Archive for September, 2006|Monthly archive page

Precision Farming and Emissions Trading

Scrappad has an interesting post on precision agriculture, plus some interesting elaboration by Vector One.
Since fertilizer often affects water quality, I wonder if it might make sense to create a market such that there is a cap on the total amount of fertilizer allowed by watershed. Then a market could be opened that allows farmers within a watershed to buy and sell fertilizer permits. This is similar to the concept of emmissions trading, but with the added spatial dimensions of watershed flow relationships. It seems like this would allow market forces to optimize the spatial distribution of fertilizer.

I think they’re already tracking fertilizer pretty closely here in the US, ever since the bombing of the Murrah building, so there’s already a bureaucracy in place.


Psychogeography and GIS

Psychogeographers don’t seem to get much attention from us quantitative geographers.

Given that GIS can provide tools for prediction and that predictability has been shown to greatly mitigate the effects of stress, it seems like pyschogeographers could use GIS tools to make the landscape more predictable.
Instead of worrying about “unimaginative urban landscapes“, maybe psychogeographers should think of ways to make life less stressful in places like Baghdad and New Orleans.

ArcGIS Server in an Elastic Compute Cloud

I’m just trying to think through what it would take to deploy ArcGIS Server to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud.

The hard part appears to be building the AMI. As far as I can tell the AMI is similar to a VMWare virtual machine.

In addition to providing a sensible licensing model for this, it would be nice if ESRI would provide a “starter” AMI with all the necessary software loaded, then I could just load my customizations and data on top of that, and push it into the cloud.

The beauty of the cloud concept is its scalability. I wonder how tricky it would be to add new SOC machines to the cloud. For something like an emergency management system scalability is hard. Typically load would be very low, until something like a hurricane comes along.

Maybe I’m thinking wrong on an emergency mgmt system … maybe what is needed is a lot of small focused apps that mash together feeds following the Common Alerting Protocol.