Posts Tagged ‘maryland’

Geocaching GPS Adventure at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

Friday, February 19th, 2010

[Editor’s note: If your on the East Coast the next couple months and looking to entertain kids (or your inner kid), check out the GPS Adventures geocaching experience at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, just an hour’s drive from Washington, DC. Requires modest entrance fee. After Baltimore, the exhibit heads to Redding, California, and then Dayton Ohio.  Thanks Dan!]

Republished from Maryland Science Center.
Video above is “The Thrill is in the Hunt” from the Pacific Science Center.

Opens this Saturday, thru April 18th.
Directions, hours and price »

Get Lost!

GPS Adventures is a life-sized maze exhibition introducing visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching–a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than three million people around the world are on the hunt for nearly a half million hidden treasures. In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

Exhibit highlights

  • Discover how GPS Technology is changing the way we live
  • Join the global treasure hunt movement known as geocaching
  • Use navigation, memory, and critical thinking to get through the maze

New navigation for a new kind of treasure hunt

GPS technology is changing the way we live.  It can be found in surprising places from cars to cell phones and is the backbone of the global treasure hunting game geocaching.  Get lost in the maze and learn how to find your way using GPS.  Visitors simulate a GPS adventure using a unique stamp card that leads you to your own Treasure City.  By collecting all 4 stamps you can better understand how satellite technology uses plotting to determine your exact location on the planet.

Understand how satellites pinpoint your position on the globe

Once visitors collect all 4 stamps visitors navigate the maze.  Navigate around impossible obstacles including waterfalls, cliffs and ravines to solve cache puzzles in four environments: city, local park, backcountry and an historic site to find secret codes and gain access to each of the satellite rooms.  Learn about maps, compasses and geography along the way.

Join the community of modern day treasure hunters–geocachers!

Meet Signal Frog—your helpful guide along the way.  Try on the latest outdoor gear and insert yourself into an outdoors-themed magazine cover.  Short, funny videos give an insider peak at the outdoor adventure of geocaching.  Interactive displays throughout the maze help visitors understand exactly how GPS works and how an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS navigation and deciphering clues has become a worldwide phenomenon with families and groups who embark on these 21st century treasure hunts.

OpenStreetMap leveraged for bikes: Ride the City – DC Metro

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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[Editor’s note: This routing tool considers bike paths and trails and supports drag and drop start and stop icons (rather than just address entree). It’s available for several major metro areas across the US and just came to Washington, DC. How can you get it in your town? Yet another reason to contribute to OpenStreetMap.org, the backend behind the tool. Thanks Jaime!]

Republished from Ride the City.

Washington D.C. is a great city for bicycling: its greenway network is extensive and it’s relatively flat. D.C. is also home to Smartbike DC, a public bike rental program.

We’re happy to announce that today bicycling in the nation’s capital just got easier: Welcome Ride the City – DC Metro! This newest addition includes Washington D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, all of Fairfax, and the Maryland suburbs within the Capital Beltway. We’re hopeful that by making it easier to ride bikes around the epicenter of U.S. political power that we may inspire more action to bring about improved bicycle facilities everywhere, especially in cities where biking is a sensible alternative to driving.

Ride the City – DC Metro was probably our biggest challenge to date. It was tricky because of the many jurisdictions (six counties) and various data sources that had to be organized, not to mention the 1,148 square miles of area and over 450 miles of separated (i.e. Class 1) bike ways that had to be manually edited. We’re happy to have had help from many good people in the bicycling world. Among those who helped, we’d like to thank Chantal Buchser (Washington Area Bicyclist Association), Bruce Wright (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling), and Jeff Hermann (Fairfax County DOT) for helping us with data, troubleshooting, and leveraging volunteers to test routes early on.

(For those of you who are new to Ride the City, keep in mind that the Cloudmade basemap that we use is based on Open Street Map, the volunteer effort to map the world. If you notice discrepancies on the map, you can edit Open Street Map yourself or tell us about it and we’ll edit Open Street Map for you. To learn more about Open Street Map, click here.)

Try it out at Ride the City . . .

Family Gets a New Address In Bethesda — Without Moving (Wash Post)

Friday, June 19th, 2009

newbethesdaaddress[Editor's note: Street addresses are just mental convienences, after all. Why don't we all memorize our longitude and latitude coordinates, yo?]

