- The New Year is upon us, it seems like 2016 flew by; and now with the new year it is time for our first review of technological advancements for 2017!
Battery – Zinc-ion batteries which are half the cost of their lithium-ion brethren as well as non-toxic and non-flammable are a step closer with this discovery. While this advance for lithium-ion batteries promises flexibility with seal-healing capabilities even.
Solar – These sideways arranged solar cells could be added to your future personal devices; and these hand-held solar panels could be used to clean water in remote areas as they kill bacteria with free electrons generated by the Sun. This solar panel built from silicon could capture greenhouse gases and convert them to a useable fuel. A layer of focusing lens could be added to solar panels to double their efficiency.
Wind – Unlike solar panels, wind turbines up until now have been a fixed installation asset, well this two-pound turbine can travel with you! This amazing device can generate water anywhere using the wind and differences in humidity from the surface to subsurface. These turbines move water while they spin so that they can generate power even when it is a calm day.
Random – Not only is silk strong, it might prove to be a very effective water filter. Power generated by osmosis at the interface of fresh and salt water could help to power future coastal towns. There is tons and tons of plastic waste in the oceans so why not smoosh it down into usable construction blocks? Finally, this process converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, a building block for chemical fuels.
- The monthly NOAA climate report shows that November was warmer than average but it was not record warmth. November 2016 was the 5th warmest November in 137 years of record keeping. And was some 1.31 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average for November temperatures. It has been cold in December here in the USA, I wonder how that will look next month?
- On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court made abortion legal with its decision in Roe vs. Wade, and in recognition of this date, my GIS search for the month was, “Roe vs Wade and GIS.” In this thesis by Ana Grahovac of the University of Illinois, she uses GIS to analyze the changing landscape of women’s access to abortion. Her work combines GIS analysis with qualitative surveys to help get a better understanding of how state laws have changed since the enactment of the historic bill.
- Last month we were in the Midwest state of Wisconsin and for January we move to the Mountain West with a look at Cheyenne’s online GIS resources which is the biggest city (by a slim margin) in Wyoming. Unfortunately the GIS site for the city leave much to be desired and when you click on the Custom Maps link, it takes you to a combined county GIS website. The Cheyenne and Laramie County GIS site features a landing page with a variety of pre-made interactive web maps, some more useful than others. And then on this page, you can access a variety of vector and raster datasets for download.
Brock Adam McCarty