The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Sensors Spatial Analysis of Tularemia on the National Mall
|| 10/6/2005 || 4:47 am || Comments Off on Sensors Spatial Analysis of Tularemia on the National Mall || ||

An attempt at being funny (cartographic humor) using a cute red-eyed rabbit as an icon of the locations of the sensors that found “rabbit fever.”

The other (below) is a quick & dirty spatial analysis of the area around the protests made using NASA’s World Wind (free), Google Earth (free), and Photoshop. I used the measure tool in Google Earth to measure a mile from the Lincoln Memorial, I used World Wind to acquire the USGS imagery, and Photoshop to draw the circles. The Lincoln Memorial’s circle served as the template for the other two sites.


Careers Day at Overlook Elementary School
|| 5/19/2005 || 10:56 am || Comments Off on Careers Day at Overlook Elementary School || ||

a look over Overlook Elementary School

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the Overlook Elementary School in Temple Hills, MD. I was invited by the guidance counselor to speak to the students about “Careers in Geography” for their annual Careers Day celebration. This was my first time in Prince George’s County and I must say that it was very interesting. First off, I rode the Green Line as far as I ever have before- all the way to the Naylor Road Metro Stop. Once at the school (thankfully only a short walk) I realized that aside from 2 teachers, and 3 of the careers guests, the entire student body was African American. I’m not a person who brings up the race card often, but I was just surprised that there wasn’t any racial balance. I expected some sort of desegregation program to be in place in the area, and this realization surprised me.

Regardless of that observation, I had a blast! I brought a few maps to show the kids (a satellite image of Washington, DC and surface map of the United States) as well as my computer with World Wind loaded. The kids were SO enthralled by the program! What I did was locate their school, then before they arrived, I would use the scroll wheel on my mouse and zoom out to the globe, and when I was ready for that portion of the talk, I’d slowly zoom in to the school. The kids would push and shove each other to get a better view of it all! Next year I am definitely going bring a projector so they can see everything in better and larger detail. This is the kind of educational outreach I love and I sincerely hope that I get more chances to visit schools around the DC area. I am itching to volunteer some of my time to help students.

The biggest environmental problem I realized when I was at the school, was that every student was served their lunch on a styrofoam tray. I’d love to graphically show the principal (who was super nice!) how much waste that piles up to be in 1 year, 5 years, etc… I hate styrofoam!

World Wind of change
|| 5/13/2005 || 9:15 am || Comments Off on World Wind of change || ||

Screen shots from World Wind

You can alter the elevation of the earth via an embedded digital elevation map, and you can get some rather interesting results.
If you look closely, the Washington Monument is looking a bit limp!

The winds of change are blowing and they have blown a new piece of software my way that I absolutely love. The intelligent folks over at NASA have brought geovisualization to a new level with their release of World Wind. It’s free, open source, and for a geography nerd, the most fun I’ve had in a long time playing with a globe. I only wish it was available for Mac OS X.

Currently on the geovisualization market is Keyhole and ESRI’s Arc Globe. I already have Arc Globe, which works nicely, but I haven’t spent very much time getting geospatial data to line up properly on the globe. On the other hand, Keyhole gives you very high resolution imagery for the entire planet from Digital Globe’s Quickbird satellite, but it costs you $30. I am not about to pay for something like this when I can get roughly the same imagery for free.

What I like most about World Wind is how the imagery is downloaded on the fly and the way that all the data is geocached for later use. After spending a few hours with World Wind, I obtained the entire DC area in .3m resolution; the same 2002 USGS imagery I have been using for most of my renderings (I nearly have the entire DC area in high resolution tiffs, it takes a long time to acquire the imagery!). I also like how World Wind has a great user community, which has quite a few user created add-ons that give World Wind more customization.

I have a date at a grade school next week to talk about careers in geography, and I am really hoping I get to show some of the students the fun that can be had learning about the area they live in through aerial & satellite imagery! I think they’ll jaws will drop, or maybe mine still hasn’t been picked up from the floor. Maybe the World Wind blow will you over ;-)

The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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