Category Archives: Science

Eclipse watchers – join the Eclipse Megamovie – Citizen Science

The University of California at Berkley is leading an effort to coordinate scientists and citizen scientists in gathering images of the sune and its atmosphere, the corona. Volunteers armed with standard photography equipment—a camera, telephoto lens, and tripod—will capture photos of the eclipse as the moon’s shadow passes over their part of the country. Once this huge dataset is collected, it’s Google’s turn. We’ll use our technology to algorithmically align and process the images submitted by citizen scientists to create a continuous view of the eclipse: the Eclipse Megamovie. More on what this effort is:

Eclipse Megamovie 2017 site:

The final movies should be very cool! Add your pics!

Safely watch the eclipse – guidelines here (search “2017 eclipse viewing safety”):

Photographing the eclipse – guidelines here (search “2017 eclipse photographing”):

More Citizen Science sites to contribute to –


3D Mapping with NASA World Wind

This has become a very sophisticated system. Patrick has presented for those of us in California a few times. Google Maps Mania has a nice write up on this at:

NASA’s World Wind is a free, open source platform for creating interactive 3D globes. It can be used as a tool for visualizing global data on top of a fully interactive 3D globe or 2D map.

You can get a good idea of the capabilities of NASA World Wind by looking at some of the applications that have been built using its API. WorldWind Explorer is a basic demo which shows how different base maps can be used and how different overlays and datasets can then be visualized on top of these base maps. NASA World Weather uses World Wind to visualize and display climate and weather data around the world. SpaceBirds is an impressive visualization of all the satellites orbiting the Earth.

To get started with World Wind you will probably want to have a look at the web Developers Guide. You also might like to check out the WebWorldWind GitHub repository and the World Wind Forum to get help from other users of NASA’s interactive 3D globe platform.

Top 10 Sources of Free Remote Sensing Data

From our friends at Geoawesomeness ( they have compiled a nice list of ​what they consider the top 10 sources of free remote sensing data ( including:
◦NASA Earth Observation (NEO),
◦USGS Earth Explorer (also has de-collared 24K GeoTIFFs for the USA),
◦ESA’s Sentinel data (Europe),
◦NASA Earth Data,
◦NOAA Class,
◦NOAA Digital Coast, IPPMUS Terra (world population),
◦LANCE (NASA Near Real Time Atmospheric), and
◦VITO Vision (coarse vegetation).

Alan Turing – life and work

Spent some time reading through the document from Oxford University Press on Alan Turing – he was so far ahead of his time.  A code breaker, but did you know he laid the foundation for modern computer science? Or mechanical analogue computer? Or automatic computing engine? What about the electronic calculator? Maybe the debut of artificial intelligence?? And intelligent machinery? He is named the father of artificial intelligence and his last paper was “Solvable and Unsolvable Problems”…. died at 42…

TED Talks Binging…. again…

How to take a picture of a black hole – Katie  Bouman

3 ways to plan for the (very) long term – Ari Wallach

An intergalactic guide to using a defibrillator – Todd Scott – I want him for my next class!

How radio telescopes show us unseen galaxies – Natasha Hurley Walker

A doctor’s case for medical marijuana – David Casarett

How I learned to read — and trade stocks — in prison – Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll

Science in service to the public good – Siddhartha Roy

What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s – Lisa Genova

This is what democracy looks like – Anthony D. Romero

A secret weapon against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases – Nina Fedoroff

How pollution is changing the ocean’s chemistry – Triona McGrath

TED Favorites over the past few weeks….

Business & Computing:




Podcasts Favorites 12/16/2014:

Podcast: Looking for the OpenStreetMap Road Map –

KQED – How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought –

Science Friday – Best Science Books of 2014 –

Science Friday – Alan Alda Challenges Scientists to Answer: What is Sleep? –

Geo for Good – Commonwealth Club of California – Rebecca Moore, Lead, Google Earth Outreach Program and Google Earth Engine –