Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snowy blizzard in Boise. No "Blue Moon" photo tonight, New Years Eve. Maybe next time.
Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Watched video "A marvellous humming bird display" mating display of spatuletail filmed in slow motion (via @petapixel)
There is a "Blue Moon" on New Year's Eve. First time since 1990. Explanation via I'll try to photo

Monday, December 28, 2009

Read "Cities embrace mobile apps, 'Gov 2.0" Trend to new era of grassroots democracy. (Via @ JeffHarrison)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Structured Data is one of Top 5 Web Trends of 2009. Web service examples provided (via @PulseonTech @ReadWriteWeb)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Read / "Big oil gets the biggest U.S. energy subsidies of all" (via @timoreilly @seanjoreilly)
Google Maps adopting US NDSI & provides updated & authoritative national & local data to the public (via @jeffHarrison)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

RT @petapixel: Amazing vanishing point photography:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Read Naomi Klein's article today "For Obama, No Opportunity Too Big to Blow"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Read @hrheingold / best "Why use Twitter" piece. (via @timoreilly @jamesoreilly)
Read "The Google Maps Data API & Google Fusion API News" simple solutions to 80% of queries (via James Fee GIS Blog)
Produced a 3D Google Earth & Google map Watershed Restoration project in Alaska with 360 panoramas and HD videos.
NASA 10yr time lapse satellite images (Yellowstone & other global locations) - some in Google Earth (via @JeffHarrison)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New iPhone GIS App ( Geographic Information System Layers) Idaho included (via Integrity Logic)
Watched video & played audio "Colliding Auroras Produce Explosions of Light" (via NASA News)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Watched video showing "A new way to unfold the Earth's surface produces a new kind of map" (via @novaspivack)
Read Nova Spivack blog post - "The Web Wide World -- The Web Spreads Into the Physical World"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Checked out "BirdsEye!" New iPhone App harnesses the power of eBird. " Best invention since binoculars.(via
Reviewed "All About Birds "Take Part in the Scientific Process with Citizen Science" (via Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Read Jose Antonio Vargas "Transcript: Q&A with Al Gore" on the "Internet & Future of American Politics."
Read Jose Antonio Vargas article -"The Goracle -- Al Gore, the Internet and the Future of American Politics."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Checked out the Encyclopedia of Life's snazzy new "Learning + Education Website."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Looked at absolutely fantastic photographs of "Spiral Blue Light" in sky above Norway. (via @petapixel)
Read commentary by Olivia Judson, " A Wild Celebration" - 2010 is the 'International Year of Biodiversity'

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Read "Why Citizen Participation May Be An Illusion" and comments. via Andrea DiMaio Blog.

Friday, December 04, 2009

New generation of US Topo maps are available at no cost in a GeoPDF Format. Free tools allow editing.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

via Ron Lake's Blog - GeoWeb and the "Internet of Things" /Internet + Internet of Things = Wisdom of the Earth /Chinese

Monday, November 30, 2009

Found 1715 "Citizen Science" project -Total Solar eclipse- Halley requested "curious" across land report observations.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Viewed "Trailblazing"- 3 & 1/2 centuries of scientific endeavor- celebrating Royal Society's 350th anniversary in 2010
I received a Google Wave invitation at last. Looking for others who already are using it to create or follow a few interesting Waves.
Read Tim O'Reilly 2008 blog post " Why I Love Twitter"/ compared to Facebook/very good information (via @timoreilly)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Watched video -"Institutional Corruption" by Lawrence Lessig-
Video & Web site "Sunlight Foundation" Ways You Can Help Make Government Transparent and Accountable

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Amazing video of 300,000 starlings bird flocking - example of self-organizing phenomenon - creating gorgeous patterns.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is Boise involved in Google Base Map Partner Program for "Bike Directions"?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"YouTube Direct" Designed for Citizen Reporters. Submit homemade videos for possible inclusion in daily news stories.
Read good article by Miguel Helft, NYT, about value of citizen edited Online Maps and Geo-volunteerism projects.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tim Berners-Lee founds "World Wide Web Foundation" Advance the Web. Empower People... to bring about positive change.
RT@petapixel Wow - The biggest storm of 2009 hits Britain:
"Bobble Rep - 111th Congress Edition" iPhone application provides instant online access to U.S Congress members.
Viewed "Obama Town Hall in China Video."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Viewed ""/ online effort to share State budget and encourage citizen ideas and perspectives.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Viewed video / Joe Lieberman (& Evan Bayh) Guilty of 'Legalized Bribery'? (via @lessig)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Read "The Great Atomic Film Cover-Up" -US Suppression of 1945 Atom Bomb effects in Japan. by Greg Mitchell.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saw the word "Outernet" & thought it could apply to outside or natural GeoWeb environments & related networking efforts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Following "The Tahina Expedition Blog" - 5 Year sailing expedition around the world/ raising awareness of marine life.
Informative post "Why do leaves Change Color in the Fall? By Ann Debolt - Idaho Botanical Garden Blog.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Viewed Videos from Museum of Animal Perspectives (M.A.P.) Wildlife imagery using remote sensing cameras.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Read "Changing the World" by Bob Herbert, OP-ED NYT. Citizens with sense of mission... can make a profound difference.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Read Andrew C. Revkin's objective article about campaign to reduce CO2. RT @revkin: (via @timoreilly)
Viewed video - Google's Twitter Announcement at Web 2 - RT @johnbattelle: (via @timoreilly)
Explored - for fans of words & their meaning. RT@wordnik:
(via @timoreilly)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Previewing - ESRI Brings GIS to the Public with Mapping for Everyone Web Site (via

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reviewed workshop info for Citizen generated data & imagery & Google Earth & Maps for environmental & disaster relief.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Viewing Web2 (WEb Squared Summit site. Oct 20-22.
Viewed on Slideshare "Top 5 Web Trends of 2009" State of the Web Sept 09 by Read Write Web.
RT @createthegood What an awesome page @iparticipate! (Search volunteer opportunities)
RT @ createthegood YEAH! RT: @americanrivers is teaming up with AARP to help people organize river cleanups

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Read Bono "Rebranding America"- largest Navy, fastest Air Force & fittest strike force - Might is not right.
Read Bono "Rebranding America"-greatest planetary threats: extreme poverty, extreme ideology & extreme climate change.
Read "Get Off Obama's Back...." We all need to be proactive and push positive agenda to wimpy congress
Viewed "Visualizing the U.S. Electric Grid" & Power Sources, Plants, Solar, Wind. via NPR.

