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Life as a public servant - Capital Adventures
February 28th, 2008
06:36 pm
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Life as a public servant



It's not so bad, actually. The work is reasonably varied and has a useful and honorable purpose, the people are generally pretty bright, the conditions are as good as could be expected for spending all day at the keyboard, and I got to spend today making maps. I really like making maps.

Current Music: Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy
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From:wcg
Date:February 28th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
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Cartography is wonderful. Enjoy it.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:February 28th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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I have a relatively new boss, who was waxing lyrical about geographical information systems yesterday. I'm hoping there might be some professional development for me in that direction. Fingers crossed.
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From:wcg
Date:February 28th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
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I think you need to attend a professional conference on Earth Observing Systems at the Goddard Spaceflight Center.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:February 28th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
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I'll be sure to run that past him. I suspect that's not quite what he had in mind, but if we can tenuously link it to the transport sector, you never know.
Actually - do you know if it is possible/done to measure traffic flows from orbit? That would possibly be useful.
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From:wcg
Date:February 28th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
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It might be possible, though I think the much more straightforward way would be to track the motion of cellphones or similar GPS transponders. (In a sense, using GPS *is* using orbiting assets, but you don't have to know much about the GPS constellation to use it.)
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From:dianavilliers
Date:February 28th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
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Yes, things like that have been done overseas to construct typical drive cycles, usually on a one/few vehicle/s at a time basis. It hasn't been done here yet unfortunately.
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From:wcg
Date:February 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm...

If you can get hold of the Low Earth Orbiting weather satellite imagery, you might be able to make some assessments of traffic speed and intensity during the few minutes the satellite has good visibility of your location. There may be enough satellites in various orbits to provide you with some decent information. You'd want to check with MeteoSat, and WorldView, and maybe Spot, to see if the coverage is currently good enough to make it worth your while. It wouldn't hurt to ask around at the local universities to see if there's someone doing Remote Sensing in a geography or geophysics or meteorology program.

My concern would be that most of the weather and climate satellites are deliberately kept in 'frozen' orbits so that they pass over a given spot on the Earth's surface at exactly the same local mean time every day. Most of them fly over at either 10:30 or 13:30 local time. That's not really going to give you very useful data for rush hour traffic. The geostationary satellites can see you all the time, but from way the heck out at 22,500 miles (36,000 km) they don't see individual cars very well. There are spy satellites that go over at other times, but I doubt you could get access to their data products.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:February 29th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
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It's probably worth a cursory literature search at least. I suspect that it might end up one of those things that's possible, but more fuss than its worth. I shall look into it as soon as people stop asking me to crystal-ball-gaze right now please.
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