- As always, we start off this month’s Apollo News Snippets with a review of technology, so let’s get started!
Batteries: This low-cost perovskite nanofiber could improve batteries as well as convert water into fuel efficiently. Who would have thought that freezing a lithium battery could actually make them safer and bendable! Lithium batteries made from recycled glass could store almost four times more energy.
Solar: This molecule can reduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, a gas that does not cause climate change; while this solar panel is flexible and 80% lighter than its “outdated” competition. A thin coating of tantalum and silicon nitride could help traditional panels absorb previously unused energy in the light spectrum. A dark, energy-absorbing pigment from an Asian fruit, Jamun, could slash solar costs.
Random: Here is a self-sustaining bacterial fuel cell; while this cool idea could reduce fuel consumption on a truck by 5 mile per gallon. Graphene continues to amaze me – it does it all, such as filtering seawater to create drinkable water. These space-age silk batteries dissolve in a few weeks; while this tiny device could power electronic devices by harvesting energy from infrared wavelengths. Finally, this idea could produce on-demand power on your next flight from a water-aluminum particle mix.
- The May 2017 NOAA global climate report is out and it confirms that it was the 389th consecutive month with an average temperature above the 20th Century average. It was the third hottest May on record – behind 2016 and 2015 – and the 26th hottest month on record. It was the “coolest” month since December 2016 – is that a good thing that we call the 26th hottest month cool? Argh, Paris Climate Agreement anyone?!
- In honor of the American July 4th tradition, my Google search of the month was, “GIS and fireworks.” And okay, this is not even close to a story about fireworks nor even the USA, but hey they used Adobe Fireworks in this interesting study of GIS and waste disposal in Nigeria by Idowu et al. In this paper, the authors explore the use of web mapping to improve the operations of waste management – a topic we can truly appreciate given our own web mapping application, Map Mavin.
- For this month’s review of the second largest city in a state’s online GIS resources, we move from San Diego to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The homepage of the Colorado Springs GIS department is little more than a place to access two links – one of which did not work, the Map Gallery. There is a gallery of maps that can be accessed from the Planning Department page. The main feature of the site is their online Esri webmap, SpringsView, which gives users a wide array of layers to turn on and off as well as print and query functions among many more features. I did not see a way to download the actual GIS layers in shapefile, TIFF, etc. format.
Brock Adam McCarty