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Friday, 22 August 2008

Geoweb 2.0


Capitalising on Web 2.0 features, Google Maps, Wikimapia, OpenStreetMap among others, are free services that allow non-spatial people to relate and contribute to the creation of maps. Such services integrate and generate contributions from a wider audience, and facilitate collaboration in the spatial domain. Using online volunteers as vanguards, these services rely on volunteered GI to identify and verify locations. Volunteered GI makes use of principles like "people are inherently good", "greater good will always prevail" and "I know my locale best" to verify information. Also referred to as crowd sourcing due to its information retrieval and verification process, volunteered GI has defined new methods for data capture and verification. These trends also established inclusion of yet another newer dimension in GI science and have coined the term - Neogeography.

I guess this is what geospatial people refer to as breaking newer barriers and setting newer standards. Kudos to all things geospatial!!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Geospatial reawakening

The other day at work was particularly notable. A division at work showcased its accomplishments in the Geosciences domain. Presentations over a half day session showcased and stressed on what adding a geo dimension to all things non spatial can do. I found the showcasing particularly interesting because of my predilection for GIS and dabbles with the same.

Besides giving me a refresher on what Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can do, they also introduced me to yet another modality of GIS - Qualitative/Quantitative system modelling. Even though I have much to learn in this matter; adding a temporal dimension to spatial research did spark my interest.

During the floor discussion, a very knowledgeable colleague raised a very important issue. He pointed out how very little understood spatial research is among the non-spatial crowd. He also righteously reaffirmed that geographic Information (GI) science is not just makings maps.

Integrating spatial science with conventional scientific research (biological or socioeconomic) can add newer facets to conventional research with the help of spatial analysis and modelling tools. It also allows dissemination of the research product to a much wider audience through geovisualisation. This allows even laymen to identify with the research product and infer much from the produced visuals.

Of late, geovisualisation has advanced much courtesy Google Earth, NASA’s World wind, Leica’s Titan, ESRI’s ArcGIS Explorer, Microsoft’s Virtual Earth. They bring geospatial products to a much wider  audience through the World Wide Web.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

This is a first for me (a Google error)

This is exactly as Google said it. I was minding my business, researching material for a work project and then lo.. Google lowjacked me with this.. :=]

We're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.
We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.
If you're continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser's online support center.
If your entire network is affected, more information is available in the Google Web Search Help Center.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Bottled Water woes

Blogger Diane Francis at the Huffingtonpost writes about bottled water: The height of stupidity, where she mentions the cost aspects of the bottled water sold in the departmental stores across the States. She also draws up interesting maths to support her connotation as can be seen in the figure below (taken off the same article).

Here in Nepal too, bottled water is a booming business. With nifty taglines -"pure packaged mineral water" or "100% natural spring water", as the packaged bottles seem to have had mineral additives added post collection from far flung Himalayan springs, "mineral water" is a common corner store item.

With population ever on the rise and water shortage rampant across the valley, corner depots selling unlabelled water jars are ever on the rise. With quite a number of such water depots "caught in the act" selling contaminated packaged water, negligence is still rampant.

Boiled or filtered water serves the [drinking] purpose just fine. But, yet some ignoramus few tend to make it a point to bottled water. Tsk! Tsk!! Afflicted with amoeboid dysentery even after having stuck to mineral water alone must be a sorry sight (even though at no fault of your own).

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