- Tech, tech, tech – you are so cool – and as you guessed, it is time for our monthly review of recent technology advancements!
Batteries: These paper batteries can be used for medical devices without fear of polluting the environment; while this aqueous battery can be charged in just 20 seconds!Solar/Wind: These ultra-thin and flexible solar panels are setting world records; while printed solar cells are finally commercially viable. Floating wind farms will be more and more relevant in the coming years and this first test of the concept is going better than expected!
Random Tech: Here is a fish-friendly way to generate power from streams and rivers; while this idea generates clean, renewable energy from the Earth’s own interior heat. Here are two ideas that could bring cheap, clean water to the world, one based on metal-organic framework membranes; and one based on graphene filters made from soybeans. This research opens the doorway for crystal-based computer chips; while this research opens the doorway for truly wireless charging. Silicate rocks could help improve the security of agricultural production as well as reduce greenhouse gases.
- The NOAA February global climate report is out and this month we saw a bit of a cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere but we still continued the above-average temperature trend for a 398th month in a row. And even though it was a bit cooler this month than the last, it was still the 11th hottest February in the 139 years of record keeping – so a cooling trend is quite relative. As we move into the Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are interested to see how things heat up this growing season.
- April 27th is Arbor Day and in honor of our tall green friends, my Google search of the month was, “GIS and trees.” If you look through the tons of tree maps in the results, you might find this article by Hung et al of Stephen F. Austin State University who used GIS to help guide tree thinning. By combining in-field measurements with geographic modeling, the authors were able to determine the most appropriate trees to clear in an effort to thin the forest and thereby improve the health of the stand.
- From Fort Wayne, Indiana we stay in the Midwest for this month’s review of the second largest city’s GIS in a state, i.e. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And similar to last month, the GIS landing page itself is little more than a holding tank for some links to a map gallery, to an ordering page for digital GIS data and paper maps, as well as to a robust online map – nice!
Brock Adam McCarty