Friday, October 16, 2009

RT @WiserEarth If you can't be at @Bioneers you can watch parts online: #bioneers #fb (via @JoeyShepp)
RT @Encyclopedia of Life : What Facebook apps should we add to this page? We're all ears...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RT @whitehouse FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski introduces the Open Internet blog. Go & discuss:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Create the Good" by AARP /Do-it-Yourself Toolkits to help create good opportunities in your community.
Arianna Huffington - Announcing HuffPost Impact: Where News Turns into Action.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GOP Senator Olympia Snowe will vote "yes" on Senate Finance Panel Health Care Bill.
Viewing "Live Blogging the Finance Panel Discussion on Health Care Bill" Vote expected this afternoon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Read "Our Global Ponzi Economy" by Lester R. Brown. - Natural resource exploitation not sustainable since 1980?
Read "The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Crises in Global Land Use"- Massive Ecological impact is being ignored.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do I have this right? US has by far the most expensive health care, highest prison population, CO2 emissions, Military spending What else?
RT @timoreilly RT @japansen: support [Senator] Jim Webb's prison reform campaign!
Shocking US prison population graph compared to other countries. (via @timoreilly @philipkd)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Read Lawrence Lessig article "Against Transparency"-naked vs. targeted govt. transparency & publicly funded elections
Watched Clay Shirky TED video - on institutions vs. collaboration - changing the way society works.
Watched Clay Shirky TED video - Social media- Facebook, Twitter, TXTs help citizens make history, changing politics.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

is a member of Project Budburst- A Citizen Science Network. Fall phenology observations.
Read About the Central Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team: Citizen volunteers learn to map & eradicate weeds.
Watched "Video: 3.5% of Google Wave Explained" / by Epipheo Studios/ what it is - and potential use case for Wave.
Watched great PEIR video- online mobile phone tool to explore and share your environmental impacts and exposure.
Web page with 360 degree panoramas and video showing Truckee River Restoration and changes from 2004 to 2007.
We produced a "Full Screen" HD interactive panorama showing Cottonwood restoration efforts near Reno NV in 2007.
We produced a 2007 Cottonwood restoration/education video near Reno, NV.
Boise's cottonwood forest is in decline. (via Tim Woodward) affecting river ecology.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Interested in learning about the new "Google Wave" communication platform? (via Social Media Guide)
Tell @BarackObama: We need you to lead the fight for the #publicoption. Pls sign & RT (from @openleft & @credomobile)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

U.S. Government Reaches Out to the Social Web for Collaboration, But Are Users Reaching Back? (via ReadWriteWeb)
RT @PulseonTech: City of Portland, Oregon Officially Backs Open, Structured Data (via ReadWriteWeb)
Subliminal messaging most effective when negative.(via Science Daily)
Any chance politicians & media understand this?
Google Earth KML file link for user friendly interface to understanding North American Carbon Budget.
Google Earth Application Maps Carbon's Course & behavior of greenhouse gas. (via ScienceDaily)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Today- makeover (Tracking Stimulus Money) article -
Ask Tim - Goatheads, Networking & the GeoWeb. My blog post response to Tim Woodward, Idaho Statesman.
Interesting "Collaborative Citizen Map" to track changing foliage in New England States. (via @googlemaps)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reading "World goes into 'ecological debt' "Ecological Debt Day" now 2 months earlier than 1995.

Ask Tim - Goatheads, Networking and the GeoWeb

Tim Woodward wrote an article in the Idaho Statesman titled: "Ask Tim: Goatheads, flat tires! Can anything be done? I decided to write an email response to Tim with a few of my own ideas about citizen initiated environmental networking projects and collaborative GeoWeb maps like the one I made for Puncture Vine Geo-locations in the Treasure Valley, Idaho. Following are the comments and links I included.

Hi Tim.

I read your article today about "Goatheads, flat tires! Can anything be done? And, I have a few ideas to offer. If you have any questions I will be happy to try to answer them.

A little over a month ago some hikers and bikers in the Idaho Outdoors Yahoo Group started some "Goathead clean up efforts in the foothills. For my part I created a "collaborative map" (Google Maps) where anyone can put in a report and location where they see these weeds and/or report on a clean up project effort. Several people responded early on and I decided to write to the City of Boise Parks and Recreation, who also had noted this weed problem on the Ridge to Rivers web site. They expressed interest, noting the severity of the problem this year, but have not yet contributed or made reference to the map. I hope they will do this soon and possibly prepare for more collaborative citizen involvement in issues like this in the future as I describe below.

Collaborative GeoWeb community maps like these can engage the public in interesting and fun learning opportunities and civic projects that can make a big difference over time. The map above can also be viewed and edited in the amazing 3D Google Earth Browser that allows users to fly around and look at different perspectives as if in a helicopter or airplane.

Around the country there are increasing numbers of examples of similar efforts that can be found on the Web. We (Mountain Visions) with Federal, State and local agencies and organizations produced " Watershed Community Centers" for five large scale watershed projects across the U.S. between 2000 and 2003 that were early attempts to get more citizens involved in learning about and participating in local watershed restoration efforts. Here is a GeoWeb map with links to those projects.

I have been writing blog posts about environmental networking concepts since 2002, and have created a number of web site project examples. FYI, I prepared a "GeoWeb Networking" presentation for the Idaho Environmental Summit last fall to identify major topics I believe are important to environmental neworking and a few examples of each.

Starting in July this year I have been updating these examples on my blog and cross posting these on my FaceBook, Twitter and other networking pages.

I will disclose that I was also involved in creating the original Ridge to Rivers web site in 2000 and have suggested similar special interest networking projects to the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department in the past several years. With the amazing growth of social and interest networking tools that have become available (including many collaborative map projects like this) it seems appropriate that citizens of Boise and Treasure Valley would become interested in participating in projects like this one to identify and eradicate goathead weed patches and other noxious weeds. Around the country new "Citizen Science" GeoWeb projects are emerging that identify plants, birds, insects, changing weather patterns, and restoration efforts. These are just a few examples of concepts that could also be applied to the Boise Foothills, Boise River and Treasure Valley area.

(For example I have also created another similar experimental collaborative Google map related to the recent Idaho Environmental Forum Conference titled "A River Runs Through It: Showcasing River Restoration and Recreation projects. Here is a link to my blog post that also contains the Google Map that can viewed in a larger size and edited.)

FYI, I was also involved in the production of the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign (IWAC) web site from 2005- 2007. We organized the web site to be very friendly toward community networking and public participation. For some reason the officials involved in IWAC, even though they approved of the web design and production, have never promoted this aspect of the web site.

