Friday, 31 October 2008

Terris Novalis in the Flesh

Enroute to Newcastle on Monday I just had to detour via the Terris Novalis which I've been drooling over since August.

Despite having a 15 year old map (oops redface) we just about managed to find it. They are as impressive as I'd hoped, although they don't really fit being just across the road from a modern housing estate.

They are beautiful.

Not 100% precision tools, and the animal feet are unusual, but so wonderful to gaze at. We had a stroll around them then a climb on the level (the theodolite looked a bit too tricky to climb in heels).

Saturday, 25 October 2008

GOCE Delay

This is a shame - a delay in the GOCE, Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, mission. This is following on from the GRACE, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, mission. Unlike GRACE, which was a twin satellite system, GOCE is stand-alone, but has some mighty impressive stats including precision accelerometers that sense accelerations as small as 1 part in 10,000,000,000,000 of the gravity experienced on Earth. That's amazing.

Missions such as this provide us with a wealth of information about our gravity field (and a darned good geoid), but as you can read in the BBC article there is lots more that can be gleaned from it.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Coming Thick and Fast

For some reason I seem to be into blogging at the moment.

The EU Satellite Navigation Competition, Galileo Masters has just announced the winners of this year's competition. SciTech systems have won the award incorporating sat nav technology into life jackets. Now, if two of my passions, Safety of Life at Sea and GPS were going to come together this is a great idea! As they say, it's one thing knowing where someone hit the water, it's another thing knowing where they are by the time you look for them. Some tidal streams are mighty fast and you don't want to be looking 10 miles in the wrong direction when someone is immersed in the ocean.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

New Surveying Uniform

An astute Joules clothing shopper in the Isle of Man spotted this and sent it to me today.

It's the prettiest surveyor my husband has seen for a long time apparently.

No comment. wink

Update Down South

An update to my post of last November...

Mr Droggie New Zealand - one of the many - has been in touch. Ross is continuing to study his Cat A course part time at the University of Otago, a Post Graduate Diploma Science (Hydrographic Survey) whilst also teaching (to earn a living no doubt).

He sent me a picture of him at a GPS station in the southern alps (the NZ variety rather than the European ones) used to monitor movements. It is one of a dozen or more than are checked/downloaded at 6 monthly intervals. The exciting bit is flying into them by helicopter and I imagine the views are fantastic!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Grim Reaper's Road Map

Today's mapping story is courtesy of the BBC who have caught my attention with the Grim Reaper's Road map. Actually it's a book, not quite yet released, entitled "The Grim Reaper's Road Map: An Atlas of Mortality in Britain (Health and Society Series)". The first thing to note is that it doesn't seem to cover Britain; unless Scotland has no deaths whatsoever which I find hard to believe. Secondly, young deaths (ie until about 30) tend to be caused more by traffic accidents and suicide than the more heralded causes of knife and gun crime. Road death stats are not to be ignored.

I'm also interested to note that the Community Justical Portal calls this an 'exciting new atlas' (interesting use of the word exciting) and then continues to list other hot titles this month including 'Traffic Jam' and 'Tackling Prison Overcrowding'.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Keep on Digging

Ever wondered where you'd end up if you dug and dug until you popped out the other side of the world? Well, now the answer is a mere click away...

Friday, 17 October 2008


There was an OPSI conference this week. Michael Wills wasn't able to make it but it still looked a good day from some of the notes I've been passed. OPSI, Office of Public Sector Information, encourages the re-use of public sector information. I can imagine this is no mean feat at times!

Hadn't realised how much information it contains until I started hunting around. For example it contains UK Legislation, Official Publications (through link to TSO), old Gazettes - a plethora of things you never knew you'd missed until now. Happy reading. wink

Monday, 13 October 2008

Marine Bill - Government Response to Consultation

Have just been reading the government response to the Marine Bill consultation. Quite a long document but structured so you can hunt your way through it. Shame there isn't much on geospatial information. It gets a mention - including the fact that HM Government doesn't believe MMO should lead on it - but no solution is particularly offered.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Search my Soul

There's an interesting discussion on the Ed Parsons blog at the mo about 'introspective soul searching'. He's hit a point. It is easy for any profession that feels under threat to batten down the hatches and cry foul that others 'just don't understand us'. Perhaps it's a standard human response - to protect what we know and to find it hard to relinquish control of knowledge. I easily fall in this trap but then shake myself to embrace change. How often do we hear people talk about the 'good old days'. Hello? The good old days when you could only get cash when the banks were open; when you had to go to a library to do your homework as they had all the reference documents; to spend weeks without contact from loved ones as the satellite phone was too pricey and there were no other comms. No, I quite like the here and now. But it's always a challenge how to accept change and use it to our advantage.

Anyway, he has a fair balance of comments but my favourite is definitely "the audience were obviously ludites as they were taking notes". Goodness me. Now taking notes in a presentation brands you as 'thick'. I thought it was a sign that you were taking an interest?! rolleyes