In ten years, scientists hope to have mapped the entire ocean floor in high resolution. This week, the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project announced that they've completed 20 percent of the map. A full mapping to "modern standards" is useful for conservation and also to support scientific understanding of ocean systems, weather, tsunami wave propagation, tides, and, of course, the impact of climate change. From the BBC News:
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The map at the top of this page illustrates the challenge faced by GEBCO in the coming years.
Black represents those areas where we have yet to get direct echosounding measurements of the shape of the ocean floor. Blues correspond to water depth (deeper is purple, shallower is lighter blue)[...]
This is information required to improve the models that forecast future climate change - because it is the oceans that play a critical role in moving heat around the planet. And if you want to understand precisely how sea-levels will rise in different parts of the world, good ocean-floor maps are a must.
Much of the data that's been imported into the GEBCO grid recently has been in existence for some time but was "sitting on a shelf" out of the public domain. The companies, institutions and governments that were holding this information have now handed it over - and there is probably a lot more of this hidden resource still to be released.
But new acquisitions will also be required. Some of these will come from a great crowdsourcing effort - from ships, big and small, routinely operating their echo-sounding equipment as they transit the globe.
Update: See below for important corrections to this story
"Fruit Belt" is a 150-year-old predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo that has faced a series of systemic hurdles, each worsening the next, with the latest being the erasure of its very name, with the Big Tech platforms unilaterally renaming the area "Medical Park."
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Planet Labs did an interesting spin on the standard straight down satellite shots: they angled the camera from 280 miles up, turning cities like Houston, shown above, into charming miniatures. Read the rest
At Adventures in Mapping, John Nelson developed a sobering series of maps that visualize the intensity of the drought gripping much of the US: Read the rest
When one of Caroline Paul's cats disappeared for 5.5 weeks, it inspired her to find out what Tibula (the cat) was really up to when he left home. The process of this is pretty fascinating. The outcome is, well, kind of cat like. What was Tibula doing when he wasn't at home? Avoiding the house and staring at himself in windows, apparently. Read the rest
The surface wind data in this beautiful wind map from Hint.fm comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. It's basically an art project, not guaranteed to be scientifically perfect, but it's dramatic stuff today during Hurricane Sandy:
These are near-term forecasts, revised once per hour. So what you're seeing is a living portrait. (See the NDFD site for precise details; our timestamp shows time of download.) And for those of you chasing top wind speed, note that
maximum speed may occur over lakes or just offshore.
If you're looking for a weather map, or just want more detail on the weather today,
see these more traditional maps of
There's a beautiful animated version, too. Read the rest
LocalWiki's Philip Neustrom says,
My non-profit, LocalWiki, has been working on this really incredible
project to help document the continent of Antarctica. Most notable,
at least right now, is this custom map we've pieced together from
very-hard-to-find NASA aerial imagery and coastline datasets. It's
probably the most beautiful thing I've ever worked on.
Check out the LocalWiki for Antarctica. The project "aims to document the
full extent of human involvement on the continent," and for now is focused on a two-mile region
surrounding Palmer Station.
Under the Ice: Research Diving in Antarctica
Charting the Frozen Continent
Photos from trip to Falklands & South Georgia Islands and Antarctica ...
Google unveils Street View imagery from Antarctica, including South ...
Making Inaccessible Island a little more accessible Read the rest