You might be interested in looking at this part of the IWAC web site, because it provides a community networking structure that goes way beyond the use of a collaborative Google Map, and could be used for citizen reporting and cleanup of noxious weeds of all types. The two links here go to 1. the IWAC "Network Center" that promotes participation in the IWAC web site and 2. A separate "Collaborative Interest Networking" site where people can submit topic discussions, photos, videos etc., without going through the web submission process. You will notice that I have put the collaborative Boise and Treasure Valley Puncture Vine Google Map on this new collaborative site as well.

As a summary I will note that efforts to develop modern environmental networking projects, using new networking technologies are not too common in Idaho yet. For example, I and others spent 3 years trying to encourage the Idaho Environmental Summit (IES) organizers to start using "Online-All the Time" Networking in addition to their yearly conference. Here is a link to some related Idaho Environmental networking projects we developed during this time.

Unfortunately, funding and interest in the IES has waned and it appears they will not have a conference in 2009 and they also are not employing any other networking efforts to my knowledge. Using the Online networking formats I and others are developing related to important Idaho environmental topics and the emergence of new interest groups and decision making projects would be ongoing. I fully expect these opportunities to grow exponentially in the future.

New and important GeoWeb and environmental networking projects are now being promoted by the Federal Government. The State of Idaho and County and City government will also be developing more new tools for citizen participation. I am posting almost daily links to web ideas I see related to this movement on my blog.

Tim, I started this letter initially to alert you to the Collaborative Goathead map, but felt that you might be interested in the larger picture as well. What I have written above is a start on the larger picture of the GeoWeb and new emerging opportunities for collaborative citizen projects that I believe will become an increasingly important part of our culture in the near future.

If you have any questions or want more information I will be happy to assist.

Thank you for your time.


Gary O. Grimm
Mountain Visions
Work phone 208-336-2992
Cell phone 208-585-7512

Saturday, September 26, 2009

RT: @stevegarfield What Kids Need To Learn -
(27 skills they are not learning in school)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Interesting article - "Where is" by Christopher K. Tucker. The next phase of transparent government?
From Virtual Globes to Geoblogs: Digital Innovations in Geoscience Research, Education and Outreach. T160-GSA Conf 2009
The Geological Society of America for the general public -Be part of the community shaping the future of earth science.
Live blogging, twittering & online discussions allowed at Geological Society of America Conference. (via @rschott)
Paul Krugman warns that Climate Bill will bring increasing partisan opposition rather than intellectual honesty.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FCC: Broadband Deployment and Adoption on Tribal Lands./ Public Notice and comments via ECFS Express.
Place-Based Policies for FY 2011 Budget/White House memo - cities, rural, Indian country/energy, environmental & health
Health 2.0: Place Based Intelligence - Spatial roundtable discussion (via @LindaHecht)
"The 'Web Squared' Era" - The Web is gaining ears, eyes and other senses... Links to examples. (via @timoreilly)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Confronting Climate Change" - Google Earth 5 Tour narrated by Al Gore.
(via @gearthblog)
Google Earth climate change tools for COP15 (Dec. 09 global discussion on climate change)
"RAISE YOUR VOICE & change climate change!" -Send videos w views, opinions & questions for COP15.
FCC Chairman Genachowski announces new "Open" web site.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I read "Bearing Witness 2.0" - Stories about tragic human cost of corruption & greed related to financial crisis.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

FCC Chairman to outline rules for "net neutrality" (free and open Internet) on 9/21/09
Celebrate One Web Day - 9/22/09 - "One Web. For All" (via ReadWriteWeb)
RT @gearthblog Funny video about mapping converging with reality:
RT @PulseonTech Mysterious Tubular Clouds Defy Explanation | Wired Science |

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Frank Rich, NYTimes, -Real "Economic Rage" in America is shared by many more citizens than "Glenn Beck" & far right.

Thoughts about The Future of the Social Web?

A few days ago I saw a reference on the NewWest.Net Facebook page pointing to a Nieman Reports article titled "An Explosion Prompts Rethinking of Twitter and Facebook" by Courtney Lowery, Editor at NewWest.Net. I wrote a comment that I posted under the article.

This is a summary statement she made at the end of the article:

"Just like every other news organization—online and offline—we’re still assessing just how and when to use social media. There are still a lot of unanswered, even unasked, questions. But it’s here to stay—and it’s here to help us, if we can get past seeing it as a marketing vehicle and learn how to use it to create community by developing a relationship with our readers.

I will post my comment to the article below and also add a link a link to a related article I found at destination written by Jessica Tsai, titled "Social Media: The Five-Year Forecast." This article examines in detail the Forester Research Report by Jerimiah K. Owyang titled "The Future of the Social Web" (This link goes to an executive summary of the report which is available for purchase.

Gary O. Grimm says:
September 16, 2009 at 4:09pm
You have provided very good insights Courtney that other government agencies, organizations and businesses could benefit from. The Web started by being a way to push selected information to a wider audience via a web site. Over the past 15 years some organizations have slowly provided more interactive opportunities on their web sites. For years there have also been numerous (probably millions) of small citizen initiated interactive discussion groups and forums. But more recently we are experiencing the growth of big organized social networking systems like FriendFeed, MySpace, FaceBook and Twitter. Now millions of people are participating in the the most popular of these, FaceBook and Twitter. Unfortunately these services often compete to try to dominate one another.

My research indicates that this is just the beginning of this social networking phenomenon. Sooner than we think, I believe, all of these services will become aggregated into something different, where an individual person and their activities, ideas and civic engagement will become the focus. This network won't have a corporate name, but will operate on topics of personal interest. Hopefully many of these interests will be aimed at citizens involvement in important social, civic and environmental issues.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Scitable" A new collaborative network for Science -Create topic groups, contribute content & ideas.
The Future of Social Networking? Built around topics instead of relationships.
CitySourced mobile tool civic engagement tool powered by FreedomSpeaks, "the leader in interactive civic engagement."
CitySourced providing free simple and intuitive smart phone tool for reporting issues to 1900 cities. see video!
Cell phones are becoming city reporting tool for civil issues like potholes, graffiti, with Online priority rating.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture populating Facebook site with new "citizen connect" initiatives.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dangermond video. Govt workers & ordinary citizens blend data to create powerful "GeoWeb" maps. (via @LindaHecht) - new web site to promote lower cost, faster, sustainable govt. services.
Vivak Kundra announcing the launch of to lower cost & drive innovation. (via @timoreilly)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Andrew Turner Gov 2.0 Summit Video presentation about 2 way "location" collaboration between governments and citizens.
Jack Dangermond, Gov 2.0 Summit video
"GeoEnabling Gov 2.0"
"GeoWeb" Connecting Govt & Citizens geographic knowledge.
"Apps for Democracy - Community Edition" D.C. contest resulted in "digital democracy model for governments everywhere."
Open Government Initiative " Exchange" Public can post opinions- Participation is Democracy in Action.
FCC using Web 2.0 Tools to increase "Open Government" accessible forums for public participation.
Federal Communication Commission launching social media sites -Facebook -Twitter-YouTube-IdeaScale-Blogband -RSS

