April 09, 2011

The most unusual Google Streetview images

caribou caught in Google street view

Google Street View cars have driven millions upon millions of miles, snapping millions and millions of photos of what's along a huge variety of highways and byways. Take all of those photos and you've just GOT to come up with some odd images. And boy, have they... little kids with guns, cars on fire, hookers climbing into lorries, guys vomiting in the middle of the road, the caribou loping down the road pictured here, all sorts of stuff.

Jon Rafman has created an online gallery of these found images at http://9-eyes.com/. No captions, no identification of where the images were taken, just the images themselves. Which kinda makes it even more fascinating.

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2011

The United States of Dating

Map of the eastern US showing how often people on dating sites use the word 'kinky'.

It's been 46 years since the Beach Boys published their groundbreaking research into American regional variations in dating predilections. Allow me to cite a brief passage from their thesis...

East coast girls are hip,
I really dig those styles they wear.
And the Southern girls which the way they talk,
They knock me out when I'm down there.
The midwest farmers' daughters
really make you feel alright.
And the northern girls with the way they kiss,
they keep their boyfriends warm at night.

Musician and artist R. Luke DuBois is continuing the investigation via his project called A More Perfect Union. DuBois joined 21 different online dating services, harvested millions of bits of data from the sites, and looked for regional differences in the keywords used in members' profiles. He's generated a cool series of maps showing things like where people are most likely to describe themselves as shy or bored or, as shown in the image here, where people are most likely to use the word kinky in their profiles(*).

He's also made a set of state maps showing where certain words are more likely to be used. Some things are no surprise, such as the fact that the word actor shows up more often in the dating profiles of people from Los Angeles. But how to explain the fact that online daters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, use the word frightening more often than anyone else?

You can see all of the maps, and draw your own conclusions, at DuBois' website.

(*)I gotta say, I have doubts about that particular bit of data. I spent four years in West Virginia and conducted more than my share of "research" and I find it...to say the least... dubious... that the word "kinky" is used there that much more than in the rest of the northeast United States. I wonder if use of the word "kinky" in West Virginia online dating site bios is disproportionally preceded by the phrase "Not interested in anything...".

Tags:
Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

The weather photography of Kris Dutson

Photo by Kris Dutson of a rainbow over Dorset England

Here's a little bit of beauty for your weekend. When you think of scenes of dramatic weather, you probably don't think of England. Take a look at the photos of Kris Dutson and your thinking will change. Dutson is an amateur weather geek and photographer, and he's spent more than a decade driving around Britain looking for just the right spot to photograph just the right type of weather at just the right moment. Check out this collection of photos just published in the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK.

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2008

Pranking Google Street View

Image of a giant chicken from streetwithaview.com

For more than a year Google has been photographing streets all across America and making the panaromas of the photos available on their maps as a feature called Google Street View.

To gather the photos, Google has a fleet of vehicles equipped with a ring of cameras that slowly drives the streets of urban areas.

As the Google cameras snap away, they occasionally capture random little slices of life... people bent over, someone caught jumping over a puddle, odd looking vehicles going past, all sorts of stuff.

But what if you knew exactly when the Google Street View vehicle was going to come down your street? And you got ready for it, lining the street with more weird and wonderful scenes than a Where's Waldo book?

That was the idea behind the Street With A View Project. Artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley filed a tiny street in Pittsburgh called Sampsonia Way with a marching band, sword fighters, marathon runners, people escaping from upper floor windows via bedsheets, a gigantic roast chicken, all sorts of wonderful things.

Check out the project site for all the details, and links to the images that made it onto Google Maps.

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

November 16, 2008

Flickr and collective mapping

a flick image of the US, assembled by geotagging info

Right now there are almost 90-million geotagged photos on Flickr. (Geotagged photos are images with information such as the latitude and longitude where the photograph was taken). Since a huge number of those images also have some sort of geographically related descriptive information associated with them ("Me and Nancy at Independence Hall in Philadelphia", "Sundown at Malibu", "New York City", etc.) it should be theoretically possible to look at all of that data and learn where geographic boundaries are.

