Why modern maps put everyone at the centre of the world
With new GPS technology, it is almost impossible to get lost nowadays. So how will the death of paper maps change the way we live, asks Simon Garfield.
If you’re going to pursue an elusive killer, you sometimes have to get creative.
A pioneering study into malaria transmission in Kenya, using data gleaned from the cell phones of nearly 15 million people, has given scientists new clues into how the deadly disease spreads.
By tracking the population’s movement over a year using cell phone data and comparing it with detailed information on malaria infection rates across the country, the study reveals how human travel contributes to the disease’s spread.
A sensor that digitally maps the area through which the wearer is moving, in real time, has been created by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
A painting robot that interprets nearby street and sidewalk traffic as sprays of pigment
New Kickstarter Project:
“We’re building a fleet of autonomous sailing robots to study the oceans. Each boat can sail itself anywhere & send data back to shore.”
I spent two days last week watching experts on big data and data science discuss how their companies are building businesses around data, or at least rethinking how they do business. Although most came from the web, these five ideas should matter across industries.
How do you make education interesting and, more importantly, beautiful? When it comes to the work of NASA, attracting enthusiasts isn’t difficult with the usual visuals of bright stars and colorful planets on hand. Look no further than the recent awe over Mars rover Curiosity’s high-res pictures to see proof of humanity’s fascination with space.
But not all of NASA’s data is packaged into a neat little photos. In fact, some of the organization’s most important findings about space come back in the form of numbers, beamed in by one of the many satellites orbiting our planet. And this information is brought to life by the Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) — a team of scientists and animators that turns numerical data into a dynamic graphic or video.
The SVS is not only an active and creative tool for NASA outreach — it has even gone viral. Earlier this year, the SVS team received information from a project team called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, or ECCO, which uses mathematical tools to better understand how the ocean’s circulation patterns change over time. The result was Perpetual Ocean, a detailed and moving video interpreting a year’s worth of the ocean’s current patterns in minutes.
“I think scientists have an amazing internal world — they think about these things and how they work,” says Dr. Horace Mitchell, director of SVS. “But, they don’t do the kind of visuals that can be found in a feature film. That’s why we’ve found a niche that works.”
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The famous geographer Immanuel Kant maintained that geography was the study of knowledge in a location, while history was the study of knowledge in time. Since a map is a stationary object that’s meant to represent a physical location, it’s tempting to think that it wouldn’t allow you to display changes over time the way an animation or a graph would. So, if you have to compare information in a given place and over a period of time at the same time, how can you do it? (continue reading at: Time and GIS: Ways of Representing Time on a Map)