- For this month’s review of technology we feature a list of random technological advancements that caught my attention recently.
First we have two ideas for graphene, one is a biofoam where it is combined with bacteria-produced cellulose to clean water; the other is an enhanced silk that is twice as strong as nature-born silk. This futuristic fabric uses both the sun and your motion to produce renewable power. This research uses sewage to grow desert forests; while this floating desalination plant can produce clean water with 50% less power. Could this star-shaped, highly targeted polymer replace our current approach to antibiotics? An insect-eating fungi could transform the future of insecticides – while this research promises a way to use hydrocarbons without releasing carbon dioxide. Finally, 3D printed magnets could replace traditional versions as they outperform them and produce zero waste.
- The January 2017 NOAA global climate report is out and the month was (only, sigh…) the 3rd warmest January on record since 1880, behind just 2016 (the highest) and 2007. Temperatures across the land and ocean were 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit (0.88 degrees Celsius) above the 20th Century Average of 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12.0 degrees Celsius). Read more of the first 2017 NOAA climate report here.
- It’s March and Spring is still on my mind, so my Google Search of the month was, “GIS and spring flowers.” And while this does not exactly remind me of frolicking in fields of spring flower, it is one solid paper on the use of spatial statistics to estimate wide-spread flower phenology from a limited number of samples by Garcia-Mozo, Galan and Vazquez. Spring cannot come soon enough!
- Last month we reviewed Montgomery, Alabama’s online GIS resources and this month we travel to north-western corner of our nation with a review of Fairbanks, Alaska. As the second largest city in the state, the Fairbanks GIS folks did not have a homepage other than this page which offers themed links to a rather robust online GIS platform. On the GIS platform, you are able to turn on and off layers; zoom around the map; search by attributes and more. I did see a download button but was unable to make it work.
Brock Adam McCarty