Thursday, November 30, 2006


Ever wondered how much "nature" your lifestyle requires? You're about to find out. This Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard.

After answering 15 easy questions you'll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to what other people use and to what is available on this planet.


Monday, November 27, 2006


If you are in the need for a map from anywhere in the world then take a look at NATIONS ONLINE. Every country is represented with various projections and download links for easy use.

They do not have an extensive library like the University of Texas map room, which is by far the best, but the availability of links is a great starting point. The U of Texas map room has a huge selection of down loadable maps from everywhere in the world. Their backlog of maps is just insanely huge.


GIS PILOT GIS links for Virginia


Sunday, November 26, 2006


GIS PILOT gets a visual update with new graphics and tables. The layout is the same and all the links are still available. There are still almost 2,000 GIS LINKS broken down by state and country. GIS LINKS are quickly located on the table and lead to individual pages for each section of links.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I changed the format of this blog a few weeks back and transferred all the GIS links from here to my main site at GIS PILOT. There are still GIS LINKS on the right hand column of this site and they will direct you to the respective site on GIS PILOT. This was mandatory because by keeping all the links directly on this Blogger site, it was running very slow and it had many errors. Blogger's great for many things, but hosting huge HTML files is not one of them. So, randomly, I will post some links in the posts to remind people that they can still get their GIS mapping links here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cartographical Map Projections

One important concern of cartography is solving how to project, i.e. transform or map points from an almost spherical lump of rock (our Earth) onto either flat sheets of paper or not-so flat phosphorus-coated glass. Find out all you need to know about Map Projections from Cartographical Map Projections.


A great collection of ancient maps. Be warned, though. The gallery is very large and will take a minute to load. But, the end results are worth it. File through over 250 maps. Ancient Map Collection


Pressure situation! It's only the lower 48 states, so that should give you an edge. The purpose is to get the correct location of the capital in a good time.

HAWAII Earthquake again

For the second time in over a month, an earthquake has rattled the island of Hawaii. On October 15, a 6.7 magnitude quake hit the area. Today's is labled around a 4.5 to 5.0 . No Tsunami is reported to be expected from the quake

,, ,

Geography gets a new island

According to various unsubstantiated reports by eyewitnesses, it would appear that the 169 islands of Tonga is gaining island number 170. Developing from an undersea volcano, the new island is located between the islands of Kao in the Ha'apai Group and Late in the Vava'u Group. The Matangi Tonga news source has all the latest details.

Thanks to Matt for the article.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

50 state capitals in 50 consecutive days

Since I last posted on these 2 guys hitchhiking across the US to see all 50 capitals in 50 days, they've made a lot of headway and started to drum up a little publicity for both themselves and this site.

I was lucky enough to have my post mentioned on the guys in a couple of blogs. Hopefully, there were a few extra rides comin' the guys way to make their journey a little easier. As of this post, they are in Arizona getting near the end. Hawaii is the trick. Find out how they do it at Hitch50.

Check out the mentions in and ATTU's WORLD!

Blog, Tech, Internet, technology, Art, Humor, Entertainment, Media, Fun, Funny, Travel, Gps,Geography, blogger, Google Maps, scotty, basset hounds, fiddy,hitchhike,hitch50

Renewable Energy Atlas of the West

The Renewable Energy Atlas of the West is designed as a resource for policy makers, advocates, landowners, developers and others interested in furthering the production of electricity from renewable wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy resources.
Renewable Energy Atlas of the West

James Niehues

James Niehues hand paints and airbrushes each large format watercolor original to best capture the detail and variations of each view's natural beauty and definition.