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Water polluters map for Idaho
Read review of Book "INSIDE OF A DOG: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. By Alexandra Horowitz
Article in Idaho Statesman about volunteer attempts to control Puncturevine "Goatheads" in the Boise Foothills.
All about "Burning Man" web site. & "Burners Without Borders" community projects.
Interesting article "The Truth About Burning Man" -no one makes a buck, and with more creativity than you've ever seen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Intersection of Art, Crickets and Science. Welcome to create opportunities for participation & start new projects.
Great song recordings and excellent photos of Crickets and Katydids.
"NYC Cricket Crawl" Sat. Sept. 12, A call for citizen scientists, artists, naturalists, & scientists. (via @eoflife)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Google Earth 5.1 Upgrade runs layers & content faster & smoother. Details and download link @ Google Lat Long Blog:
"Geospatial tools offer killer app for Gov 2.0"
J Dangermond, R Greenberg, A Turner (via @NN4D)
Opportunities for governments emerging from citizens sharing & collaborating on mapped-based information. A Turner p.2
Geography is a common pivot point for providing in context data. 74 % of govt services tied to locations- A Turner p2.
New USDA Food Consumer Web site lets you ask questions and report problems.
RT PaulMiller: RT @jtrant: how do scientists feel about sharing data? special feature in Nature

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

President Obama's Health Care speech / important perspective by Bill Cunningham "He Roped the Dopes"
W3C releases, "Publishing Open Government Data" guide for putting data on Web for public use. (via @vera_newhouse)
RT @vera_newhouse: Top 5 Web Trends of 2009: The Real-Time Web RWW via NYT

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Detailed description of current visibility of Shuttle and Space Station in evening skies Tues. & Wed.
Just saw the bright reflection of International Space Station & Discovery over Boise. Map shows where it is now.

Monday, September 07, 2009

RT @GaryPHayes Facebook's most popular apps ever? Farming, harvesting virtual fruit/veg, 72 million farmers & growing!
"This We Know": New Semantic Web App Tames Massive Data Sets from encourages public to" Discover, Participate & Engage" & offers 3 searchable catalogs: "Raw" Data, Tool, Geodata.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

RT @AlexSteffen Collaborative Services: How to Have More By Owning Less Right on. (via @timoreilly)
Environmental Networking Book / "Collaborative Services- Social innovation & design for sustainability."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another Goathead cleanup/eradication day. Sept. 12, 9:AM. Meet at Foothills Learning Center.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

USDA launches Enhanced Rural Tour website & New Media Efforts "Join the Conversation" Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Blog....

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Gov 2.0 Summit Schedule Sept 9-10, 2009 Sample Sessions and Speakers Full Schedule
Tim O'Reilly podcast on Open Source For America &
Gov 2.0
Article "Facebook Exodus" and Google Search for rebuttals.
Ecological Debt Article "We are all Madoffs - Our relationship to the natural world is a Ponzi scheme."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

12 Yr Study: Online Education Beats the Classroom, expanding value with Web-based video, IM, and collaboration tools.
Paul Krugman - Reformers are up against deeply entrenched interests defending a deeply dysfunctional political system.
"Change Congress" "Fair Elections Now"
E.O. Wilson-An Open Mic Discussion of Life & Games. "I think games are the future of education."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP)'s - Animal cams/ camera attached to the head of wolves, etc. showing behavior. releasing iPhone app this week, enabling users to file news updates photos and videos live from the field.
Boise is one of the cities for "Real Time Local News" on "" More fwix info at:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Justice Souter-on spectacular ignorance of U.S. electorate about Govt. they elect people to serve in & consequences

Friday, August 28, 2009

I have been reading about "Augmented Reality" on the web. Good article on ReadWriteWeb.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Anybody can register as an Encyclopedia Of Life member and add text, images, videos, comments or tags to EOL pages.
Encyclopedia of Life has a Facebook fan group and a Twitter page
Encyclopedia of Life provides a Flickr page for citizens to submit species images. Tutorial available.
Encyclopedia of Life Newsletter - Issue # 5 (and earlier) now available. Very important "citizen science" model.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Average Internet speed slower in US than 27 other countries. ID is 2nd slowest in U.S. ahead of AK.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Via ID Outdoors group I created a public Google map for "Goathead" clean up & location projects.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here is a link to one Google Earth 5 KML tour I am working on.
Anyone interested in sharing notes about Google Earth KML Tours? I have created a few, but KML code is not intuitive for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Produced a Gigapan of Boise & Treasure Valley from Table Rock & a few telephoto "Snapshots."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Viewed GeoWeb 2009 video presentation explaining Primary Biodiversity Data- "What Where & When."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Newbury Astronomical Society has set up "The Twitter Meteorwatch" for Perseid shower Aug 11&12. #Meteorwatch
Google Earth Blog provides link to GE5 tour describing the melting of glaciers and flooding of rivers in the Himalayas.
Read "Dot Earth" article "In Praise of Activism" by Andrew C. Revkin.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Read "Wrong Turn..." article & remembered 2005 ID legislative sessions before GARVEE Highway funds approval.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Read article about phosphate mining problems in Southeast Idaho. Have you seen or shot photos of some of these mines?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Posted blog entry suggesting a GeoWeb of citizen science projects for Treasure Valley & Boise River Watershed.

Treasure Valley & Boise River Restoration and Recreation GeoWeb Project

Today I wrote the following message to a few people related to the upcoming Idaho Environmental Forum Annual Conference which is showcasing Treasure Valley River Restoration and Recreation projects.

I am including a Google Map here to identify the Geographic places that will be discussed at the conference. I can imagine collaborative maps like these linked together to identify thousands of places where restoration and recreation projects are of interest to citizens who may also want to be involved by submitting photographs, data, or attending decision making decisions.

My reason for writing this to you now is to suggest the development of an ongoing Geoweb networking project starting during, and continuing after, the Idaho Environmental Forum Conference next week titled: "A River Runs Through It: Showcasing River Restoration and Recreation Projects."
If you have an interest in this development please reply as soon as possible and I will see if this topic can be briefly introduced at the IEF conference next Wednesday August 12.