Which is exactly what some programmers at Flickr have done. They've generated the shapes of over 150,000 geographic areas. Now these Flickr shapes aren't always perfectly accurate (for instance, look at their shape info for the United States, pictured above) but they will get better as more and more geotagged photos are collected (and given that more and more cameras (particularly cellphone cameras) geo-tag images the number is sure to explode).

They also have shapes for more amorphous geo-designations, such as neighborhoods. (Just where *does* Beverly Hills begin and end, anyway).

Flickr (and their corporate overlords, Yahoo) are making the shapes available. They're also providing APIs to let people generate their own map shapes from image tags or descriptions. I wonder what the map based on the word "butterfly" looks like? Or"party", or "bikini", or "sleepy".

(Thanks to a tweet from mattb for the pointer.)

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2008

Moving the Maldives

photo of the Maldives

The Maldives are a string of 1,200 islands southwest of India. The country has the geographic distinction of being the nation with the lowest high elevation, a mere six feet above sea level. Because of the current and projected rise in sea level due to global warming, combined with predicted stronger monsoons, there's a real possibility that the entire country could simply disappear under the waves. What to do?

Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed, the new president of the Maldives, is considering an extraordinary plan. He wants to move the entire nation...every man, woman, and child...to higher ground.

Nasheed is proposing using a portion of the billion dollars the Maldives takes in each year from tourism, and buying land in India, Sri Lanka, or maybe even Australia. It's unclear how much land will be needed to hold the nation's 270,000 citizens, or whether the host nation will allow another sovereign nation within its boundaries.

What is is that Nasheed take the possibility of his country washing away very seriously. Sixty-nine Maldives islands were completely submerged by a monsoon four years ago, and he thinks things will only get worse. "We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens," Nasheed says.

Here's a CNN article on the plan.


Maldives...the entire country mind you...is

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2008

The Box

BBC shipping box

It's no news that the world is one huge, interconnected marketplace, fueled by international trade, global manufacture and global demand, and an almost unimaginably vast transport infrastructure.

This year the BBC undertook a unique project to explore global trade...the took one of the ubiquitous shipping containers that are the basic unit of international commerce, marked it up with the BBC logo, slapped a GPS unit on its roof, and are tracking it as it journeys around the world.

The Box was last spotted being unloaded off a cargo ship in Shanghai. The photo above is from a BBC TV report on the box's arrival.

Fans of The Box can follow its progress on the BBC website. It's expected to hit the high seas again any day now.

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2008

Fluid Earth Bowl

FluidForms bowl

Here's a cool mix of custom manufacture, geography, and modern design. The European company Fluid Forms lets you specify any location on Google Maps, and then they custom mill a laminated wood bowl matching the topography of your choice. A bit pricy at 230 Euros. But very cool.

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2008

I'm speaking at Where 2.0

image from Where 2.0 conference website

Just a heads up that I'm attending (and speaking at) the Where 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. If you're attending, say "Hi!"

Tags:

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2008

Strange maps

Ludacris ho map

It's not pictures that are worth a thousand words, it's maps. Maps are visual reality, a concise (and occasionally beautiful) distillation of a complex world.

But that's not to say that maps have to be straight-forward and dull. The Strange Maps blog is a celebration of the cartography that slips through the cracks. Like the map shown above, showing the Area Code of every woman rapper Ludacris claims to have conquered in his 2001 song "Area Codes". Or a map of South Carolina showing where people prefer catsup and where they prefer mustard. Or the map of the US showing where the most UFO sightings occur. There's something for everyone.

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2008

How do you say goodbye in Eyak?

native Eyak speaker Marie Smith Jones

The world got a little bit less interesting last month, with the passing of an 89 year old Alaskan woman named Marie Smith Jones. Smith Jones was the last full-blooded member of the Eyak tribe, and the last native speaker of the Eyak language. And as such, she was a living example of a global concern.

All around the world, languages are dying out, falling victim to the forces of globalization. According to some estimates another language disappears every two weeks.

Why care? Well, according to the National Science Foundation there are plenty of reasons. For instance, by studying the variation in human language we gain valuable insight into the workings of the brain. But perhaps more profoundly, individual languages are repositories for the values and world-views of the cultures that speak them. Don't believe me? Check out this talk by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis.

The BBC website has this obit of Marie Smith Jones. Also, National Public Radio aired a brief obit of Smith Jones last month that features of few seconds of her speaking Eyak.

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2007

The Cloud Appreciation Society

fallstreak hole cloud from the Cloud Appreciation Society website

OK, I've had JUST ABOUT ENOUGH of your apathetic navel-gazing, you self-centered selfish bastards. It's time you finally TOOK A STAND for something!

Now you could turn to politics I suppose, but who wants any part of that snake pit? You could take up the fight against global warming, or against repressive foreign governments, but I hear you say "that seems so...I dunno...serious".

Not to worry! I got the cause for you... clouds! The Cloud Appreciation Society works tirelessly (at least during daylight hours) to celebrate the infinite variety and endless beauty of clouds of all shapes and sizes. As they say in their Manifesto...

We pledge to fight 'blue-sky thinking' wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.

This sound like a cause you can get behind? Why not join up? Three Pounds(UK), payable via Paypal, gets you a certificate suitable for framing, a lapel button, and the satisfaction of being part of something bigger than yourself.

Don't want to join? You can still check out their cloud gallery.

Tags:

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2007

The northern most webcam in the world

image from one of the arctic webcams

All across the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is swooping in for a landing. Which means you're running out of time to check out the northern-most webcam on Earth.

Every year NOAA places several webcams on the polar ice. They slowly drift along with the ice, beaming back pictures of the top of the world. Right now there are four cameras up there, transmitting in the fading daylight. Before too long the polar region will slip into six months of darkness, so check 'em out while you can.

Tags: polar  webcam

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2007

Hear my talk on the best geo hacks of the last 2000 years

Me (Chris Spurgeon) speaking at the Where2.0 conference.  Thanks to James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media for the photo

Last year I gave a talk at the Where2.0 conference on the best geo-hacks of the past 2,000 years. I got to turn people on to things like Cassini's mapping of the moons of Jupiter, Polynesian navigation, and the genius behind the map of the London Underground.

Now the popular podcasting site IT Conversations has made the full audio of the talk available for free listening and download. Enjoy!

(Thanks to James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media for the photo of me speaking at Where2.0).

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2007

Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island

island in a lake photo

The largest island in the world is Greenland, the largest lake in the world is the Caspian Sea. But what about the largest lake that's on an island? Or the biggest island in the middle of a lake? This webpage takes those types of questions to the obsessive-compulsive extreme, eventually identifying the largest island on earth that's in a lake, that's situated on an island, that happens to be in a lake, that itself is located on an island.

Tags:

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 12:52 PM | Comments (4)

April 26, 2007

Cultural differences in cellphone use

photo of a cellphone

Here's a great little collection of infoporn. Cellphone giant Nokia commissioned an international study to discover the differences in how people in different cultures use cellphones. A couple random findings:

In Tokyo, virtually no one carries their phone on a belt pouch, but in Ji Lin City more than a third of all people do.

In Seoul you wouldn't be caught dead without a strap on your cellphone but in Kampala put a strap on your phone and you'll be laughed right out of the bar.

The short, but visually attractive, report is available as a PDF. There's also a web-based summary.

(Thanks future perfect)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2007

The secret of Mavericks

photo of Mavericks by tomplunkett/flickr.com. Photo available under a Creative Commons license. Details and original at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomplunkett/36052758/ .

The bit of central California coastline known as Mavericks is regarded as one of the best big-wave surfing spots in the world, with waves sometimes hitting 50 feet in height. Now geologists have figured out exactly what it is that makes this particular spot of coastline so special.

It turns out at that spot offshore there's a narrow, gently sloping bed of hard rock that acts like a natural ramp, allowing arriving ocean swells to smoothly rise up and continue to rise to truly gnarly heights.

The work was done by the Seafloor Mapping Lab at California State University in Monterey Bay. Check out the cool undersea charts with the report.