Jim has been painting aerial views since 1986 and has completed over 200 illustrations for resorts, tourist bureaus, and chambers of commerce. His images are used in brochures, web sites, ads, maps, posters, art prints, signage, post cards and retail items.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

First Daughter Barbara Bush Robbed in Argentina

It's not been a good few days for members of the Bush presidency. First, a motorcyle accident in Hawaii created havoc in a motorcade, followed by a staffer getting beaten up, then the Bush daughter, Barbara, gets mugged in Argentina.
  • First Daughter Barbara Robbed in Argentina - First Daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone stolen as she had dinner in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, even though she was being guarded by a detail of Secret Service agents, according to law enforcement reports made available to ABC News. [...article...]
  • Two injured motorcycle officers in serious condition -Two of the three Honolulu Police Department motorcycle officers involved in a crash while escorting President George W. Bush to Hickam Air Force Base are in serious condition at The Queen's Medical Center. The motorcycles reportedly slipped indvidually on a rain-slicked roadway at about 7:10 a.m near the base entry area . [...article...]
  • White House Staffer Robbed, Beaten In Waikiki - The acting director of the White House Travel Office was robbed and beaten in Waikiki early on Tuesday morning outside a nightclub, according to Honolulu police. Pitts' passport and international phone were also taken. [...article...]
  • U.S. to Require Passports for Nearly All - Nearly all air travelers entering the U.S. will be required to show passports beginning Jan. 23, including returning Americans and people from Canada and other nations in the Western Hemisphere. The date was disclosed Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in an interview with The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department plans to announce the change on Wednesday. [...article...]
  • TEEN GOES NUCLEAR: He creates fusion in his home (Nothing to do with Gov't, but just downright cool!) - He first achieved fusion in September and has been perfecting the machine he built in his parents' garage ever since. This year, Thiago was a semifinalist for the Siemens Foundation's National Research Competition. He plans to enter the Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit, which is in March, in hopes of qualifying to be in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in New Mexico in May. [...article...]

World Flag / Geography Test

Normally, I can take the map tests and get by without looking like a fool. Then I found the Flag test which takes it one step up and gives you clues on the geography to guess the nations flag. Sounds easy enough, but hit up some of the small Asian or Former Soviet Republic nations and then see how much you know.

United States Map Quiz

Another Map quiz. Try to place the states in their correct place.

United States Map Quiz

Virtual Earth 3D beta: A new dimension for mapping and Live Search

What if mapping the world was more like a video game?

What if you could fly like Superman and figure out where to meet your friends for a good meal and which routes to avoid to beat traffic?

With Live Search maps you can find yellow pages and white pages information, get live traffic conditions and view stunning 3D and Birds Eye …just as if you were gaming in Second Life, but with real-world information embedded in real-world cities where advertising really matters?

Check out our beta for Virtual Earth™ 3D , a new online mapping feature launched this week by Live Search. You can see terrain information for all over the world, and explore these U.S. urban areas with textured buildings (with many more to come in the next month!): San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Fort Worth. There is a virtual tour that you can review before diving into the goodness.

While many folks will opt to use their keyboards, you can even use an Xbox controller to navigate the three-dimensional world for greater deftness and speed.

In addition, developers can use the Virtual Earth 3D application programming interface to build these search capabilities into their own applications and Web sites. This and other APIs for Live Search are open to developers, with the option to acquire additional support and other benefits through a service-level agreement with Microsoft. Developers can find more information about the Virtual Earth API at and in the Virtual Earth SDK Also, contact for details about additional support.

Some folks in the blogosphere noticed and we appreciate it: , TechCrunch, Brady Forrest , Robert Scoble, Search Engine Journal to name a few. Keep talking about it and also, let us know how to improve. As with any beta product we’d love to have feedback. You can let us know on the Virtual Earth blog at, where product updates are posted continually, or use the handy feedback link at the bottom of the application.

--The Spaceland team

Source Article

Mapping race for ocean riches underway

NOVA SCOTIA (CBC) - Canada is trying to chart new territory off the East Coast and in the Arctic to claim the resources below, but the right to stake that claim has turned into a race against the clock. The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis St. Laurent has spent four months in the Arctic laying plotting points on the outer edge of the continental shelf, an underwater mountainside that slopes as deep as 3,000 metres under the sea and ice.

"Once the edge is defined and that data is submitted to the United Nations, once that's approved, then that's Canada's territory," said Capt. Andrew MacNeil.

Dick MacDougall, with the Hydrographic Service of Canada, the agency that makes ocean maps, says the area in the East Coast is a million square kilometres, while the area in the Arctic is about 750,000 square kilometres.

"It's roughly the size of the three prairie provinces, to which Canada would have the rights to the sea bed, the resources on the sea bed and the resources below the sea bed," said MacDougall.