I will include some background information about this important topic I hope will be helpful to you. Please share this with other people who you think will be interested.

If you have any questions I will be happy to try to answer them.



Gary O. Grimm
Mountain Visions
Work phone 208-336-2992
Cell phone 208-585-7512

Brief Background and some links of interest. A more complete Biography available upon request.

For many years I have been involved in helping Idaho, northwest and nationwide citizen groups, local organizations, and State and Federal agencies provide rich text, photographic and multimedia information about "geographically located" and "time based" watershed restoration projects. For the past 15 + years many of these efforts have been related to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Many of these web based projects have included opportunities for citizen involvement and engagement.

Over the past few years there has been a tremendous surge in information about web applications that define "The Geospatial Web - How Geobrowsers, Social Software, and the Web 2.0 are shaping the Network Society." This is the title of an important book published in 2007. Many conferences and seminars on related topics are now constantly available worldwide. GeoWeb 2009, Where2.0, Web Squared, and ESRI User Conferences are a few examples. (links below)

Today there is beginning a huge new opportunity for many more citizens who have technical and environmental interests in watersheds to become involved in contributing meta tagged "Citizen Science" and "open source content or data" including photos, GIS data, reports, monitoring studies and other information to appropriate location based or Geoweb sites. As this place and time based information accumulates it will result in the opportunity for any person using the web to locate a wealth of historical and contemporary data about a special place of interest. Citizens with the opportunity to become involved, informed and educated about issues related to these special places will be much better able to actively participate in future decision making processes.

During the past few years I had been attempting to encourage organizers and participants in groups such as the Idaho Environmental Summit and others to develop a system of "Online - All the time" networking discussion efforts related to at least 15 of the major environmental issues discussed during the Summits from 2006-2009. Last fall I produced an Online presentation related to these new Geoweb networking opportunities. This project and my thoughts about it are generally being updated on my Blog, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networking pages. Below is a link to the home page of that presentation, which can serve as a guide to initiatives and projects that can be used for a potential broad based Boise River/ Treasure Valley River Geoweb Watershed project.

Below is a link to interactive and community based watershed web site projects I have been involved in. The first link provides links to several dated projects from the past. We are currently working with the River Menders project in Idaho, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, Jamaica Protected Areas, and the Prince of Wales Island Tongass National Forest in Alaska, and I will provide those links too. I should note we are having current discussions with the Portneuf River Watershed in Pocatello about developing a similar citizen based GeoWeb project as is possible with the Boise River Watershed. I should also mention that we produced the Ridge to Rivers Web site in the year 2000, that could, and should be, updated to include GeoWeb data, discussions and citizen science projects. This could provide a model for other projects throughout the Boise River Watershed.

Portneuf Basin Pulse (The site below contains real time sensor information now for several geographic locations and plans are to more fully develop the web site with many more citizen science location opportunities, geoweb networking, educational programs, etc.)

Below are a few links to the Book and conferences mentioned above:

Many more references and links available upon request. Please comment here or send to my email address noted above.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Produced several Gigapan images from Yellowstone & Tetons. Can also be viewed in Google Earth.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"Grand Fountain Geyser" in Yellowstone erupted as I was shooting a Gigapan image last week.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Michael T. Jones-Google Earth-promises that most photographs uploaded to web will be geotagged (video)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Returned from Tetons/Yellowstone - a few demo photo and Gigapan upload links will be posted soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm in the Tetons & Yellowstone shooting still & video photography and Gigapans.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Used iPhone to record street maintenance in our neighborhood. Sent to YouTube.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who saw the Time Magazine poll results that show Jon Stewart is America's & Idaho's most trusted newscaster?
Just watched "the best" Apollo 11 Google Earth Tour on the Google Earth Blog:
Natural Resources hearing on "Federal Geospatial Data Management"
Web cast Live- Thurs 10:AM ET"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The President's Council on Environmental Quality's website has been updated to keep visitors informed.
Some "Collaborative Learning" concepts
are similar to "Common Adventure" process.
Read interesting technical paper describing ideas about "Collaborative Learning"
Derrick Pitts-Astronomer/ Your cell phone has 64 x the computing power than all the computers on any of the Apollo missions.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Google Earth Blog post - "Look at the Moon in Google Earth - Available Now!" See the Moon in 3D.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Report "Linked Data on the Web" and Tim Berners-Lee TED video encouraging everyone to participate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Read "Crisis of Confidence" Jimmy Carter speech on 15 July 1979. Challenging citizens to address energy problems.
Read article postulating that "Economics" is a Religion not a Science.
"Citizen Science Central"/Projects, Toolkits, Wiki Discussions/ Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Doing research on "Enabling Citizen Science" & found great article by Eric Paulos, Tag - "Mobile & The Web."
Please read Paul Krugman's "Boiling the Frog" article about the environment and economy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Joined - a participatory GeoWeb map networking project for photos, comments, etc., - Idaho Petition Map also.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"The Twitter Book" |O'Reilly Media| provides power user strategies and tactics I want to learn about.
Joined "The Conservation Registry" Online "spatially explicit" on-the-ground database for OR, WA, ID.
Read Dr. Jim Hanson's article "G-8 Failure Reflects U.S. Failure on Climate Change."

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Daniel Terdiman "Road Trip 2009" will be in Boise, ID tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Boston "Citizen Connect" article in Boston Globe URL.
Boston residents to use "Citizen Connect" iPhone app to instantly send "trackable" complaints and Geotagged photos to City Hall.
Google Earth Blog identifies new Google Earth Tour creation tools allowing people to create and share guided tours.
New iPhone app provides 19 geology GIS layers for California. More states, data & features planned.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Read "Rolling Stone" article by Matt Taiabi on Huffington Post - criticizing Goldman Sachs market manipulation. Link now unavailable -Why?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Link to my MobileMe Gallery- "One of Katy's flower beds" video shot with the iPhone 3GS.
Using I created a 3D interactive view of downtown Boise buildings starting from behind the Depot.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Using the new iPhone 3GS & the Earthscape app I have uploaded dozens of Geotagged images on neighborhood dog walks.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Using the iPhone 3G Earthscape app I have uploaded hundreds of Geotagged images mostly around Boise on daily dog Walks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 "Create your own project" uses a "Common Adventure" organizational process. On my blog are posts related to this process.
Noted that provides a toolkit of ideas for "Creating your own project."
Looked at White House announcement and links to (a new portal for Americans to serve in their communities.)

Geotagged photos from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

We had a long weekend to explore the Northern section of Prince of Wales Island, Alaska - May 29 through May 31, 2009. I have posted a few of the images from this trip on my Picasa Web Album page. Each album and each photo is geotagged and you can view them on a Google Map and also in Google Earth. (However, for the Macintosh, Picasa web apparently does not let you view the images in Google Earth. This does work for a Windows PC .)

