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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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December
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New US Army Drones
Nice article over at the BBC on new US Army drones. Helicopter based for VTOL, they sport a 1.8GP (yes, thats gigapixel) video camera capable of real time video feed at 10 frames per second, allowing multiple target tracking up to altitudes of 6000m. Nice.

posted on: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Beidou is here
Well just about.... Beidou is the Chinese GPS equivalent and is now "operational". Well its got 10 operational satellites and these will provide coverage for China and near-surrounds. Expect global coverage by 2020. Whilst perhaps uptake won't be quick, it is designed to be inter-operable and expect to see handsets starting to take advantage of US, Russian, European and Chinese satellites for positioning. An exciting marketplace at the moment....

posted on: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

BBC Year in satellite imagery
Really nice set of images over at the BBC highlighting aspects of 2011 using satellite imagery. Shame there isn't more detail on the sensor etc, but a powerful reminder of events.

posted on: Sun, 25 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Kindle Book Prices
I've moaned before about the price of Kindle books and that they are often pennies cheaper than the printed version.... and you can't lend them! Anyway, part of the reason is that VAT is charged on ebooks, but not on paper books. As PCPro explain, a cut in VAT on ebooks in Luxembourg may well see some sort of parity across Europe and we deserved dropped in prices.

posted on: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

First imagery returned from Pleiades
Nice articles by Jonathon Amos on the release of first imagery by Pleiades and the critical role played by British CCD manufacturer e2v. Some sample imagery at Astrium for the moment.

posted on: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

KAP Camera Settings
Capturing aerial imagery from KAP can be a hit and miss affair (although far less so with digital cameras) and therefore setting the camera up carefully prior to imaging is essential....

posted on: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Pleiades 1 Launched
Pleiades 1 has now been launched and give Europe similar commercial imaging capabilities as the US. Slightly more detail (but older) here showing the 50cm coverage over four bands. Also confirms the future launch of SPOT 6 and 7 to provide a high resolution constellation family. The BBC also provided good coverage as this was somewhat of an unusual launch as it came from a Russian Soyuz rocket launched from French Guiana. See the launch in all its glory!

posted on: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

First global image from NPP VIIRS
NASAs Earth Observatory have posted the first global image from VIIRS on NPP. This is a great start to demonstrate the capabilities of VIIRS; and for those doing introductory courses in remote sensing the accompanying notes nicely explain why we have sun-synchronous orbits and why there is variation in the imaging of the global composite.

posted on: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Open Access Publishing Model
Just as the Journal of Maps is transitioning over to a subscription based model we see the government increasingly becoming interested in open access publishing....

posted on: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Carbonite on your smartphone
Some of you may know that I'm a big fan of Carbonite, the online backup facility. Yes it charges, but for unlimited storage and a real no-hassle backup it is a bargain at $59. Which in my book is pretty good for the 85Gb I've got stored there. Whilst it's really billed as online backup, it is a "webdrive" and the web interface to access files is pretty reasonable. Of course, there is also now an Android app to do this which is simple, small and fully functional. Very handy to be able to grab a file whilst out and about.

posted on: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Calls on a data contract??
Nice article at The Guardian on using a data contract on your mobile to route all your comms traffic....

posted on: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

PDF Printing
Loads of stuff is sent, received and archived as PDF. Its a great format originally derived from postscript (by Adobe) designed for bridging the gap between designing a print job on a PC and delivering it to a printer for output....

posted on: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Map Makers Crib Sheet
Good set of info in the carto crib sheet from Alex Tait. Useful stuff.

posted on: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Netherlands KAPping
I'm currently involved in a project led by Paolo Paron (UNESCO-IHE) looking at beach development in the Netherlands....

posted on: Sat, 03 Dec 2011 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry