Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Digital Tours in 3-D by EveryScape

This could be an interesting way of looking at a place. A company called EveryScape has started creating (for $$) 'tours' of cities and businesses within the city. As mentioned in a recent New York Times article, EveryScape uses a car mounted with four cameras and takes pictures every 50 feet or so to create a somewhat seamless tour of Boston, Miami, Laguna Beach, Aspen and NYC. Shown above is Harvard Square, where you will find a driving tour on the left and a Google Maps view of where you are in the world on the right. If you click on the street scene, you can look up at the sky and down at the gray car they used to shoot the film. It's a little slow and a little clunky. Eventually, you will be able to 'walk' into businesses and take a look around like the lower picture.

Thanks Andy Anderson for mentioning this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

MapInfo Files Into ArcGIS 9

We have some old MapInfo files floating around from the days when we ran MapInfo on Macintosh computers. Whew! That was a long time ago, but here's how you get to view and use those old files. In ArcCatalogue, use the ArcView 8x Tools toolbar (View -> Toolbars -> ArcView 8x Tools). Then use the MIF to Shapefile function shown circled in red above and navigate to the MapInfo MIF file(s) and save them under a new name. This can also be done as a batch process, as well.

This might require a projection transformation of some sort. Keri, let me know how this works.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TouchTable and Geography

There was an interesting piece on PBS's Wired Science on the TouchTable...a cross between a SmartBoard, a Tablet PC and a coffee table. Thank you, Matthew, for clueing me into this. Claimed to be designed to teach kids about geography, the demonstration of the TouchTable was using Google Earth (love that) and then they switced to the "really cutting edge virtual globe," ArcGIS Explorer. Hum. Sounds like a suspicious link to ESRI. It is a pretty good bit of neo-geography, though, but at $59,000 per TouchTable, seems a far stretch for most regular people to ever afford one.

Then there was an additional link on the PBS site to a TouchTable demo video clip from the ESRI 2005 Users Conference, where the demo guy takes us to Las Vegas using ArcGIS Explorer, which must have been in development back then. This video is a really cool sandwiching of two geo-geeks and lets you know what you're missing when you DON'T make it to the conference. But then there's Derek, who comes on at about 3 1/2 minutes into the demo and you get to see something you might actually be able to do in your own lifetime...Derek demos using a tablet PC and "ArcGIS Server Smart Client Framework" to do GIS. Nice.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mapping and Carbon Emissions

As heard on NPR this morning, there's an informative and interactive web site available showing global power plants. A description from the Carbon Monitoring for Action web site: "CARMA provides the world's most detailed and comprehensive information on carbon emissions resulting from the production of electricity. Power sector emissions make up 25% of the global total, 40% of carbon emissions in the United States CARMA provides the world's most detailed and comprehensive information on carbon emissions resulting from the production of electricity. Power sector emissions make up 25% of the global total, 40% of carbon emissions in the United States"

Look for the Dig Deeper blue button and download data, if you like.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ArcInfo Installation, Continued

Back in June, I thought I had ArcInfo loaded and ready to go, but there were issues. I created my blog entry and walked away for the summer.

Number one...don't remove the ESRI sentinel key from the USB drive. And number two, set-up the license manager as follows.

Click on the Configuration using Services button and then go to the Start/Stop/Reread tab and Start the server. Very simple, of course, but if you don't do this (and it's not clearly stated in the software installation instructions), then when your colleagues come back to use ArcInfo you get this unfriendly error message: FLEXlm Error: Cannot connect to license server. The server (lmgrd) has not been started yet, or the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the port or hostname in the license file has been changed. Feature: ARC/INFO

Monday, November 12, 2007

GIS and Tablet PCs - from GottaBeMobile

I stumbled across this link on GottaBeMobile.com today with a short video clip of someone using a tablet PC and ArcMap to digitize a stream...inking in a GIS application. Says Matt Faulkner, "This is an application that many of you have probably never seen and what you see in this video isn't even scratching the surface on what it can do."

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Teaching Geology, Google Style"

Linking two of my joys--geology and Google Earth--The Wired Campus announced that a new textbook will be coming out knitting structural geology (!) and flying to locations in Google Earth. Written by structural geologists Stephen Marshak and M. Scott Wilkerson, Earth: Portrait of a Planet, 3rd ed., is due this month from W.W. Norton & Company.