I am working on a Google Earth 5 narrated tour for each of these days and will post notices here when they are ready.

Gigapan Photos Southeast Alaska and British Columbia

I shot and have produced several Gigapan images that allow you to zoom in to see telephoto details from a recent trip through Canada to Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. You can see these on my Gigapan web site page.

Please note on the web page above you can view these Gigapan Photos in a full screen mode for a higher quality image. There is also an option to view these images in the 3D Google Earth browser where they line up almost exactly with the horizon and direction of view.

One example showing the downtown harbor area and mountains near downtown Ketchikan is embedded below.

Another Gigapan below shows Labouchere Bay on the Northern part of Prince of Wales Island.

Web Squared web cast video available here:
Participated in "Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five years On" web cast. White paper by Tim O'Reilly & John Battelle here.

Facebook and Twitter use explosion

Every day, for months now, there is new information about new Web 2.0 uses of Twitter and the growth of the number of users of Facebook. I have been taking some more time to experiment with these networking tools and consequently have not been adding personal blog posts here on a regular basis. Possibly I will set up a connection between my posts to Twitter, to also be posted here in the near future.

Included here are links to my Twitter page and my Facebook page with a few recent comments, including links to Gigapan photographs and geotagged photos I took while on a recent photo trip to Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. (I will add links here in another post.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Boise Downtown Photo Tour in Google Earth

I have been using getagging applications to place my photographs on maps for a few years and hope to do a lot more in the near future. 

 This spring, after attending a meeting in downtown Boise, I decided to take several photos of downtown buildings and try to create a     3D Google Earth Tour   highlighting these.  (The link here provides a rough draft of this tour that I will try to improve on later.  

  Note, there are quite a few buildings in Boise that are viewable when the Google Earth 3D building layer is turned on and this makes the tour more interesting.

I submitted these images to my Panoramio web site and they have now been included on the Google Earth panoramio layer.

Also over the past year I have been interested in the new Gigapan robotic image device that allows a photographer to shoot dozens or even hundreds of single telephoto shots and software that helps stitch these together into one single photograph that can provide zoom views into magnified detail in any of the single photographs.  A few weeks ago I purchased one of these devices and have started to learn how to use it.  After experimenting with it I have finally created a couple of pretty good Gigapan images of downtown Boise and the foothills skyline in the distance.  One interesting interactive feature of the Gigapan image is that other viewers can find interesting details and create a thumbnail snapshot that will zoom right to that detail.  Another interesting feature of the Gigapan process is that they also provide a way to look at and zoom into these "panorama" images in Google Earth via a KML file.

Please Note!  The navigation features on the image below are live.  You can zoom in, pan and click on the thumbnail snapshots to move automatically to the detail in that view.

Today, I decided to try to merge a Gigapan KML with the Boise Downtown Photo Tour Google Earth KMZ file.  (Note this merger did not work.  For some reason the file only wants to show the Gigapan KML.)  If this would work it would provide a tour in which you can investigate details in the Gigapan image, and also move around through the 3D downtown buildings and see my photos pop up while the building is in the Google Earth view.   For now you can use the KMZ link at the top of this post to look at the 3D Tour.  (Please remember to turn on the Google Earth 3D layer)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ning & Facebook and other "Interest" networking opportunities.

For most of my life starting in college and especially during this first decade of the twenty first century I have become extremely interested in the concept of interest and community online networking concepts. As a result I have experimented with hundreds of different interest networking projects including dozens of list serves, Yahoo, Google and Apple groups, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed and many others. I am still active in many of these networks. Like millions of others I am also currently participating in the increasingly popular "Social Networking opportunities like " FaceBook and Twitter. I have found that I can post references to to my blog posts at one time on many of these by using

My own ideas about why people join these new Social Networking projects is that these are promoted as a way of finding and communicating with "Friends" who have common interests. I am most interested now in how these network projects can help people find others who have common interests in "Place Based" environmental and ecosystem issues. The most interesting networking platform I have found to date that provides more specific interest capability is provided by Marc Andreeson, original founder of Netscape, is a cofounder and describes Ning as a "Next" generation of networking services compared to "Walled Services" like Facebook and MySpace. One aspect of this next generation and of future networking options is open collaborative sharing between networks. Google has created a project called Open Social which starts to address this issue and Ning is participating in this initiative.

Today I came across an interesting blog post titled "Facebook + Ning for Social Change" on the My Social Actions Blog. The article lays out "three scenarios for how your social change initiative can combine the critical mass of Facebook with the community-building tools of Ning.
For anyone following the evolution of social media for social change, the emergence of Facebook and Ning as complementary tools for engaging people in making a difference is quite exciting."

In this blog post I want to share links to some examples of specialized Ning Networking projects I have been involved in helping to produce. Any person or small group with a common environmental interest can start a similar project which is extremely customizable to coincide with the needs of the participants who join.

GeoWeb Common Adventure Network
Idaho Outdoor Photography Network
Idaho Common Adventure Network
Idaho Environmental Network
Idaho Environmental Summit Planning -2008- Network
Jamaica Protected Areas Network
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Water Quality Network
Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign Network

If there are any questions or comments from readers I would be happy to try to respond.

New FCC seeks input on National Broadband Plan

Incredibly the U.S. has been ranked below many other countries in the world compared to Internet broadband speed, access and cost for several years. I don't believe this situation is what the American public expects from the decisions made by our elected leaders.

Over the years I have often watched CSPAN coverage of public Federal Communication Commission (FCC) meetings and hearings. Michael Copps has always seemed to be one of the most reasonable members of the FCC and has recently been named the Acting Chairman. (Photo Credit: FCC)

Today I read in in an article written by Chloe Albanesius, titled " FCC Opens Suggestions Box for Broadband Plan" that Copps anounced that the FCC is opening a "60-day comment period Wednesday, asking anyone with a vested interest in broadband to provide their input on how best to go forward."

"Specifically, the FCC wants to know the "most effective and efficient ways" to ensure national broadband, strategies for providing the most affordable high-speed Internet services, evaluations of current broadband deployments – including stimulus-related broadband grant programs, and how to use broadband to create better communities."

In another article about this plan written by Stephanie Condon and Marguerite Reardon in CNET News they report that Copps stated, "This commission has never, I believe, received a more serious charge than the one to spearhead development of a national broadband plan."

