Technical Terrain

This blog is about exposing the real-world value of GIS.  It may be of interest to technologists but it seeks a more general audience of people who need, want or simply like to work with maps.  There are many excellent sites that deal with the curly braces, so we will speak geek sparingly.  What is often missing, however, is a good explanation of why a particular approach or technical choice is being made.  We'll do that here and have some fun, too.  Please feel free to join in and comment any time!

— Fred Newcomer
    SpherAware CEO


Recent Posts

The Pantry Principle

Posted in Database on Jan 02, 2017

Information is food for thought.  It's the home-cooked data casserole we all crave.  Of course, good information requires quality ingredients and careful preparation.  Proper storage is also an important part of a healthy diet.

The Fly on the Wall

Posted in Geography, History on Nov 07, 2016

A long line of brilliant thinkers and mathematicians patiently observed, deduced and calculated a way to render the details of our world onto conveniently flat charts, books and electronic devices.  A fly on the wall helped.

Mercator's Magic Map

Posted in Geography, History on Oct 10, 2016

One of the most profound and influential advancements in cartography is sorely misunderstood today.  Let's take a look at when it happened, what it does and why it is still incredibly important.

The Shadow Knows

Posted in Activity, Geography, History on Sep 26, 2016

The size of the Earth was calculated with surprising accuracy by Eratosthenes in the second century BC.  His method was both brilliant and simple.  This article describes a classroom experiment for repeating his results.

The Good Egg

Posted in Geography on Sep 12, 2016

There are some interesting similarities between the Earth and an egg.  This post takes a few measurements to discover how accurate that model really is.

A Foundry Foundation

Posted in Business on Aug 15, 2016

What does molten metal have to do with GIS?  This post looks back at a work experience that helped form a solid foundation for geometry, troubleshooting, information systems and business.

What is GIS?

Posted in Geography on Aug 01, 2016

What is GIS?  This article kicks off the blog with a philosophical look at the root meaning of GIS and what it really involves.