Posted by & filed under GIS, Philadelphia, Politics.

Rendell wants to eliminate 400 of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts in an effort to reduce costs.
Pennsylvania School Districts

Ed Rendell believes that in today’s economy, we can no longer afford to support 501 school districts.

This wouldn’t be the first time Pennsylvania forced consolidation of its school districts.  Before 1962, Pennsylvania had almost 2,000 school districts.

This decision comes after a Standard & Poor’s report (pdf) stating that “average spending tends to decrease as districts grow in size from about 250 students to about 2,500 students. But spending tends to go back up
again as district enrollments exceed 3,000 students”.

According to the report, there are 312 districts in Pennsylvania with less than 3000 students

It probably won’t have much of an effect on the Philadelphia School District, as the school district already encompasses the entire county, and is the largest (by enrollment) in the state.

Most of the school districts already work together for Career and Technology Centers.  The report uses this as an example of the schools working together effectively.  There are currently about 75 of these Career and Technology Centers, so I expect the new proposed school district map should look something like the current Vocational School map, which can be found here.

For those of you with Google Earth, and interested in the current PA school districts, I have created a map of all the PA school districts for your enjoyment! It’s in KML format, because it’s too large for GeoRSS to support.

Download the Pennsylvania School District Map for Google Earth

Posted by & filed under Food, GIS, Technology.

I’m always on the lookout for new GeoTagged data, and it made my day I came across this database.  It contains almost all of the airports in the world, along with their positions in WGS84.

I’ve gone through their data a little bit, and it’s not 100% perfect.  There are no parameters to specify the type of airport (General Av., Heliport, Seaplane, etc) and some of the airports have ceased to exist since. (ie. Denver Stapleton Airport)

Despite its shortcomings, this is still a great chunk of geographic data.

Recently, a buddy of mine put together a map of the Major US airports on Google Maps, which can be found here.  A lot of work was put into it to only include commercial airports and to specify the larger airports.  Its main intent is to aid travelers in finding the commercial airport nearest their destination.

It has inspired me to use the data from OpenFlights to create a maps of the World’s airports.  The resulting file was over 5mb, so I decided to create a subset of United States airports. So check out the OpenFlights Airport Database – United States Airports on Google Maps.

Airport and airline databases released (via OpenFlights)

As always, there is a song attached.  The flash player was giving me trouble, so here’s the mp3 straight up.

Guster – Airport Song

Posted by & filed under Cell, GIS, Mobile, Technology.


Google must be getting tired of just tracking your searches and your emails and you calendar and you bookmarks and you documents and your….  anyway now they’re also tracking your friends, in real time!  It uses your phone’s GPS or cell phone tower triangulation to track your every step and store it indefinitely on Google’s massive servers for further market research.

I might want to upgrade my phone, because Sony Ericssons and Apple iPhones are still only marked as “coming soon”.  Here’s a list of support phones that I copied and pasted from Google’s site:

  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
  • iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
  • most color BlackBerry devices
  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
  • many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)

Google Latitude (via
Google Launches Latitude To Track Friends On Mobile Maps (via

I have a song in mind for this post, but I can seem to find a link to it, and god forbid I upload copyrighted music, so here’s an iTunes link to it:

The Pietasters – Ocean  The Pietasters - Willis - Ocean

Just on a note, this is the second song I’ ve linked called Ocean, and I am aware of other songs about stalking and Latitude, but this is the one I picked for this post.  Enjoy!

Posted by & filed under GIS, Technology.

Before and After

It looks like the person driving the Google Car accidentally hit a deer in upstate New York.  Google Street View has removed the image from Google Maps because of complaints.

The good news is that the Google car driver stopped the vehicle, and alerted the police, and by time the police had arrived, the deer had gotten up and ran away.  So the deer seems to have survived!

Google Street View Car Plows Down Deer (via PC World).

And since I’m into tagging songs to my Blog Entries.. here you go:

Neko Case – Favorite

Posted by & filed under Apple, Food, GIS, Music, Personality, Politics, Railroad, Technology.

Google Earth Fills Its Watery Gaps (via
Google Earth, Google Ocean: mysteries of the seafloor are mapped for the first time (via

What an Ocean Floor may look like

This is big news to all the Google Earth users out there!

Google Earth is a great tool for anyone who has any need for maps on land, and now, you can find maps of the ocean too. This is great for anyone looking at boating channels or looking to SCUBA dive somewhere. This isn’t a small undertaking either, considering roughly 2/3 of the earth is covered by ocean.

There is also some talk about incorporating global warming trends into Google Earth.  I could understand how some simulations of it could be very cool to watch.

Al Gore is going to be headlining the debut of this new software, so expect some talk about Global Warming.

And of all the songs named “Ocean”, this was the first that popped into my head.  So enjoy listening to this as you read the linked article.

Sebadoh – Ocean

In very related news, I am currently working on a program to convert ESRI shape files to GeoRSS and KML documents, which will open in Google Earth.  I already have the code working, and am working on the UI now, so if anyone out there wants to be a beta tester, please contact me.