The authors add "Both Copps and Commissioner Jon Adelstein emphasized the need for the government to take a stronger role in fostering nationwide broadband access and adoption."
"Real economic and social progress needs to be fueled by both vigorous private enterprise and enlightened public policy," Copps said. "The missing ingredient until this year has been the enlightened public policy."

Geospatial Semantic Web / Evolutionary Changes

I believe some of the comments in the article noted below will affect, or are already affecting how geospatial, semantic, and place based interest networking web sites are being developed, by government agencies and and all other organizations and educational institutions providing "Place Based" information to the public.

In our own work with Mountain Visions we are attempting to learn how to employ these changes on web site projects we develop. One example of a project in progress now is the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Water Quality Monitoring web site project. The map to the right provides a hot link to a Google Map providing links to a number place based GeoWeb information pages.

Prof. Mike Jackson, David Schell, and Prof. D.R. Fraser Tayor wrote a very detailed article in Directions Magazine published April 6, 2009, titled "The Evolution of Geospatial Technology Calls for Changes in Geospatial Research, Education and Government Management." Below are a few summary comments I cut and pasted to provide a quick look at the longer article.

"The Geospatial Semantic Web is poised to develop rapidly on the platform of the World Wide Web Consortium's Semantic Web."

"1. Introduction

Over the last 15 years, geospatial technologies have evolved and dramatically converged with a variety of formal information technology disciplines. The discrete, even esoteric pursuits we referred to as GIS, Earth imaging, GPS, AM/FM, location based services and navigation systems are no longer discrete. Now they are of a piece, they "talk to one another" and interact freely in a fertile communications environment of wireless broadband, portable cell phone/computers, sensor-webs and, of course, the dynamically evolving environment of the World Wide Web. In fact, geodata is rapidly becoming a conventional and pervasively familiar data type seen at once to underpin and significantly recharacterize the digital world, with broad implications for both technology and society."

"This is not just a US issue. Most countries are poised to generate vast quantities of new geodata. The technologies for producing and using geodata have become so inexpensive and cost-effective that the budgetary constraints that faced government agencies and companies are increasingly not an issue. Perhaps of even greater significance, however, is the fact that the generators of the data will also increasingly be the mass consumer. Through the use of what will be ubiquitous GPS enabled mobile phones (supplemented with other positioning technology for indoor as well as outdoor coverage) the public will increasingly provide dense networks of location-tagged data and imagery as a by-product of their natural mobility and consumption of location-based services."

"6. Conclusion
Just as the significance of the Web could not be widely appreciated until the necessary Web standards had been in place for a few years, we believe that all the domains of geospatial technology and application are about to experience a remarkable transformation due to global adoption of open standard geospatial Web service interfaces and encodings. The rich "network effects" made possible by chained Web services, GRID computing, sensor webs, geospatial semantics, and online catalogs for data, services and schemas hold great promise, but there is no guarantee that this promise will be fulfilled. The question is, can we find the institutional will - in academia and government - to make changes that enable societies around the world to make the most of these new tools?"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

White House "Open for Questions" Virtual Town Hall

On March 24, President Obama announced that the White House web site would offer an "Open for Questions" web site project where people could ask questions and vote on other questions that were submitted on 11 topics related to the economy. Today, on March, 26, an on line streaming broadcast allowed President Obama to answer some of these questions in a "Virtual Town Hall Meeting." According to today, more than 90,000 people submitted questions and more than 3.6 million users ranked questions. (The White House Blog today clarified this by noting that there were more than three and a half million votes.--I myself voted on over two dozen questions.)

On March 25, a day after the first announcement, I logged in and decided to ask a question in the topic area related to "Green Jobs and Energy." By this time there were already over 40,000 questions and the first popular ones submitted had already garnered many votes. Questions submitted later could only be found by scrolling through a long list or by doing a "Search" for key words.

Here is the question I asked. "Dear Mr. President, Would you support a series of ongoing nationwide online town hall meetings in local communities, towns, and cities in all states on the topic of environmental and ecosystem sustainability related to future economic stability?"
gogrimm, Boise, ID - Green Jobs and Energy

I watched the live streaming event today at 11:AM EDT, and it was one of the highest quality live video programs I have seen. The disappointment was that the president could only answer a few of the 90,000 questions. Immediately after the streaming broadcast was over, I had trouble finding the original "Open for Questions" site where I wanted to look at some more of the questions that had been asked. It appeared at first that the web site had been taken down and the questions were no longer available. Consequently I wrote a comment to the White House asking about this. My comment is noted below. I should note that afterward I was able to locate the Open for Questions site again and hope that it remains available for the future and that similar "open for question" virtual town hall meetings are duplicated throughout the country in the future.

Regarding the Online Town Hall "Open For Questions" meeting:

Is there a record of the questions and voting responses that came in to during the past few days? I watched President Obama answer a few questions on the live stream broadcast today. However, it seems logical that all of the questions would be answered by the White House and that all the questions, answers and voting results would be available as a permanent public record. As an organizing technique using something like Google Search could help citizens find similar questions and answers they were most interested in.

I would also hope that this online town hall meeting process is continued and expanded to allow citizens to respond or "vote" on daily issues, and also be able to continually send in questions that are answered that also become part of a permanent public record.

I would suggest that this "Open for Questions" town hall concept become part of every administrative and cabinet office of the White House. Every cabinet member (or staff) should be open to questions and responsible for answers.

I would like to see every member of Congress, State Governors, and state legislators also be open to similar online "Open for Questions" and Town Hall meetings. All of these should become part of a public record in the future.

I will appreciate a response if possible,

Thank you,

Gary Grimm

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obligatory Environmental Insurance & Ecological Debt

I found an article on the Environmental News Network today published from Reuters on October 17, 2008 titled "Argentina makes environmental insurance a must." Argentine officials are requiring companies to buy insurance to cover environmental damage. The article notes that this is the first country to make insurance obligatory and that, even though environmental insurance is sold in Europe it is not obligatory, because it does not have to be, said a spokesman for the Environment Secretariat.

Nothing in the article is said about the position of the United States regarding this issue.

For years many scientists and concerned citizens have been speaking out about the unpaid costs of ecological degradation worldwide. Civilization has been using taking natural resources at a very low cost and selling resulting products for a much higher profit than would be possible if the real costs for using sustainable natural resources were factored in. I wrote about this issue in my blog post on October 24, 2008 titled, "Debt to Nature and the Global Economy Crisis"

Since last fall almost all of the news has been about the Economic Crisis. Hardly anything is being said by politicians or news services in America about ecological issues. Even climate change and global warming are bundled in with ideas about how to make America energy efficient in the future, but bringing the economy back to "normal profitability" seems to be foremost. Personally I am not sure what "back to normal profitability" can even mean to any of us, given the unbelievable ponzi schemes, greed and top up wealth accumulation being exposed almost every day. The latest news is that the worldwide AIG Insurance company was selling insurance while knowing they did not have the money to pay future claims. And now they are being "bailed out" by American taxpayers, because this huge global company has become too big to fail? We as taxpayers have a right and an obligation to be learn how to become involved in American and Global affairs to assure a much more logical and even balanced and secure economic and ecological future, if that is even possible.

