Monday, 29 November 2010

Stellar Christmas

I was up in London on Sat exploring the lights with my daughter. Trafalgar Square was boring - I suspect they don't put their lights up until 01 Dec - Covent Garden better, Regents Street good but Carnaby Street was by far the best. Check out these stellar Christmas lights!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

If I ever talk about a military group in my blogs it's the Navy. However it's the Army's turn today. Mind you, it's hardly geo, more just a bit of interest to any army followers I have out there. OK. One. Ken - this blog is for you. wink

I was invited to join some 'in service' testing on Salisbury Plain today. I know the guy who works on weapons at Abbeywood and since I had no pressing meetings today I was able to take the day off to spend freezing my toes watching the Army (and a couple of Marines I spotted) practising.

We were on a range testing the Javelin and light/heavy machine gun fire. There was a bit of action with Warriors, smoke grenades and small explosions and then machine gun fire (with tracers) onto distant targets. Elsewhere on the Plain we could hear big gun fire going off and clouds of smoke rising on the horizon.

They set up a Javelin so that we spectactors could peer through the view finder.

The great excitement (if you can call it that) was when one of the Javelins misfired. The project engineers there had never seen it happen. Post failure all one could hear were sighs of "oh dear, oh dear, oh dear". Nothing is perfect but reassuringly when it misfired it cartwheeled and lay on the ground. No big 'boom'. No injuries.

I chatted to some of the army guys there but they are in a completely different world to the one I inhabit. Standard scathing of the dark blue forces. "All they do is swan around on ships sunning themselves". "Civil Servants just move paper around all day long" (sounds easy - I should try that some time). I didn't get onto the RAF but I was getting the gist. One poor guy was missing his para mates who were out in Africa and he was stuck on Salisbury Plain running training and exercises. I can imagine that's not what he joined up for. Another one offered me an egg-butty. When I declined he up-ed his offer "free hug with every egg-butty!". Now, there's an offer you don't get every day. cool

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Team Surv and Open Sea Map

TeamSurv is 2 year project, which started around the beginning of this year. It's an EU sponsored CoSuDEC project (Coastal Surveying of Depths with EGNOS to enhance charts) investigating the use of crowd sourcing to log position and depth data from seagoing vessels. It then processes the data to enhance the quality of nautical charts, and data sets for GIS systems as used by coastal engineers, for example.

As you can see form Tim Thornton's response the data is not yet suitable for navigational charting, although it is an aspiration.

It reminds me of Open Sea Map which has similar aspirations. Open Sea Map is about collecting the whole gambit of nautical information - although interestingly it can't yet take depth info as it's not 3D. rolleyes Their market is focused on the leisure market adding additioinal local knowledge. Team Surv is more about collecting raw data to improve knowledge of the sea bed. Similar but different. Perhaps they should combine forces?