- Love writing my monthly technology review, so let’s jump right in!
Solar & Wind: These art deco glass building blocks also generate power from the Sun. If you live in a city, you might see vertical wind turbines coming your way soon. From the laboratory of nature comes an idea to protect fragile solar panels inspired by insect eyes; then another idea to reduce wind turbine noise from the study of owl wings; and finally, this study that shows turbine noise does not affect nesting prairie-chicken.
Random Technology: This advance in flow batteries could extend their life and make them non-toxic. Here is a new catalyst that is low-cost and effectively splits water into oxygen and hydrogen gas for power. Low-cost, reusable water filters could save many lives around the world, here is one idea for a water filter made from carbon nanotubes and quartz fibers. Would you drive around in a biodegradable car; or cook over charcoal briquettes made from human poop?! This portable trailer can create 200 liters of fuel per day from carbon dioxide and solar Now a slew of cool ideas to finish up this month’s tech review: these tobacco plants can produce polio vaccines; these genetically modified bacteria can convert sunlight to energy more efficiently than plants; this yarn generates energy as it stretches and contracts; here is a passive cooling material that could lower temperatures in buildings; while this is a similar idea that cools buildings by ‘beaming’ energy into space.
- The September 2017 NOAA global climate report is out and it was the 4th hottest September on record behind 2014, 2015 and 2016. It was also the 41st consecutive September and the 393rd consecutive month above the 20th Century temperature average. Record warmth was recorded over parts of South America and large parts of Asia and Africa. It’s time for the American public to put pressure on Washington DC to do something about this global crisis!
- We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) commonly here at Apollo Mapping so in honor of that, my Google search of the month was, “GIS and AWS.” And what I found was an excellent primer on how AWS, specifically Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), can be used to host a cloud GIS. You can read more about cloud-based GIS on AWS here – a big thanks to Penn State University for making this available to the general public!
- In October, we investigated the online GIS resources of Miami, Florida, and this month we stay in the South with a review of Georgia’s second largest city’s GIS, Augusta. We are happy to report that the Augusta GIS website which can be found here is quite robust! First there is a speedy webmap with a variety of layers, an identify button and even the ability to see Google street view images. Unfortunately their GIS layers are not free but a price list can be found here. They also have a webmap gallery here and a PDF map gallery here – nice work Augusta!
Brock Adam McCarty