(Photo of Mavericks by tomplunkett/flickr.com)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2007

The bigger the city the better

photo of Times Square by Christopher Chan, http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/463830261/

One of the great cliches in the arts is that people driven by creativity migrate to large cities. Think of all of the stories you've heard...Dylan moving to New York City, Picasso moving to Paris, Jackie Chan moving to Hong Kong, blisteringly fast African guitarists moving to Kinshasa. Now some researchers have quantified the relationship between city size and creativity.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and titled "Growth, innovation, scaling and the pace of life in cities", shows that the bigger the city becomes the more creative it becomes (they quantified creativity by looking at statistics like the number of patents issued, number of "creative" jobs, and number of people working in R&D). And the rise in creativity increases faster than the population, so a city twice as large tends to be more than twice as creative. Meanwhile a city's negative aspects (things like waste created and power and water used) do not rise as quickly. In short, the bigger the city, the more bang for your buck.

According to Jose lobo, an economist at Arizona State University and one of the paper's authors, "Cities are really one of the most important innovations in humans history... We need a different perspective about cities, one that is away from thinking of large cities as a source of problems but as possible sources of solutions."

(Thanks physorg.com)

(Photo by Christopher Chan/flickr.com)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:38 PM | Comments (1)

March 31, 2007

Geography + Information cards

Email is cool and all when you're traveling, but there's still no substitute for the venerable old postcard. But what to write? The cliche "Weather is good. Wish you were here." doesn't really cut it.

So why not turn yourself into a roving geographic correspondent via these postcards from The Geography + Information Distribution Project? The cards come in sets of four forms to fill out, each one covering a different facet of cultural and physical geography...climate, flora and fauna, population and culture, and industry and natural resources. There's room on the back for free-form text.

Of course, nothing says that you have to be factual in what your report. The cards are also the perfect canvas for little bits of travel art, fiction, and fantasy.

The cards cost $5.95 a set, and there are volume discounts for schools, stores, art projects, etc.

The cards are the work of studiobenben.

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2007

The sound of the world

wave image by emrld_cicada/flickr.com. Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/39682836@N00/296584004/

You can't hear it, but the Earth is constantly singing. There is a constant hum right around 10 millihertz that can be heard (with the right instruments) anywhere on Earth, 24 hours a day.

So, the obvious question is, what's making that noise? Scientists have had lots of theories (earthquakes, noise from lightning strikes, wind rushing through mountain passes). Now a couple of researchers at Columbia University in New York have sussed it out.

It turns out the sound is caused by waves hitting shorelines all around the world. As waves rush in and then flow out, there are points where crests of waves coincide. At those points the water slams down against the ocean floor. Ceaselessly repeat that process all around the world's coastlines and you'll build up sound that carries all through the Earth.

There's an article about it on the New Scientist website.

(Thanks BLDGBLOG) (Photo: emrld_cicada/flickr.com).

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2007

TO DO Saturday afternoon in L.A.: BLDGBLOG First Million Event

BLDGBLOG logo

I'm a huge fan of BLDGBLOG, the always insightful blog dealing with architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture and the like.

Evidently I'm not the only one... BLDGBLOG recently hit one million visitors. To celebrate, L.A.'s Center for Land Use Interpretation is holding an event in BLDGBLOG's honor Saturday afternoon in the Culver City section of Los Angeles. There will be interesting conversation and general mingling of people who think a lot about the grand sweep of the built world. Hope to see you there!

(If you're coming, why not come an hour or two early and check out CLUI's next door neighbor, the Museum of Jurrassic Technology).

Go to the BLDGBLOG website for details. Here's a map of the location.

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2007

Lenticular clouds

photo of a lenticular cloud

A brief bit o' beauty to help you make it to the weekend -- check out this gallery of lenticular clouds. Some really jaw-droppingly beautiful stuff here.

Tags:

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:17 PM | Comments (1)

January 01, 2007

The most dangerous roads in the world

image from Bolivia's road of death

Thinking about hitting the road in 2007? Don't hit these roads. The Thrilling Wonder blog has compiled a list of the most dangerous roads in the world.

There's the got to be seen to be believed mud of the Russian Siberian Road to Yakutsk, the drive from Katmandu to Everest Base Camp, the scariest hiking trail on Earth, and (pictured above) the drive between La Paz and Coroico, Bolivia, where someone dies every week or two.

