Great Lakes (of ice!)

NASA satellite image shows the Great Lakes are over 80 percent ice

By Kwame Opam on February 24, 2014 11:42 am  From: The Verge

Images taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite showed the Great Lakes were more than 80 percent iced over this month. The image above was taken on February 19th in the early afternoon, and, according to the NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, shows ice covering 80.3 percent of the lakes. Ice cover tends to average around 50 percent in the region, and the present levels haven’t been observed since 1994. “We had an early ice season this year, owing to cold temperatures in the fall and early winter,” said George Leshkevich of the Great Lakes lab. Ice cover even hit 88 percent earlier this month. Thankfully, spring starts in only a matter of weeks.  Click here to see the imagery.

What Geospatial Skills Do I Need NOW?

From Esri Insider.

Transforming Essential GIS Skills

Over the years GIS has grown to cover a very broad horizon. It’s no longer the domain of specialized departments; instead it has become deeply woven into an organization’s fabric and extends to a very public and connected audience. The fact that we think differently today than in the past about how we use–and perhaps more importantly how we can use–GIS reminds us that we need to continue to evolve our skills in new directions, whether we’re seasoned GIS veterans, or simply trying to land that first job.  Click here to continue reading.

How the north ended up on top of the map

From Aljazeera America.

McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World
McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World

Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm.  Click to continue reading.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Data

History and Purpose:
The organization of a National Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Subcommittee was formalized July, 2011 in response to the need for accessing, sharing, and integrating national bicycle and pedestrian information.  This subcommittee is focused on non-motorized counting technologies, collection methodologies, and associated data management activities. For more info, click on the link:

Data Challenge Deadline March 11

Data Challenge


We’re happy to announce the first ever Divvy Data Challenge, in partnership with 1871, Chicago’s co-working center for digital startups.

Divvy trip data for the 750,000 trips taken in 2013 are now publicly available for the first time, and we’re encouraging all scientists, designers, and programmers to analyze and present the data in visually compelling ways.

Continue reading Data Challenge Deadline March 11

Why Google Earth Has Old Imagery

From: Ted.Com
We’re all familiar with satellite imagery, but what we might not know is that much of it is out of date. That’s because satellites are big and expensive, so there aren’t that many of them up in space. As he explains in this fascinating talk, Dan Berkenstock and his team came up with a different solution, designing a cheap, lightweight satellite with a radically new approach to photographing what’s going on on Earth. Click here to see Berkenstock’s Ted Talk.