Conservation International Interactive Map

Conservation International has recently launched their own interactive map. It is not a google map with satellite imagery but it is an interactive digital earth with beautiful content.  Definitely worth checking out, simply for the georeferenced photos and movies of animals and people.

Cows as compass


Researchers in Germany and the Czech Republic have found that deer and cows have an innate magnetic sense, as they tend to align themselves with the Earth's magnetic field lines when at rest. And what did they use to reach this conclusion? Google Earth of course!

Researchers examined Google Earth satellite imagery of 8,510 cattle in 308 pastures and plains around the world, as well as field data collected on nearly 3,000 deer in 225 locations in the Czech Republic. They found that when grazing or resting, deer and cows were found to face either magnetic north or south. Read more in the LA times or CBC.

Pandemic Preparedness Map

USAID and Inter Action have come together to collaborate on issues of pandemic preparedness across the globe. These organizations have created a function to map on-the-ground public health organizations' capacity to respond to outbreaks. "The goal of the site is to both improve both data collection from public health organizations on the ground and improve data visualization for policy makers here in Washington, D.C."

Read more here.

GPS for law enforcement

States in the US are testing the use of GPS trackers on domestic  violence criminals. Law enforcement officials are discussing using GPS trackers on people who have restraining orders placed on them to track the location offenders.

Google Maps and Spread Sheets

Make a quick and up to date mash up with Google Spread sheets.

Might make for easy collaboration too.  

Google Earth Outreach

At Google, employees are required to work on their full time job and work 20% of the time on a  side project of their choice. Rebecca Moore started working with NGOs and indigenous peoples around the world introducing them to Google Earth and Google Maps. Google Earth Outreach applies Google's mapping tools to communicate pressing issues such as environmental conservation, human rights, cultural preservation and creating a sustainable society.
For a little over a year, Google Earth Outreach has been Rebecca Moore's full time gig. She and her team have provided impressive layers on Google Earth as well as easy to follow and informative tutorials for users to learn how to use tools offered by Google Maps and Google Earth. Rebecca Moore introduced new layers featured in their show case at the Google Earth Outreach Geneva kick off.  

Seals as Sensors

Some of you may already read this blog/newsletter but Spatial Sustainable highlighted this study this week...

Scientists have tagged fifty elephant seals in the southern ocean to understand the behavior of seals, but also to collect climate data. The enhanced sensors enable scientists to understand climatic conditions and give them access to areas of the ocean that they would be unable to get to in any other way.

The international project is run by CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre. Detailed findings are being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This may spark ideas for our studies. 

British Foreign and Commonwealth office embraces Web 2.0 technologies

The British Foreign and Commonwealth office seems to be taking full advantage of Web 2.0 technologies. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband took part in press conference hosted in the virtual world of Second Life...a year ago! The event marked the end of a vital meeting of the world's Small Island States in the Maldives 13-14 Nov 2007. Reporters (well their avatars) were encouraged to attend.

Read more here and view screen shots  from the Second Life conference on the British Foreign and Commonwealth's office Flickr site. On top of the Flickr site and Second Life meetings, several of the diplomats also keep blogs

Searching the FCO website further I found an interesting article by Evan Potter about online vs. real life diplomacy. Second Life may sound silly but the potential for more enriched communication and broad participation is there. 

In terms of temperature, Holland is becoming more like France...

This map featured on doesn't really seem strange to me, it sounds like a pretty good idea. "The temperature in the Netherlands in 2006-2007 was more like that of France ten years ago" ( The Netherlands is a country that is greatly concerned with climate change because it has a small, low lying, over populated territory. "A recent report by the Royal Dutch Weather Institute KNMI, quoted in the NRC Handelsblad (dd. 31 July), shows that average temperature in the Netherlands has risen twice as fast as the average global temperature." This map displays these changes in temperature in Holland. More detail is provided in this article (Brian may need to translate for us). Providing a similar map showing temperatures in the Netherlands from ten years ago, or another map showing temperatures in from ten years ago France to add even more contextualization for readers.

ESRI Conference

If any of you are at the ESRI user conference please pipe up and share you experiences here. This year there seems to be a full day track about climate change with session about climate change and local government, climate change patterns and characteristics, Integration of GIS and Remote Sensing for Monitoring Environmental Change, and several others.

Even Dangermond (ESRI CEO) mentions the significance of mashups and ArcGIS 9.3 will support KML files. ESRI is has also released a beta version of ESRI Flex, API for ArcGIS Server using JavaScript. ESRI is staying in the game with advancing technologies and attempting to benefit from UGC it seems.

Clint Brown, ESRI's director of software products spoke about Web 2.0 technology such as social networking and mashups as beneficial for GIS. "These [Web 2.0 technologies] are a new platform for GIS to combine our content with other things."
Right on Mr. Brown.

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