(Thanks Heresy)

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

The Confluence Project

photo of confluence point at 48N 108W (Culbertson, MT)

There are two types of adventure exploration. The first is the "I wonder what the hell is out there?" variety. The Vikings fell into that category. So did Ferdinand Magellan and David Livingstone. The second type can be described as the "I'm going to set myself some arbitrary goal and then accomplish it!" school of exploration. Heroes in that second, equally honorable, school include Edmund Hillary, sailor Tristan Jones (a personal hero of mine, who once decided to set the record for sailing closer to the North Pole than any other ship had ever done. What happened to him is quite a story), and Admiral Perry.

The Confluence Project mixes both of those motives. The Project's goal is to obtain photographs of every spot on earth where a degree of longitude and a degree of latitude cross. Technically, there are 64,442 of those points around the globe. Most of them are spots on one of the world's oceans...the Project is ignoring those, as well as the several hundred that are all scrunched up together near the North and South poles. But there are more than 16,000 points on land around the world, and the Confluence Project folks want to bag photos of them all!

So far, they've snagged photographs of nearly 5,000 confluence points. As you would expect, the easy ones (such as just about all of the points in the lower 48 states) have all been done, but it's a BIG world, and huge swatches of Asia, Africa, and South America are wide open. Grab a camera and your passport and head out!

If you're a bit more timid, you can waste many hours looking through the images on the Confluence Project's website.

(The photo above is of the confluence point at 48 degrees North latitude, 108 degrees West longitude, near Culbertson, MT)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2006

Happy Powers of Ten Day!

still image from The Powers of Ten film

Today, the tenth day of the tenth month, holds special importance for both fans of science and of the brilliant 20th century designers Charles and Ray Eames (I fall into both categories). It's Powers of Ten Day, a holiday inspired by The Eames' mind-blowing 1977 short film of the same name.

The film starts with a couple enjoying a picnic in a Chicago park. The camera, looking down from above, begins pulling out and up until it reaches the edge of the visible universe. Then is zooms back in until the view ends up inside the nucleus of a single atom in the hand of one of the picnickers.

In addition to being the single greatest tracking shot in the history of cinema, the film gives you a wonderfully clear insight into the vast size of the cosmos. I don't know a single scientist or artist who hasn't been inspired and/or stunned by this film.

Today and for the rest of the month, the powersof10.com website has the film available for free on-line viewing(*). By all means take nine minutes out of your day to watch!

If you want more info on the impact of "The Powers of Ten", check out the appreciation of it I did for the public radio arts program Studio360.

(*) Email registration requested.



Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2006

You sunk my battleship!

image from Julian Bleeker's battleship game

I've run into Julian Bleeker, the director of the mobile and pervasive lab at the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division a few times, and he always seems to be creating some sort of crazy cool game. This time he's using Google Earth to turn the city of Los Angeles into a giant version of Battleship. To make a move, players go to a specific physical location and then enter their location via a GPS equipped cell phone. (Now if only giant red and white pegs would descend from the clouds).

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2006

Podcast of my "best geo hacks of the last 2000 years" now available

Last month I presented a talk at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 conference in San Jose titled "The Best Geo Hacks of the Last 2,000 Years";. O'Reilly's now made audio of the talk available... it's part of this week's installment of their "Distributing the Future" podcast.

The editing is a bit rough, and of course since it's audio only you're not seeing the slides that go along with the talk, but it mostly still makes sense. If you're interested in learning more about the hacks I talk about, I've put together a list of resources.

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2006

I just spoke at the Where2.0 conference

Me (Chris Spurgeon) speaking at the Where2.0 conference.  Thanks to James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media for the photo

...and had a great time. The Where2.0 conference brings together folks who are doing all sorts of amazing things with mapping, visualization, and location-based technologies. Got to spend a fun day at Google headquarters hanging with the Google Maps and Google Earth folks, and two fun days having my eyes opened to some of the great mapping-related things going on.

My talk was titled "The Best Geohacks of the Past 3,000 Years" and I got to turn people on to things like Cassini's mapping of the moons of Jupiter and Polynesian navigation. I made a book reading list if you want to learn more about the stuff I was talking about. (Sorry, I don't have my slides online...they don't really make sense without the talk).