Finding the edge of the shelf and measuring the land that extends from it can be blocked by rocks and sediment on the bottom. To get that proportion right, mappers must look at where the sediment starts to thin out.

...continue article

Monday, November 20, 2006


Dam It All! Catch the Angry Beaver as he looks out on the world and wants to conquer it the only way he knows how - by building dams! Dark Tees, Light Tees, Thongs (Yeah! I went there!), Bags, cards, stickers, and gifts. Nice!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


What a Beautiful Blue Planet is a series of satellite pictures of the Earth with the goal to help people realize what a nice home we all have.

What a Beautiful Blue Planet

Directions Magazine

The Worldwide Source for Geospatial Technology

Directions Magazine was first published in 1998 and remains the premier news and resource guide for geospatial professionals.

Directions Magazine publishes weekly newsletters about geographic information systems, global positioning systems, desktop mapping, cartography, computer-aided design, remote sensing, web services, and more.

Directions Magazine

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Have you ever wondered what the heck the programmers were thinking when they set up the games in your local market. In East Tennessee, they have a simple formula: pick the lamest game. This market is exempt from the rest of the country, however, as indicated in the NFL Blackout Maps which show the local programming for each area of the country.

NFL BLACKOUT MAPS — Country Information — Country Information was established in 1997 out of a love for international relations and culture. Entirely web-based, we offer more than 26,000 pages of content covering a wide-range of topics. Our statistical data and cultural information has proven to be valuable to students, parents, teachers, and researchers alike. In a sea of competing websites, stands out as a leader, ...: — Country Information



We've collected and analyzed data from numerous sources to create as complete and interesting profiles of all U.S. cities as we could. We have over 30,000 city photos not found anywhere else, hundreds of thousands of maps, satellite photos, stats about residents (race, income, ancestries, education, employment...), geographical data, state profiles, crime data, housing, businesses, birthplaces of famous people, political contributions, city government employment, weather, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, zip codes, area codes, user-submitted facts, similar cities list, comparisons to averages... If you ever need to research any city for any reason, from considering a move there to just checking where somebody you know is staying, this is the site for you.

CITY-DATA.COM – Online Maps to Everywhere is Europe’s most popular mapping web site, offering a range of free, useful services to assist with everyday life. Key features include street-level maps of the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and a number of cities worldwide; road maps of the world; door-to-door travel directions; aerial photographs with map overlay; and local information. Multimap also provides a range of complementary services through its partners. These include hotel, holiday-cottage, and restaurant-booking services, and the ability to buy both historic and aerial photograph prints.

Since its launch in 1996, Multimap has become one of the 10 most-visited sites in the UK. The consumer web site regularly receives more than 12 million unique users and delivers more than 190 million page views per month. Traffic continues to grow on average by 30% annually. – Online Maps to Everywhere

Friday, November 17, 2006

GPS Surveillance Creeps into Daily Life

For $5.99 per month, you can turn a cell phone into a surveillance device and track when your target leaves home, where he or she travels and at what speed. You can even detect how much battery power is left on the phone. Marketed as "virtual eyes" on your kids or employees, the service also allows you to construct a virtual "fence" so that you can receive electronic alerts if the phone’s carrier crosses into forbidden areas.

...Florida GIS Data Blog

World's Highest Resolution Commercial Satellite

GeoEye-1, World's Highest Resolution Commercial Satellite, Will Use SGI Technology to Process Image Data

Billion of Bytes Sized Data Sets for National Security and Commercial Applications Demand 64-Bit, High-Performance Compute Only SGI Altix Systems Can Deliver

ORLANDO, Fla., GEOINT 2006, Booth 207, (November 15, 2006) — In anticipation of the spring 2007 launch of an extremely high-resolution Earth imagery satellite, GeoEye (Nasdaq:GEOY), the world's largest commercial satellite remote-sensing company, purchased high-bandwidth, high-performance compute technology from SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC). At the Dulles, VA, ground station for the new GeoEye-1 satellite, four SGI® Altix® systems were delivered during the first calendar quarter that will drive core satellite image processing for the .41-meter panchromatic (sensitive to all visible colors) and 1.65-meter multi-spectral (sensing and recording radiation from invisible as well as visible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum) imagery. GeoEye-1 is anticipated to collect more than 700,000 square kilometers - billions of bytes - of high-resolution imagery every day. A long-time SGI customer supplying imagery to the U.S. government, international governments and a growing number of commercial clients, GeoEye selected SGI systems because the record amounts of image data from the new satellite will require 4X the processing power.

