A fresh look at fresh water: Researchers create a 50,000-lake database (NSF)

National Science Foundation: A fresh look at fresh water: Researchers create a 50,000-lake database. “To better understand the complex factors that threaten lake water quality, scientists need data on many lakes in various environmental settings. Unfortunately, much of the lake and geographic data needed for such studies is not easily accessible. The datasets exist in multiple formats in government, university and private databases – and sometimes in file drawers. Now, a new ‘geography of lake water quality,’ called LAGOS, is allowing scientists to understand lakes in ways that will better inform water policy and management. LAGOS, or the LAke multi- scaled GeOSpatial and temporal database, includes information on 50,000 lakes in 17 U.S. Northeastern and upper Midwestern states.”

Ars Technica: The Earth’s interior is teeming with dead plates

Ars Technica: The Earth’s interior is teeming with dead plates. “Last week, scientists released a monumental interactive catalog that tracks 94 ancient tectonic plates lurking deep within Earth’s mantle, a resource they’re calling an ‘Atlas of the Underworld.’ Although scientists have known for decades that tectonic plates plunge into the Earth’s interior at subduction zones, until recently, those plates disappeared off the geological map once they stopped generating earthquakes, which happens after they’re around 670km below the surface. In the last few years, seismic tomography, which uses waves from earthquakes to make images of the planet’s interior, has restored their visibility. It has revealed subducted plates sinking in the mantle all the way down to the core-mantle boundary, 2,900km below Earth’s surface.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Rare Queensland-made braille globe to be replicated

Sydney Morning Herald: Rare Queensland-made braille globe to be replicated. “Richard Frank Tunley created the globe for vision-impaired people by installing metal plates on a wooden sphere that revealed landmasses by shape and with labels written in braille. The original globe is now very fragile but advancements in technology, including 3D printing and photogrammetry, along with a $10,000 of funding from the State Library of Queensland will allow it to be reproduced.”

Google Blog: Space out with planets in Google Maps

Google Blog: Space out with planets in Google Maps. “Twenty years ago, the spacecraft Cassini launched from Cape Canaveral on a journey to uncover the secrets of Saturn and its many moons. During its mission, Cassini recorded and sent nearly half a million pictures back to Earth, allowing scientists to reconstruct these distant worlds in unprecedented detail. Now you can visit these places—along with many other planets and moons—in Google Maps right from your computer. For extra fun, try zooming out from the Earth until you’re in space!”

Three maps; three different ways to see Houston after Harvey (Houston Chronicle)

Houston Chronicle: Three maps; three different ways to see Houston after Harvey. “Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott gave the City of Houston a $50 million check to continue its long road to recovery. One neat way to see where the funds might be going is through the recently launched ‘Harvey By The Numbers’ web site, a series of interactive heat maps that show what happened to Houston during Harvey and how officials are responding after the hurricane.”

The Guardian: Google Maps leaves visitors to Australian lighthouse town in the dark

The Guardian: Google Maps leaves visitors to Australian lighthouse town in the dark. “There is nothing particularly special about Adam Gilliver’s house on the Victorian coast, except that it sits a bit further back from the road compared with the homes of his neighbours. And that Google Maps thinks it’s a lighthouse.”