Archive for the ‘Maps’ Category

via GeoLounge (check out this link to see some sample maps):

 Haringey Council (located in London, England), is using heat mapping to highlight energy inefficient homes within their jurisdiction. The city council hired an aircraft fitted with a thermal imager to fly over all the homes in the jurisdiction to capture heat loss. The houses were then color coded based on a heat loss scale with bright red for the highest level of heat loss and bright blue indicating the lowest loss of heat. All of the data is available online for the public to see. Any visitor to the Haringey Interactive Heat Loss Map can hover their mouse over individual homes to get the address. The hope of the council is that a public display will shame some homeowners into insulating their homes to bring down heat loss. The original thermal mapping was down back in 2000 but new flights were taken this past March and now a 2000 and 2007 version of the heat loss map are available from the Home Heat Loss page of the Haringey Council web site. If the side by side comparison (see below) is any indicator, the heat loss map is making a difference in the reduction of energy loss in at least some of the homes. The mapping and processing was done by www.hotmapping.co.uk.


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Earth as Art

USGS has a neat collection of satellite images constituting Earth as Art, which you can also add as a Google Gadget to your iGoogle page or web site.

Image Name: Karman Vortices
Image Date: September 1999
Image Source: Landsat 7
Scale: 1″= 4.3 miles(6.9km)

Description: Each of these swirling clouds is a result of a meteorological phenomenon known as a Karman vortex. These vortices appeared over Alexander Selkirk Island in the southern Pacific Ocean. Rising precipitously from the surrounding waters, the island”s highest point is nearly a mile (1.6 km) above sea level. As wind-driven clouds encounter this obstacle, they flow around it to form these large, spinning eddies.

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Factory Farm Map

Ever wondered about factory farming in your neck of the woods (or elsewhere?) Here is an interesting site with a nice web mapping application to help you find out about the impacts of factory farming anywhere in the U.S.: factoryfarmmap.org

Factory Farm Map

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has two new Google Maps Mashups that Canucks can use to keep track of environmental initiatives across the Provinces and to review information about mercury in canned tuna in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto:

Canada’s Green Cities – Armed with a $550-million Green Municipal Fund courtesy of the federal government, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been doling out grants over the past seven years for pilot projects and capital spending designed to reduce energy use. Here are some of the more innovative initiatives.

Mercury Levels in Canned Tuna – CBC tested mercury levels in canned tuna purchased in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto and found 13 per cent exceeded the federal government’s guideline of 0.5 parts per million.

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Kyle Van Houten Shrimp Trawl Image
Satellite image of shrimp trawlers in China – Kyle Van Houtan

Yesterday, the Science section of the New York Times featured an article on the visible impact of shrimp trawling wordwide: Satellites Show Harvest of Mud That Trawlers Leave Behind. This is an interesting use of Google Earth for research and presentation purposes. Although I think Google Earth has a long way to go before it will be adopted by “the masses” it is simple enough to install and use that it is a viable way to get information across to those who are motivated enough to seek it out.

The gist of this research project is that when shrimp trawlers drag their gear along the bottom of the ocean, not only do they damage the ocean floor and kill many non-target species (aka bycatch or discards and can constitute as much as 98% of the total catch), they stir up so much mud that they actually affect water quality in a large area – large enough to be visible from space. Of course, image resolution is so fabulous now that almost everything is visible from space. But the point is that the previously unseen impact of one type of fishing is now clearly visible to anyone who chooses to look, from the comfort of their own computer.

If you want to take the “tour”, Kyle Van Houtan and Daniel Pauly have posted a web site with trawler mudtrail images in Google Earth with full instructions and more information about their project.

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As a follow-on to my post yesterday on the topic of bird nest webcams — today I found a post in the Google Earth Community with a link to a map file of peregrine falcon and osprey nest cams.  If you are familiar with Google Earth and have it installed on your computer, you can download the KML file and browse the nests that way.  If not, you can link to the maps in Google Maps and have almost the same experience.  Enjoy!

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Leatherback Sea Turtles: They’re Going Faster Than You Think

I found a link to a great site about Leatherback Sea Turtles in Science Magazine this week The site, The Great Turtle Race sponsored by Leatherback Trust, is actually quite fun for adults and kids alike. According to Science:

Close to 95% of leatherback turtles in the Pacific have disappeared in the past 2 decades. The Costa Rica population has decreased to fewer than 100.

To raise support for the critically endangered beasts, several conservation organizations have created The Great Turtle Race. From 16 through 29 April, 11 turtles will be tracked as they migrate from their nesting areas in Costa Rica to south of the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador. The racers are equipped with satellite tags so their locations can be tracked online. The data will provide a nearly real-time, turtle’s-eye perspective on the ocean, including measurements of water temperature and depth.

Definitely take the time to check out the site, follow the progress of the turtles, learn a few facts about turtles and how scientists are studying their movements, and cheer on your favorite tortuga.

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