Geografiska informationssystem – bara ett verktyg

Det finns de som säger om GIS att "det ju bara är ett verktyg". Och de har alldeles rätt. Det är ett verktyg på samma sätt som statistik, vetenskap, interkontinentala missiler eller internet är verktyg. De är alla verktyg som har potentialen att ändra vår syn på världen.

Den förstärkta verklighet som förmedlas via min Iphone och Layar gör "synen på världen" ännu mer konkret.

Saturday night activities

So what does a nerd do on a Saturday night? Registering a domain name of course! Soon I have ten of them. This one is geodesign.fi. Don’t know how I will use it, it depends on how events are unfolding during the coming months.

Wikipedia has something to say about geodesign.

Hyvä vastaanottaja

Viestintävirasto on myöntänyt verkkotunnuksen, johon liittyvät seuraavat tiedot:

Verkkotunnus
geodesign.fi

Myöntämispäivä: 24.09.2011
Voimassaolo päättyy: 24.09.2012

Verkkotunnuksen haltija
Romi Rancken

Google Earth imagery in Raseborg

The new Google Earth imagery of large areas of Raseborg, Finland is from July 10th 2010 and of a higher resolution than before. Unfortunately it is a little misty due to thin clouds, but quite useful still. The best thing with it is that it is properly georeferenced, which means that a coordinate sits in the picture where it should, not 40 meters (!) to the east as it used to and as it still does in many places in Southern Finland since the last update a few years ago.
The roads in Google Earth/Maps are a little roughly drawn, but they are, and have always been, placed much more correctly than the old imagery which meant that you could see the error in the background map easily.

Here is a screenshot of a GPS-track that I collected today, overlayed on Google Maps (left, with the old imagery) and Google Earth (right, with the new). See how nicely the track fits with the road in Google Earth!

Latvia

I participated in a NordPlus meeting in Jelgava, Latvia at the beginning of the week. Apart from the meeting itself, there were two nice forest excursions. The first one was to Tervete Nature Park, the other to Cenu mire.

Here is the track for the visit to the mire:


Visa Latvia 2011 på en större karta

Zoom in to the north east part of the track to see the details.

The urgency of GeoDesign

One of the powers of GeoDesign is it makes these problems visual. They are easier to ignore when they are abstractions. Because we have been designing the world without data-rich knowledge of consequences, we’ve created a situation where we’ve made ourselves vulnerable as a species, which to me gives urgency to GeoDesign. This is something we don’t have a lot of time to develop.

Thomas Fisher