"We have three satellites currently in orbit - OrbView-2 and 3, and IKONOS - but when GeoEye-1 becomes fully operational, it will be the world's most powerful and most accurate high-resolution commercial imaging satellite. It's going to collect more imagery on a given day than any commercial system currently on orbit," said Don Koboldt, senior principal geodetic engineer, GeoEye. "I chose SGI Altix because it has 64-bit processing power, not 32, and because there's a lot of computing power required for everything we do, including modeling the sensor and re-sampling all this data onto a geographic system. Not to mention the actual volumes of pixel data that has to be processed. It's both an I/O-bound problem and a compute problem, and SGI is taking the lead in designing systems for this need."

The GeoEye-1 satellite's ability to go down to a .41-meter resolution means, in simple terms, the high-resolution imagery taken from orbit and processed by the SGI® Altix® 350 systems will be capable of discerning objects on the ground 16 inches in size or larger. At that resolution, one would be able to identify home plate on a baseball diamond or count the manholes on a city street. In general, GeoEye's products are utilized in a wide variety of applications including defense and intelligence for large area mapping, state and local governments for urban planning and mapping, insurance and risk management, environmental monitoring and disaster relief. Such imagery is also ideal for on-line mapping search engines.

...More at GeoEye Press Release

Drought Monitor Interactive Maps

The Drought Impact Reporter is an interactive tool developed by the NDMC to collect, quantify, and map reported drought impacts for the United States. The tool was created in response to the need for a national drought impact database. Information for the impact report database comes from a variety of sources, including on-line drought-related news stories and scientific publications, reviewed by NDMC staff; members of the public who visit the website and submit a drought-related impact; members of the media; and members of government agencies such as NOAA and USDA.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

MAP TEST-How good are You?

It's a little harder than it looks because they throw in a bunch of "...stans" that I had trouble with.

Tsunamis slap Hawaii, Calif. north coast

By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU - Tsunamis generated by a major earthquake near Japan left behind little damage but offered a legitimate test of international warning systems.

The waves, some measuring a few feet high, struck Hawaii shores Wednesday, slightly injuring one swimmer and temporarily flooding a harbor. A surge along California's northern coast destroyed two docks in Crescent City Harbor and damaged a third.

The waves hit Hawaii about six hours after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck north of Japan. Tsunami warnings were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which reported that its system of sending alerts functioned properly.

"It went very smoothly, and there weren't any major problems at all," said Brian Shiro, a geophysicist at the center. "We issued a warning for 1,000 kilometers surrounding the earthquake and an advisory for the rest of the Pacific Ocean."

The alerts were canceled once the center received further information that showed the tsunami was going to be small, he said. The center canceled the tsunami watch for Hawaii when it became clear the waves were unlikely to top one meter, or about 3.3 feet.

But local civil defense authorities still warned people to stay out of the water and to exercise caution near harbors, given the possibility the earthquake would generate unusual currents around Hawaii.

A woman swimming at Waikiki suffered cuts when she was sucked through an opening in a seawall as the water receded just before the swells arrived. She was otherwise fine, said John Cummings, a spokesman for Oahu Civil Defense.

On Kauai, a 2 1/2-foot swell flooded a parking lot at Nawiliwili Harbor. No serious damage was reported.

"Some of the boats hit the bottom with their keels when the water receded, sort of jostled them around their moorings when the wave came through," said Mark Marshall, Kauai County civil defense administrator.

In California, the weather service issued an early-morning tsunami advisory but dropped it by the time waves traveling up to 30 mph moved in at Crescent City, about 20 miles south of the Oregon state line.

Harbor workers there noticed a fast-moving current around mid-afternoon that harbor master Richard Young described as a "river within the ocean."

As the surge rushed out of the harbor, two floating docks in the inner basin were destroyed, Young said. Another surge followed, severely damaging a third dock, he said.

