Sunday, 17 June 2012


The British Geological Survey and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology have created a smartPhone App called mySoil that lets users know about soil properties in their area; including soil depth, texture, pH and organic matter content.

The tool has been designed for "... gardeners and vegetable growers, allotment owners, farmers and agricultural specialists, school and college students environmentalists and land-use planners ... John Ludden, Executive Director of BGS, says, 'Mobile technologies are opening up exciting new ways to share environmental information.' "

MySoil improves access to increasingly Open Source Geological Survey Data in the UK, such as photos, reports, digital data, educational material, and software for download.

MySoil was launched, at the recent Times Cheltenham Science12 Festival, and demonstrated at the BBC's Gardeners World Live reports the UK Natural Environmental Research Council.

Friday, 15 June 2012

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: Sickness Maps to Track Common Diseases

Sickweather headache map mined from keywords in Tweets
Twitter is being currently explored to track and map common infectious diseases and illnesses such as flu, asthma, pneumonia and chicken pox. By extracting (live data mining) key words from tweets (messages) one can locate their occurrence. The aim is to help health officials with timely spatial data., for example, tracks 20+ symptoms and illnesses (see the sample map). The New Scientist reports that HealthMap helped track the spread of cholera in Haiti via Twitter. Marcel Salathe mapped a 2009 flu outbreak in the USA by examining 248,000 tweets and is also using Tweets to map obesity reports New Scientist

Can Twitter predict outbreaks? Graham Dodge, founder of Sickweather, thinks so.

And $21,000 is up for grabs for the best Twitter map:
"Join The U.S. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in it's newest Challenge competition. Develop and submit a web-based application that tracks Twitter to identify trending illnesses.

With these Twitter developments, Sammy Roth, an intern with GOOD Technology, suggests we will do public health officials a favour by tweeting how we feel.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Australia's "... NSW (New South Wales) Government has appointed a new industry-led task-force to develop comprehensive strategies to drive growth, innovation and productivity in the NSW creative industries sector", reports Fibre2Fashion. Members of the task force include representatives from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Australian Recording Industries association, and ScreenTime.  

The creative industries include film and television, fashion, publishing, the built environment, advertising, design, and the performing arts.

Vivid Sydney hosted a forum 06Jun12 at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art to explore how to grow this sector. Vivid's strategic partners include EventsSydney and Destination NSW.

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Monday, 4 June 2012


The 12th GoNORTH workshops are set for Inverness Scotland 6-7 June 2012, to attract, network and match Highlands and Islands creatives with emerging technologies.

"In recent years goNORTH has featured an international array of talent spanning not only Scotland and the wider UK, but also the USA, Russia, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Australia and Japan. " reports that this year's event focuses on cutting edge technologies with free workshops in the creative industries. Topics/events will include:
"... the two-day goNorth festival is open to people interested in the creative industries and creates a good opportunity for them to meet experts working in the music, fashion and screen world. They will also be able to network with other writers, designers or composers and to contribute views on the future of creative industries."