- It’s time again for our monthly edition of interesting technological advancements so let’s jump in right away!
Batteries & Biofuel – This new battery could charge as fast as filling your car with gas now – holy smokes that is fast! While this advance converts biomass directly into hydrogen gas with solar power alone. And okay this is not exactly biofuel but this new sneaker is made from algae!Solar & Wind – Perovskite is all the rage in solar panels and this advance creates ultra-stable perovskite cells that maintained their integrity for more than a year. These spinning sails could reduce shipping fuel consumption by up to 10%. This two-pound device is perhaps the world’s first transportable wind turbine. Human scarecrows mounted on off-shore wind turbine platforms performed amazingly well. This new concrete could allow for 80-meter (262-feet) tall wind turbines which opens up wind potential in all 50 states. A Shell-backed power generation system using kites is being demoed in Scotland now. Finally, these nature-inspired flexible wind turbine blades could generate up to 35% more power.
Random – This caterpillar can digest plastics – imagine the possibilities! These blue-light cylinders could convert carbon dioxide directly into renewable fuel; while this device generates power from air pollution. Coated Faradaic materials could filter all pollutants from water. This device can harvest power from waves through its blow hole.
- The June 2017 NOAA global climate report is out and it confirms that the month was the 390th consecutive month above the 20th Century temperature average and the third hottest June on record behind 2015 and 2016. The globe was characterized by warmer to much-warmer-than-average temperatures with no locations seeing record cold. There is some talk that after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron that President Donald Trump is reconsidering his withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord – let’s hope so!
- The month August was named after Augustus Caesar so in honor of this Roman emperor, my Google search of the month was, “Augustus Caesar and GIS.” Looking through the various results, you might find this thesis by Krishan Sharma of San Diego State University who build a GIS system that shows the rise and fall of Rome’s various empires. It is really more of a plugin than a system per say, would have been cool to test it out!
- The last month we were in Colorado’s second largest city and this month we travel to the East Coast for a review of New Haven, Connecticut’s GIS resources. And unfortunately their online GIS resources leaves much to be desired as it appears this landing page of “maps” is all they have to offer. These map links let you access a collection of PDFs but no actual GIS data nor an interactive web map is available.
Brock Adam McCarty