Portland State University Using GIS to Assist Their Community

Portland State University students have created a map that uses available amenities as a scale. The Bad@$$-ness Map includes data from coffee shops to bars to bike networks. Student used available collected data to create a map that helps the community, this is the real purpose of geography and geographic information systems. The map uses a color scale to show the level of enjoyment available in Portland, Oregon. This map has so many purposes like advertising for businesses and helping new people in Portland to get around. These studentssaw a need in their society and they worked to fill the gaps. What is missing in you town?

Check out the Portland Bad@$$-ness Map Full Report!

Source: Green Growth Cascadia

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Google Science Fair 2012 is Underway

The Google Science Fair in a web-based science competition open to children 13-18 years old. Google Science Fair is a global competition and awards life-changing prizes, including a scientific journey through the Galapagos Islands, scholarships or great job positions.  All you need to do is ask a question, look for an answer and submit your experience! This science fair is not about good grades or physics knowledge, Google Science Fair is looking for all types of entries from all types of youth from around the world. One winner from last year worked through a process to reduce carcinogens in grilled chicken! The judging is done by international science experts (meet the judges and learn about criteria). This is a great opportunity for youth to explore their interests and be recognized for their efforts. Everyone has an idea, put it into action!

Enter Your Project into the Google Science Fair!

Read About Last Year’s Winners

Google Science Fair Rules

Source: Google Science Fair

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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RU BIKING: Rutgers Students Use Community Mapping to Improve Biker Safety

RU BIKING is a Rutgers University undergraduate Community Mapping class run project that undertakes the big responsibility of improving bicycle safety around New Brunswick. The City of New Brunswick recently passed a law that prohibits bikers from riding on sidewalks. This law contradicts the city’s earlier decision to widen sidewalks to accommodate bikers. Commuting on a bicycle has become more risky without bike lanes or signs to force drivers to share the road. RU BIKING will use community mapping to bridge the gaps between the policies and the people. The city council gets their data from reported bike collisions which are only a fraction of the (mostly unreported) incidents that occur. The goal is to reveal missing data and encourage change by getting the community involved. Rutgers undergraduates will conduct pre- and post-surveys, connect with the community, disseminate educational information, and hold a community mapping event to determine New Brunswick “bikeability” from the citizen perspective. Making a change is important to bikers, drivers, adults, kids, everyone! Biker safety will increase biker frequency which could ultimately improve a whole area.

Community Mapping Event: March 2nd, 2012 – Contact

RU BIKING Official Project Website – Follow Project Progress!

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Source: RU BIKING

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Groundhog Phil Says 6 More Weeks of Winter!

Famous Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog has seen his shadow and declared six more weeks of winter! Is this a blessing, curse, or improbable? Phil has been recorded being correct 99/115 times! That is a very convincing ratio! Famous Phil is from Punxsutawney,Pennsylvania. Two men in tuxedos and top hats unveiled Phil at 7:25 am. This groundhog’s consistency says something about geography and climate over the past century. What is moreinteresting is the difference in weather patterns we have seen this season. Remote sensing is an amazing geography tool that allows us to collect and study and notice many earth data such as weather. Should we expect six more weeks of winter in the Northeast?

Check Out Groundhog Phil’s Official Website

Punxsutawney Phil Emerges 2012 VIDEO

National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center!

Source: Washington Post

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Learning and Donating with Free Rice!

The United Nations World Food Programme runs a non-profit website, Free Rice, that allows people of all ages to learn and donate food at the same time! The Free Rice website is meant to provide free education and free food. Donating food helps people and helps  people function and ultimately better the world. Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice for every correct answer and allows changing subjects between language vocabulary, geography, math, chemistry, humanities and grammar. Free Rice is a user-friendly website that allows everyone to lend a helping hand! Children love the trivia and they love the idea of helping out. Rice donations and knowledge add up quick!

