Day: April 17, 2009

TV science and GIS

I forgive a lot of bad science for the sake of a good story. But sometimes it gets frustrating — so, this offering from PhD Comics gave me a good chuckle.

However, working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), my personal bugbear is anything to do with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and mapping: How do the guys in Num3ers get access to basemaps instantaneously? And why do they never have to enter into conversations about licencing? And don’t get me started on GPS tracking…

If I could add a fifth frame to the comic linked to above, it would look something like this:

gps_science

As an aside, and for the copyright conscious among you, the map image above is taken from the fabulous British site The People’s Map.  This is a seriously awesome use of crowdsourcing to create free map data for non-commercial use. While you can get map images from Google Maps, the data used to draw those images is still copyright and there’s lots of conditions about how you can use it. In contrast, The People’s Map (or OpenStreetMap) are aiming to generate copyright free layers of lat-long data that you can use on-line or in your own GIS engine and your derived data is copyright free too! Very cool.

I know medicos and lawyers regularly get frustrated by TV representations of their fields — but does anyone else have a TV science pet-hate?

‘with tears…’

If you’re just tuning in to this series on Christian proclamation, you probably need to read the previous four posts first.

View from Quakers Hill Anglican Church Carpark (May 2007)

View from Quakers Hill Anglican Church Carpark (May 2007)

In my last post I addressed myself to the appropriateness of rhetoric and imagination in proclaiming the good news. I argued that drawing on such resources is about effective communication. We do it as we strive to responsibly use the gifts God has given us to speak words that present the Lord Jesus in the power of the Spirit and to the glory of the Father.

But there’s a potential dark side to this. With so much emphasis on the how of proclamation — maximising its impact, etc — we risk leaving the door of our hearts open to manipulative or self-serving intentions. Continue reading