Several vessels attached to the destroyed docks bobbed away from their anchorage and likely received dings and possibly greater damages, the harbor master said.

Young said the replacement costs of the docks could range from $300,000 to $700,000.

Some 400 miles to the south, waves pounded the Santa Cruz yacht harbor all afternoon, causing several boats to break away from their moorings and capsizing a small sailboat.

"It wasn't wave action," said Dave Reynolds, a Monterey-based weather service meteorologist. "It was the current that caused the damage. This is almost like a fast-moving river of water that is coming in, so ... it's the currents that toss the boats around."

Thousands of people living along northern Japan's Pacific coast fled to higher ground, but Japan's meteorological agency withdrew its tsunami warning after about three hours. The waves near Japan did not swell higher than 23 inches.

___ On the Net:

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Source Article


Welcome to the new format for GIS SITES the blog companion to my GIS & Mapping link site, GIS PILOT. As of today, there is a new format for this site which STILL INCLUDES all GIS LINKS from the old format. All the GIS LINKS are now on the sidebar to the right. Because the links are similar to GIS PILOT, my main site, and it is a hassle to update links on 2 sites, only GIS PILOT will have updated links from now on. This blog will always have GIS LINKS on it, just now it will be smaller and load faster.

All links for GIS SITES for the states and countries will point toward their respective GIS PILOT links. This allows for an easier management for the blog and GIS PILOT. Blogger has problems with the size of the HTML for this BLOG, resulting in just painfully slow load times and publishing with many errors. Both sites will remain active and doing their same jobs. I'm only condensing this blog for easier management.

World Sunlight Map

Watch the sun rise and set all over the world on this real-time, computer-generated illustration of the earth's patterns of sunlight, darkness, and cloud cover based on current weather satellite data.


The BREATHING EARTH is a simulation of birth and death with a touch of pollution added in. As it runs, the births and deaths are recorded along with CO2 emissions from around the world. Thanks to Dave and Thomas for the link to BREATHING EARTH.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Map of Earthquake that prompted tsunami warnings in Japan

A powerful undersea earthquake prompted tsunami warnings Wednesday for Japan and Russia but the danger appeared to pass after a series of tiny waves hit the northern Japanese coast.

The waves did not swell higher than 16 inches and rapidly diminished in size, but Japan's meteorological agency said that it would wait for at least several hours before withdrawing its warning of possible larger waves.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Customers are beginning to receive ArcGIS 9.2

Keeping tabs with the new ArcGIS 9.2, I spotted a post from James Fee on an update of the shipments of the mapping software. It's starting to trickle in.... GIS Sites - GIS links from around the world

IRAN in the news

IRAN is in the news more than ever as it approaches the final stages of developing a Nuclear program. As the U.S. government stands firm against these actions, IRAN is also at odds with Israel and Google.
  • Iranians outraged as Google redraws map - In a move tailor-made to wound Iranian patriotic pride and arouse a blizzard of protest, the Azeri provincial capital, Tabriz, is located "in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran". To add insult to injury, the ancient city is listed as being in Azerbaijan, rather than Iran. [ ...more.. ]
  • Iran president to send U.S. nation a message soon - Iran's president said on Tuesday he would soon send a message on his country's policies to the U.S. people, whose government is facing calls to engage the Islamic Republic to help quell violence in the region. [..more..]
  • Iran Says Nuke Program Is Near Complete - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said Iran would soon celebrate completion of its controversial nuclear fuel program. But Tehran claims its program is peaceful and for generating electricity. Uranium enrichment at low levels can be used to produce fuel to generate electricity but at higher levels can be use to make atomic bombs. [ ...more... ]
  • Blair - we must work with 'Axis of Evil' states - Mr Blair said there could be a new “partnership” with Iran if it stopped supporting terrorism in Iraq and gave up its nuclear ambitions. Syria and Iran could choose partnership or isolation, he said. [...more...]
  • Netanyahu: It's 1938 and Iran is Germany; Ahmadinejad is preparing another Holocaust - Drawing a direct analogy between Iran and Nazi Germany, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu asserted Monday that the Iranian nuclear program posed a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire western world. There was "still time," however, to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, he said. [ ...more... ]

Appalachian Mountain Club Mapping

Appalachian Mountain Club is an educational resource to help you understand important natural landscapes of the Appalachian region and the conservation challenges and opportunities that face them.

