- In our monthly review of technology, I feature a series of unrelated but fun advancements that were found recently.
Wearable electronics move a step closer with this new sprayable nanomaterial that conducts electricity and is see-through. If you are a sneaker buff and a fan of the environment, Adidas has a new renewable silk shoe you have to buy. This process converts nuclear waste to diamond batteries that essentially last forever. Google is set to be 100% renewable by the end of this year. A combination of sand, gravel and an active biological layer can be used to clean water in this very low-cost filter. Graphene is a wonder material – now it has been used to detect cancer. Surprisingly this possible vaccine for Ebola made few headlines around the world. Here is an ultra-light material that is still ten times stronger than steel! This is the next possible advancement in indoor lighting. And finally, I love to ride my bike – and seriously this elevated bike path in China sounds like a blast!
- The March 2017 Global Climate report by NOAA is out and the records keep coming. March 2017 was the second hottest March since 1880, behind only March 2016 which was the hottest month ever recorded. March 2017 was also the fifth warmest month ever recorded and the second hottest ever recorded when considering just land temperatures. There were also no record cold areas during the month. So does it make sense to you then that we should be considering pulling out of the Paris climate agreement?
- 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.
- From the desert city of Tucson we travel to the South of the USA with a review of Arkansas’ second largest city’s online GIS resources, Fort Smith. The online resources of Fort Smith are admittedly quite limited. Their homepage is little more than a landing page to get you to their collection of online maps. The online web map has the ability to turn on a good number of layers as well as print to PDF. We could not find a way to access the raw GIS files but perhaps an email to the GIS department (found on the homepage) would do the trick.
Brock Adam McCarty