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Source: Free Rice

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Real Time Farm Reveals Where Your Food Came From

Real Time Farms is an organization started by young, ambitious college graduates. Real Time Farm’s goal is to make information about where food is coming from available to the public through public participatory data collection (PPGIS). Volunteers will upload photos, experiences, information about growing the food, andmuch more. Compiling all this data allows Real Time Farms to provide information to the public about where food is coming from whether you are saying in or eating out at a restaurant. When people know more about their food they are more likely to take more interest in their diets. Real Time Farms has allowed people to trust their food and gravitate more towards fresh and healthy choices. PPGIS is changing research and data collection everyday. There is no limit to what sharing can accomplish.

Real Time Farms Teaser Video

Be A Food Warrior! Real Time Farm Internship Opportunity

VERTICES PPGIS

Source: Real Time Farms

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Make your Map Famous with NACIS

Calling all mapmakers! The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) is asking for map submissions from everyone! NACIS is putting together the new Atlas of Design dedicated to encouraging artistic and unique cartography through prime examples. The Atlas of Design is aimed at all readers to show the power of map design and map understanding. All maps will be in full-color and be accompanied by commentary that will help the reader understand all components of the map. NACIS is trying to compile maps from all over the world from a variety of map makers so do not hesitate to submit your work! Send in your own maps and encourage your friends too!

Email atlas@nacis.org to Submit your Map!

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 24TH, 2012

SEND YOUR MAP!

Source: NACIS

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Samantha is a Semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search!

Samantha Garvey is a very proud seventeen year old semifinalist in the famous Intel Science Talent Search. Samantha spent almost three years completing her project about the relationship between Asian short crabs and ribbed mussels in a marsh on Long Island. Samantha made innovative discoveries about animal adaption and the importance of habitat on evolution. Samantha and her family were actually homeless throughout the end of her project, but she did not let that stop her from competing and advancing in the science competition. Samantha even sat in the House of Representatives chamber while President Obama gave the State of the Union address. Passion has driven Samantha to accomplish her goals and even helped find her family help and a home. Samantha has received a scholarship from the Ellen Show and is hoping to win the $100,000 prize from the Intel Science Talent Search. Samantha is one of three hundred semifinalists and she expects to win!

Past Intel Science Talent Search Winners and Their Research!

Source: Scholastic News

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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15-Year Old Boy Climbs 7 Summits!

Jordan Romero, 15-years old of California, has successfully climbed all seven summits! Jordan and his parents climbed the last mountain, Mt. Castensz Pyramid in Oceania, on Christmas Day. The seven summits describe the highest point in each continent. Jordan planned his journey while admiring a seven summits mural at his elementary school. Jordan set a goal, made a plan, went on a journey, and accomplished a mission. It is amazing the affect that a simple mural can have on people. Children need to be exposed to geography to be able to take an interest and get excited about it. Jordan conquered Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Australia’s Mt. Kosciuszko, Europe’s Mt. Elbrus, South America’s Mt. Aconcagua, North America’s Mt. Denali and Oceania’s Mt. Castensz Pyramid. Jordan also earned a spot in the Guinness Book of Record for being the youngest to climb seven summits. Jordan is an awesome inspiration to kids and adults alike. Share Jordan’s story and plan an adventure of your own!

Jordan Romero News Video

Learn About the 7 Summits

Source: DOGOnews

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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Get Your Young Kids to Read!

Getting children to read when they are young will foster healthy learning habits, that will follow a child for their whole life. It is important for parents to make reading interesting and accessible. The Daily New and Analysis Newspaper, of India, wrote a great column on how to make your child fall in love with books. The column is strictly based on shared experiences from parents. Parents highlight the simple activities that have gotten their children into the habit of reading and enjoying literature. Great tips include reading bedtime stories and picking out interesting current event articles. The key is to read to your children and encourage them to read to you. Make sure reading is part of daily schedules and keep reading dynamic and diverse. When your child enjoys reading it will change their whole approach to learning and life!

DNA Column: Make your child fall in love with books

Teachersfirst: 100 Best Books

Kid’s Reading List from Oprah

Source: DNA Newspaper

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Megan Zaccaro, VERTICES intern. megan.zaccaro@vertices.com

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