Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some days the magic works

I don't know how I never found out about a valuable local (UT) resource until today. The Mid-American Geospatial Information Center (MAGIC) provides access to NASA remote sensing data which is combined with Texas-based developments in leading-edge information technology, computer visualization techniques and Internet2 data transmission network.

"One goal of the MAGIC program is to develop a rapid response capability to provide remote sensing data to address a broad range of applications in the region. This effort builds upon a cooperative effort between the University of Texas and and the Texas Geographic Information Council, a group with representatives from many Texas agencies and universities. To support that goal, UT-CSR operates a direct broadcast satellite receiving station for rapid acquisition of data from orbiting satellites. UT-CSR also downloads data from the NASA EOSDIS and the USGS EROS Data Center in South Dakota via the high-speed Internet2 network."

This information has provided rather useful during emergency response events. The interface with Google Earth is quite nice. I was able to search for a latitude/longitude to see if the Texas Civil Air Patrol had taken aerial photos of a couple of areas we were concerned about.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wrapup: Austin Blood Drive Tweetup

In case you missed it, Michelle posted a great report on the success of the inaugural Austin Blood Drive Tweetup. What a great opportunity to meet up with Twitter friends in person, and support such an important cause!

My experience as a first time blood donor to go as well as could be expected - turns out you should be well-hydrated and avoid caffeine to avoid issues. However, all the wonderful people that I encountered, including the Blood Center of Central Texas staff and Twitter friends who made it a memorable experience.

THANK YOU to everyone who participated! An extra special thank you goes to the businesses that donated raffle items, including Hammock, 302 designs, the Alamo Drafthouse, Austin Film Society, and Black Star Co-op Brewpub and Brewery.

The Twitter friends who facilitated the donations - @SummerH, @Aavarnum, and @davidhwalker.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tweetup Blood Drive

I had an interesting ideological discussion with Michelle Greer at DimSumday last weekend. A lot of talk about how much actions speak louder than words. I sheepishly realized that I had misunderstood her "recycled computers for Burmese Refugees" project, which contributes towards Elaine Allen's efforts. She is working directly with political refugees who are now living in our own community. Note to self: be a better listener!

Michelle told me about a special event that she was organizing along with David Neff of American Cancer Society's SharingHopeTV and Austin Social Media Club. A Tweetup Blood Drive will be held Thursday, July 1, from 10 am until 4 pm. Information on how to sign up are available at Facebook.

Don't forget to tweet while you donate! Raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the day, including: