Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Mike Smith

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Infrared Photography
There's a nice summary article covering infrared photography over at the BBC. It's part of the celebrations of 100 years of infrared photography. If you read the article you'll see that infrared has been known about for at least a further 100 years, but getting photographic film/plates that were sensitive to these wavelengths was difficult. That occurred around 1910, with commercial film from 1930.

posted on: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Zoomable Map
Check out the Zoomable Map which uses a clever set of folds to give the effect of zooming in from an overview map to a streetmap. I can see this taking off for alot of city maps, so thought I would order the London one. Its not cheap but a really nice idea. I hope it takes off.

posted on: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Trouble and strife with OS data
I recently had a map submitted to the Journal of Maps that made good use of Mastermap data. Although not an extensive amount was used, it is primarily based upon it so I suggested he check out the JISC-OS license with particular reference to my post on what this means for PDF based maps....

posted on: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Australia is BIG
For antipodean colleagues, yes Australia is BIG. A map always puts it in to perspective!

posted on: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Big boys UAVs: RQ-4 Global Hawk
A nice article over at Wired on the diversion of US military UAVs to Haiti to provide reconnaissance imagery for the relief effort....

posted on: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Gentle Introduction to GIS
GIS Lounge have a good summary of a Gentle Introduction to GIS, a PDF manual and accompanying datasets for use with QGIS....

posted on: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Students have 10 minute attention span
Students only have '10-minute attention span' - it's a great headline from the BBC and the first part of the copy reads: "University students have average attention spans of just 10 minutes and many miss lectures because of the need for part-time jobs, research suggests." Actually, the 10-minute attention span is a pretty well known phenomena; John Medina outlines this in Brain Rules (amongst other things) and discusses how he structures 1 hour lectures in to 15 minutes blocks to leverage attention spans. So not so much a real headline as a storm in a teacup.

posted on: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Very small world map
A world map with a difference - this one is only 40 microns (that's about the same as the wavelength of thermal infra-red light) in in size! This one is done using CMOS fabrication tools and put on a chip. Nice :)

posted on: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Importance of Geography
Nice article over at The Economist espousing the importance of Geography (with a big "g") and it's centrality to everything important that is going on in the world. Of course, I would at to that that GIS underpins a very large part of the data collection, analysis and presentation of much of what goes on in geography.

posted on: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Snow covered UK
It's already been flagged up on the BBC, but a Terra MODIS image captured a nearly cloud free, almost totally snow covered, UK yesterday. It's quite simply stunning and is available from the MODIS Rapid Response System which provides near real-time access to MODIS imagery on Aqua and Terra. This particular image is the highest resolution (250m pixels) version and is available with a worldfile meaning it can be loaded straight in to a GIS.

posted on: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Surface Roughness of Topography: A Multi-Scale Analysis of Landform Elements in Midland Valley, Scotland
C.H. Grohman, M.J. Smith and C. Riccomini Proceedings of Geomorphometry, 140-148 In this paper we briefly review a selection of measures of surface roughness, with specific application to grid based digital elevation models (DEMs). A selection were assessed for the behaviour of roughness at different spatial scales and dataset resolutions using moving-window and raster algebra steps to a test area in the Midland Valley, Scotland.

posted on: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 | path: /publications/proceedings | permanent link to this entry

Great automated service for creating a town plan and index over at MapOSMatic using OpenStreetMap data. The site developed out of Hackfest2009 and is based upon the entire worldwide OSM data using the default OSM stylesheet. A really useful service. If your map doesn't already exist (and there currently doesn't appear to be a search engine for existing plans) then you can define a bounding box around your town of interest and queue it for processing. The queue is currently around 200 maps which seems to take about 24 hours to process, but of course it depends upon the complexity of the jobs. Outputs are PNG, PDF and SVG.

posted on: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

99 Netbook
Yes it looks to be true, a netbook that costs 99. The specs are fairly minimal, but at this price who cares!! Interestingly it comes loaded with Windows CE 6.0. The specs have more in common with a mobile phone than a netbook, which is probably why CE has been used. It'll be interesting to see if anyone gets Linux working on it, particularly as the 7" screen and keyboard make it a very usable specification.

posted on: Tue, 05 Jan 2010 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

ResearcherID Labs
In a recent editorial at the Journal of Maps I touched upon citation listing of journals and the importance to authors in terms of citation metrics....

posted on: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

USB Modes
I'm the proud owner of a new Sandisk Sansa View, an mp4 player in the style of an Apple Nano, but without the Apple baggage that goes with it (and some might say, without the style)....

posted on: Sat, 02 Jan 2010 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry