I’m astounded at how often my children do things for class without understanding the bigger reasons behind WHY they’re doing those things.
Hat Tip to arstechnica for this article
This is a classic example of why we need to question where our data comes from. Once you stop to think about it, there are a number of possible explanations as to how this island came to be on charts and maps when it most likely never was. Effective spatial data analysis needs people’s brains to actually check out any anomalies thrown up when combining datasets. Algorithms can alert us to there being something that ‘needs a closer look’ but the actual looking is probably best done by someone who understands geographic information.
- where the data was sourced from
- who collected it and why
- what we are using it to do
In some instances a conservative response is the best way to go, in others, we may get away with ignoring the fact that an anomaly was even found. What we shouldn’t do is assume that there is a “correct response” that will then apply for all possible instances – real life just doesn’t work that way.
Unless you happened to be, or know, an oceanic vulcanologist, ‘floating pumice islands‘ are probably not the explanation that comes to mind!
Rideable asked the question:
If we could look down on Sydney and see all the routes that cyclists ride to work on in one morning, what would it look like?
and 200 Sydney cyclists answered by sending in their routes for 26th March:
The second “LiDAR as Art” competition is underway and the entries are totally worth a look! I have several favourites, including:
The ILMF 2013 “LiDAR as ART” Contest, organised by GeoDigital International, has online voting open to the public till Feb 5th. Check out all the images in the flicker stream as many of them have explanations of how they were made and go vote for your favourites!
and they should!
Amanda Ripley @ PopTech 2012 looks at why different areas perform as they do when compared using standardised tests. Her approach is well represented by the quote included in the Vimeo posting of the talk:
“Kids have strong opinions about school. We forget as adults how much time they sit there contemplating their situation.”
(Hat Tip: Scott McLeod @ Dangerously Irrelevant)
While this is an American talk focusing on the American situation, it makes some really interesting observations.
I like this non-technical explanation of GIS by ESRI Ireland for a few reasons, but especially for including the line:
“GIS allows us to make better decisions using geography”
As this, for me, is what is at the core of the discipline of Geographic Information Science and Technology.
“The Russian weather satellite, Elektro-L, has captured what is claimed to be the highest resolution, single-capture image ever taken of Earth from space.” From Spatial Source
Shows off the images obtained between May 14th and May 20th, 2011:
Simon Sharwood from the website The Register has written about the online mapping problems caused by weak GPS and sloppy check-ins to social media services from smartphones:
“Next time you check in with foursquare or Facebook, please stand right outside the venue, make sure your smartphone has a very good GPS signal and describe the location accurately.
That’s the wish of the spatial data community, which is getting grumpy about user-generated spatial data.
To understand why…”
Read the comments too!
Particularly if you are wondering about this post’s title…