- As always, our first snippet focuses on cool technological advancements so here we go!Solar: These flexible, non-toxic solar panels could be covering all of the exterior (perhaps interior) surfaces of your next home in the not too distant future. Cheap, highly efficient solar panels could be built out of atom-thick layers of molybdenum disulfide. A transparent silica layer could keep solar panels cooler thus letting them absorb more of the sun’s energy.
Wind: A wooden turbine tower in development could save 20% of the installation costs of concrete and steel towers. Not only are drones useful for collecting imagery, they are also expected to be the next big thing for turbine tower and blade inspections. You can get your very own portable wind tower off of Kickstarter!
Random Fun Stuff: These soles could let you generate power to charge your cell phone while you stroll around town; while this jacket is warmed by the sun’s energy. This simple device could be used to harvest energy from the sway of trees. Next-generation electronics could feature low-cost, non-flammable red phosphorus components.And finally Las Vegas is the first city to install these innovative LED street lights which are powered by pedestrian’s footsteps and the Sun.
- The latest NOAA climate report confirms that we are 15 for 15 with the July combined land and water temperature besting the record set just last month. This is also the 40th July in a row where temperatures were above the 20th Century average. To be fair, July 2016 was the lowest departure from average since August 2015 – but really, is this a good thing since that was just 11 months ago?
- On September 17, 1862 some 26,000 US troops died at Antietam, Maryland and in honor of this the bloodiest day in US military history my Google Search of the month was, “Antietam and GIS.” Your search might lead you to this website with some very detailed KMZs that illustrate the events of this fateful battle. The site was put together by Professor Peter Guth of the United States Naval Academy.
- From Burlington, Vermont last month, we head south along the Atlantic coast to Virginia with a look at their largest city’s online GIS resources, Virginia Beach. And from a sub-par experience in Vermont, Virginia Beach’s resources really shine – starting with their homepage which is short but provides all the links you could need. On this page, you can link to a map center which features two online maps loaded with spatial layers; or to this page with every city shapefile, KML and TIFF you could imagine. If you want to complete a simple property search, you can do that here.
Brock Adam McCarty