It includes maps that have been prepared by the AMC to illustrate a particular topic, as well as custom maps that allow you to select and view data layers of your choice from all layers available for that geographic region.

Appalachian Mountain Club GIS Sites - GIS links from around the world

Monday, November 13, 2006

Microsoft to debut wireless music sharing Zune in U.S

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- The world's largest software maker Microsoft Corp. will start selling the Zune portable music player and the Zune Marketplace in the United States on Tuesday, hoping to take a bite out of Apple's dominant iPod and iTunes powerhouse.

The rectangular "Zune" player is similar in appearance to the iPod with a round click wheel, but is slightly bulkier with a larger, 3-inch screen.

The 30-gigabyte Zune allows the device to locate other nearby Zunes and wirelessly exchange music and pictures with a few touches of the button.

The wireless sharing ability of the Zune is meant to overcome what Microsoft sees as the biggest drawback of portable players: the inability of users to share music and listen with others.

The Zune represents the software giant's most ambitious attempt to date to challenge Apple's iPod, which accounts for more than 75 percent of digital music players and legally purchased downloaded songs.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has said it plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and market the Zune, which is merely a starting point for a new entertainment platform and a "Zune community."

Microsoft said it's grown interested in entertainment because technology now plays a bigger role in the way people do everything from watch television to listen to music. Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, said that's a change that plays to Microsoft's strengths.

"We're moving from just a device that you use on your own to what we call connected entertainment," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates told the crowd in downtown Seattle, before demonstrating the Zune's wireless song-swapping feature. "We'll be able to upgrade the software here, connect you up to the capability you'll have in your car, your PC, your phone."

Analysts don't expect the early effort to make a serious dent in Apple's market share. "It's not even going to give the iPod a bad headache for the time being," said analyst Michael Gartenberg with Jupiter Research.

GIS Sites - GIS links from around the world

Magazine Fakes Photo of Breastfeeding News Anchor


A picture of Elizabeth Vargas breastfeeding her child at the newsdesk is a hoot! I love the response of Elizabeth Vargas in that she wouldn't wear that blouse. Nothin' like a little Photoshop to sell a magazine! Nice touch to an unusual development. Drudge is reporting her official response as:

"Elizabeth was more than happy to sit for the interview but was disturbed that the magazine would set aside basic journalistic standards to photoshop her head onto a fake image. Vargas did joke that her real baby is cuter, that she is proud to breastfeed her newborn but wouldn't do it at the anchor desk and that she wouldn't be caught dead in that ugly gold blouse!"

Who is Lawrence Wenngrodd

From Dave And Thomas

Well, it's official. "BORAT" is a hit and like sharks smelling blood in the water, groups of people are lining up to sue for part of the profits. Lawyers are drooling at the chance of finding a loophole in the contracts signed by people who appear in the movie so they can start to repair the damage done by their clients "unwise" actions. As the media hunts down the people who were part of the prank, one common story arises: They got paid.

Dave and Thomas can't help but noticed that they got paid and signed releases, even if it were under funny pretenses. Most didn't read through the legal paperwork after taking wads of cash then putting down their "John Hancock's." These people should run for Congress, not ask for our sympathy. Dave and Thomas really like how the villagers called Sasha Baron Cohen, who plays "Borat", an 'ugly, tall, moustachioed American man', even though the 35-year-old comedian is British.

50 state capitals in 50 consecutive days

Now, here's a way to use Google Maps. 2 guys are indirectly helping internet surfers learn the 50 state capitals by using Google Maps and blogs to hitchhike to all 50 state capitals in 50 days. Here's a little about the guys:

"Our names are Scotty and Fiddy and we're hitchhiking to all 50 state capitals in 50 consecutive days or less. We started in Times Square, NY on October 10th. If you want to offer a ride, give us a shout at 310-494-8058 or Our current location is on the above map. If the dot is moving, that means we're on the move. If the dot isn't moving, then this is probably what's going on right now. "

They have started to create a buzz on local media as well as the internet as they breeze through towns. Head toward their site to catch a map of where they are right now. And, if you can offer a ride they'll be more than happy to take you up on that offer. Lean more about the Hitch50

Iranians outraged as Google redraws map

  • Video places ancient city in Azerbaijan republic
  • Users urged to blitz search engine over 'insult'

Google has provoked the wrath of Iran's notoriously suspicious authorities by appearing to question the country's sovereignty over the province of Azerbaijan in an entry on its Google Video website.

