Category Archives: Geography

Bored? How about a Google map game?

Games beyond GeoGuesser!!
Top 10 Google Maps games of all times
By Aleks Buczkowski –  Geoawesomeness

Continue reading Bored? How about a Google map game?

Our Favorite Question Is Africa Bigger than North America Answered!!

Is Africa bigger than North America?

Yes! In fact, North America, including United States, Canada, Mexico, and Greenland, could easily fit inside Africa with plenty of room left to add Central America, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia too.

Most of the maps we use day to day distort the relative sizes of countries, making countries near the equator look relatively small and countries near the north and south pole look relatively huge. However, we can compare the true sizes of countries by using a different type of map.

Click below to get to the good stuff!!

Cold War Enthusiasts-This Article is for You!!!

Secret Cold War Maps

A military helicopter was on the ground when Russell Guy arrived at the helipad near Tallinn, Estonia, with a briefcase filled with $250,000 in cash. The place made him uncomfortable. It didn’t look like a military base, not exactly, but there were men who looked like soldiers standing around. With guns.

The year was 1989. The Soviet Union was falling apart, and some of its military officers were busy selling off the pieces. By the time Guy arrived at the helipad, most of the goods had already been off-loaded from the chopper and spirited away. The crates he’d come for were all that was left. As he pried the lid off one to inspect the goods, he got a powerful whiff of pine. It was a box inside a box, and the space in between was packed with juniper needles. Guy figured the guys who packed it were used to handling cargo that had to get past drug-sniffing dogs, but it wasn’t drugs he was there for.

The Soviet Military secretly mapped the entire world, but few outsiders have seen the maps—until now.

Inside the crates were maps, thousands of them. In the top right corner of each one, printed in red, was the Russian word секрет. Secret.

The maps were part of one of the most ambitious cartographic enterprises ever undertaken. During the Cold War, the Soviet military mapped the entire world, parts of it down to the level of individual buildings. The Soviet maps of US and European cities have details that aren’t on domestic maps made around the same time, things like the precise width of roads, the load-bearing capacity of bridges, and the types of factories. They’re the kinds of things that would come in handy if you’re planning a tank invasion. Or an occupation. Things that would be virtually impossible to find out without eyes on the ground.

Given the technology of the time, the Soviet maps are incredibly accurate. Even today, the US State Department uses them (among other sources) to place international boundary lines on official government maps.  To read more click on the link!!!

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/secret-cold-war-maps/

NASA Is Just Killing It With These Earth-Watching Satellites

Eric Roston in BloombergBusiness 27 Feb 2015

Five satellites launched in the past year are keeping an eye on Earth, wind and fire. And water.

This map shows solar-induced fluorescence, a plant process that occurs during photosynthesis, from Nov. through Dec. 2014 as measured by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. NASA/JPL-Caltech
This map shows solar-induced fluorescence, a plant process that occurs during photosynthesis, from Nov. through Dec. 2014 as measured by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Anybody can drive a shovel into the ground to see how moist the soil is. What’s tricky is doing it over every square yard of land on Earth. From 426 miles above the surface of the planet. Every 100 minutes.

Fortunately, we don’t have to. Now there’s SMAP, the newest NASA Earth-observing satellite, which from its orbit can read soil moisture levels two inches deep, just about anywhere there’s soil. It will help predict floods and weather, watch droughts, and monitor agricultural conditions, particularly where people’s lives may be urgently at stake.

SMAP is one of five Earth satellites launched in the past year, all of which will produce data helpful to hurricane first-responders, weather forecasters, farmers, climate scientists, or anybody who likes to look at beautiful animated graphics on the Internet.  Click here to read more.

GeoPlatform.gov!

The GeoPlatform provides shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs. Through the GeoPlatform, users have access to

  • A one-stop shop to deliver trusted, nationally consistent data and services
  • Authoritative data to support informed decision making
  • Problem-solving applications and services that are built once and can be used many times across multiple Federal agencies and other organizations
  • A shared infrastructure to host data and applications
  • A national and Federal focal point where governmental, academic, private, and public data and applications can be visualized together to inform and address national and regional issues

Click here to read more or to access GeoPlatform.gov

Google Earth Pro is now Free

30 Jan 2015 Click here to read the original.

Over the last 10 years, businesses, scientists and hobbyists from all over the world have been using Google Earth Pro for everything from planning hikes to placing solar panels on rooftops. Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world.

Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we’re making it available for free. To see what Earth Pro can do for you—or to just have fun flying around the world—grab a free key and download Earth Pro today. If you’re an existing user, your key will continue to work with no changes required.

 

Two centuries of map-making – from William Smith’s survey to satellites

Today’s maps boast incredible detail and accuracy - but Smith’s were pretty good. Ordnance Survey, CC BY
Today’s maps boast incredible detail and accuracy – but Smith’s were pretty good. Ordnance Survey, CC BY

John Howell in www.theconversation.com  30 Jan 2015

This year marks the 200th anniversary since William Smith published his life’s work, a geological map of England and Wales, in 1815. While “Strata Smith” and his map are well-known among geologists, this humble man and his amazing map do not receive the attention or wider recognition they deserve. Smith’s achievement was arguably as significant as Darwin’s, yet he resides in relative obscurity.

Smith’s achievement was remarkable for a number of reasons. He made the scientific leap that the rocks of the Earth’s crust could be overlaid onto a basic topographic map, in doing so giving birth to the science of geology. He also did this in the face of considerable social prejudice – at a time when the scientific community were landed gentry and gentlemen of leisure the idea that Smith, a lowly surveyor, could come up with such a revolutionary concept was derided. His work was plagiarised and he was bankrupted, spending time in debtor’s jail, before his eventual vindication just before his death in 1839. The fact that he single handily managed to map the whole of England and Wales, in his spare time, to produce a map that is remarkably accurate even today is to any modern geologist truly breathtaking.  Click here to read more.

How Google’s geo-crowdsourcing is transforming the map

By A. Stefanidis. A. Crooks and A. Croitoru in www.citymetric.com  12 Jan 2015 (The lead author is Dr. Tony Stefanidis of GMU–mk)

Google has managed to map most of the world. Recently, the company offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how it built the Google Maps application using a combination of technology (the Google Street View car); expansion (the acquisition of satellite-imagery startup Skybox); and algorithms (computer vision, photogrammetry, mapping).

The company’s initial focus had been on the world’s population centres. In 2006, Google had used high resolution satellite imagery to map 37 per cent of the world’s population; by 2012 that number had risen to 75 per cent.

But the company’s reach has now extended beyond human settlements. In Google Maps’ Street View feature, users can now observe penguins in Antarctica, tourists in Machu Picchu, and Himalayan base camps.

While the early focus of Google’s mapping efforts had been on mapping for the world, the company is now jumping on the crowdsourcing bandwagon: to collect mapping data fromthe world.

With mapping tools like “Google Map Maker” and “Report a Problem,” it tries to harness the geographical contributions of “on the ground” users as a way to complement existing content in Google Maps. People from all over the world can now edit information on the Google Maps application to ensure a higher accuracy.

In addition to being editors, users can also become data collectors. They can carry the Street View Trekker (a backpack outfitted with Google’s cameras) to snap images – later to be uploaded on Street View – as they hike through US National Parks and the Galapagos islands, or even take camel rides to map Abu Dhabi’s sand dunes.  Click here to read more.