Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Natural England Consultation

A current consultation is going on with Natural England, over a document / strategy relating to 'FUTURE LANDSCAPES'.
Plenty of geography here, and a good excuse to explore how our landscapes are changing...

One change for the future was made today, when the SOUTH DOWNS was finally granted NATIONAL PARK status after decades of waiting.
Those lesson plans and worksheets which ask how many National Parks there are will all have to be changed now ;)

OS Mapping News - Spring 2009

Plenty of ideas for looking at landscapes here...

The latest version of the OS Mapping News magazine has just dropped on my desk.
Good to see plenty of information relating to the work of the GA, and some familiar names.

There was a report on the OS Free Maps for Schools: in 2008-9, a total of almost 700 000 free maps were requested.
pp. 8-9 has an article on geocaching, which I have done several times, and is a good 'geographical' activity to do with young children
pp. 10-11 features Val Vannet's excellent 'My Patch' activity using Get a Map and Geograph
pp. 14-16 features Tim Bayliss and Lawrence Collins' look at accessible GIS for schools
pp. 26-29 features my article on 'Bringing Maps to Life' based around the Ronald Lampitt-illustrated book 'The Map that Came to Life'

Final session has plenty on the GA projects, Living Geography conferences, and the Annual Conference plus launch of 'a different view'.

The latest version: SPRING 2009, can be DOWNLOADED FROM OS WEBSITE.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Latest book news...

The proofs of the book are currently being created and I will have some editing to do in the next few months or so once they are completed...
Publication looking like being AUTUMN now, which will be after the GA Conference unfortunately, but there's always next year...

Photosynth: a '3D' landscape

Quick trip up to Hunstanton this morning to take 164 pictures of the famous stripy cliffs: the southern end of the cliffs near the promenade: wandered from the carrstone boulders in the tidal zone, to the base of the cliff and zoomed in on some of the individual rocks in the red and white rockfall zones. The light wasn't ideal, but that wasn't really the point in this case.
I then batch-resized the images ready to create a PHOTOSYNTH.
Taking my cue from Ollie Bray's BLOG POST, I installed Microsoft Silverlight, and then PHOTOSYNTH itself (having to keep reminding myself to use Internet Explorer rather than my usual Chrome)
PHOTOSYNTH installs 2 programmes: a web-browser plugin for viewing the 'synths' and an application for creating them.
If you've read this far and are thinking "what's a Photosynth anyway ?", here is a DESCRIPTION.

A detailed GEOLOGICAL GUIDE of the cliffs can be viewed here (PDF download)


You will need to use INTERNET EXPLORER to VIEW THE PHOTOSYNTH...

Also embedded below: needs SILVERLIGHT TO VIEW, and to be viewed in IE or Firefox

How about putting together a GEOGRAPHICAL library of Photosynth LANDSCAPES or LANDSCAPE FEATURES.
If you've made one, please let me know....

Friday, 13 March 2009

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Incredible Landscapes

Bought a cheap copy of Billy Connolly's 'Journey to the Edge of the World' in a well known supermarket yesterday...Visit the ITV website for more details on the series, which would be good viewing for those people studying Extreme Environments 
There are some good descriptions of the changing landscape of areas like Nunavut, the majesty of icebergs and glaciers, and the experience of climbing one of the Tuktoyaktuk (also known locally as 'Tuk') pingos.
The ITV website has an interactive map and video footage, and you can catch up with episodes on the ITV PLAYER for the time being. There's also a GALLERY OF IMAGES.

Plenty of associated press and blog posts as well to flesh out the content.
The DVD is available from next monday, and features Billy's travelogue, which may provide an engaging classroom resource, although it has a 15 certificate, so there could be some 'fruity' language...

Here's a taster...