Republished from The Washington Post.
By Miranda S. Spivack. Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It was painful enough for the Beyersdorfer family to learn that Montgomery County had approved a builder’s plans to tear down their neighbor’s house and replace it with two larger ones. But then, on May 29, came a terse form letter with startling news:

Effective immediately, the address for the suburban split-level the Beyersdorfers have occupied for 43 years is no longer 6211 Wedgewood Rd. That address now belongs to one of the two unbuilt houses next door. The Beyersdorfer house has been bumped to 6213.

It was, the letter said, simply a matter of public safety. The numbering system is designed to help emergency vehicle drivers easily find addresses, the letter said, and a sequential system is the best way to do that.

Or, as a county planning official told Anne Beyersdorfer one recent day as she questioned the decision, “sometimes you just don’t have any options.” And no, the county doesn’t allow 6209 1/2 or 6209A and 6209B.

“That’s just rude,” Beyersdorfer said. “How can there be no options?”

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

New Programs Put Crime Stats on the Map (Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

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[Editor’s note: Instead of screen scrapping police logs printed in community papers, web mappers are partnering directly with city police departments to get timely, accurate reports up online in map form. Thanks Yifang!]

Republished from the Wall Street Journal.
June 3, 2009. By BOBBY WHITE

When a burglar broke into a home on the outskirts of Riverdale Park, Md., last month, some locals quickly received an email alert about the incident. Once police confirmed the crime on the scene, they followed
up with a more thorough email disclosing the time, location and type of crime.

The alert is part of a crime-information service that the Riverdale Park police department provides its residents about illegal activity in their neighborhoods. “It helps us keep the public informed,” says Teresa Chambers, police chief of Riverdale Park, a suburb of Washington, D.C. “It’s also a way for us to solicit help [from residents] in solving some of these crimes.”

Across the country, Americans can increasingly track crime trends block by block as more police departments contract with Internet-based crime-mapping services. Since 2007, more than 800 police departments have begun working with Web sites like CrimeMapping.com, CrimeReports.com and EveryBlock.com. The services take live feeds from police record-keeping systems and automatically post the data on their sites.

Police say they use the sites to help change citizens’ behavior toward crime and encourage dialogue with communities so that more people might offer tips or leads. Some of the sites have crime-report blogs that examine activity in different locales. They also allow residents to offer tips and report crimes under way.

Police have traditionally depended on media reports and community meetings to inform the public about neighborhood crime. Many departments have been reluctant to share too much information with the public out of concern it could be used as a political tool, says Thomas Casady, police chief of Lincoln, Neb. But the rise of Web services that publish records online has forced some of the departments to reconsider. Some of these sites operate independently of the police department, putting pressure on police to participate, Mr. Casady says.

Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal . . .

Potential Sites for Slots in Maryland (Kelso)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

[Editor’s note: I published a series of interactive Google mashups last month in The Washington Post showing where in Maryland the proposed slots machine sites would be located if a November ballot initiative passes. The maps also feature a poll and comment section on each site. Here’s the mashup for Anne Arundel County (view original, hacked version below). The opening page for the series is here.]

GRAPHIC: By Laura Cochran, washingtonpost.com, and Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, The Washington Post

Land Contracts, Sales Go To Johnson Associates (Kelso via TWP)

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

[Editor’s note: This is my third map that refines the mashup template I’ve been developing for The Washington Post. Data is loaded via XML so the producer doesn’t need to edit the HTML. Option to enable the auto-generated legend below the map (the pop-menu above the map is part of the “legend”). MouseOver tooltip behavior tells the user what the markers are called before they click on them to get full details. Option to zoom in on marker click and get satellite map when the info window is called up.

My favorite feature: on close of the information window that resulted from that marker click the map pans / zooms back to it’s prior location. No more “where was I” moments so common with mashups! Goes with an investigative piece, read that here.

WEB EDITOR: Juana Summers — washingtonpost.com. REPORTERS: Cheryl W. Thompson and Mary Pat Flaherty — The Washington Post. Interactive by Nathaniel V. Kelso — The Washington Post. First published June 6, 2008.]

Since County Executive Jack B. Johnson took office in December 2002, his administration has agreed at least 11 times to sell public land to people with ties to Johnson, including a former business partner, a current business partner and several campaign contributors. Johnson said he has not been involved in awarding any of the contracts and has ordered a review of county procedures for selling public land. Those who won the deals said they were not given special treatment. The projects are mapped below.

Interactive graphic mirrored below. Original available here.