It’s April and it looks like I will finally be caught up after this month’s dump of cool technological advancements. With that said, let’s jump into this right away!
How about this for a recent discovery, scientists found 120,000 cubic miles of water below the ocean floor, or a volume equal to 100 times all of the water used since 1900! Perhaps we can mine carbon nanofibers from the sky while reducing climate change with this idea. Or maybe a better idea to reduce climate change would be tiny nanobots that harvest carbon dioxide from our oceans? Another idea to clean the oceans would be using industrial waste, including a citrus extract, to capture mercury.
Let’s ditch insecticides and start blasting the vibrations of feeding insects over all of our fields. This idea could reduce harmful runoff while making our roads safer to drive More efficient desalination might be just a bit closer to reality with this idea which removes salt from water with a shockwave of electricity. If this idea works, your Wi-Fi router could charge your small electronics in the future. Here is a new wonder substance we can now produce for a low-cost, is biodegradable and can even store power. This company produces green condoms; while this is an idea for computer chips powered by biology.
India is set to lay down plastic roads as a way to reduce waste while building longer lasting infrastructure. Speaking of waste, these urine-powered microbial fuel cells can power a wireless transmitter; while this flexible material could be used to create clothes that are also battery packs. Do you get cold in the winter? Umm duh, yes, so then how nice would these solar-powered clothes that can release heat on demand be?! I’d like to live in this solar-powered house that rotates to follow the sun, increasing energy generation by up to 5 times!
- Am I starting to sound like a broken record because I think I am as the February 2016 NOAA global climate report confirms that the past month was the 10th in a row to break a temperature record. Further, February was the warmest month ever in the 137-year record, breaking the record set just two months ago in December by 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit. You can read more about the records set in the month here.
- On April 16, 1889, Charlie Chaplin was born in London so in honor of this event, my Google search of the month was, “London and GIS.” If you look through the results, you might come across this paper by Robert Chavez and Thomas Milbank of Tufts University’s Perseus Digital Library. This research is an interesting fusion of GIS, CAD, 3D visualization and historic documents that I have not seen elsewhere – enjoy!
- From our review of a sub-par city GIS site for Columbia, South Carolina, we travel to the Mountain West state of South Dakota with a review of their largest city’s online GIS resources, Sioux Falls. And phew, this site makes up for much of last month’s ills as Sioux Falls has a ton of online GIS resources. Okay admittedly their homepage is not high-class but the links and maps they provide are: this is a list of pre-made, interactive maps (they are pretty sweet!); you can access a PDF street map here; if you need parcel information, you can find a nice map here; and finally, for the advanced users, you can download actual rasters and vectors here.
Brock Adam McCarty