This brings up the question in my mind - How many (or what percentage of) companies that get permits to take natural resources in America for profit are required to pay adequate (ie., real cost) fees or purchase environmental insurance that will assure American taxpayers that the resources will remain sustainable in the future? And, how can Americans and other citizens in the world begin to trust the politicians and corporations and insurance companies that they can change their behavior and become responsible for the future, when it is so obvious that they have not been responsible in the past.

I don't believe that the "Debt to Nature" or "Ecological Debt" has ever been a serious consideration in America or other countries in the past. It just seems logical that humans have to address this issue now, at the same time we are trying to address the economic crisis. To my mind these issues have to be intertwined into human consciousness if there is to be a sustainable global environment and economy in the future.

Sun-Earth Day - NASA Web Site and Web Cast - March 20, 1:PM EDT

In March of 2007 I wrote a blog post about the Vernal Equinox and noted the creation of an Idaho Common Adventure Network to coincide with the warming spring season when new plant and animal life begins to flourish. Given the current knowledge about global economic and ecological crises I am certain it is important for many more (most) citizens to try understand the complex relationship of our human actions on the environment. Opportunities to learn more about the Sun and Earth is part of this process.

A Press Release today (March 19) is titled "NASA Celebrates Sun-Earth Day with Illuminating Webcast." " NASA scientists will reveal new information and images about our sun and its influence on Earth and the solar system for Sun-Earth Day, recognized each year in conjunction with the spring equinox. The highlight of this year's celebration is a webcast for students and teachers around the world beginning at 1 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 20."

On the NASA Sun-Earth Day: 2009 web site the theme this year is "Our Sun, Yours to Discover." The web site provides information about how to Subscribe to the Live Web Cast and how to Get involved.

There are many other valuable educational and environmental projects inviting public participation. I will attempt to identify some of these I find most interesting as time permits in the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Geospatial Revolution Project & 2 Mountain Visions productions

Over the past few years I have been tracking and recording trends related to the Geospatial web and other new networking opportunities that can empower citizens to become more informed and active in environmental current affairs and decision making. As part of this effort I created a presentation for the Idaho Environmental Summit last November titled "GeoWeb Common Adventure Networking." On this blog and other participatory opportunities I will attempt to add interesting information as time permits.

A few days ago I was alerted by a message from the Idaho Geospatial Office List Server about a very interesting and informative web site and video trailer titled the "Geospatial RevolutionProject -- The location of anything is becoming everything." This is a project of the Penn State Public Broadcasting. The video trailer is at the top of the web page.

In Summary text under a topic "THE PROJECT" notes that 'We live in the Global Location Age. “Where am I?” is being replaced by, “Where am I in relation to everything else?”

Text under a "THE NEED TO KNOW" topic states: "Geospatial information influences nearly everything. Seamless layers of satellites, surveillance, and location-based technologies create a worldwide geographic knowledge base vital to solving myriad social and environmental problems in the interconnected global community."

As I watched the video I was reminded of two similar Geospatial educational projects we (Mountain Visions) produced in the year 2000.

The first of these was titled a "Virtual Exploration of GIS", a short series of multimedia tutorials to explain the basic concepts of Geographic Information Systems, and was prepared as an Interactive multimedia CD-ROM and an interactive web site. Sponsors the production included the Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory and Landscape and Ecology Modeling and Analysis Center at Utah State University and the Bureau of Land Management National Training Center. The original purpose of this project was to be a presentation tool for BLM workshops helping land managers and other citizens understand how GIS technology works and how to use it. The web site version of the project also became a popular educational tool for colleges and other GIS training projects. This project was awarded "First Place for Multimedia" at the ESRI International User Conference that year.

Another multimedia program we created in 2000 was titled "Understanding the Nature of Ecosystems Through Science" and explained the history of how maps were created for Yellowstone National Park and how hyperspectral satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS technology was being developed to help solve ecosystem issues. (Note that this was originally produced for a CD-ROM presentation for the "Yellowstone Ecosystem Studies" project and was subsequently reduced in window size for acceptable presentation on the web at that time. The window size now could fill the computer screen for future projects of a similar nature.)

World Wide Web 20th Anniversary

Very interesting news articles and videos have appeared the past few days noting the 20th Anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW).

In The Industry Standard, Paul Boutin notes that Tim Berners-Lee is widely credited with the first proposal, in 1989, to create a hypertext model that would allow researchers to share documents over the Internet that linked to each other.

By far the most impressive description of the history of the WWW is given by Tim Berners-Lee himself in a 16 minute video presentation provided by the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference. Watch this video where "he talks about his next web - a network for open, linked data that will unlock our information and reframe the way we work together.

Another source, provides a short history of Berners-Lee involvment with the WWW using a series of 10 images and text starting with the statement that what started on March 13 1989 "gave birth to the WWW and thus, eventually, Facebook, eBay, Google, iTunes, YouTube,, blogs...." On slide 10 Berners-Lee is pictured at the March 13, 2009 Celebration at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Text on this slide notes that 'Berners-Lee offered this historical reflection: "When people built the Internet, it was designed to be a cloud," he said. "When routing packets, the system only looks at the envelope--it's an important design principle. Now people find out what you write in your letters."

For the past few months I have been very busy experimenting with many other social/interest networking concepts (Google Earth, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc., etc., and as a consequence have not been posting to this blog as often as I want to. I hope to use this 20th Anniversary to re-energize my effort to post more regularly in the future. As the global economy has gone topsy turvy and associated, but less discussed, global ecological problems accumulate, we understand that everything will be (has to be) different now and in the future. Citizens, communities and governments simply cannot behave the way they have been if there is to be a reasonable quality of life for humans in the future. There has to be an equalization of quality for people around the world and there has to be a sustainable environment/ ecosystem for this to happen.

The WWW and many new open source initiatives being made available today reinforce the message conveyed by Tim Berners-Lee in the video above that linked and shared data is critical to our future. I have outlined some of my own thoughts about these new citizen empowering WWW opportunities in an online presentation titled "GeoWeb Common Adventure Networking" I produced for the November 2008, Idaho Environmental Summit.

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