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Archive for the ‘mapping’ category

Apr 23, 2019

Deep inside Earth, scientists find weird blobs and mountains taller than Mount Everest

Posted by in category: mapping

The emerging picture of our planet’s innards is a “complete revolution.”

Scientists are mapping a remarkable landscape of blobs, plumes, and a metal ocean deep inside the Earth. Rost-9D / Getty Images/iStockphoto.

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Apr 8, 2019

China’s NewSpace: Mapping of its 60+ Start-ups

Posted by in categories: finance, mapping, space

Chinese space has been a very hot topic in recent years. Other than the impressive space exploration missions (Tiangong, Chang’e…), the interest for China is also due to the recent opening up of this industry to private investments, which has led to a leap in the number of space start-ups. These start-ups, supported by venture capital heavy-weights are covering the entire space industrial chain: launchers, satellite platforms, satellite subsystems, satellite services, ground segment, etc.

The number of space start-ups on the other hand, is a debated question. Chen Lan estimated in November 2018 that there were over 100 Chinese space start-ups [1]. FutureAerospace, a Beijing-based think-tank, sets the number at around 60, at the same period [2]. Other space watchers have suggested 80 such as in [3]. However, how this count is made is rarely detailed (how do we define a “NewSpace company”?), and very few lists are available at the time of writing, if any. Up to now, only Disrupt Space, a start-up which plans to build a global space entrepreneurial community, has undertaken the establishment of a list, which sets the count at 35 Chinese space start-ups (see map below).

disrupt space mapping
Fig. 1 – Disrupt Space’s Chinese Space Start-up Mapping in November 2018 [4]

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Mar 11, 2019

Scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Posted by in categories: mapping, mobile phones

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock—devices which could reduce our reliance on satellite mapping in the future—using cutting-edge laser beam technology. Their development greatly improves the efficiency of the lancet (which in a traditional clock is responsible for counting), by 80% — something which scientists around the world have been racing to achieve.

Currently, the UK is reliant on the US and the EU for the that many of us have on our phones and in our cars. That makes us vulnerable not only to the whims of international politics, but also to the availability of satellite signal.

Dr. Alessia Pasquazi from the EPic Lab in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex explains the breakthrough: With a portable atomic clock, an ambulance, for example, will be able to still access their mapping whilst in a tunnel, and a commuter will be able to plan their route whilst on the underground or without mobile phone signal in the countryside. Portable atomic clocks would work on an extremely accurate form of geo-mapping, enabling access to your location and planned route without the need for satellite signal.

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Feb 25, 2019

Mysterious fast radio bursts detected from deep space

Posted by in categories: alien life, mapping

Don’t look now, but Earth is being bombarded with mysterious, invisible light. Among the typical array of radio signals and microwaves cast out by distant stars, black holes and other celestial bodies, there exists a brand of intergalactic light that consistently boggles scientists’ minds — and their instruments. These signals are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). These ultrastrong, ultrabright radio signals last only a few milliseconds and are thought to originate from billions of light-years away, though their precise source is unknown. (Aliens have not been ruled out.)

The mystery is partially owed to a lack of data; since astronomers first discovered FRBs in 2007, only about 60 have been observed. Now, those numbers are growing fast. According to two new papers published Jan. 9 in the journal Nature, scientists working at the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) radio telescope in the hills of British Columbia have detected 13 new FRBs in just a two-month span. Among these newly captured signals are seven bursts that registered at 400 megahertz — the lowest FRB frequency detected so far — and, for only the second time ever, an FRB that flashed repeatedly, six times in a row.

“Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB,” Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia, said in a statement. “With more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles — where they’re from and what causes them.”

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Feb 18, 2019

Tesla is making the Model 3 faster with a software update

Posted by in categories: mapping, sustainability, transportation

To make a regular car go faster on the track, you can add go-fast components like a turbocharger or better fuel, or improve handling components like brakes and tires. Carmakers can also make a dizzying amount of software tweaks to everything from the stability and traction control systems to throttle mapping and how much fuel gets into the engine.

But with an electric car, the software is the star of the show. Code controls everything. That’s why Tesla can introduce Track Mode to the Model 3 with a software download, unlocking new features designed to get the electric sports sedan around a track faster than before.

On something like the BMW M5, putting the car in Sport Mode adjusts a dizzying array of settings for throttle response, transmission, chassis, steering, stability control, and whether the car operates in all- or rear-wheel drive.

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Feb 5, 2019

Scientists reveal true shape of Milky Way: It’s warped & twisted

Posted by in categories: energy, mapping, space

It’s even more fascinating than we thought.


The Milky Way looks nothing like the flat space pancake it is usually depicted as. The newly-created and most accurate 3D map of our galaxy reveals that it’s warped and twisted, and even more fascinating.

A group of astronomers from Australia and China have built their “intuitive and accurate three-dimensional picture” by mapping the so-called “classical Cepheids.”

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Dec 31, 2018

A Closer Look At What A Stem Cell Is: Our Cells’ Diverse Regenerative Capabilities

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mapping, neuroscience

For several decades now, one of the buzz words in the medical field has been ‘stem cell’. It has been said to aid in treating illnesses like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart diseases.

For the past three years, researchers at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands have been painstakingly cataloging and mapping all the proliferating cells found in mouse hearts, looking for cardiac stem cells. The elusive cells should theoretically be able to repair damaged heart muscle, so the stakes in finding them have been high.

This week, however, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is scheduled to announce the results of the Hubrecht team’s work: no evidence of cardiac stem cells at all.

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Dec 28, 2018

AI is mastering a wider variety of jobs than ever before

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, mapping, robotics/AI, space

In 2018, AI bested humans at following fauna, diagnosing disease, mapping the moon and more.

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Dec 28, 2018

Astronomers have begun mapping the structure of the far side of the Milky Way

Posted by in categories: mapping, space

This particular region is located over 66,000 light years from Earth and at on opposite side of the Milky Way, relative to our Solar System. The previous record for a parallax measurement was about 36,000 light-years, roughly 11,000 light years farther than the distance between our Solar System and the center of our galaxy. As Sanna explained, this accomplishment in radio astronomy will enable surveys that reach much farther than previous ones:

“Most of the stars and gas in our Galaxy are within this newly-measured distance from the Sun. With the VLBA, we now have the capability to measure enough distances to accurately trace the Galaxy’s spiral arms and learn their true shapes.”

Hundreds of star-forming regions exist within the Milky Way. But as Karl Menten – a member of the MPIfR and a co-author on the study – explained, this study was significant because of where this one is located. “So we have plenty of ‘mileposts’ to use for our mapping project,” he said. “But this one is special: Looking all the way through the Milky Way, past its center, way out into the other side.”

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Dec 20, 2018

This Startup Is Challenging Google Maps—and Needs Your Help

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, mapping

The mapping company StreetCred wants to pay a volunteer mapping army in cryptocurrency to carry out its data missions.

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