In a move tailor-made to wound Iranian patriotic pride and arouse a blizzard of protest, the Azeri provincial capital, Tabriz, is located "in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran". To add insult to injury, the ancient city is listed as being in Azerbaijan, rather than Iran. Tabriz and southern Azerbaijan have belonged to Iran for more than 4,000 years.

The text of a tourist film on the site has drawn accusations that the US-owned search engine is deliberately trying to undermine Iran's territorial integrity by fomenting separatist sentiment in the mainly Turkish-speaking province.

Valiallah Azarvash, an Iranian MP, said: "An Iranian never accepts such slights. Since the second millennium BC, eastern Azerbaijan and Tabriz have never been separated from the body of Iran. How can they now belong somewhere else?" The information technology ministry has branded the entry an attempt to intervene in Iran's internal affairs and has urged Iranians to flood Google with emails.

"This act is a typical example of interference in the affairs of another country," said Samad Mohmen Bela, the IT ministry's representative in parliament. "The simplest, most effective response is for all Iranian users to reflect their objection to Google's management."

The reformist Etemad newspaper accused the company of a "strange, suspicious and dubious act" in apparently trying to relocate Tabriz - one of the major flashpoints of the 1979 Islamic revolution - to the independent former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, to the north of Iran.

The republic consists of territory annexed from Iran by Russia in 1813. Joseph Stalin tried to seize the rest of Azerbaijan after the second world war but was rebuffed by US and British opposition.

Tabriz and other cities in the province witnessed violent protests earlier this year after the publication of a cartoon in a Farsi-language newspaper depicting a cockroach speaking in the local Azeri tongue.

Iran's Islamic authorities have shown little tolerance towards regional autonomous movements and have accused the US and Britain of trying to stir secessionist sympathies in different provinces, including Kurdistan and Khuzestan.

The row echoes a controversy two years ago when National Geographic magazine was swamped by protests after labelling the sea between southern Iran and neighbouring Arab states as the Arabian not the Persian Gulf. The magazine was banned in Iran and its reporters were barred from the country. Web surfers launched "Google bombs", causing searches for "Arabian Gulf" to produce a site announcing: "The gulf you are looking for does not exist, try Persian Gulf."

Robert Tait in Tehran

Monday November 13, 2006

The Guardian

American Origins Project: 1877 Atlas

American Origins Project: 1877 Atlas

What is the American Origins Project?

Beginning in the late 17th century settlers began to establish themselves in many portions of the Delmarva Peninsula. These early settlers built a foundation for a America. To better understand the past, staff at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture have initiated a web-based archive for researchers to gather information on some of the earliest settlers to the region.

Currently the on-line database includes information on some 3,000 of the earliest settlers in Somerset County with emphasis on those who lived in the Mt. Vernon region from 1663 to 1759. Plans are underway to include settler information from a wider time span and geographical location. The majority of information listed was transcribed directly from primary source materials at the Nabb Center including tax rolls, wills, personal inventories, maps, judicial proceedings as well as records of births, deaths and marriages.

The Mt. Vernon region of Somerset County includes Monie and Wicomico hundreds, specifically, those settlers who lived on the neck of land just south of the Wicomico River. Somerset County, officially organized in 1666, is on the southern portion of the Delmarva peninsula. The 180-mile peninsula lies between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the earliest seedbeds of America. Today Delmarva is comprised of southern Delaware as well as portions of Maryland and Virginia.

American Origins Project: 1877 Atlas

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Democrats say will push for Iraq withdrawal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats, who won control of the U.S. Congress, said on Sunday they will push for a phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq to begin in four to six months, but the White House cautioned against fixing timetables.

"First order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy," said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is expected to be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the new Congress.

Democrats will press President George W. Bush's administration to tell the Iraqi government that U.S. presence was "not open-ended, and that, as a matter of fact, we need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months," Levin said on ABC's "This Week" program.