(Thanks to James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media for the photo of me speaking).

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 01:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2006

Eternal sunset

sunset in Antarctica

There's nothing more lovely than a sunset, so why not have sunset all the time? That's the idea behind Eternal Sunset, a website that automatically switches among dozens of webcams scattered around the world, to provide you with a never-ending gallery of images of the setting sun, such as this cool shot of a German communication antenna near the South Pole.

Tags:   

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2006

Hear me talk this Saturday afternoon

Another beautiful Southern California Saturday afternoon and you have nothing to do? Why not come to Machine Project and listen to me talk for an hour? I'll be giving a talk titled The Best Geohacks of the Last 3,000 Years. Come find out how we figured out the Earth is round, how we used Jupiter as a giant clock, how we covered the entire sky with a map, all sorts of cool, geeky stuff. Mark Allen, the indefatigable director of Machine Project, promises popsicles for all!

Machine Project is located at:
1200 D North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213-483-8761

Here's a map.


Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

Coming soon to airport near you...blimps!

photo of a dirigible over New York City in 1931

I am *so* ready to travel in style. And I may just get my chance, if Ethan Stock is right. He has an essay laying out how the rise in oil prices and drop in airline passenger satisfaction makes the time right for a return of commercial dirigables. Instead of 10 hours of cramped airliner misery to get from LA to London, why not spend a full 24 hours on a dirigible, cruising along in high style...great food, fine wine, full net access of course, total comfort. Sign me up!

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2006

Make the earth a sandwich!

image from Make The World A Sandwich

The always hilarious zefrank had a great bit on his daily video screed yesterday, which he's calling "If the Earth were a sandwich". The idea is simple... get a photograph of a slice of bread lying on the ground, and another photograph of another slice of bread lying on the ground on the exact opposite point on the earth (that's technically known as the antipode). At that instant, we will have turned the entire earth into a sandwich. Brilliant!

Check out zefrank explaining the whole thing. He also has an easy to use tool that lets you figure out what point is on the other side of the earth.

Tags:     

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 06:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

Mount St. Helens grows 'fin'

USGS photo of fin forming in Mt. Saint Helens

Mount St. Helens continues to be showing all sorts of crazy cool volcanic activity. Right now, there's a fin-shaped slab of rock the size of a football field rising vertically inside of the crater. The slab rises about four or five feet a day. The slab's been holding steady at about a hundred meters tall, since the top tends to crumble away at about the same rate that it rises.

The overall lava dome within the caldera has been pushing outward at a rate of about a meter a day.

The local TV station website has more images of the fin. The US Forest Service has a live webcam trained on Mt. Saint Helens.

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 18, 2006

I'll be speaking at Where 2.0

Where 2.0 logo

Woo Hoo! I'll be speaking June 14th in San Jose at this year's O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference. My talk is titled "The Best Geo Hacks of the Last 3,000 Years". I'm looking forward to blowing folks minds by showing some of the amazing things people were doing with maps, surveying, and navigation waaay before the internet.

I'll be giving a rough-draft, dress-rehersal version of the talk at the great Machine Project art space in Los Angeles in late May or early June. Why not subscribe to their mailing list to learn about all of the great stuff going on there?

Tags:     

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006

First Conference on Virtual Globes

There's a call for abstracts and registration for the first Virtual Globes Scientific Users Conference. The three-day conference and workshop will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, July 10-12, 2006.

The conference hopes to foster community-building among earth scientists and educators interested in virtual globes technology--including the compilation and dissemination of associated expertise and resources.

The conference website, including a link for abstract submission, is: http://www.earthslot.org/vgconference/

(Via Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes.)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:01 AM

First Conference on Virtual Globes

There's a call for abstracts and registration for the first Virtual Globes Scientific Users Conference. The three-day conference and workshop will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, July 10-12, 2006.

The conference hopes to foster community-building among earth scientists and educators interested in virtual globes technology--including the compilation and dissemination of associated expertise and resources.

The conference website, including a link for abstract submission, is: http://www.earthslot.org/vgconference/

(Via Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes.)

Digg this
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:01 AM