5 Things on Friday #3 – #5Things

Woohoo, it’s Friday, Friday, Friday…  Yes indeed, another Friday is upon us and that means time for my weekly 5 Things on Friday. Today a few gems including a look at some cool data visualizations, Map as an art form, amazing glow in the dark technology in the Netherlands, a geocoding tool, and a lesson in history and geology… enjoy!

Glowing Roads

Here’s a suggestion that I love, particularly as I can really relate to these conditions! Here in the Pac NW the winters mean short days, lots of rain, and poor visibility on the roads and freeways – and in my particular region there are many roads that are very poorly lit – enter the glow in the dark road! Seems like a no-brainer to me.. increase driver’s visibility and reduce sensless accidents, particularly in the winter, by employing existing technology and help the driver. Yes indeed, in the Netherlands glowing roads are going to become a reality. Here’s the deets… The Smart Highway by Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards, and has already gone beyond pure concept. The studio has developed a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings – it charges up in sunlight, giving it up to 10 hours of glow-in-the-dark time come nightfall – great stuff! 

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Map are indeed Art!

I’ve been a long time fan and proponent of maps as art.. our industry creates impressive data visualizations that touch o pretty much any topic you can imagine. And then there’s all the amazing, colorful, sunning satellite images that are shared by various government agencies – many of them would make a fine addition to any wall when wrapped in a nice frame! So it’s way cool to see another art exhibition getting some attention – enter The Map As Art, an exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, K.C. The Map As Art features more than 30 large-scale maps by seven artists, completed in varying degrees of abstraction. Maps are loaded – with boundaries, travel, conflict, treaties, distance, data – and, though they’ve been treated ably over the years, they are rife for more artistic consideration – simply awesome!
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Seattle Area Commuting Map

You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned this awesome effort earlier this week but really, its so darned cool and impressive that the work really does deserve some attention here – enter the Seattle Area Commuting Map. Created by popular data vizualization "guru" John Nelson (@JohnNelsonIDV) from IDV (see @IDVsolutions), the map, created by mahing up various open data products, looks at where people live around Seattle and how they get to work. Some obviousl patterns of behavior and hot spots of interest are defined and the resulting map is worthy of sharing at any public meeting on the topic of commuting and alternative sources of transportation… great stuff  from Jon and crew at IDV.
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Determining Your Lat / Long

I’m working on a little project (for fun) and require a little geocoding and reverse geocoding, so naturally I turn to the web for a solution. A google search will yield many option, however, a I stumbled onto a particularly fun, useful, and simple solution that’s worthy of sharing. The Latitude and Longitude Finder enables you to quickly determine the Lat/Long of any city (simply search place name in the finder, you can identify a lat/long for any business or home address, and you can also view the results on a google map and grab the code for use and reuse.. very nice!
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The Building of the Nation’s Capital

This one is pretty cool for anyone interested in the history of the US capital and also those of you who are geology nuts or architecture and history buffs. Ever wondered how the US Capital buildings were  built? The buildings of the Nation’s (US) Capital have been constructed with rocks from quarries throughout the United States and many distant lands. Each building shows important features of various stones and the geologic environment in which they were formed.   This oline booklet describes the source and appearance of many of the stones used in building Washington, D.C. A map and a walking tour guide are included to help you discover Washington’s building stones on your own and get a little archeological lesson as well!
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Editor (18230 Posts)

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.

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