Bush has insisted that U.S. troops would not leave until Iraqis were able to take over security for their country, and has repeatedly rejected setting a timetable for withdrawal because, he says, that would only embolden the insurgents. (...Continue article... )

Queues around the block as Playstation 3 hits stores in Japan

Queues around the block as Playstation 3 hits stores in Japan

Sony's PlayStation 3 made its highly anticipated debut in Japan to long lines on Saturday, with local stores selling out their supplies of the video game console in a pattern that's expected to be repeated around the world.

Throngs of people lined up for hours around Bic Camera, an electronics retailer in downtown Tokyo, to get their hands on one of the consoles.

The enthusiasm was so great, clerks with megaphones asked the crowd to stop pushing, warning that all sales would end if there were any injuries.

"Standing in line today is the only way to make sure I got one," said Takayuki Sato, 30, among the buyers who queued up at Bic Camera, snaking around the building in a complete circle.

But would-be buyers were turned away even before the store opened at 7 a.m.

The retailer refused to say how many machines it had, but a spokeswoman speaking on condition of anonymity per company policy said the store had ... (CONTINUE ARTICLE)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

GIS PILOT Official Blog

The official blog for GIS Pilot is up and running again after some technical difficulties. Blogger is becoming too slow and cumbersome to operate so I started the new blog officially for GIS PILOT. With the new roll out of Blogger Beta, however, the sluggish and difficult Blogger is showing some promises of getting useful. I have upgraded another site for Dave and Thomas to the Beta version and it is night and day when comparing to the old version.

WEEKEND LINKS -20th Century Fox Movies Next To iTunes?

Enjoy the weekend with as many ballgames as you can possibly stand. In between, here's some news and links to keep you busy.


This week, the Oakland A's and San Francisco 49er's announced they would be leaving the long time home on the bay to newer stadiums in the suburbs. The 49er's plan to move to nearby Santa Clara while the A's announced they would move to nearby Freemont from Oakland (above). If the A's get their way, the new stadium would be state of the art in many ways. Cisco Systems, Inc, the computer sponsor of the park has big dreams for the park which include:

"Fans will swipe electronic tickets stored on cell phones. Bleacher bums will view instant replays at their seats with laptop computers. And digital advertising displays will be able to switch images based on the buying habits of the people walking by through data embedded in their cell phones."

Continue article on Oakland A's new ballpark

Also, while playing around on GOOGLE MAPS, I noticed GOOGLE has posted on their site that "Search History now includes Google Maps." This allows for a personalized version of GOOGLE MAPS after you can sign in, such as:

"Personalized Search is part of Google's ongoing effort to make your search experience more relevant to you. Using Personalized Search, you can:·

Get the results most relevant to you, based on what you've searched for in the past·

View and manage your past searches, including the webpages, images, news headlines and Froogle results you've clicked on·

Create bookmarks you can access from any computerPersonalized Search orders your search results based on your past searches, as well as the search results and news headlines you've clicked on. You can view all these items in your Search History and remove any items you'd like.

Early on, you may not notice a huge impact on your search results, but as you build up your search history, your personalized search results will continue to improve." (Google Help Center)

Weekend update - Canada

Long week is now over. Updated this week on GIS PILOT were some European GIS Links and the creation of a Canada GIS Link page. The Canadian updates include:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance dies

First, we lost the Great Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes" fame. Now, Jack Palance, the Oscar-winning actor, has passed on. The resume for Jack Palance read likes a recipe for how to be a great person. He started boxing under the name Jack Brazzo, worked in the coal mines as a child, and served in WWII.

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - Jack Palance, the craggy-faced menace in "Shane," "Sudden Fear" and other films who turned to comedy at 70 with his Oscar-winning self-parody in "City Slickers," died Friday.

Palance died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif., surrounded by family, said spokesman Dick Guttman. Palance was 85 according to Associated Press records, but his family gave his age as 87.

When Palance accepted his Oscar for best supporting actor he delighted viewers of the 1992 Academy Awards by dropping to the stage and performing one-armed push-ups to demonstrate his physical prowess. ...continue article at Washington Post

More about Jack Palance