've wondered about it for years. Could it part of a large-scale mind control experiment?)

  • What3words tries to solve the global address problem with an enormous grid of 3 m by 3 m cells (57 trillion cells in total). Each cell has an "address" composed of three words, available in most UN-recognized languages. Addresses don't translate across languages, though. I checked. If you're like me and you wondered what datum they use and how they map a flat grid to a spherical surface, there's more info on that here from a what3words employee.

  • Here is a cool programme to generate fantasy maps.

*No I won't.

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