Michigan Tech: Keweenaw Time Traveler Expands Immersive Experience

Michigan Tech: Keweenaw Time Traveler Expands Immersive Experience. “The acclaimed Keweenaw Time Traveler (KeTT) is getting a major upgrade. On June 1, the online interactive historical atlas will add 600,000 records across 14 million data variables, an exponential increase from its current 25,000. In addition, KeTT will significantly improve user experience. A newly designed user interface makes it easier to search for information about past people, places and stories.”

Dublin City University: Updated Placenames of Ireland website launched by Minister Jack Chambers

Dublin City University: Updated Placenames of Ireland website launched by Minister Jack Chambers . “The updated… website provides a searchable database of the official Irish-language versions of approximately 100,000 places throughout the country. The new Placenames Database of Ireland site features interactive maps, aerial photography and better ease of navigation for those looking to find out the origins of place names from Arklow to Zion Road.”

Route Fifty: How To Rename a Place

Route Fifty: How To Rename a Place. “Louisiana’s Dead Negro Branch was renamed Alexander Branch, after a late local civil-rights leader. Mulatto Mountain, North Carolina, became Simone Mountain, honoring the great Black pianist and singer (and Old North State native) Nina Simone. The new names are the work of the Board on Geographic Names, a little-known federal body with the remarkable power to literally remake the map.”

GIS in State and Local Government: How Geographic Information Systems Aid Agencies (StateTech Magazine)

StateTech Magazine: GIS in State and Local Government: How Geographic Information Systems Aid Agencies. “A recent report from the National States Geographic Information Council revealed that states are making progress on developing their geospatial data capabilities, even though the creation of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure to share geospatial data between states is still out of reach.”

University of Hawaii: UH Hilo geographers’ digital project speeds response to public access queries

University of Hawaii: UH Hilo geographers’ digital project speeds response to public access queries. “Geographers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo recently completed a pilot project with the County of Hawaiʻi Department of Planning to help modernize the county’s public access program. Shoreline public access locations and associated permitting documents were digitized in a pilot geospatial database by UH Hilo geographical data experts and UH Hilo department of geography and environmental science students and recent graduates.”

Kotaku: Watch A Living Google Map Destroy Geoguessr

Kotaku: Watch A Living Google Map Destroy Geoguessr. “Part of what makes Havrd and others who play Geoguessr at that level of difficulty so good is that they’re able to absorb a staggering amount of contextual clues that non-players wouldn’t think to look for. There are the obvious clues like road signs and landmarks but to get world-record-holding levels of good good, runners have to think creatively. Everything from the local flora to the silhouette of the Google Maps car can tell a player where exactly they are. According to Havrd, he knows when he’s in Kenya because their Google Maps cars have ‘snorkels’ on them. He knows he’s in Nigeria from the orientation of the red and blue lights on the police cars that escort a map car.”

Harvard University Davis Center: Google Needs Historians. (Still.)

Harvard University Davis Center: Google Needs Historians. (Still.). “Gazetteers (databases that associate placenames with location information) like GeoNames and Google Maps are extraordinarily good at recognizing historical places by their contemporary names. They cope remarkably well with alphabets, alternate transliterations and the occasional misspelling…. They are able to do this not because machines are brilliant, but because they have been fed incredible amounts of data by (occasionally brilliant) human beings. What they can’t do, on the fly, yet, is conduct historical research.” A deep and interesting dive.

Down to Earth: New database shows how large rivers form the basis of global borders

Down to Earth: New database shows how large rivers form the basis of global borders. “Rivers have historically provided humans with fresh water, fertile land and food and have, thus, formed the bedrock of several civilisations. A new database, however, quantified how rivers were used to divide land and form international, national and local borders. Rivers make up 23 per cent of international borders, 17 per cent of the world’s state and provincial borders and 12 per cent of all county-level local borders, according to the Global Subnational River-Borders database.” The dataset is available here.

CNET: Google Maps update includes more colorful images and sidewalk info

CNET: Google Maps update includes more colorful images and sidewalk info. “In addition to helping you find your way, the latest Google Maps update will help you know more details about any given area at a glance. Starting this week, Google will shade maps with colors based on satellite imagery so you can easily tell the difference between forests and beaches. The update will be available worldwide and will cover a variety of natural and manmade features.”

New Atlas: Ancient sunken continent of Zealandia laid bare in new interactive maps

New Atlas: Ancient sunken continent of Zealandia laid bare in new interactive maps. “Newly released maps of Zealandia, a massive sunken landmass many have argued should be classified as Earth’s eighth continent, are revealing the topography of this underwater land in unprecedented detail. The new trove of data comes from New Zealand research institute GNS Science, which has released two new maps alongside an interactive website designed to give people novel ways to explore the complex geoscience data.”

Geographical: Revolutionising research through digitisation

Geographical: Revolutionising research through digitisation. Geographical is the official magazine of the Royal Geographical Society. “As part of our commitment to make the Society’s Collections more accessible for research purposes such as these, and to support teaching and learning, we are working with Wiley Digital Archives to digitise hundreds of thousands of items from the archives. The result is an online portal that enables digital access to a variety of both published and unpublished material, revolutionising access to the Collections, while preserving them for years to come.”

Big Think: You can now drag and drop whole countries to compare their size

Another late December good thing I missed from Big Think: You can now drag and drop whole countries to compare their size. “Is Texas really bigger than Poland? Does Russia stretch further east to west than Africa does north to south? And how big a chunk of Europe would the U.S. cover? If you’re losing sleep over questions like these, you’ll find relief at… a web tool designed to provide answers about the relative sizes of countries (and U.S. states).”

United States Mint: United States Mint Launches New Online Education Game “Map Mania”

United States Mint: United States Mint Launches New Online Education Game “Map Mania”. “The United States Mint (Mint) launched its newest educational game Map Mania. This game teaches U.S. geography, helping students to learn the 50 states, state capitals, and state trivia based on the America the Beautiful Quarters® and 50 State Quarters Programs.” Apparently there are a dozen games for kids on the Mint site.