Saturday, December 29, 2007

Super Hi-Res Satellite Image Of The Palm Island

Wow! What a nice, hi-res satellite image of The Palm islands as they were being constructed. Click on the picture above to view the exquisite detail of the photo. You can see the individual ships as they spray sand to build up the islands. The man-made islands of Dubai are starting to fill out. Some of the projects are even having people move in already. It will still be years before all the projects will be complete but the one that started it all, The Palm, is near completion. The Palm revitalized this small nation in the Middle East as the government has put billions (if not trillions) of $'s into building up the area. If you would like to catch up on all the construction in Dubai check out the links below. To give you an idea, about 1/4 of all construction cranes are located in Dubai right now.

Google Maps Terrain Layer

I was playing around with the post below about the black bar in Alaska when I noticed that Google Maps has added their terrain layer. This terrain layer is highly detailed and a rather pleasant addition to the already superior Google Maps. If you zoom out far enough on Yahoo! Maps you'll see a small attempt by them to incorporate a terrain layer. However, once you zoom in it shifts out of that style.

I Wonder What's Hiding Here...

google maps alaskaGoogle Maps has an odd black bar on the Alaska/Canada border that has caught my attention. Is it just not mapped? Censured? Electricians tape?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Google Maps Street View Expands Again

detroit is uglyFabulous Detroit!
Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Providence have their cities added to the Google Maps Street View. It's only a matter of time before Knoxville, TN, gets added as I found out I wasn't the only one that saw the mapper here. (see:Google Maps Street View Hits Knoxville, Pictures of Chevy Cobalt) All I can say is that they could've left Detroit to the last of the updates. That's one of the ugliest cities in North America.

NHL Goes Green

Andrew Ference nhl(via Everybody seems to be going green these days and the NHL Players' Association is asking its members to jump on the bandwagon.

The David Suzuki Foundation and the union announced plans Friday for a partnership that asks players to become more eco-friendly, both at home through their personal choices and in their professional lives through the NHLPA Carbon Neutral Challenge.

The latter initiative involves players purchasing clean-air credits to compensate for the extra carbon produced by their extensive travels - a concept known as carbon offsets. All the money they raise will help fund three clean-air projects around the world through Montreal-based not-for-profit Planetair.

Over 350 players - including everyone on the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars - have already signed up to contribute $290 annually and hundreds more are expected to join in the coming weeks. The amount is based on a clean-air credit cost of $29 per ton and research that says each NHL player contributes 10 tons of carbon emissions per season.

While the dollar-amount may be small, the world-renowned Suzuki believes the impact of having hockey players involved is immeasurable.

"Environmentalists would kill to get this type of attention," he joked as he pointed to a line of cameras. "Let's face it, an old crusty guy like me, an environmentalist, who the hell is going to listen to me? But these guys connect directly with our youth and it's all about the future."

Canadian Olympic skier Thomas Grandi, who along with wife Sara Renner, an Olympic silver medallist in cross-country skiing, hooked up with Suzuki back in December 2006.

Grandi calculated how much extra carbon he produces while traveling with the Canadian ski team and bought $535 worth of clean air credits to make up for it. He also donated half his prize winnings that season to Suzuki's foundation.

They also urged fellow winter athletes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their daily living, getting the entire Canadian ski team on board.

"There it was obvious because they know meets are being canceled now in Europe because of a lack of snow. They can see the impact," said Suzuki. "The hockey players are a natural it seems to me, but we have to talk about branching out to the other sports."

Andrew Ference, then of the Calgary Flames, started by getting seven of his Flames teammates to sign up.

"If amateur athletes can do it, than we better," he said. "It really is a small amount to contribute but it's the power that message contributes, getting the idea in these players heads about doing the right thing."

Social consciousness comes naturally to Ference, who is also an athlete ambassador for Right to Play, an international charitable organization that uses sport to improve the lives of children and communities affected by war, poverty and disease.

Gas-guzzling SUVs are a common vehicle of choice for professional athletes, hockey players included. Awareness about the issues related to global warming and of the alternatives that are out there are key in the fight.

For instance, Ference got ribbed by his Calgary teammates for driving a hybrid last season, but a handful of players ended up following his lead. Same goes for the Bruins, who had fun with him for riding a bike to the rink until captain Zdeno Chara and others joined in.

"It's introducing guys to things they might not have known about," said Ference. "In Calgary for example, it was call the power companies and switch to wind and guys were like, 'Oh, you can do that?' Six or seven guys picked up the phone and switched to wind. People in general want to do the right thing, as long as someone can show them the way, they're all for it.

"Hockey players aren't different than anybody else."

Their contributions to the carbon challenge will go towards a bio-mass outfit in India, a micro-hydro system in Indonesia and a wind-farm in Madagascar.