- It’s time again for my favorite piece of the month to write, our review of technological advancements!
Solar – In the ever changing world of solar energy, this company released flexible glass that can also produce power from the sun; while this advance in silicon nanoparticles could improve the efficiency of future solar windows. Or how about this ‘solar glitter’ that can be attached to nearly any surface to produce power. This is a step in the technology needed for low-cost printable solar cells.
Random – In the world of fun and random technological advancements, how about this microbial fuel cell powered by wastewater bacteria and a paper-based electrode. This 21st Century piece of paper is printed with light and can be reused up to 80 times; while this material can be stretched across surfaces to cool them even under direct sunlight. These water trapping beads could reduce agricultural plant rot in humid countries. In the near future, simply illuminating rhodium nanoparticles with UV light could convert carbon dioxide into a methane fuel source. This space-age material is 5 times stronger than steel and is only made of glass fiber and hydrogels. Scientists have converted dried shrimp shells into sustainable plastics – how cool! A new battery with glass electrodes could charge in minutes and hold 3 times as much energy as current batteries. Did you know there is enough uranium dissolved in our oceans to provide humans with an endless supply of power?
- The April NOAA Global Climate report confirms what we all suspected, the warming trend continues. April 2017 was the second hottest April on record since 1880, the 12th hottest month ever and then the 388th consecutive month the average global temperature was above the 20th 388 months of warmer than average is not a trend, it is reality folks. Climate change is real and we need to solve it now.
- In celebration of the Smallpox vaccine which was developed by Dr. Edward Jenner on May 14, 1976, my Google search of the month was, “smallpox and GIS.” In the numerous hits you may find, there is this spatial analysis of the outbreak in Sheffield, United Kingdom by Anne-Marie Cain. The thesis is a nice blend of historic data source analysis with modern spatial techniques available in GIS.
- Last month we were in Arkansas with a review of their second largest city’s online GIS resources and this month we move to the West Coast with a review of San Diego, California’s GIS resources. And I have to say that San Diego might have the most developed online GIS resources we have seen – far too many resources in fact to list out here. The highlights include a huge data download page (once you register to use it), a highly interactive web map and even a schedule of upcoming GIS board meetings as well as access to past meeting minutes. Nice work San Diego!
Brock Adam McCarty