- In our continued look at technological advancements in the world of renewable energy, here is what we have for November!Battery: These chemists have developed a battery with a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly cathode from vitamins. And this amazing battery dissolves in water when it is spent – how cool!Solar: Perovskite solar panels are all the rage in the solar industry, and this advancement promises to triple their performance; while this research discovered a new highly-stable organic molecule for solar panels.Wind: Here is a new design for turbine blades that are longer than two football fields. Does turbine noise impact human health? This study helps to answer that question.Random and Fun: Imagine how many lives could be saved with roads made of light-emitting concrete. Our ubiquitous friendly weed, the Dandelion, could be the next material for sustainable tires. This solar-powered food scrapper can even digest bones. Ultrathin bendable films could be designed from a mat of polyacrylonitrile nanofibers. Ripple Foods has developed a pea-based milk with 50% more calcium than cow’s milk and uses less than 90% of the energy to be produced. And then how about these bacteria-sand slurry bricks that slash the power used to fire traditional clay bricks.
- Our readers might be happy to hear that the streak is over! After 16 record-setting months in a row, September 2016 was not the hottest month on record according to the latest NOAA global climate report. With that said, it was still the second hottest September in the 137 year record with average land temperatures 2.32°F warmer than 1900’s averages. Perhaps next month will pick back up with the global temperature records, we shall see!
- On November 21, 1783, the first free balloon flight took place in Paris and so in honor of this historic event, my Google Search of the month was, “GIS and balloons.” If you scroll through the hits, you might find this intriguing article by Mund and Seang who propose using balloons to map Developing Countries. The authors describe their technique in the article as well as share some of the photo results, enjoy!
- Last month we were on the far northwest corner of our country with a look at Seattle’s GIS resources, this month we jump back to the East Coast with a look at Charleston, West Virginia – the largest city in that state. And while the GIS site for Charleston is not stellar today, it is workable. Unfortunately I am not able to provide links to several of the pages I will discuss here given the way the site works, but from the homepage you are able to access a set of interactive online maps that will take you to a link like this – each of the maps are highly usable and customizable once you access them. Besides the map library which you can access from the homepage and then request printed maps, they are building out this nice data portalwhere you can download spatial files in a variety of formats. For requests not covered on the portal, you can reach out the GIS team directly with the information on the staff directory accessible from the homepage.
Brock Adam McCarty